It can take a few hours to prepare, cook, freeze and store, but I assure you, it will be well worth your time to invest in your baby’s health. In addition to the health benefits, preparing your own baby food in bulk will save you money, as you can prepare two months of baby food for just $20. An example of your shopping list may look something like this: peas, spinach, carrots, beets, squash, sweet potatoes and prunes. You can then cook these and create batches of each food group for your baby to enjoy.
If you don’t have a solid block of a couple of hours, you can slow down the process and still end up with the same amazing results.
For instance, when you do your regular grocery shopping, add an extra sweet potato (or two) to your cart. When your little one is napping, steam the potatoes, puree them and then freeze for proper storage. This can be done twice a week, and before you know it, you will have a freezer full of nutritious meals ready for your infant.
Fruits and vegetables need to be washed (not with bleach or a detergent, as dangerous chemicals may be left behind on porous produce); peeled and chopped. Some foods, such as dates, prunes and beans may require overnight soaking or pips removed.
Baby food should never be boiled, only steamed to retain the most nutrients. Microwaving is the preferred cooking method for many mothers, as it is a time saver, and has less clean up when compared to other cooking methods, however at Little Mashies we prefer to use the microwave as less as possible. When cooking baby food, it should be cooked well, and to the point that mashing is easily possible with a fork.
The cooked food (along with the cooking juices) should be placed in a blender or food processor to be pureed. This is the step that you will be able to change up the texture and consistency of the food. Depending of the age of your baby the consistency of the puree will change. In the beginning stages of feeding you want to have the texture velvety and soft. Water may need to be added to the pureeing process, to obtain the desired consistency. Later, the puree will be thicker and finally it will include parts that are mashed mixed with parts that are pureed. This allows for your new baby to learn different skills associated with feeding.
Once pureed, put the food into Little Mashies reusable food pouches and freeze. If you don’t own food pouches you can just use ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap and then freeze overnight. If using ice cube trays pop ice cubes once they are frozen and store them in a re-sealable freezable container or freezer bag. Remember to label the container with the food type and date.