Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chelsea's Baby Food, Inc.

A few years ago, if you would have mentioned making homemade baby food, I would have told you that is ridiculous. Why spend so much time and effort when you can buy it so easily at the store? Well, after some reading, I realized it actually is not that difficult, it's way cheaper, and it is very healthy!

I have a few different books that have been very helpful in this process. One is Organic Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Lizzie Vann. My favorite thing in this book is that it gives a schedule for feeding from weaning to four years. It is really helpful as I am slowly introducing Jack to solids and gradually weaning from breastmilk. The other book I have really enjoyed is Start Fresh by Tyler Florence. As you are probably aware, I am a bit of a Food Network junkie, so when I found out one of there chefs wrote a baby cookbook I was really excited. His recipes are really great, and I appreciate how much he wants to introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables and great flavor combinations at such a young age. I have other cookbooks that have also been helpful, but just thought I would mention those two.

There are many different options when cooking fruits and vegetables for baby food, but from what I read, it seems that steaming is the best, because it allows the food to retain most of its nutrients. This is what Tyler Florence recommends in his book, at least for the first foods. So, this is the route I took, and it was so easy. He also recommends using a blender rather than a food processor to make the food as smooth as possible, so I have been doing that.

So, here are the simple steps to making delicious baby food:

1. Make sure your sous chef is nearby.

2. Choose from a variety of fruits and vegetables for your little one. I started with carrots. This bag of organic carrots was only $.79! That comes out to less than $.10 per serving for organic baby food! Since then I have also cooked sweet potatoes, zucchini, peas, and pears. Jack seemed to like all of them except the zucchini.

3. Peel carrots. Your sink might look a little disastrous afterward. But just be thankful you don't have a hideous brown 1980s era sink like me (and if you do, I am sorry).

4. Place beautiful carrots on cutting board and slice.

4. Fill a large pot with water, place a steamer insert in it (this one came with this pot, but I think you can buy one if you don't already have one), cover, and bring to a boil. Add carrots, and cover again. Steam until carrots are soft, about 10 minutes.

Continued on next post...

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