Baby Food Making 101: I Freaking Did it!
sI’ve already cooked more these first three weeks of the year than I did all last year combined.
Before this week I had never bought a squash or a pot roast before. But I bought and made both last night.
This is a big accomplishment for me. HUGE. I am conquering my fear of the kitchen.How?
Well, a few ways. For one, I dusted off a fabulous wedding gift–My crock-pot–And put it to use.
I also owe part of my thanks to my iPhone. I downloaded the All Recipies app so I could have all of my recipes on my phone with shopping lists etc etc, plus get ideas because I’m not one of those people who can just look in my cabinet and know what it can make (but last I checked there weren’t recipes including Cheetos, Twizzlers, cereal and rice anyway).
The extremely daunting part of cooking for me is finding the ingredients at the store, so I emailed screen shots of the shopping list to my husband (who now also has an iPhone) so he could grocery shop with our daughter while I was at work, and I could cook it in my crock pot the next morning. This was how I cooked last week. I made chicken, and beef stew.
One thing he couldn’t find on the list was the top sirloin pot roast, so I looked for it at the store a couple of days ago. I had to phone a friend (aka my mother in law), to figure out which kind I wanted and decided on the rump roast.
Then I headed over to the produce isle. I wanted to buy a squash because my daughter loves the NuturMe squash I bought plus I just got this in the mail, and my friend gave me this book as a baby shower gift, so I wanted to try to make baby food myself dangit!
I didn’t see an organic option for squash so I went with the non-organic in hopes that it’s not so bad. Organic baby food or homemade puree? I’m not sure which is better. I’m hoping the latter since I’m going through all of this effort!
Did you know squash is a dang big vegetable? I didn’t. Each looked like they could feed her for a year. It was a dollar something a pound and the small one I picked was nearly three pounds so it cost us about four bucks. It had better last awhile. I thought to myself as we rang it all up.
After putting the pot roast dinner in the crock-pot and getting Lil’ J down for a nap I got to work on her squash. The directions that came with my baby food processer recommend making 1/3 the squash, so I chopped up a third of it, realized I need to peel it too, so I chopped the ends off. Then I put it in the processor, pushed the steam and blend button and let it do the rest of the work. But what do I do with the rest of the squash?
I was going to wrap it in foil and stick it in the fridge but then I realized it would probably save me a lot of time if I just made it all at the same time (am I smart or what?). I posed the question on twitter and got several ideas for how to cook the rest. One mom suggested an easy oven steam recipe.
I cut the squash in half long ways (and discovered a pumpkin-looking inside, who knew?!) scooped the seeds out, then placed it in a glass pan and filled it with water (I flipped it over after this picture).
Put it in the over at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
When it came out it was super soft. For about 2/3 of it I scooped it out and pureed it, and put it in ice cube trays to freeze for later (I’ve heard you can reheat it easily by warming it with water, breastmilk or just in the microwave).
The other 3rd I sliced up, peeled off the skin, and set it aside for dinnertime and future meals where she may want to feed herself or what many people call “baby lead weaning” but I just call “feed your dang self.”
I mentioned before trying a bit of this method as well as and purees, and tonight I let her eat the squash I had steamed and cut while we ate pot roast. She seems to like it (and broccoli we were eating). She sits on the table for now cause she doesn’t have a high chair yet but I’m thinking of getting one of these space saver chairs for her from CSN.
And me? I feel like a Domestic Goddess! (Remember, I made pot roast too… I’m seriously on a roll).I just bought my first sweet potato and I’m going to go at it again!
Go you! That’s awesome!
Oh, I soooo want to try the Baby Brezza. What a neat contraption!
I love my crock pot. I am not the best cook, actually I hate cooking! I only cook so my fam can eat so I thank God for the crock pot!
Good for you! Lil J looks likes she loves it. Nia’s 5 months now and I’m looking forward to starting her on solids next month.
whhhaaaaat?! pot roast too? you go girl! I enjoyed making the baby food. it really sets a precedence
for healthy eating. the weird thing is-my lil man hates bananas!
I’m trying to prepare myself for moving Claire to solid foods. I’ve heard the ice cube tray idea works really well! Any other advice you have that you learn from your experiences would be a HUGE help to me! As always, thanks for sharing with us!
That is too funny, she looks like she had a good old time with that squash! Go you!!!
Aww! I miss those days! She is so cute! She is concentrating hard on that squash! I tried to give my daughter some squash a few months ago and she was not having it. She doesn’t like sweet potatoes either…might be the color…I don’t know.
And kudos to you for being all domestic and whatnot!
“Feed your dang self” — Hysterical!
jenn, I want to say first of all, that I adore your blog. I think you are amazing and its so nice to have something like this to help me with my own domestic-divaness 🙂 I really look up to you.
I know you are super busy with a full time job and mothering and this blog that everyone and their mother comments on, but if you have a moment, I am in need of some advice. I am working full time and after every weekend or extended holiday/3 day break, I find myself dreading going back to work and more exhasuted than I was before. I miss my baby sooo much and trying to balance everything is just tiring me out so much more than it was when baby was only two months old (and slept all the time!). I want so badly to quit teaching, but am afraid of what the other teachers, my mentors, my peers, my family/friends will all think of me. I have a great job teaching art, and I know I am lucky to have this job, but my heart is just not in it. I had no problem going back 4 weeks after baby was born, but now that he’s 6 months it just makes it that much harder, knowing that I am missing time with him, milestones, etc.
Hubby works 3/4 time at BYU and does some stuff on the side, so the reason why I continued to work is becuase I get amazing healthcare that costs basically nothing and we are saving to buy a house with the money I am making (we’re just living off of what he makes).
Everyone I know has a biased opinion about my situation, since everyone I know who’s had a baby just up and quits (and tells me to do the same), and the women I do know what are still working are only doing so because they are not married, havent gotten prego yet, or their kids are all grown up (and tell me to suck it up and deal with it). I feel like no one is in my situation, but you come pretty darn close.
I always assumed I would just work until Drew got a full time job somewhere and we “had” to move and I would have to quit, but I just want to quit now, without him necessarily working full time but I feel like that is too selfish of me because of the state of the economy, etc. I don’t want to teach my kids that when life gets too hard you should just quit, but there is just more that I would rather be doing (training for a marathon, being at home mom, keeping my house clean, etc) than working outside the home.
Can you shed some light on the situation for me? If you want to shoot me an email sometime (anytime, no rush, I know you are super busy) to knock some sense into me, or give some advice, I would really appreciate it. firstname.lastname@example.org
thanks for listening to me. you are an amazing mama!
Funny, I was just looking up how to make my own baby food when I saw this post. Good tutorial. I am going to have to get some squash and try it. For now I have been giving my daughter avocados, applesauce (which she does not like at all), and mashed bananas.
cooking is a passion of mine. I love it. Once you get the hang of it, i’m sure you’ll love it too. I used to be scared of the kitchen, not anymore.
The crock pot = the only reason we eat in my household!!!!
I made all of A’s baby food, and it was a cinch once you got the hang of it. Carving out the time to do it was another story, but I’m glad I did. Go you!
You are so funny!! Way to go Hot Mami!!
Go you!! I loved making Ave’s baby food! It saves a ton of money and it’s healthier! I knew exactly what was going into her body. I also am a stay at home mom so I had time to do it but it is very rewarding!
You go, girl! It’s funny because I got a crock pot for Christmas as well, and suddenly, like you, I’m cooking when I never cooked before!
I’m doing my own babyfood as well, steaming the veggies and using a food processor. The babyfood maker you have looks pretty awesome and easy!
Awwwww she is absolutely adorable. Good job!
I asked for a Crockpot for Christmas so I’m starting to cook stuff that way. My husband found a blog that’s all Crockpot recipes that’s been very helpful: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ So far we’ve made chicken parmesan and applesauce chicken. My husband tried a teriyaki chicken recipe as well, but it came out awful. I have more time in the mornings than I do around dinner time, so Crockpot cooking is really handy.
My baby’s only 4.5 months now so we haven’t started on solids yet (not looking forward to the poop change), but I’d like to try making my own baby food at home.
*splutter* “feed your dang self” 🙂
since you’re into the crockpot now, you know you can make some really good applesauce? I found the recipe on allrecipes.com, so since you have the app, you should do a search and give it a try!
But go you! I totally love my crockpot! Since I live on my own, I can feed myself for a whole week on what I make!
Yay for you! I’ve been making all Norah’s baby food, and it’s seriously so easy. I don’t have a baby food maker, so I just cook it all myself and puree it in my food processor. Love it. I’ve found so much amazing info on this Web site http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/index.htm And yeah, I’m right with you on feeling like a domestic goddess! Oh, and another great cooking app for your iphone would be the Epicurious app. Love it.
I’m with Lil’J—I LOVE squash! And kudos to you, B2M, for cooking a roast. Aren’t crock pots are THE BEST!
AWESOME! congrats to you. what is the name of the baby food processor and how much? I soo want to make my babies food too when he’s ready in a few months.
also for grocery shopping (which I hate too) we do grocery delivery, which is only like 6 bucks in san diego and it makes grocery shopping so easy cuz you can do it online. I am OVERWHELMED by the grocery store! don’t know how it is there in texas, but might be worth a looksies…
I made our own baby food too, and I loved it. It was so easy. I wish I’d have done it with my other kids, but I only did it with our youngest. Mostly to save money. The food always lasted so long. We have a beaba babycook, and I still use it to steam apples and carrots for him, I just don’t puree them. He loves that just as much too!
We have one of those chairs and loved it. It’s in the attic waiting for the next child.
having done it, i will never underestimate the sense of satisfaction that comes from making baby food for your little one!!
*splutter* “feed your dang self” 🙂
Go you! That’s awesome!
Your mode of explaining the whole thing in this paragraph is truly fastidious, all can
effortlessly understand it, Thanks a lot.
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I want to encourage you continue your great posts,
have a nice weekend!
Thanks Jennifer for your lovely post. My kids love to eat mango so I made the mango the same way you do.