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Has anyone made their own baby food for their infants instead of buying the purees from the store? I have heard of a number of baby food cookers, etc. but it seems to me you could simply cook the food item you are trying to puree until it’s soft and then blend it. Does anyone know the advantages of these baby food cookers that are out there? --Julie, Strongmoms facilitator
I made the majority of Hazels baby food. I never used a baby food cooker because i don't think it is necessary. Most instructions say to boil the food and use the water you boiled it in to thin or thicken the food while pureeing... In my years of cooking i have learned that it is best not to boil the food because the nutrients seep out into the water that you are dumping down the sink... Instead i steam whatever it is that i want to puree and use the steaming water to thin the food. I have a friend that plans to make her daughters food as well and she has said that she is going to buy the 6 and 8oz canning jars and make large batches and can them since the canning life of a food is longer than the freezing life. It will save a lot of freezer space and time down the road.
I have made my son's babyfood since he moved to purees. Most of what I make I steam and then puree. If i need to thin it out, I use the "steaming" water UNLESS it is carrots. For some reason, there is a concern with carrots containing too much nitrates in the water. (I really have no idea if this is a real concern, but there were enough articles out there saying not to use the carrot water that I just used purified water). I also bought silicone ice cube trays to freeze the food. You can get them at any baby type store and they make things so easy. Once frozen, just pop them out and store the ice cubes in a ziploc type bag in the freezer. It is great to just take out an ice cube or two (if you want to mix items or feeding size increases) each night when I get home from work and they are defrosted the next day for consumption.
The one thing I learned the hard way is to spend money on a good blender or good food processor. Things like spinach and broccoli make a huge mess, sweet potatoes get everywhere. But it is pretty awesome to be able to control what my son eats every day. Plus my son was born small (4lbs 11 ozs at full term). It is easier to control his intake when I make the food. Our nutritionist told us that the store purees have a lot of water in them. For my son that isn't good. Plus we have to now add butter to his food to help fatten him up. It is quite fun to cook with BUTTA!
Good luck it is well worth it.
I agree with Brinny, I never bought anything special. I just made extra veggies for dinner without salt or anything and then pureed them in a small food processor. I froze them in ice cube trays and then put the ice cubes in a freezer bag labeled. You can make a whole bag full of frozen peas that way and then pull out what you need!
I should clarify the only reason I bought a good food processor is that the old one I had was 20+ years old and didn't really work well. The blades were a bit dull do say the least. I wouldn't spend the money on any baby food specific blenders/processors.
I'm so glad this is working for other people! Since the day I found out I was pregnant I have wanted to make my own baby food, I did register for the baby bullet & baby bullet steamer. I wasn't sure if I should just stick with a regular old steamer and blender or if the baby bullet would be better. The tip to use the steaming water was great, I would have never thought of that with the pregnancy brain I have going right now.
I totally would not get a baby bullet and steamer... they are just gimmicks to get you to spend more. i never had any issues with my blender not pureeing my daughters food well enough... even with stringy veggies like squash. your money could be much more useful elsewhere.
I bought the baby food in the store with my first son 7 years ago and he hated it. After that I started just mashing up what I made for us and he loved it. This was after making sure he had no allergies. My blender works fine for it and I would jsut steam his food.
Oh Baby Bullet sounds perfect-See Brinny's comment below. We have a blender made by "ninja" and it has food processing attachments as well as blending. I love the thing! It might be worth looking at for baby food making. :)
I have the baby bullet and it works great! I didn't realize that boiling takes the vitiams out I will steam from now on. But I highly recommend home made baby food. They put so much crap in store bought baby food. When i found d out that it has a a shelf life of 3 years I was like not putting that in my baby's body.
Stella - exactly my thoughts!! If it's natural food, it should rot eventually! Great job making your baby food - it's really not that much work and so good for our kiddos. :-)