Baby Food 101

Hope you all had a great holiday with your family and friends. It was great to spend some quality time with all of our family and close friends but it was especially nice to enjoy some “quiet” family time at home. Now, it’s back to the good old routine.

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Many of you have been inquiring about recipes. I haven’t posted any recipes in quite some time, quite frankly, it’s been so busy with all the holiday preparations and all the after school activities, plus having to take care of a very energetic, fast growing, little boy. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking and baking though, especially baby food (and these sweet, coffee cake streusel muffins).

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Benny is almost eight months now, I just can’t believe it. He’s crawling around very quickly, standing, eating solids and trying to pick up and eat finger foods. He’s such a sweet, happy, energetic little boy.

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He’s been enjoying trying all new foods. It’s a fun time. I love, love making and feeding the baby. Some of you have been inquiring about baby food recipes so let me give you a quick roundup of what “we” have been making for Benny. Making baby food is easy. Just peel, wash, cut, steam and puree. It’s that simple!

First of all, in the beginning, I waited at least ONE week in between trying any new food, just to be sure there weren’t any allergies. When he was about 5 months, I started giving him baby cereal, Earth’s Best Rice Cereal, followed by Earth’s Best Oatmeal Cereal and then Nurtur Me Quinoa Cereal, all made with breastmilk. He loved it and continues to devour it.

Then, shortly thereafter, he started eating single VEGETABLES. I always start with vegetables rather then fruit, just because fruit tends to be sweeter and babies already prefer sweeter so it’s good to give them a head start eating their vegetables. Plus, I always try to get seasonal, organic produce. I think it’s important to give their growing bodies the purest, whole foods. If I can’t find it fresh, then organic frozen is my second choice. Plus, it’s a great option for a quick meal, just steam and puree! I purchased these 4oz. glass jars, great for baby food, safe for the freezer, heating up and serving! Picked up the Wean Green jars on Amazon and the Ball jars at Target.

We started with all the ORANGE and YELLOW vegetables, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, winter squash. Then, we moved on to the GREEN vegetables, zucchini, peas, green beans, kale, spinach. I also gave him parsnips, but that wasn’t his favorite. After all the “first foods for vegetables”, we moved on to FRUIT. We gave him apples, avocados, bananas, mango, peaches, pears and prunes.

Now, the real fun has begun, with mixing different foods together and this is where many of you have been asking for my “recipe” combination ideas.

Well, we have created a lot of great combinations. He is enjoying all of them and to be honest, I enjoy them too. I try all the food I make before giving it to him, just to be sure it’s good. A good chef always tastes his food before giving it to others.

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Some of our combinations have been, peas with sweet potatoes, kale with sweet potatoes, spinach with white potatoes, zucchini with corn and quinoa, butternut squash with sweet potato, purple carrot and chickpeas, banana and avocado, acorn squash with green beans, blueberries with pears and avocado and most recently, mango with pears and Greek yogurt, spinach with carrots and potato, apples and avocado. I’ve been trying to avoid adding rice to his meals, as I have these rice type of crackers for teething that he eats every couple of days.

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He’s also been enjoying eating finger foods, such as O cereal, peas, rice pasta and broccoli, cut up into the tiniest of pieces. It’s fun, keeps him occupied while we eat dinner and helps him practice his pincer grasp with his fingers. Making baby food doesn’t have to be complicated. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a couple jars of ready made food at home for those emergencies, but making baby food honestly is really easy and a lot of fun. Plus, you can’t beat the fresh taste instead of food that has been sitting on store shelves for who knows how long!

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Until next time, happy cooking and happy 2015 from our family to yours!

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