Thursday, February 04, 2010

More on making my own baby food

The method

I'm quite the obsessive when it comes to baby food (I only realised this after speaking to other mothers) so I wrote down the 5 yellow veggies (pumpkin, butternut, sweet potato, carrots and gem squash) and did a little table in the front of their notebook.

I then mark off when each child has successfully had 4 days of that vegetable.

To date, they are both okay with all 5.

Kendra seems to like carrots the most and Connor favours butternut and gem squash.

I don't take nonsense from them though; they both need to eat everything whether they like it or not. I don't force feed but I do a whole song and dance (literally) because I am not going to be cooking 3 different meals when they can eat our food. No way!

And so far, they eat everything - they gobble their favourites faster than the rest but they eat everything.

I've just started introducing green veggies this week - I mixed broccoli and butternut which was a hit with both kids.

Tried peas with Connor on Monday and he HATED them (don't blame him, actually, I don't eat peas either).

Once we knew that they were okay with a particular veg, I started mixing up two of a particular yellow veg, all the time keeping careful notes, like carrots and sweet potato, gem squash and carrots, etc.

* By the way, be warned that carrots will stain your lovely baby utensils horribly.

How we cook and puree the veggies

Viola peels and cooks the vegetables for me while I'm at work. We boil them in a pot with a bit of water, just enough until soft (to retain nutrients).

I then use a stick blender to puree the veggies. I find that I have to add about 60 ml cool, boiled water (about 2 oz) to about 500 g veggies (half a pound). Start there and adjust the water as necessary. Otherwise it seems as if the veggies are too solid and they're more likely to choke.

You'll have to add a lot more water in the beginning when they first start having veggies. As I mentioned before, the paed said to not go too fine for too long otherwise they'll gag if there's the slightest lumps in food afterwards. Again, not having that kind of fussiness.

The easiest way to cook gemsquash
  • Stab the hard outer skin about 5 - 6 times with a sharp knife, preferably after you're stressed, so you really get out your frustrations.
  • Place in a plastic bag (we use old bread bags) and microwave on high for about 5 - 7 minutes (that's for 3 medium-sized gems).
  • Once cooked and cooled, slice open, scoop out the pips, add a tiny bit of water and mash with a spoon or fork.

Another of my quirks - I LOVE the smell of cooked gemsquash but also don't eat it.

Sidenote - Kendra is eating BEAUTIFULLY these days. Kendra! I never would have believed it.

She is such a little girl, all dainty and neat and even opens her mouth when she's finished a bite. Too cute! Basically she's as clean at the end as when we start feeding whereas Connor is such a messy boy (I love it!). I took a photo this week of the butternut ALL over his face. Will blog.

Cooking the fruit

We do it in much the same way as the veggies - peel, boil in a tiny bit of water, puree. So far we've only given Connor apples, pears and bananas. Kendra started on bananas this week.

Bananas are easy as you just mash, no cooking, so they're also my fruit of choice if we're out. When avocado pears go on special, I'll be trying those too. Someone at work told me to also give them mangoes and papaya - yummy!

I don't like them to have a lot of fruit as it's sweet, so they both only get about 50 - 60 g (I can't remember - made a gigantic load about two weeks ago and we're still going through all that) plus two heaped tablespoons plain yoghurt. Again, I don't want them getting used to sweet things.

Yes, I will be one of those "no sweets or chocolates for my kids" mothers.

Storing it

I happen to have a storage container obsession and had quite a bit of these small plastic containers lying around, all brand new and unused and perfect for the babies' food.

Kendra is eating a lot more than when I first posted so she now also gets the big containers.

Kendra started with about 50 g food (I am precise - I use a kitchen scale and weigh everything - it makes it easier for me as I'm a black and white sort of person) and is now eating 70g. Connor has 100 g.

I started small (even with Connor) because I hate wasting food. If they polished it off and still seemed hungry then I increased the portion gradually until they look happy.

The babies "tell" you when they're done eating by trying to escape the spoon.

* A word of advice - label your food. After it's all frozen, the food all looks the same. I use masking tape and a permanent marker. Masking tape is cheap, lasts forever and peels off easily when you need to re-label the containers.


In the evening while preparing/ heating supper, I make up their bottles for the night and the next morning's first one so there isn't a big rush if V is a bit late. I can't STAND a baby screaming for food.

That's when I take out the frozen food portions for each baby for the next day and put into the fridge to defrost overnight.


I think that's it!

Please ask questions in the comments and I'll keep editing until I answer all questions :)

Also, to the others who make their own baby food (Heather, Saffy, etc.) please share your tips!


  1. I love it. I'm going to start making and freezing. I think we are going to try cereal again in March, sooner if they are wanting more. Have you tried/thought about the ice cube method? I think that is what I am going to go with as we have a tiny freezer in our tiny kitchen in our tiny house! No space for all those containers!

    Have you (or anyone else) tried the juice bags? That's not what they're called, I'm not sure what their name is. Think of a teething ring or chew toy, only it's a mesh bag that locks closed. You put a piece of fruit inside and the baby can suck all the juice out. We have a set but like everything else food related I'm scared to try it!

  2. I used the mesh bags that ^^^she's talking about with my granddaughter.

    They worked sort of like a strainer keeping large chunks from getting in their mouth. They can be a bit messy. Grace loves peaches so I used to peel a peach and poke a quarter in the bag at a time and turn her loose. She'd be in heaven!

    Fruits and veggies were the only things I ever put in those bags. A friend put everything in them. Cereal, meats as well as F&V's.

  3. Mesh bags are good for when you start finger foods. I think it's great that you make your own food. I did want to mention a couple of bits of advice I got from moms and Penny's nutrionist that you mind find useful. 1. It's your job to provide food and it is there job to eat it. Kids can self-regulate and there is no need to try to get them to do more than try an item. A book that covers eating and is HIGHLY recommended by all MOTs I know is Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter. I have read parts of it - once you get past the BFing stuff it is good. I did have to take the advice with a grain of salt since I had a child with a medical reason for not eating. 2. Keep trying different foods and veggies - some days my kids like peas, some days they don't. It's weird. I heard that you have to introduce a food up to 15 times and wait until they can feed themselves - they can be weird picky.

    My personal mantra was that if I tried some veggies, fruits, meats, I stopped counting the days. You'll know pretty quick if your kids have allegies (skin rashes, etc.).

    Sounds like you are having fun creating a system and keeping your kids fed!

  4. To answer Mandibula's question, I did use the ice cube method, with great success. I froze them in ice cube trays for 48 hours, then transferred to a ziploc freezer bag, which I labeled with a marker. It took up a little less space in the freezer that way, and it was easy to dole out portions. At first, they only ate one cube between the two of them (I feed with one spoon from one bowl), and worked up to 3-4 per meal.

    I would also add that I used the microwave most of the time because I would forget to set the food out beforehand. It worked great!

  5. Mandibula, we do use the mesh bags for Connor. Kendra is not interested at the moment. As Poppy said, very messy but he seems to like it. Not wild about everything but bananas are a definite favourite.

  6. LOL - I just dig out whatever is in the veggie drawer and cook and puree it. And it always does come out orange, so mealtimes are a surprise for everyone - what is the orange mush going to be today??

  7. LOL Claudia, thanks for the laugh!

  8. After feeding Josiah a jar of banana baby food, I thought, "I could make this easily." In fact, I think there's something about how they preserve the bananas that makes it smell sour to me. I don't like it at all, but love bananas. I thought that it would be really easy to just smash up a real banana and feed that to him instead. I thought the same thing about green beans as Jesse and I eat them a lot. So, it'd be easy to steam some, puree and freeze. Preparing, freezing and storing seems more like a pain to me than having a jar of pre-made food, but I think the cost may well be worth it. I was just given a whole bunch of baby food, so I was thinking about going through that first and then buying a few fruits and veggies when we go grocery shopping to try it all out. Not being a cook, I don't have a lot of the kitchen tools you mentioned, but I think we could get by. I'll let you know if I end up doing this :-)

  9. Amazing joy your doing on the making baby food. I got exhausted just reading it. LOL. My lazy streak coming out.

    I do mostly make my own food - usually by pulling out a tiny amount of what we're eating and then running it through my baby blender.

    My sister canned all kinds of stuff for her first baby. Worked great. So much healthier than that jarred stuff - not to mention tons cheaper.

    Hugs! You really are doing great!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment and filling my love tank. I appreciate it!

I'd love to answer your email so please make sure your email address is enabled. In Blogger, go to Edit Profile, and under Privacy, tick the 3rd block and then Save Profile :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails