Baby Buzz: Homemade Baby Food

It’s the latest mommy movement! Women are breaking out the blender to give their babies the best, homemade food options.

But is homemade baby food really worth the effort? Studio 5 Contributor Lyndsi Frandsen looks into this trend.

It seems as though a lot of moms are resorting back to the “basics” of being a traditional homemaker. DIY furniture, sewing, and canning are becoming more and more popular. Homemade baby food is no exception! A lot of moms are intimidated by the daunting task of homemade baby food, while some are diving in headfirst and tackling the challenge. Whether you are dedicated to hand making every morsel that enters your baby’s mouth, or just want to give it a try, here are the things you will need to make the “goods”. (Bonus: I have even added a few quick and easy recipes that any mom can handle, veteran or rookie!)

1. A suitable blender or Bullet Blender. Please do not waste your money on the baby-specific Bullet blender! They are exactly the same. You will want a decent blender to make sure all the food is being processed and blended.

2. Freezing containers. There are containers out there made specifically for freezing baby food. Those work fine. But to save a penny or two, freezing your food in ice cube trays works just as well. Each ice cube slot is about 1-ounce of baby food and, as long as it is covered tightly, they work great!

3. A good recipe book. This may be the most difficult task! There are so many baby food cookbooks on the shelves. How will you ever pick one? Don’t worry! I have done the research for you and found my three favorite cookbooks that fits any moms needs.

The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet
by Karin Knight & Tina Ruggerio

This is the book you want if you are just starting out with homemade baby food. The book is broken down into recipes based on ages ranging from 6-23 months. There is something for every mom in this book. A bonus to this book is it provides a breakdown of each recipes nutritious value. The recipes are simple and easy. For example, consider this apple-pear puree:

Yummy Apple-Pear Puree
1 ripe pear
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup pear nectar or unsweetened apple juice

Instructions: Peel, core, and chop the pear. Put into a small saucepan with the applesauce and cook covered on medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is soft. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then add to the blender with pear nectar or juice and whip into a smooth puree.

“201 Organic Baby Purees”
by Tamika L. Gardner
This book breaks down what it means to make “organic” baby food and just how to accomplish it. This book is great for the mom who is into everything organic! The recipes are slightly more complex, but still easy to tackle!

Fall Pumpkin Yogurt
½ cup of canned organic pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree
½ cup of full-fat organic vanilla yogurt

Instructions: Blend together and serve.

“Top 100 Baby Purees “
by Annabel Karmel
This book is my favorite find and is good for any mom to use. The recipes are not your typical “no-brainers” and combine ingredients that you might not think would work together, but do! It breaks down the recipes based on the age of your baby and also provides tips and tricks for each one. If you are unsure about whether or not you can freeze your homemade baby food, this book tells you which recipes are freezable and which are not!

Pasta Stars with Tasty Vegetable Sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup chopped onion (I used minced from the jar)
1 clove garlic, crushed (I used minced from the jar)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
Half a 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
3 tablespoons tiny pasta stars
2 tablespoons frozen peas
¼ cup grated Cheddar cheese

Instructions: Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for one minute. Add the carrots and bell pepper and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta stars according to the instructions on the package but without adding salt to the water. Add the peas to the tomatoes and vegetables and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese until melted. Blend the mixture to a puree. Drain the pasta and stir into the blended sauce.

Homemade baby food: worth it or waste?

At the end of the day, homemade baby food is not for every mom! It is very time consuming and can feel like a big task to tackle alone, especially if you want a variety for your child. It would be so fun to start a cooking group with your other mommy friends and get together once a month. Have each mom bring a simple recipe and enough ingredients for all. That way, you get the variety of food, the support from other moms, and who can complain about spending extra time with girlfriends? Happy cooking…or selecting baby food from the shelf! Whichever method works best for you is just fine!

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