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Good Food Begins Early

February 6, 2012

I have two small children, and I involve them in the garden as much as I can. Aside from letting my four-year-old pore over seed catalogs with me and giving him projects that involve dirt, I keep it simple. Have fun, make it part of the everyday, and good food will come naturally.

One everyday thing I like to do is make homemade baby food. Even if the food didn’t come from our garden, it’s still an easy everyday thing. Or every other day. Once per week?

We’re busy and both work full-time, and aren’t shy about cracking open a store-bought jar of organic peas or squash and lentils. But, if there’s time, breaking out the blender is an easy option.

I pick simple fruits and vegetables to make into baby food. If you have a steamer and blender, you can make baby food. You don’t even need those things. A pot, some water, and a fork will do.

peeled sweet potato

Peel it. Compost it.

steamed sweet potato

Steam it.

blender sweet potato

Blend it. Add a little cooking water from the steam pot.

velvety sweet potatoes

Like velvet!

11 oz homemade baby food

One medium sweet potato yields 11 oz. of baby food.

If you’re keeping track of costs, that’s about $3 worth of store-bought baby food jars for the price of one potato (approximately $1.30).

Not only is it cost-efficient, but I can guarantee the ingredients, including whether it’s organic. When it’s food I’m growing, I can also guarantee the source.

Bigger batches can be frozen, and smaller batches can live in the refrigerator in small containers or recycled baby food jars. Our daycare loves it, too.

Do you make your own baby food? How do you involve children in good food?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa permalink
    February 6, 2012 5:50 pm

    How do you freeze it? Do you use baggies or gladware type containers?

    I’m terrible at freezing things.

  2. Shelley permalink
    February 6, 2012 5:53 pm

    I made almost all of Cole’s baby food for his first 18 months or so. (Still try to make a lot of food that he eats rather than buying from the store, but it’s gotten harder as he’s gotten older.) Not only was it generally quick and easy, as you point out it gave me the control over his food intake that I really wanted (i.e. organic, prepared in the way that maximized nutrients, etc.). But the best part of all was that my whole family ate better when I was doing it! We tried all sorts of new vegetables we had never had before (like rutabaga) and also tried lots of yummy combinations – I’d frequently make a simple soup for us then blend it up to a purée for him. Yum. Thanks for the reminder of how good that was!

  3. Shelley permalink
    February 6, 2012 5:57 pm

    Melissa, Beaba makes a pretty affordable BPA-free silicone freezer tray that lets you freeze purées into perfect baby-sized portions. There are other similar products out there, too. I thought it was really worth the investment!

  4. February 7, 2012 2:39 pm

    Even the Gladware containers pictured can be frozen. They’re BPA-free and perfect portion sizes. Just let them thaw and they’re ready to eat.

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