When my toddlers were infants, I bought them all natural and organic baby foods when they started to eat it. It was a bit pricey, and really kind of bland. This might sound ridiculous, but other than mashing up a banana or some peas occasionally, it never really occurred to me that I could make baby food at home in any combination of flavors I could think of!
And when my sister had her son, she did exactly that…she made all kinds of fantastic baby food combinations that were actually quite yummy! In fact, I still use a few of the recipes when I make homemade popsicles for the kids.
Here is one of our favorites, it’s a Banana, Strawberry, Pineapple blend.
1Ã‚Â½ lbs. fresh or frozen strawberries (frozen tastes just as good as the fresh in this particular recipe)
Ã‚Â¼ pineapple (if you buy the all natural, unsweetened in a can or jar, it saves you the time of having to cut it all up!)
1 cup water
1. Slice each banana into 4 to 6 pieces. Rinse the berries (if using fresh). Cut the pineapple into berry-size chunks.
2. Put the fruit into a medium sized pot and cook, covered, over medium heatÃ‚Â for about 6 minutes. Stir the fruit at least once during cooking. Pour the mixture from the pot into a strainer with a bowl underneath to save the juice.
3. Pour the cooked fruit into a blender, and puree until smooth. Use the remaining juice to adjust to desired consistency.
4. Pour into two ice cube trays, and cool. Wrap, freeze, and defrost cubes as needed.
Sounds pretty good, right?
Mac and Cheese
4 tbsp. butter, cut into cubes
Ã‚Â¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
Ã‚Â¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, hot
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
8 oz. mild cheddar cheese, grated
1 splash hot sauce (the kids won’t notice!)
6 cups cooked pasta such as mini shells or orzo (I like it with the orzo the best)
1. In a 4-quart pot, cook butter and onions over medium heat until onions become soft and translucent. Add flour and cook, continually stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add hot milk, whisking thoroughly to avoid any clumping.
2. Bring to a boil, whisking often to prevent burning. When milk has thickened, reduce heat, add nutmeg, and simmer about 5 minutes while continuing to whisk periodically.
3. Whisk in cheddar cheese. Simmer an additional 2 minutes and add hot sauce. Combine hot pasta and sauce. Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.
*Don’t be afraid to toss in some veggies like broccoli or peas for some added nutrients and flavor.
Apples and Blueberries (My kids LOVE this!)
1 cup fresh blueberries
8 oz. water or apple juice
1. Wash and peel the apples (peeling is optional, I do take them off)
2. Cut each apple in half
3. Remove the seeds and stem with a melon baller
4. Cut each half into 6 pieces
5. Put the apple pieces, blueberries, and juice into a 4-qt. pot and cover with lid. Cook over high heat for approximately 8 minutes, stirring once
6. Pour everything into the blender; purÃƒÂ©e until smooth
7. Pour into two ice cube trays and allow to cool. Wrap and freeze.
These recipes came from the Baby Love cookbook. It is definitely worth checking out! The book shares some great techniques that can teach you how to be faster in the kitchen, and how much cheaper it is to make your own food.
Did/do you make your own baby food? What is your favorite recipe?