When I was pregnant with the twins, though, I read the book Ready or not, here we come by Elizabeth Lyons and in it she had a chapter on making baby food. After reading that chapter, I realized it was not as hard as I thought it was (or that my mind thought it was). Nor as time consuming. I decided I would try it when the twins were the right age, which I did. As it turned out, it really was easy and not too time consuming... and again, I was a full time working mom of four at that point. My point, if you are on the fence, give it a try! If you know you want to do it, below are some resources.
The resource I used the most was the Wholesome Baby Food website. This site has just about everything you could possibly need to know about making baby food and feeding your child - from when and what is appropriate at what ages, nutritional info, how to cook it, recipes, and so much more. I used the "Foods for Babies" tab the most. This is broken in categories (veggies, fruit, grain, etc) and then by food. It will tell you at what age it is best to feed each food item, what is good about that item nutrition wise, the best way to cook it and also give you recipes for mixing different things once they get older (many of these combos I would have never thought of, like avocado/banana mixed, but the twins loved it all). Another thing I found on this site was the use of spices in baby food. I didn't know I could even use spices! But how great is that to 'spice it up' and get their palates ready for what is to come later (you can find the spice info under Tips and Topics, then Introducing Solids, then Spice it up). I really feel as a result, my twins like more flavorful food than my five year old does.
The other resources that I have heard nothing but good things about (though I never used myself) is the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron and Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes (sold through Williams Sonoma).
As far as equipment, you really don't need anything special - though there are tons of products out there marketed specifically for this use. I either baked or steamed all the fruits and veggies I made, so all I used were glass baking pans or my steamer insert in my pots. I used a food processor to puree the baby food, though you can use a blender too (I found the food processor worked better since I was typically making big batches). Since then (long after baby food making times), I found a fruit and veggie strainer attachment that goes on a Kitchen Aid mixer that would work well too (I use it for applesauce now and it's wonderful!). As far as storing, I used ice cube trays and lots of plastic wrap (both of those I researched on the web and contacted the manufacturer directly to verify they were BPA-free). Once the food was frozen, I popped them out of the ice cube trays and into glass pyrex containers which I marked with the name of the food and date made. If you are pushed for space, freezer bags work well too. And that's it as far as the equipment I used.
Though I had my moments of "seriously, this is for the birds" thoughts as I stayed up in the wee hours cooking and pureeing so as to stock up, over all I was and am very glad that I did it. I liked knowing I made it and that I controlled the process and the food quality. I liked having a lot more variety for them and different combos than you can get from jar food. I liked being able to add spices. It was a good experience and one I would do over again in heartbeat.
Posted by Wendy at www.themooressix.blogspot.com
What about you?
Has anyone else made their own baby food? What resources do you recommend? What equipment was invaluable to you? What advice would you give fellow moms who are interested in making their own baby food? Please send us a something to post or just comment below.
If you are getting ready to start making your own baby food and have questions, please put it in the comments for us to answer.