1 month of baby food, 1 hour, $20 – Round 2

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.

Baby food

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.

Veg

Baby food:

Apple-carrot

Sweet potato, apple, cinnamon

Zucchini-banana

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). 

Quinoa

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)

Veg 2

-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)

Storage:

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.

Quinoa 2

Shopping list:

-3 apples

-2 pears

-2 plums

-3 bananas

-3 zucchini

-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

xoxo

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Comments

  1. thank you so much for this great post! i love all of your recipes and did not know where to begine when it came to making my own baby food! thank you so much for all the detail and even a shopping list. i love this simplified and this is perfect! THANK YOU!!!!!

  2. Just found this on pinterest this week and LOVED it! I have a 7 month old and a 3 year old (who loves the pouches still). Your post was finally easy enough to follow that I jumped on it. Got the groceries the next day and got started. Just tried giving them to him though and he wouldn’t eat it. )= Sure did get a funny face though. How do you get it smooth without making it too runny?? Mine is still turning out sort of gritty. My 3 year old is sucking them down out of the pouches like crazy though. I think the little guy is just having texture issues.

    Thanks! Can’t wait to adjust it a little

  3. Heather says:

    When you cook with oats. can you freeze the extra? if so how long can it last.

  4. My son only eat vegetables if I mix in pears so I’m excited how he likes these mixtures. Also, If you have not heard of “Squooshi” pouches look them up on amazon. They are the food pouches you mentioned only re-usable and made to put homemade baby food in.

  5. When you are freezing them in ziploc bags how much are you putting in them. I am using the baby bullet containers, but haven’t really found anything that gives good directions on freezing other ways.

  6. Target has a great system for those pouches you talked about in the first post. They are made by Infantino and are for making your own baby food and then putting it in squeeze pouches. It is an amazing product and its only 30 cents a pouch sold in a box of 50! Great deal!

  7. SUPER helpful post. Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to share it. Sending good karma! :)

  8. Did you freeze the meals with quinoa in them? If so, how have you found it to taste?

  9. When you say “a package of broccoli” what pound bag are you using?

  10. I just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration. I just made a bunch of baby food. Now hopefully the baby will like it.

  11. If you have a Vitamix, couldn’t you just put the fruits and veggies in there raw?

  12. i definitely want to try some of these fun combos with my daughter! my son was a great eater and would eat any veggie plain, and still does now at 20 months old. the thing the worries me about always mixing fruit in with the veggies is that they will get used to everything being sweet and refuse veggies later on. just my theory.

    also, http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/01/07/truth-behind-baby-carrots/

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