Lil Sid is a beast when it comes to food. If there were some sort of baby competitive-eating circuit, he’d totally crush in the 6-9 month division. The guy was drinking 13 0z of milk at 4 months old. And now that he’s eating solid foods, it’s gone next-level. Yesterday, he ate an entire avocado in one sitting. And then had a jar of peas. And then still wanted more.
Buying those little jars of baby food are a joke at this point. He can easily polish off two every time he eats. Which means that, if he’s eating three times a day, we’re up to 42 of those suckers a week! So I started making my own food. Way before I changed my diet (and way, way before I thought I’d ever have a baby), I thought that people who made their own baby food were crazy, a little hippie, or just too cool for school. But healthy eating has made me nicer, ok? I’m not that judgey anymore. And now here I am, making my own baby food. And A LOT of it.
There are a lot of benefits to making it at home.
1. Less trips to the grocery store. Between recipe testing, our regular groceries, and now baby stuff, I feel like I’m at the store every single day. Making big batches of baby food helps curb that a bit.
2. It’s less expensive. Period. I can just take whatever veggies I’ve got leftover in the freezer/fridge and whip something up. Those two carrots I didn’t end up using for another recipe? See above. Now they’re baby food.
3. More options for the baby bear. The packaged baby food game is all about the fruit mashups/mixups. They all seem to add pears or berries or some sweet fruit to the veggies. Which is cool, and I do feed him some fruit…but for the most part, I’m all about the straight veg. I’m trying to start him early on the veggie side while his palate is fresh. I want him thinking of spinach, green beans, and kale as his friends. And not as the awful thing his mom is forcing him to eat.
So, how do you make this stuff?
Take your veggie or fruit, put in a saucepan, and fill with water so it’s just covered. Bring to a boil. Then cover and let simmer for 3-6 minutes until soft. Depending on the ingredient, your simmer time will vary. For example, peas take less time than a sweet potato or hearty green beans. After soft, drain most of the water, but keep a little bit and put veggies/fruit and water in the blender. Blend until smooth. You might need to add a little more water to get the consistency you want.
If you’re mixing greens with another fruit/veg, throw them in for the last few minutes. You just want them to wilt and not get super soggy. Spinach and kale pair really nicely with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and peas.
Here are some veggies/fruit combos that Sid has loved:
Sweet Potato & Rice Cereal
Peas and Spinach
Butternut Squash & Kale
Green Beans and Peas
Quinoa & Apples (make quinoa like you do the rice cereal)
Don’t forget to mix it up, so your babe doesn’t get bored!