When it comes down to that crucial moment between letting the blob of baby food drip down your cherub’s chin and onto her sparkling-clean brand-new top you just spent 5 minutes wresting her to button up or preserving said outfit, I vote for preserving said outfit. So yes, I quickly wipe away the blob with my thumb. Do I stop what I’m doing to get up and wash it off in the sink or with a paper towel? No. I lick it off myself. Because ‘aint nobody got time for civility when you’re a momma.
Have you tasted pre-made baby food? Is it often difficult to get your kid to eat the stuff? Is Gerber making a killing off of your sole desire for an hour of peace and relaxation instead of baby food-making? Yes, yes, and yes.
I never made my own baby food with my 3-year-old, but with my 10-month-old I suddenly had this desire to feed her all this great, healthy new foods and save tons of money. She’s obsessed.
I’m also obsessed with A Little Lady Shop. Marie’s bows and wraps are just amazing.
Making your own baby food is actually incredibly easy. There’s really no science behind it. I instagrammed one of my mornings of making baby food for the next couple of weeks and got so many questions about the process! I’m excited to share with y’all! If you make smoothies, you can really figure the whole baby food thing out pretty easily. You throw whatever you’d like in the blender, blend it, then freeze it into cubes. Brilliant, right? I like to do a sweet, fruity one. Strawberries, pineapple, purple cabbage, and mango. Throw in some spinach if you’d like. Or grapes, kiwi, peaches, generally anything with a fair amount of water with blend well and not need to be cooked or steamed. Blend and freeze. Easy.
Ikea has great ice cube trays. I also use the standard cube trays, but these make me a little happier than the plain cubes when I’m trying to tune out my hangry baby while microwaving cubes. Ahem…I love my little Lyla Bean.
Most vegetables will need to be cooked or steamed. Lyla loves sweet potatoes, which has tons of nutrients because of its bright orange color so I love feeding them to her. I like to steam sweet potatoes and carrots, add some stone fruits (nectarine, peach, plum, whatever), pear, and some cinnamon and nutmeg to really give it some great flavor. I’ve tried to introduce her to a lot of ethnic spices and flavor combinations in hopes of creating a less-picky toddler. I’ll let you know how that pans out in two years.
The fruits generally don’t need to be cooked, I throw in the skins as well for maximal fiber content and nutrients. Blend and freeze.
This is one of my favorites. I make this Salsa Verde Chicken, Bean, and Kale Soup often because it’s insanely easy, incredibly healthy, and tastes absolutely wonderful. No wonder she loves it. I make the soup for us for dinner, blend up some of it and freeze it into cubes. She will eat this all day long. I love to do this with any soup, really. It’s difficult to feed them brothy soups like this because the broth just falls off the spoon and dribbles down their faces, but blend it all up and it forms a nice puree. Especially any soup with beans, like minestrone (another favorite and great source of fat: refried beans and refried black beans). I recently made a leftover freezer mashed potato soup with a bunch of veggies (celery, carrots, potatoes, onion, garlic) I had laying around and threw it all in my crock pot to simmer all day. It made a great soup for us and blended up, she loved it and ate it and all the leftovers.
This is another complete meal-in-one. And like all of these, totally customizable. Quinoa is awesome for babies! Great source of protein, fats, fiber, and nutrients. Throw in some chicken (or not if you’re vegetarian) cooked in coconut oil (babies need fats for their little brains!), veggies cooked in oil and some water, spinach, and I like a little garlic (cooked so it’s not too strong), maybe some yellow curry, and a little broth for this one to make the consistency smooth. A little salt goes a long way with baby food. No, you don’t want to be salting all of their food, but the tiny bit that makes healthy food like this much more flavorful is totally fine in my eyes! Blend and freeze.
If they don’t like the new foods/flavors at first, don’t give up! One day she’ll hate something, but then the next she loves it and gobbles it up. Keep trying, and eventually they’ll like it. We also do a lot of the baby-led weaning and I just give her whatever we’re eating. I’m all for this. But sometimes you’re not eating when she is. Or sometimes you’re eating something really spicy, or you’re eating a salad, or something else you just don’t feel like trying to get them to eat when you know it might be difficult. Or sometimes you don’t want a caregiver to have to worry about what size chunks of adult food are OK for your little one. Or you’re on the go running errands, and you just don’t want to haul an ear of corn around in your purse. I FEEL YOU! I’ve just really found that I love having these cubes on hand for a quick meal for the littles that I know she won’t fight me on. Also, I just really love having more money, and it keeps the Mister happy too. More money=happy Mister=Mister spending money on me. Yes. Six servings of Plum Organic’s Blends of spinach, pears, and peas (no grains or protein!) costs $8.28. For some blended up spinach ($2 for an entire bag), pears ($1.50 for a pound), and a bag of frozen peas ($1.50). I can’t even handle it.
I seriously can’t get over these bows. Marie from A Little Lady Shop sent me a bunch, and I’m loving the perfect, little mustard felt bow.
And this watercolor floral? I’m loving watercolor floral anything and everything this year. Dresses, blankets, bows….sigh.
I bought these mini mason jars that have probably been one of my favorite baby-feeding purchases. I can pack some cubes in these, screw the lid on, and being glass they are microwave-safe and great to throw in my bag.
And the wraps! Stripes and floral is one of my favorites.
These stretchy wraps are so soft and easy to put on. Classic. She looks like such a little lady!
I feel so blessed to be this little one’s momma. Being passionate about food has taken over the food I feed my kids, too. I feel so strongly that you are what you eat, and that putting a variety of healthy foods into our bodies is the best medicine and best gift we can give ourselves. Spend an hour every 2-3 weeks and make your babe some awesome meals.
- half pint strawberries, washed
- 1 c purple cabbage
- half of a pineapple, chopped
- 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 large handful peeled carrots, chopped
- 1 pear, sliced
- 1 nectarine, sliced
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1/8 t nutmeg
- 1/2 c quinoa
- 1 c chicken broth or water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 T coconut oil
- 1/4 c peas
- half yellow squash, chopped
- handful spinach
- 1 chicken breast, cooked
- 1/8-1/4 c water or broth
- 1/4 t salt
- partial batch of Salsa Verde Chicken and Bean Soup as follows:
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 can great northern beans
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- 12 oz. jar salsa verde
- 4 oz. can green chilies
- 1/2 t cumin
- large handful kale
- Blend strawberries, cabbage, pineapple, and mango until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays to freeze.
- Steam sweet potato and carrots about 10 minutes until softened.
- Place steamed sweet potato and carrots, pear, nectarine, cinnamon, and nutmeg into blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays to freeze.
- Cook quinoa by bringing 1 c water or broth to a boil, adding in 1/2 c quinoa and garlic clove, cover, reduce to simmer, and let cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for additional 5 minutes.
- Heat coconut oil over medium heat in saute pan. Add squash and peas. Cook for 10 minutes or until softened.
- Place cooked quinoa, cooked chicken breast, cooked squash and peas, handful spinach, and 1/8-1/4 c water or broth into blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays to freeze.
- Place fresh or frozen chicken breasts, chickpeas, great northern beans, chicken broth, salsa verde, green chilies, and cumin into crock pot. Cook on low 6 hours. Add in handful of kale, cook additional 2 hours.
- Pour desired amount into blender, blend until smooth. Pour into ice cube trays to freeze. Enjoy the remaining unblended soup for dinner.
I did not account for the slow cooker Salsa Verde Chicken and Bean Soup in the cooking time. The cooking time is for the other three recipes.
I keep the different flavors of cubes in separate bags to not combine flavors.
My daughter will be in the mood for something one day and love it, and the next day she won't touch it. Don't give up, and keep introducing new flavors.