Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Baking For Baby

So, maybe you noticed in one of my latest posts that I mentioned we MADE Aiden's rice cereal. Made? Yep. We're making his baby food. Why? Well, why not?

I have discovered it is SUPER easy, and there are many other reasons.
  • I know it is fresh (fresher than jars that have been on the shelf for possibly up to a couple years...seriously. Would you want to buy that jar if you knew it might be a few years old?)
  • I know exactly what is in it (just the food itself, nothing added or removed, except maybe some breastmilk to thin it out, if needed)
  • it's cheaper than baby food that you buy already made
  • it tastes a heck of a lot better than jarred baby food (it tastes like REAL food, even something WE would eat - but that's because it is)
  • it is more nutritional than jarred baby food (when making jarred, they have to heat it so much that nutrients are lost - they add some to make up for it, but it's just not the same. They also add water, sugar, starches, etc to some foods, which can dilute the nutritional value - not too cool)
  • no additives in my own food but there is in jarred, and I am using some organic foods to make mine that much better
  • more variety - I can feed him just about anything we can think of (paying attention to what foods should be given at later times, of course)
  • and plus, it's very rewarding making the food that my baby is eating, just like it is when I cook for my whole family.
These are just a few reasons. :) Now, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with buying jarred food, if that is the route you choose to go. I'm sure there will be a few situations where we will buy a few jars when the situation calls for it. This is what we have decided to do in our family, though, and we see the benefits as outweighing the ease of grabbing a jar that we purchased. Actually, we think this is just as easy. When we shop, we just pick up some fresh foods to make the food. I steam it or cook it in a way that preserves most of the nutrients, puree it (some I keep mashed or even cut into chunks for later on), and freeze it in small amounts. Then when he is ready, we just take out one cube, thaw it, mix in some breastmilk if needed, and he eats. :)

So far, I have pumpkin (yes, pumpkin!! that's what is in the pics above) and butternut squash in the freezer. And in the fridge, I have yellow squash, zucchini, acorn squash, sweet potatoes and avacado ready to fix for him. The list of things in my head to make is just getting longer and longer! It's actually a lot of fun!

Here is Aiden enjoying some pumpkin puree. I'm showing all to show his reaction as he gets that first taste...

Open wide!!

Looking up at Daddy...

Mmmmm...this stuff is good!

Gimme, Gimme!

He really liked the pumpkin!

He's eyeing the spout on the sippy cup. He already knows that's where the good stuff comes out.


Life Scraps and Patches said...

What a lucky baby! Way to go!

Becky said...

Hi. I'm a friend of Gwen's and have found your blog from your comments on her page. We have boys about the same age. I also LOVE making my own baby food. I wanted to tell you one thing because I didn't find out untill after making half of my food. All food processors (that I can find) have BPA in the plastic. Since your going organic I figure you're concerned about such things. I switched to using my glass blender (which actually works better than my mini proccessor), but if you don't have that option, making sure the food is fully cooled before pureeing will limit the BPA exposure. (Anything over 140deg's will cause BPA to leech out in large amounts). I just thought you might want to know, I'm not trying to be critcal or a crazy zelot or anything.
My favorite website for baby food info..
www.wholesomebabyfood.com =)

Daisy and Ryan said...

Becky - thanks for the comment! As much as we have been watching things with BPA in them - I had NOT thought about the food processor!! Good idea to try the blender - or to just let the food cool first. I will definitely be doing one or both of those!! And we love the wholesomebabyfood website, too! :) That's my go-to right now. Thanks for the suggestion with the BPA!

Connie - thanks so much!! We think WE'RE the lucky ones! ;)

Becky said...

No problem. I'm actually a little (scratch that a lot!) jealous of your organic produce selection. I can't even find organic squash let alone pumpkin! While NYC is good for alot of things, groceries IS NOT one of them.