Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Food!

So I've decided to be adventurous this time around and make Chase's baby food myself. I figure, I'm a stay-at-home-mom, I don't have any "real" work to do (lol!) so surely I have plenty of time to create baby food from scratch, right?

I had no clue where to begin. I asked a fellow blogger who happens to be very experienced with this subject, and she pointed me to this website for all the information a person could ask for when it comes to making homemade baby food.

I was **this close** to starting Chase out on applesauce, only because I had a huge bag of apples that I wasn't sure LO and I would get through before they started to go bad. But we started LO on green beans when she first began solids. And I've heard the talk that you're supposed to start a baby on vegetables and work your way through veggies before offering fruit. So I resolved out of nothing less than guilt to go with the green bean plan.

I didn't own a food processor. I thought I had always wanted one. They seemed to cool, so capable. So I bought one. I figured the old, plastic blender I had stowed in a cupboard for the past 5+ years wouldn't be capable of preparing baby food.

The massive 8,000-cup food processor I bought was big. It had a lot of parts. It was confusing at times. But I muddled my way through, washed the bad boy and got ready to begin.

I chose to steam my fresh green beans. I bought a pound of 'em for about $2.50. Once they were slightly cooled, it was time to toss 'em into the food processor. I tossed. I processed. My green beans got all chunky and sat at the bottom of the processor while the blade spun madly about 1/2 inch above said green beans. I used my spatula to move things around a bit, put the lid back on and tried again.

To no avail.

My green beans looked awful. They were all chunky and there was nothing "pureed" about them. I was distraught! This wasn't supposed to happen! What am I doing wrong?

Before giving it much though, I pulled the ol' blender out of the cupboard, put my green bean chunks in it and gave it a whirl. Wouldn't ya know I started to see beautifully processed and pureed green beans, that which Gerber would be jealous of?

Finally!

I added some of the liquid from the steaming to get the consistency I wanted and BAM! I ended up with lovely green bean baby food! Yay!

Disregard the fact that my kitchen turned upside-down and was a total nightmare. Honest.


See? It was awful.

Next, I placed the green bean puree into my ice cube tray. How perfect (yet somewhat defeating) that it completely filled ONE ice cube tray. Yes, one pound of green beans equals 12 approximately 1-ounce cubes of baby food. I think I was expecting so much more for all my trouble (and my husband's trouble since I put him in charge of kitchen clean-up!).


I got over it and popped the tray in the freezer (side note: I bought the OXO brand trays that come with a lid so I didn't have to worry about messing with parchment paper or foil, which could leave foil pieces in the food).

Turns out right now, my little guy will only eat about 1/2 to 1 cube at each feeding, so these cubes have gone a long way already! I was going to do a cost-basis analysis to see how this compares to buying baby food (about $1.09 for two 2.5-ounce packs) but honestly the numbers gave me a headache and I decided against it. All I know is I enjoyed this process (more so figuring out what works and what doesn't) and I especially love the fact that I know exactly what went into my son's baby food. And there's a sense of pride in all of that.

So I guess I'll keep on with this! I might jump into squash next (as I have NO IDEA how to make/find peas, unless I buy them frozen), then on to carrots, sweet potatoes and then fruit! Yay!