Even before I got pregnant I knew I would home make all of our baby foods. I like knowing exactly what is going into our baby’s food and that there aren’t extra sugars or preservatives going into our baby’s tummy. I feel like if it is something I wouldn’t eat, why would I give it to my child? I thought making baby food would be more time consuming than it has been; it has actually be really fun.
I bought the Beaba Baby Food Maker from Williams-Sonoma and man, do I love this thing! It was pretty pricey ($150) and I think you could do without it and make baby food in your food processor but I like that this steams and blends the baby foods in one container. My sister bought me The Baby and Toddler Cookbook as well and there are some great recipes in it for home made baby foods.
I checked out Feeding the Whole Family from the library and it is such a great resource. I like that the main premise of the book is to eat foods that you can imagine growing. One example is that you don’t see marshmallows growing on trees (if you do, homemade baby food is the least of your problems). We decided against rice cereal flakes from the box as the starter food that so many doctors (and our pediatrician) suggest. Rice cereal tastes gross and there really isn’t any nutritional value to it other than the iron that is in it. I did, however, buy barley pearls and millet to make Caleb his own cereals.
After I make the food I put it in these Fresh N Freeze Baby Food containers. They were only about $10 and what is so great about them is that the caps twist on (not pop-ons) so you know they are sealing tightly. I also like that they stack on top of each other. I am planning on buying one more set because they are so handy and can be used for chopped foods once Caleb gets older. We had planned on waiting to feed Caleb until he was 6 months but he started to show interest in our food right at 5 months. All babies differ in terms of when they are ready. Some say to start early, some say to wait until you see a tooth, others say to wait, but really- I think you should take cues from your own child. Caleb is huge for his age and while we wanted to wait a bit he definitely started to show signs he was ready. Besides the basics of sitting up and watching us eat- he was at the point where he was trying to grab our food so we decided to give solids a try. If he didn’t like it, we would wait. He loved it, right away. We started with apples and he loved them (the sour faced picture is his first taste of apples).
After a few days we moved to bananas, which were even more of a favorite. After that we did sweet potatoes and peas. Holy crap. Caleb LOVES sweet potatoes. So far, he seems to prefer vegetables to fruits. He only eats solids 2x/day right now because his main source of nutrients still comes from breast milk (and the occasional formula bottle when needed). We enjoy feeding Caleb and it is so much fun watching him learn new foods and textures.
We let Caleb “feed” himself and he really loves playing with the spoon. We have to keep an eye on him because he will gag himself on the spoon. This is probably a good time to say that you should make sure you always supervise your child, even if they are strapped into their high chair. Your child’s safety should always be your priority.
*We don’t use a highchair, but rather a booster seat that attaches to our dining room chair. It takes up much less space and was about 1/3 of the cost of a highchair. Plus, it’s portable and easy to travel with. This is the one we have: Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair.