At Cale's last well-check appointment, his pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to start rice cereal, followed by solid foods. I was a little hesitant because 1) solids can be introduced anytime between 4-6 months and 2) dealing with only a bottle is SO much easier and more convenient than a bottle and solid foods! When Cale starting showing signs that he was still hungry throughout the day, we decided to take the plunge! Of course, there is a system for everything and, as you know, I do love systems! Veggies should be introduced first and they should be introduced in a particular color order - yellows, greens, oranges, and so on. (The exception to this system is avocado - that can be introduced first, and that is what we have started with. So far, so good...)
I always thought it would be fun to make Cale's baby food. Plus, I love that it is the least expensive option! Since I'm no longer teaching so that I can stay at home with Cale, and Adam is in his last year of Pharmacy school and not working, we are on quite a budget! I'm happy to know that I can give Cale good quality food and not blow the budget! So, this past weekend I began to stock our freezer!
First, came the need to re-organize...
The "before" picture of my freezer! Kind of a mess!
Next, I pulled out my baby food cookbooks. I know, it sounds ridiculous that there are cook books out there that tell you how to liquefy food. I promise - some of the techniques to puree certain foods are a little more labor intensive than one might imagine!
These are my two cookbooks. The one on the left is my "gourmet" Williams-Sanoma cookbook (just in case Cale ends up with Adam's taste buds!) and the one on the right is my "basic instructions" cookbook. Both are really great!
Then, I began...
Step 1: Steam veggies
I do love my $15 double-decker steamer that I purchased at Target several years ago! This makes the process go so much more quickly! Most of the veggies and fruits I bought fresh. The peas, carrots and green beans I bought frozen, just to save some prep time!
Step 2: Food Processor
I love my mini food processor! It is the perfect size for making baby food!
Step 4: Press pureed food through strainer
Of all the steps, this one is the most labor intensive. Because the puree is typically not too runny, I had to mash the puree through the strainer with a spoon. It took a while, but this is not a step I could skip. When I was finished, I found seeds, skin, and chunks that would not have been good for Cale to eat.
Step 5: Spoon into ice cube trays
I love the Oxo trays, because they have lids. I just stacked them in the deep freeze for a few hours.
Step 6: Pop them out of the trays and into a Ziploc!
Then, into the freezer!
(a little bit more organized)
Now, I have a whole section in my freezer full of Cale's avocado, yellow squash, carrots, peas, green beans, butternut squash, plums, peaches and bananas. So far we've only tried avocado, but we're making our way down the list.
Freezing the food in ice cube trays is great, because each cube is a 1oz portion - perfect for Cale's dinner!
It's been really fun making Cale's food - I might get adventurous and whip up something from the Williams-Sanoma cookbook....maybe peas with mint! :)