Baby Food… to buy or to make?
That is the question I asked myself almost 3 years ago, and again 3 months ago. There truly is no “right” answer or “best” way to feed your little one. The simple fact that you’re asking yourself that question shows that you’ll pick the “best” way! It shows that you care. And that’s the most important thing of all.
Somewhere I read an article that highlighted the advantages and disadvantages to both store-bought baby food and homemade baby food. I decided to put my food processor to work and make my own purees. I like knowing exactly what is going into my baby food, but it is a huge pain in the butt! Especially pureeing peas and corn. Those have to be sent through a mesh strainer to get out the skins. Ugh. Not my favorite way to spend a Friday night. PARTY TIME! Lol.
Anyway, here’s the process that works for me using butternut squash as an example. Slice it lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. It smells like fall and pumpkin carving! They’re in the same family, I suppose you probably could carve a butternut squash. Maybe a tall skinny face with tiny little eyes and a pointy nose and a… WAIT! It’s not Halloween and we’re not carving a squash. Baby food. Back on task.
Other, non-skin veggies (beans, broccoli), you can simply cut them up to steam them. I’ve never peeled a squash before, but found it quite easy! My veggie peeler isn’t even new, but it’s still nice and sharp. Peel ½ of the squash then chop into small cubes.
I like to steam my veggies, as this method retains more nutritional value than boiling. My steam basket is a green silicone one that fits into just about any pot. It has a handle that’s super convenient & cools off pretty quickly. Don’t forget to add water to the bottom of the pot! I’ve forgotten… and not added enough… both mistakes were a huge bummer.
Steam the squash cubes for 10-20 minutes, it kind of depends on how ripe the squash was prior to chopping & how big the cubes are. Don’t worry, we’re going to spin it up so I don’t think you can over cook it! Just test it a few times with a fork, you want it to be quite soft.
Toss your squash into the food processor & spin it up! If it looks like it needs to be thinned out, go ahead and add some of the steaming liquid (providing it didn’t all boil away!) or just some water. If your veggies have cooled off to room temp you could add some breast milk to your puree. I’m just a bit impatient and spin it up while it’s still super hot, and I don’t want to chance ruining my liquid gold so I just use water.
Scrape the sides a few times making sure there aren’t any chunks at all if you’re giving this to a baby baby. Older kiddos can handle a thicker mush, but not the little tiny ones.
How to store this lovely slop you’ve just prepared, you ask? Ice cube trays! Just spoon it in & make sure to tap the tray gently a couple time to get the air bubbles out. Freeze them overnight & store in a freezer bag- easy! I only make 6 or so cubes of each flavor at a time, you don’t want a ton in your freezer & I like to use them up within two weeks. Here’s a pic showing my finished baby food purees from today- butternut squash and green beans! Yumm…