Saturday, November 20, 2010

On feeding baby

All this talk about Thanksgiving and Christmas meals has got not only my stomach rumbling, but has also got me thinking about what my little Sophie will be indulging in on her first holidays. It's only now that I realized I haven't spelled out any of my favorite baby food recipes to share. My blender has never felt so loved (previous life only knew margarita mix and Tequila). I know I don't have to say it again, but all of the food I've ever made for Sophie has been organic. We use Absolute Organics delivery of fruit and vegetables to the house, and I buy organic chicken and ground beef from Costco. I even found organic turkey lunch meat at The Home Economist. I would say that in the past that I made 95% of the food she ate. Lately I'd have to change that to 75% thanks to Cheerios, Gerber puffs, and these yummy things that a friend told me about:

They are uber convenient, organic, and they make some really great flavor combinations. There are other brands that are also organic and come in these little Capri Sun-like pouches - Plum Tots is one of them. But back to cooking. The mere thought of making my own baby food made me nervous. How could I possibly make anything better than money could buy? Now, now, new mommy, what you can make at home is 100x better than store bought. Reasons to make your own baby food include but are not limited to:
  • it's more fresh
  • it has more nutrients
  • it's less expensive
  • you are in control!
  • make your own combinations
  • you ensure the quality of ingredients
If you are on the fence, just try it. If you feel it takes too long or the mess too big, or you just don't find it rewarding at all, then you tried. I happen to love cooking to begin with, so making Sophie's food was just as fulfilling to me as breast feeding her. There is a lot to know as far as what foods are gassy, what foods are constipating, and how to balance them all out in your baby's little belly. Sometimes it comes by trial and error. Or, you could just read a book or two for some hints! It is best to try one food at a time, waiting about three days before introducing another (you want to keep any eye out for reactions and it's easier to pin-point if they've only eaten one thing the last day or so). Once you've introduced foods on their own - get to mixing - the combinations are endless.

Without further ado, here goes some of our tried and true baby meals.
No cook purees:


All of the above easily peel, mash with a fork, thin with breastmilk, formula or water until the consistency was so that it slid off the back of the spoon. (If using breastmilk or formula, serve immediately, do not store). Sophie hated avocado - still does. I know it's a popular one for most babies though.

Now we get cookin':

Green beans
Sweet potato
Butternut squash

All of the above were easily washed/peeled/chopped, then steamed/simmered/boiled until tender, and then pureed in the blender until smooth. Sometimes the consistency was too thick with just the fruit or vegetable which I then used the water from the bottom of the pan to thin (with the exception of carrots - too many nitrates build up in the water when steaming carrots). I would then pour the puree into my baby food cube tray and freeze. Once frozen solid, I would pop out the cubes and store in a labeled gallon Ziploc bag (inside the gallon bag I would use smaller quart bags to keep the flavors separate). Good in the fridge for about 48 hours, good in the freezer for about 6 weeks. I use these KidCo BPA free storage trays:

Chicken with Sweet Potato and Apple

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
4 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 apple (any kind), peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup chicken stock

Heath the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until soft. Add chicken and saute until opaque. Add the sweet potato and apple, and pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour into blender and puree until smooth.

Her First Ground Beef

1 red pepper
2 tomatoes, peel and seeded
1/2 zucchini
1/2 lb ground beef

Roast the red pepper (or use jarred pre-roasted) over gas top flame until charred, set in a bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap for 20 minutes. Remove from bowl and peel the skin and de-seed. Steam the 1/2 zucchini and chop. Puree roasted red peppers, peeled tomatoes and steamed zucchini. While browning the ground beef, break into tiny tiny bits. Mix the vegetable puree with the ground beef and serve alone or with tiny whole wheat pasta.

Cheesy Chicken and Carrot Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium tomato, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup brown rice
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

Heat olive oil in pan, add chicken, cooking until opaque. Add carrots and chicken stock then bring to a slow boil. Add rice and simmer until all liquid is absorbed. In a separate pan, warm tomatoes and cheese. Remove chopped chicken from the rice and carrot mixture and puree with the tomato and cheese mixture. Stir puree back into cooked brown rice and carrots.


  1. Soph is so lucky to have a mommy that loves her so much that she goes the extra mile to make sure that Little Miss has fresh, nutritious food! I've watched Amy prepare some of this food and it really is easy and delicious - much better than the jarred stuff from the store (especially the meats)!

  2. Whew! Great post! Gives me courage to take this on. Thanks!

  3. Thanks Mom and Meagan! It really is so easy and I agree with my mom, the pureed meat in the jar is scary. I actually tried to feed it to Sophie once (a friend gave me some extras when her baby moved on to solid solids) and she refused it. I tried it and it was gross! You can do it!