Saturday, May 5, 2012

Making Baby Food

When Sadie was little and just starting to eat pureed food, we were all gung-ho about making her food from scratch...and we were good at it too!  I reconstituted prunes and apricots, I boiled apples and baked bananas, and we thawed frozen berries.  But we soon realized that we just didn't have the right equipment for some of it.  We used the food processor, which was adequate, but it didn't liquify apple peels, or corn, and we had to be very careful with blueberries.  Plus the food processor was hard to clean, which sort of made me unmotivated to make the food after a while.

cooking the apples makes them easier to blend in the food processor
Then Sadie got the tube, and she was on tube feeds of formula for a long time.  We didn't feed her much at all by mouth, so we just bought baby food at the store.  I discovered those Happy Baby, Ella's Kitchen, and Plum brands of organic baby food that was sold in the pouches (mainly at Target of all places!)...and our addiction was born.

Sadie has been eating by mouth 5 out of her 6 meals a day for the last month.  Brian is convinced that we alone are keeping that Target baby food section in business.  The other day I came home and told him they had all sorts of new things to choose from (four bean casserole, and a vegetable bake!), he told me they probably see an increase in demand based on our purchases alone and so they have added to their options!

Seriously though, we're gonna go broke if we continue like this.

But now we have the Vitamix blender.  We got it because we decided we were no longer going to give Sadie formula, but real food.  We chose the Vitamix for a number of reasons: 1. it's rated safe for making tube food, 2. it will pulverize even flax seeds and raspberries, 3. They KNOW they're better than giving our kids formula so they offer a medical discount.  We were back in business!!

However, because I haven't felt well, and been tired, and unmotivated, we've still been buying Target baby food...until tonight.

I have been very discouraged by the lack of variety of "dinner" type purees.  There is a Chicken and Quinoa Casserole, and a Turkey and Vegetables one (which Sadie doesn't like), which is why I got so excited for the Vegetable Bake (which smells like ratatouille... are you impressed that I can spell that?!) and the Four Bean Casserole.  These new ones are vegetarian and Sadie likes them a lot!  So, I did some asking around and a little bit of research and I decided I'm gonna try to make my own "dinner" puree.  I mean, fruits and veggies are EASY...but Sadie needs some hearty meals with some good proteins in them.  And for now, I don't mind feeding her meat (even though we are vegetarian...and by we, I mean Brian...and me when I'm not pregnant!).  We have a lot of good veggies and things in our house right now, so we threw in the crockpot the following mix and we're gonna let it cook all night, then throw it in the Vitamix in the morning.


Sounds good, right?  Well, maybe you and I wouldn't necessarily like it pureed, but it might be good as a stew for dinner!

Then we went crazy with the fruits.  Fruits are awesome to mix and match, and then they can be added to yogurt (and yogurt is cheap), and then the meal is a good source of protein and fats and still offers all the vitamins of fresh fruits.  We have a crazy variety of fruits in our house right now, so let me see if I can remember all the mixtures we made.

These are a couple of fruit blends we made tonight


(This one was STRONG!  So, I mixed it with some vanilla yogurt)

(with a little orange juice)

(I used too much Cinnamon, so I mixed this with some honey almond yummy!!)

No way could we have done all this without the Vitamix!

When we used to make Sadie baby food, we used the ice cube tray method, because she would eat about 2 cubes at a she eats 6 or 8!!  But the ice cube trays really are still our best option for freezing right now.  Tomorrow, they'll be emptied into baggies to make room for the casserole.  However, some of our ice cube trays have broken or gotten lost, so a couple of blends went straight into the fridge and will be eaten tomorrow.

These trays offer only about 6 meals...but if we mix with
yogurt or a cooked and blended grain, we can probably stretch that to
10 or 12...which will last us 2 days instead of 1!!
Hopefully this weekend I can shop for some more food with Sadie in mind and keep working on making her food.  The store bought food is still a good option for throwing in the diaper bag and using on vacation (since it doesn't need to be kept cold), so we'll keep some of that on hand for back up.  But for now, I hope we can reduce our Sadie grocery bill by a lot and start getting our money's worth out of that Vitamix!!

Any ideas for baby food blends I can make?  I think next we're gonna make some 10-bean soup mix with veggies in the crockpot!

No comments:

Post a Comment