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Monday, June 13, 2011

Meatless Monday.... for baby!!!

Photo from Queen Mamas
So, I did not have my act together for a Meatless Monday (to eat or to write about).  But, I have a good reason for being too busy to focus on a meal for the husband and I.... I have been focused on baby food!  Avery turned 6 months old and that means it is time for solid foods.  Yiipppeee!

I have read a ton about the benefits of making your own baby food including that it is more "green" (less packaging), saves money, and fewer additives (you control... sugar, salt, butter, etc).  The main reason I decided to do it is that jarred food is full of vegetables that are months and months old and cooked to very high temperatures which changes the taste of the food along with the full nutritional value.  Do a taste test!  Make a puree and then taste the same veggie in a packaged baby food!  Not the same taste.  I want Avery to love real fruits and vegetables!   Hopefully she will have better food habits than I do.

To get started I bought the book,"The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet", an Immersion blender and trays to freeze baby food.  For the last item I went with Mumi and Bubi Starting Solids Trays.   I bought mine on Amazon for $25. I had perused a ton of options ... starting with plain ice cube trays which were cheaper, but went with Mumi and Bubi because they had great reviews, were BPA free, came with lids and make 42 cubes (well actually half spheres).

The first food I made is PEAS!  There are some foods that it is recommended to use frozen.  Apparently using fresh peas does not outweigh the time and energy to shell peas, so I bought organic, frozen peas.  Make sure the ingredient on the package says peas and only peas (no salt or other preservatives).   The peas were REALLY easy.  I just steamed them in the microwave in the package and then pureed them with my immersion blender and then food processor.  (I found my immersion blender did not do a great job of making a fine puree.)   I used 6 cups of peas and 1 and 1/2 cups of water).  I then spooned the mixture into the trays.  I filled one whole tray with the mixture (21, one ounce cubes).   When you defrost the peas you should stir in a little formula or breastmilk to soften the flavor a bit.

Photo from Five Dollar Dinners
Next up (with one more tray to fill) I made Sweet Potatoes.  You can bake or steam.  I steamed them this round for time sake.  Find a recipe here at this great website called Wholesome Baby Food.   Basically I steamed them and pureed them (in food processor) and then mixed in some of the "reserved" water until the consistency seemed right.  Just as the peas... I spooned it into the trays and popped them into the freezer.  Once frozen...you and pop out of trays and place in freezer bags labeled with the type of food it is and date made.  Food will last several months in the freezer.

Avery ate peas first as I heard it is best to start with the green vegetables.  Avery proved not to be a big fan of peas.   When starting a new food for baby... the rule is feed it to them 3 times to be sure there is not an allergic reaction before moving on to a new food!  Today was the last day of peas.  Avery is thankful!  Tomorrow we start sweet potatoes!  Happy Meatless Monday!  A recipe for adults will return next week.  Stay tuned for future baby food updates!  I am so excited that it is Farmers Market season... perfect timing for starting solids!  Until next time....xoxo

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