Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Favorite Homemade Baby Food Purees

Caroline is a garbage disposal these days when it comes to food. If she sees you eating something, she grabs for it. There are very few foods she dislikes and thankfully she's not a picky eater (yet). She's mostly on table food now but we still send a container or two of pureed foods with her to daycare as well.

Anyway, I noticed as her appetite picked up so did our grocery bill. I was spending upwards of $50 a week on organic squeeze packets of food for her until finally I threw in the towel and decided to make it myself. I started with cubes of single fruits and vegetables purees and experimented mixing them into different combinations until I found what she loved the most.

A few of Caroline's favorite purees these days include Sweet Potato, Apple & Corn Puree, Blueberry & Chickpea Puree and Butternut Squash, Apple & Carrot Puree.
Before I jump into recipes, a few items necessary for making baby food include a good blender (I use the Ninja blender found here), ice cube trays (here), freezer bags and tape for labeling.
As for my shopping list, I purchase all my groceries from Harris Teeter (out of convenience) but recommend stocking up on the frozen food from cheaper places if you don't mind making an additional trip. You can also save money by purchasing the butternut squash and sweet potatoes whole and washing/peeling/dicing them yourself...but I've found the extra few bucks is well worth the time saved! Total cost for my ingredients is usually around $20 (or less if items are on sale) and last me a few weeks.
 
Grocery Shopping List
1 Container Butternut Squash {washed, peeled, diced}
1 Container Sweet Potatoes {washed, peeled, diced}
1 Bag Gala Apples {washed, peeled, diced}
1 Bag Frozen Corn
2 10 oz Bags of Frozen Blueberries
3 Ripe Bananas
1 Bag Carrots {washed, peeled, baby cut}
1 29 oz Can Pumpkin
1 16 oz Can Chickpeas

Note: I purchase my fresh vegetables already peeled and diced with the exception of apples. I don't peel my apples to save time and my mini doesn't mind small pieces of skin in her purees.
Sweet Potato, Apple & Corn Puree
Wash, peel and dice sweet potatoes and apples. Boil apples until tender. Steam sweet potatoes until tender. Boil corner until no longer frozen. Mix desired amounts of each item into your blender (I use equal parts) and blend until pureed. You may need to add water (1 tbsp at a time) to reach desired consistency. Pour into labeled ice cube trays, placing a layer of wax paper in between trays and freeze. Run warm water over bottoms of trays to pop out the frozen cubes. Place in freezer bags and transfer labels from trays and add the date. When you're little is ready to eat, heat cubes in the microwave until warm and melted.
Blueberry & Chickpea Puree
Run frozen blueberries under warm water until thawed. Drain chickpeas. Mix desired amounts of each item into your blender and blend until pureed. You may need to add water (1 tbsp at a time) to reach desired consistency. Or, if too thin you can add baby oatmeal (1 tbsp at a time) until you reach desired consistency. Pour into labeled ice cube trays, placing a layer of wax paper in between trays and freeze. Run warm water over bottoms of trays to pop out the frozen cubes. Place in freezer bags and transfer labels from trays and add the date. When you're little is ready to eat, heat cubes in the microwave until warm and melted.
Butternut Squash, Apple & Carrot Puree 
Wash, peel and dice butternut squash, carrots and apples. Boil apples until tender. Steam squash until tender. Boil carrots until tender. Mix desired amounts of each item into your blender (I use equal parts) and blend until pureed. You may need to add water (1 tbsp at a time) to reach desired consistency. Pour into labeled ice cube trays, placing a layer of wax paper in between trays and freeze. Run warm water over bottoms of trays to pop out the frozen cubes. Place in freezer bags and transfer labels from trays and add the date. When you're little is ready to eat, heat cubes in the microwave until warm and melted.
Making Caroline's food takes me several hours on a Sunday afternoon but it is so much fresher and healthier for her. I can't believe it took me so long to kick the packets to the curb and home make her food. Truth be told, I was pretty intimidated by the whole process but once I jumped in I realized I kind of enjoyed it! It makes me a little sad that this will be our last batch of purees as Caroline has been showing less and less interest in them and prefers food she can feed herself now.
What is your mini's favorite puree combination?
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23 comments:

  1. awesome post! pinning this for the future, i really want to make our baby's food. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  2. These are great combos! Thanks for sharing. Pinning this one for sure. Not to worry, I know soon you'll be doing this all over again next year!!

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  3. Thank you so much for this post!! You've done an awesome job with homemade food. I've actually contemplated going back to trying to make some purees again for Brody who is 20 months!!!!! It's my only way to get veggies in the kid. He doesn't like to be spoon fed the purees but I have the tool that you can put them in the squeezable packets. Those are what he loves. I am so tired of buying the ones from the store. I wish I had a store that sold sweet potatoes and butternut squashed already peeled and chopped. I can't tell you how many I have had to cut over the last year. Those are about the only healthy things I can get down him besides fruit and yogurt!!!

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  4. Totally will be referencing this later, mama! :)
    xx

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  5. You will NOT miss the purees! I promise! Haha. I made his food from the beginning, purely because I'm cheap. And then I realized that I really like knowing exactly what he was eating. We spent exactly (almost to the day) 4 months on purees and then the day I tried finger food he never turned back. It is SOOOO much easier just having to cut and steam (or not steam) things. I was really starting to hate the food prep! I have NOT tried chickpeas though, never thought of it! I will definitely be doing it!

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  6. Such great combos! I would have never thought of chickpeas. Definitely saving for later!

    littlebabybiglove.blogspot.com

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  7. Supermom! I'm filing this away for later! I know I've asked you this before, but how long does this batch usually last y'all? xo

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  8. We're not into solids yet, but I'm bookmarking this for later!

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing this process! I wish I could go ahead and make a ton of baby food now before my baby arrives, but I'm not sure how long it lasts and who knows what she'll like/dislike.

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  10. Great post!! I will be pinning this for later! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I'm so glad you shared this!! We have some time before we get into baby food but I definitely want to try making our own!

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  12. Chickpeas! Brilliant!! A few fun combos I've tried recently that C likes are Apple/zucchini and kale/blueberry. Peas are a favorite, too. Oh! And pear/banana/cinnamon. Now I'm hungry.

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  13. We love cinnamon! Cinnamon with apples & carrots or cinnamon with squash & Apple. She also is digging peas & green beans and strawberry & banana!

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  14. Love it!! As a nutritionist, and studying infant feeding while getting my Masters in Nutrition this makes me so happy! Glad you've found something that not only works for you, and saves money, but is healthy and delicious for your mini! :)

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  15. These are great!!!! I will definitley keep these in mind, I want to do this for my baby (babies) also!

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  16. Oooo I've never thought to do chickpeas- great suggestion, thanks! As soon as we got into finger foods, Lawtie lost interest in her purees. So I've been using up our homemade purees by putting them in her green smoothies and in my homemade "stage 3" foods like butternut squash and spinach pasta and things like that!

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  17. Pinning this for later..... Not sure if I'll have the patience to do this, though.... But YAY! This is AWESOME! Good job, mama!

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  18. Great suggestions- I will be using these in a few months! Thanks!

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  19. So glad moms are feeding homemade baby food. I did it over 20 years ago for my girls. Did too for my two grandchildren to help my daughter out.

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