This may seem very “crunchy” of me, but yes, I make Davis’ baby food. And yes, most of it is organic. Here’s a few reasons why:
- I believe we need to take charge of our own health. Davis needs Todd and I to do this for him, and I take this responsibility seriously.
- Food is medicine.
- I had to start him on formula at 5 months, and making his food helps my mommy-guilt from not being able to keep breastfeeding
- It saves us money.
- I love to cook. I make almost all of our meals at home, so it isn’t any real trouble for me to make D’s as well.
Davis’ First Tastes. “What is this, Mommy?”
First Step: Oatmeal with Banana and Oatmeal with Apples
We started Davis on solids when he was 6 months old. We decided to start with oatmeal (babies do not need rice cereal).
I bought organic old-fashioned oatmeal from Trader Joe’s. I cooked it (according to package directions) and blended it with bananas and with organic apples (2 c oatmeal [before cooking] + 3 bananas or with 3 peeled, cubed, steamed apples). I made sure it was very smooth, since he wasn’t used to eating anything with texture. I let it cool, then froze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop the cubes out and store in a labeled freezer bag. This makes at least a month’s worth of oatmeal. At first, he only ate 1 cube each day, but we increased it to 2 at around 7 months.
Second Step: Sweet Potato and Avocado
The next foods we fed him were sweet potato and avocado. Our family doctor encouraged us to feed him 3 meals after his 6-month check-up. He didn’t eat much at first, but he quickly got used to real food.
For the sweet potato, I buy a bag of organic sweet potatoes from Trader Joe’s. I just wash them, pierce them with a fork, and bake at 400 for around an hour. Then I peel them and either mash them with a fork, or blend in a food processor. At this stage, add a little water. Freeze in ice cube trays, then store in a labeled freezer bag.
For the avocado, make sure it is very ripe, and mash with a fork. Add a little water before serving. Those do not need to be organic. I mash his avocado right before he eats it, but I wrap up the other half in saran wrap and it stays good for a day or two.
Third Stage: Broccoli-Pear; Apples with Cinnamon
I cooked and pureed broccoli and pear together. I wanted him to have green veggies, but thought I could sweeten them with just a little pear. I bought 1 bag of **organic fresh broccoli from Trader Joe’s, and 2 organic pears. *Steam the broccoli. Peel, dice, and steam the pear. Then puree them together. Let cool and freeze in ice cube trays, then store in a labeled freezer bag.
For the “applesauce,” buy 4 organic apples. Peel and dice them. *Steam them with about 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Puree, and add a little bit of the cooking liquid. Cool, then freeze in ice cube trays and store in a labeled freezer bag.
*When I say to steam, I put them in a pot with about 1/2 c water, and cook on low or medium low with a lid. You could also cook them in a glass bowl with a little water, and covered with saran wrap, in the microwave.
**You can also buy frozen organic veggies!
A few tips:
- I typically thaw his food in the microwave on defrost. I serve it to him warm.
- If your baby doesn’t like something, don’t give up. Try mixing it with something a little sweeter. Sweet potato can often cover up a more “vegetable” taste. If that doesn’t work, try again the next day.
- It takes them several tries to get used to real food.
- We gave him oatmeal in the morning, something for lunch, like 1 cube of broccoli-pear and 1 cube of sweet potato, then a cube of applesauce, and some avocado for dinner. That is just an example.
- At this point, we were still giving him 4-5 bottles of formula as well. (We use Earth’s Best formula).
- You don’t need to buy everything organic. Here is a good reference for the “dirtiest” foods. Dirty Dozen vs Clean Fifteen
I will post about the next stage in baby food soon!