Photo from Lindsay Meyer-HarleyMy friend Lindsay is an earth mama goddess and makes some of the best tacos ever.
So, of course, being the eco-conscious, fresh food-loving gal that she is (she runs the blog Urban Branches: A City Girl's Guide to Going Green), when it came time for her baby to eat solids, Lindsay was going DIY -- fresh, pure, and organic.
Here are her tips on how to make your own baby food.
I'm stealing all of them for when my twins are old enough to eat solids.
Lindsay says ...
When I was pregnant, I was so excited to someday cook all of Juliette's food. After six months of exclusively breastfeeding, it was time to introduce her first solids. My husband and I carefully chose sweet potato and promptly bought a sack of organic sweet potatoes that day. Juliette loved it! We couldn't have been happier! Now two months later, she's eaten apples, blueberries, carrots, pears, bananas, avocados, baby oatmeal, and of course, sweet potatoes. She's proven to be pickier than I first thought, and that's okay, so is her mama. Here are my tips on making your own baby food:
1. Set the scene! Pick up whatever you need in order to keep this going on a weekly basis. For me that included the Beaba cooker, two Beaba freezer trays with lids, a few baby cookbooks (my faves right now are Petit Appetite and Organic Baby & Toddler Cookbook). It takes a little more effort than buying store-bought -- no question -- so make it easy on yourself with the right tools.
2. Be picky and buy only organic when you can. I buy only organic ingredients for my little Juliette though they're a little pricier than conventional versions. Making your own baby food saves you money, so spending the extra on the purest and best ingredients isn't so hard to do.
3. Cook what's in season. This will not only be less expensive, but will create the freshest, most nutritious meals. Shop at farmers' markets -- it's never too early to teach your little ones about the importance of local foods and supporting your community!
4. Have a stash of pre-prepared food from a company you like. I have a bunch of Earth's Best jars in my cabinet for days when Juliette and I arrive home later than expected or she's simply just not having any of the puree I've prepared!
5. Before buying and preparing a huge amount of something, make sure your little peanut actually likes it. I made the mistake of pureeing nine organic Bartlett pears only to discover Juliette didn't go for them too much. It's been a month and I gave them another try, now of course she's into them!
6. Pick a day of the week to prepare the week's foods. You can keep some of your latest in the fridge for the days ahead and freeze the rest for later in the week.
7. Be creative! Make your own blends (and try them yourself, to test for taste) to see what your baby likes best. Juliette likes pears with bananas and apples with blueberries.
8. Set your baby up for a foodie life! Use herbs and spices and keep their palates guessing!
9. Be realistic. Your baby might not lap up the bowl full of carrot and brown rice puree you've proudly marched to the table, so start small in your batches so you don't end up wasting.
Thanks for the great tips, Lindsay!
Do you (will you) make your own baby food? What's your baby's favorite food?