Sunday, March 27, 2011

Baby Food Recipes

Ok so this was a subject near and dear to my heart last year at this time since my own little one was 4 months at the end of February and was 10 months by the end of July. Therefor his primary baby food making days were all last spring and summer. Once fall came around though he began to eat what we ate and so I haven't talked much on the subject since. Now I have a whole bumper crop of new Mommies who have little ones 4-10 months who have been asking me, "How do you make your own baby food? What recipes did you use?"
Well the first question I already posted on a few times here, here, and here, but the second one I have not posted on. I have not posted any of my recipes. I gave a rough outline for people to use.. but not any real recipes. So here are some of mine and I will hopefully be adding more from some other Moms.

Stage 1: 4(6)-8 months. At this stage baby cereal and soft cooked thinly pureed fruits and veggies should be baby's first solid food experiences.  Single ingredients only and at a space of 4 days to a week with introducing each new food. You do not want to introduce meats at this stage. Some possible foods for this stage are: banana, pear, avocado, plum, apple, white rice, brown rice, blueberry, papaya, melon, wheat, oats, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, peas, green beans, zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus. Since you are best offering single ingredients only at this stage I will not post recipes, but instead a sort of how to. First take the fruit or vegetable and cook in down in some water. You do not have to do this with some of your juicier things like melons or berries. After cooked drain most of the water if you are going to puree with breastmilk. If you are not going to puree with breastmilk use some of the water the veggies were cooked in. Don't use juice as that adds unneeded sugar. If using breastmilk take enough out of the freezer/ or pump enough so that you can puree the cooked veggies or fruit to the right consistency.... very thin and with no bumps or lumps. This will be the same for all the stage 1 foods except like I said anything juicy can just be pureed with out being cooked. Most babies at this stage have begun teething. Another great thing to do is freeze or refrigerate melon pieces or a grape and then place it in a baby teething mesh.

Stage 2: 8-10 months. Spices, meats, eggs, and raw fruits can be introduced at this stage. With Stage two the possibilities are endless.. keep trying new food combinations. See what your baby likes.Here are some of the ones I loved to make for my baby.

Yogurt and sweet potatoes and cereal. Prepare pureed sweet potatoes like before and mix with baby's favorite cereal until it is well mixed. Now layer it with plain organic yogurt in a mini parfait. My Bug loved this.

Chicken and rice with peas.Cook a single or piece of boneless chicken breast. Puree with breastmilk. It doesn't have to be super pureed since texture begins to be introduced at this stage. Now cook and puree the peas and mix the chicken and peas purees with a little rice cereal. Add spices if you want to but be careful with salt.

Sweet potatoes and apples. (same as stage one only now mix the two)

Egg yolk and cheese. cook the egg yolk very carefully and mash with fork, mix in a little shredded cheese. You can puree  it more but most babies can handle this.

Stage 3: 10-12 months. This is the last stage before baby can basically eat whatever you make for yourself and the rest of the family. At this stage chopped foods, fork mashed foods or bite sized finger foods are great. The only no no's are cows milk and honey but all other foods can be tried at this stage if not already tried. I actually invented a kind of baby food for this stage that used up whatever stage one or two foods I might still have frozen in the freezer or canned. This is a simple and healthy way to not waste the foods they have grown out of but instead incorporate it into a new and interesting stage 3 food. I posted about it here before but I will explain a bit more. Basically you are going to use the pureed foods as a sauce base. Now add whatever fun pasta shapes you want and some small easy to eat veggies.. I love peas, and a meat chopped into small pieces. Chicken or turkey works well. Now these meals can either be eaten as you make them or frozen a week's worth at a time.

Good luck Green Mommies!!!!

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