When my first son was born, I started looking for ways to teach him how to eat right and make smart food choices from an early age so I started surfing the internet looking for ways to help me make this happen. I stumbled upon a web site about homemade baby food and the benefits of feeding this to your baby from the start. I was so excited after reading the web site that I went out and bought all the stuff I needed to begin and it was so much fun that I never bought even one jar of store bought baby food! I am a little biased because I truly believe in this but I understand that this is more time consuming (slightly) than buying food off the shelf and not everyone has the time to do this, but if you do, believe me, it is worth it! I work full time and have two small kids, so if I can do this, you can too!
My oldest son is almost four now and he eats better than my husband and I do. I have to keep raw vegetables and fruit in the house at all times because these are the snacks he asks for. Daily, he eats at least four vegetables and three fruits! Recently he has started asking for cookies and candy but that is totally my fault because he sees Jim and I eating it!
So, for you girls who asked me, here is the process:
First, buy the freshest fruits and vegetables available. I use mostly organic if they are availible. I will demostrate with Sweet potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut into small pieces.
Steam until they are tender.
Once they are tender, puree them with either a blender or a food processor. I bought this small cuisinart mini prep for about $35.00 on ebay. Sweet potatoes are a little thick so add some of the water from the dutch oven back into the puree to thin it out. Some of the vitamins leech out of the food into this water so you are essentially adding the vitamins back in when you do this.
After the sweet potatoes are the right consistancy (slightly thin) spoon into covered ice trays and freeze. Each cube size portion is approximately 1 ounce and you eliminate the waste that you have with conventional baby food.
Once they are frozen, pop them out of the trays and store them in freezer bags. Make sure you write what fruit or vegetable it is on the outside of the bag. (Squash and zucchini look a lot alike in their frozen state!)
Carter (my 5 month old) has just started eating baby food, so I usually take out one cube of squash, one cube of zucchini, and two cubes of apples or pears. I put them in a divided dish and microwave them for about 45 seconds or until they are thawed out and warm. I usually add rice cereal to the vegetable if they are too thin and oatmeal cereal to the fruits and he eats every bite. I personally feel like I would be doing my kids a hugh disservice feeding them Gerber baby food, I mean really, have you ever tasted that stuff! Ugh! And all the preservatives that they add to the food, I feel like we are pickling our kids! This food tastes just like what you and I eat everyday. And at about 3 to 5 cents a serving, it beats the heck out of their prices which are usually $1.00 per serving.