I’m always surprised at the looks on people’s faces when I tell them I make food for my baby. I hear the same responses: “I don’t have time for that”, “You make your own baby food?”, and “It’s so much easier to just buy and serve baby food”. While I agree with the last statement, I hate how bland store bought baby food generally is. My husband and I eat very flavourful food and I wanted the same for our children. I have so much respect for people who are willing to make different dishes for themselves and their kids, but you know what? I just don’t have it in me. Plus, I don’t LOVE cooking. It’s something I have to do to keep myself and my family healthy. As much as we love our take out, it’s not financially feasible and our stomachs can’t handle it after a day or two (we learned that the hard way after having Baby #1). So, I decided to try my hand at cooking my infant’s purees so that they were yummy, free of preservatives, balanced according to Canada’s Food Guide (that’s because of the teacher in me), and most of all simple to make.
With Baby #1, I gave him everything pureed, one food item at a time. What I mean is, if I wanted to feed him carrots, I only fed him pureed carrots with a spice. Nothing is wrong with this method except that I wasn’t giving him a balanced meal. This time around (with Baby #2), I had an “AH-HA” moment when I started feeding him solids. I realized that I could create meals for my son using ingredients he had already been exposed to and then just add a new one. So, if he had already tried chicken, potato, and broccoli, I could just add carrots to the dish. This way I could give him a good meal and if he had an allergic reaction, I’d know that the issue was with the carrots and not the other ingredients.
So I started this journey by introducing my baby to homemade brown rice cereal for 3 days and then mashed potatoes for another 3 days. Grains are really important for a baby’s diet but most of all, they’re filling. By starting with grains, I knew that I had a great base for all of my meals and also that I wouldn’t have to puree 3 carrots to get a day’s worth of meals for my baby. Once I knew he didn’t have any allergies to either, that’s when the fun but simple purees started. I used either the rice or the potatoes as my base and introduced new and spiced veggies, meats, and fruits. You can try out some of my recipes on this blog or use the outline below to make your own creations.
The main thing I do to make my baby purees manageable is by using food I already have on hand. For example, if I’m making a lentil stew for dinner, I’ll make a slightly modified lentil puree for my baby (using the ingredients he’s been exposed to). I rarely go grocery shopping specifically to buy new things for the baby to try. We have enough diversity in our food so he gets a modified version of whatever we’re eating.
Step 1: Prepare your grain
Step 2: Boil, microwave, bake, or use a pot (or in my case, an Instant Pot) to cook your veggies, meat, and/or fruit and spices
Step 3: Put the food in a blender (I use the BlendTec) and puree the heck out of it
NOTE: If you’re planning on freezing your baby food, do not freeze white, red, or yellow potatoes. They don’t freeze well and will have a thick, goopy texture upon thawing.
Please share your cooking experiences and creations below so we can work together to help other mommies. Or better yet, take a pic of your dish and tag #notasupermommy or @notasupermommy on Instagram!