Megnut

Do's and don'ts of cooking food for your baby. I don't have a baby, but as someone who loves to cook, it seems natural that if I did, I'd make homemade baby food. Any readers out there doing this? Any tips to share?

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I bought a "Grandma's Masher" from Sur La Table and pretty much just mashed up things that we were already eating. My daughter's first food was a sweet potato, and then we introduced fruit and other veggies. Meats came later and I usually mixed/pureed them with things she already liked like pears or potatoes. Looks like that cuisinart site is great! I also did a lot of freezing -- I would make a big batch of sweet potatoes, mash 'em, and freeze them into ice cube trays. Then, when heading out to a playdate or to see family, I would toss a few cubes into a plastic bag. They were room temperature and ready to eat within the hour! Easy.

What finally made the decision for me to make baby food instead of buying it was the colors! If you make and mash peas, they are a gorgeous green and they still smell and taste like a pea. Nothing like the sort of puce green icky peas in the baby food jars. Try it! It's easy. AND SO MUCH CHEAPER.

I tried, and realized that after working 9-12 hours a day, it was easier to just buy and then throw away the stuff my daughter wouldn't eat anyhow.

Now that she's older now, though (2+), she is eating what I'm eating - sorta (the beef bourguignon last night really wasn't too much of a hit). But she really only like olives. And yogurt and seeds. And meat.

I made babyfood for both of my kids. I just steamed whatever then threw it in the food processor and froze it. I used the small, snack sized gladware containers... I think they held about 4 oz. I figured out that fruits and veggies that need to be peeled can be cooked with the peel on, then just scooped out after they're done. That was a huge time saver for apples and pears. I really liked how many different things I could feed the boys that weren't available as commercial babyfood, and, as a previous comment noted, the colors are so much more appealing!

I received a copy of the MOMMY MADE book as a shower gift, and it had a lot of interesting babyfood combinations. I also really liked their toddler recipes. They were very kid-friendly, but also edible for grownups.

I would SO make my own baby food if I had kids. I'm sorry the Guilty Carnivore doesn't have enough time to tackle it. How hard is it to hard to whack stuff in a blender?
When my dog developed renal insufficiency, I made his dog food from scratch, even while holding a full-time job. Just did it on the weekends and froze it, great gobs of it.

I've got a seven-month-old, so I'm right in the middle of this learning curve. So far, I'm finding it much easier to cook very small batches of of things rather than do the big-batch-freeze plan. She eats such little servings right now, and small batches are super fast to prep and cook.

I'm also mostly using a fork to mash up the foods. I've only needed the blender for lentils.

The other thing I'm doing that's working pretty well is to plan grown-up meals that have something that I can share with my daughter. She can have the carrots out of the soup, or the rice without the salty gravy, or some avocado if I'm having a quesadilla...

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