Sarah - posted on 11/12/2008 ( 4 moms have responded )
I've recieved a couple of messages about making baby food myself. I am gald to share my experience, but I am new to it as well, feel free to add, give me advice, or ask questions!
My Scarlett is 6 months old, and we started her on cereal at 4 months, and started introducing one new food per week from there on out!
Supplies: Ok, all you need is a steamer and a food good food processor. I had a cheap one and it tended to leave too many bigger chunks in the food. I bought a Beaba Baby cook. (the store that carries is around here is William Sonoma) It is a machine that does the steaming and pureeing. I like it, but I get frustrated with it because I like to make the food in bulk and it doesn't do enough at a time for me.
I also have a baby cookbook called "Cooking for Baby wholesome, homemade, delicious." I use some of the reicipies now, and I'm sure I will use more of them in the future. I also use it as a guide for how much extra liquid to add or not add to foods that are similar... It gives you a lot of great ideas for new tastes to introduce and such.
Storage: To store the food I use 4 ounce canning jars to freeze the food. A good portion seems be about a half of a jar. The cookbook suggests to freeze the food in covered icecube trays and then transfer them to freeezer bags. I found that using the trays is an extra step, and my Scarlett eats 2-3 of them in a sitting... The rule of thumb for storage it 3 days in the refridgerator and 3 months in the freezer.
Fruits: Scarlett's first fruit was apples, now she's eating apples, pears, peaches, prunes, and bananas. The steam time for most fruits is 7-10 minutes and you don't usually have to add liquid to the fruits when you puree them. I do not cook bananas, or store them in the freezer, I just use a fork to mash up what we need at the time. I have not made prunes myself yet, I buy a couple of jars or a food for her to try before I spend the time to make a bunch of it, just to make sure she likes it first.
Veggies: We are currently eating zucchini, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and peas. Veggies need to cook a little longer according the the cookbook I have, about 12-15 minutes. Generally you need to add a lot more liquid to the veggies... It's kind of a guess and check thing for me. Except zucchini... don't add any liquid!
Consistancy: Like I mentioned, adding liquid is sort of a guess and check. If you add liquid, I use the water from steaming. If the consistancy isn't right after you thaw the food, I just add some formula or breast milk, or water to thin the food out, or a little cereal to thicken it up. The zucchini tends to be too thin no matter what I do, I always have to add some cereal to it.
Like I said earlier, if you have anything to add, any extra advice, or any other questions, feel free... I'm still learning too! Thanks!