When I wrote this post, I was hoping that it would be a helpful resource for making a lot of healthy baby food, quickly and inexpensively. Since the feedback was so wonderful, I decided to make a round 2! Hope you enjoy it.
I still love making food for Liv as much as I thought it would. It’s so much fun to introduce her to new flavor combos and ingredients, and I have a feeling it will be this way… forever. I usually use Sunday to prep for the week but for Liv’s food, I’ll make about a month’s worth, freeze it all, and let the ones defrost over night before we use them. It works out as a perfect main component, and I’ll always give her a little bit of what we’re having, too. It always surprises me to see what she’ll go crazy over (salmon! a girl after my own heart) and what she doesn’t enjoy as much, like egg yolks.
Liv is current 8 1/2 months and here’s some of our recent stash. As usual, it took a little under an hour and about $20 to make everything.
Sweet potato, apple, cinnamon
Broccoli, apple kale
Spinach, pea, pear
Blueberry quinoa (brown rice, or oats)
Plum banana quinoa (brown rice, or oats)
For all of these, see what your baby prefers as far as fruits and veggie ratios go. For Liv, I find that she enjoys the veggies more if a little fruit is mixed in, especially with greens to cut the bitterness. Usually I’ll try to do mostly veggies and a little fruit.
1. Apple-carrot: Blend 1-2 apples with 3 carrots that have been steamed. For a quick steaming method, you can place the chopped and peeled fruits and veggies in a microwave-safe glass bowl with a little water, or use the steamer basket. We use this electric steamer contraption, which makes everything easy to steam at once in layers. Add enough water to thin it out. Apples and pears can also be boiled for 7-9 minutes until tender.
2. Sweet potato, apple, cinnamon: Add baked sweet potato flesh, one peeled, steamed apple and a tiny pinch of cinnamon. A little goes a long way for tiny tastebuds. Blend well, with enough water to thin it out.
3. Zucchini-banana: Steam 3 zucchini and blend well with 2 fresh bananas, plus as much water as needed.
4. Broccoli, apple, kale: Steam 1/2 package of frozen organic broccoli (either in a steamer or glass bowl with a little water in the microwave- save the other half of the package for next month, or eat it yourself), with one peeled, steamed apple and 1/2 bag of kale, wilted in a little olive or coconut oil on the stove top. Add water as needed.
5. Spinach, pea, pear: Add half a package of defrosted frozen spinach (or fresh, wilted in a little olive or coconut oil on the stovetop), 1/2 package of frozen, organic defrosted peas (the other half of last month’s bag) and 2 pears.
6. Blueberry quinoa: Add frozen blueberries (about 1/2 bag) to cooked quinoa (about 1/2 cup cooked) and blend well, thinning out as necessary with water or breast milk.
7. Plum banana quinoa: 1 banana, 2 plums and cooked quinoa (1/2 C, cooked).
To make all of the above:
-Preheat the oven, wash the sweet potatoes and poke with holes, You’ll make these last, after they cook for about 50 minutes at 375.
-Start boiling the water for the quinoa (or brown rice), rinse well and get that cooking.
-Peel all the fruits and veggies as needed and start steaming, either in the microwave in a glass bowl with a little water, or on the stovetop. (You can do fruits together, like the apples, pears and plums, and then veggies together, like the broccoli, spinach and peas to make less steaming rounds. Remember, it’s not an exact science! Have fun with it)
-Heat up the pan and start wilting the greens as the fruits/veggies steam.
-Puree in batches, adding a little water or breastmilk as necessary to thin out.
-For the combos that use multiples of the same ingredients, do those together. For example, I’ll do the quinoa batches right after each other (half with blueberries, the other half with plum and banana)
BONUS: Chicken, quinoa and carrots (You have almost all the ingredients for this already on hand- all you need is a plain roasted chicken breast, season with a little garlic, oregano or cumin as you like)
I love the Baby Bullet containers, and will usually fill 2-3 with the purees and freeze the rest flat in Ziploc baggies (all Ziploc products are BPA free)
Ice cube trays are perfect, too -I couldn’t find any at Target which was kinda weird- and remember to defrost only what your baby will eat over the next couple of days. Keep the rest in the freezer.
What we add in for fun:
-For breakfast and lunches, Liv loves the Happy Baby puffs or the Little Ducks dried fruit. I’ll put a few on her tray with some fresh, soft fruits or veggies (bites of banana, melon, avocado, peeled beans and sweet potato work really well) while I get our meals ready. We used to use the mesh feeder often, but Liv is getting much better at gnawing on food with her gums and swallowing it. She loves to pinch up tiny bites of soft food.
-2 sweet potatoes
-carrots (buy the long ones instead of the baby ones, which are washed in a bleach solution)
Packages (usually last 2 months, with the exception of the fresh kale, so the broccoli, peas and blueberries, I still had in the freezer from last time. I always have quinoa on hand, but you can buy it in the bulk bin. I only included half a bag of each in the $20 total cost)
-1 package frozen blueberries
-1 package spinach (fresh or frozen)
-1 package broccoli (frozen)
-1 package kale
-1 C quinoa (bulk bin)
*Keep in mind that I’m not a baby food expert or baby nutrition specialist in any way- these are just the foods that Liv likes and an inexpensive list of combos. Always check with your doctor regarding the best method for feeding your baby and before introducing any new foods. We do a combo of pureed food and baby led weaning over here, and it’s working well for us so far <3