As a parent, you want to understand and trust the ingredients in your baby's diet. Similarly, you want assurance concerning the purity, safety, quality and consistency of such ingredients. Preparing baby food at home provides you with control of your baby's diet and knowledge of exactly what goes into your baby's food. The more involvement you have with what you are feeding your baby, the more likely you are to nurture healthy eating habits.
Processed baby foods are expensive. The average baby in the United States will consume 600 jars of baby food. Parents who use processed baby food spend an average of $300 or more on baby food during their infant's first year of life. Making baby food at home is extremely cost-effective, as foods may be purchased either in season or on sale. On average, baby food prepared at home can cost as little as $55 in the first year.
With all these benefits, you may think that it is difficult to make baby food, but it is a lot easier to make than you may imagine. Using fresh produce, a blender and set of ice cube trays, you can make food in quantity and freeze it in single servings. This means you only need to make food once or twice a week. Bottom line, it takes about 30 minutes a week.
Here is a simple and easy recipe for a common first food.
2-3 medium to large sweet potatoes
• Step 1: PREP - Wash, peel and chop sweet potatoes into one-inch (3 cm) cubes
• Step 2: COOK - Place sweet potatoes and 2 Tablespoons (30ml) of water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover. Cook 8-10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. They are done if the sweet potatoes can be mashed easily with a fork.
• Step 3: PUREE - Place sweet potatoes and cooking juices into a blender of food processor. Add ½ cup (60 ml) of water. Puree. Add additional ¼ to ½ cup (60 - 100 ml) of water, as needed, to develop of smooth texture.
• Step 4: FREEZE - Spoon into So Easy Baby Food Trays or ice cube trays. Cover. Place in freezer 8-10 hours or overnight. Remove cubes from trays, place in storage container or freezer bag, and return immediately to the freezer.
Makes 24 one-ounce servings. Stays fresh for 2 months in the freezer.
To serve, select frozen sweet potato cubes from the freezer, defrost and warm, check the temperature and feed.
Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children, and founders of Fresh Baby. Raised by parents who love fresh foods and entertaining, their mom, a gourmet cook, ensured that they were well-equipped with extraordinary skills in the kitchen. Both with long track records of business success, they decided to combine their skills in the kitchen with their knowledge of healthy foods and children to create Fresh Baby.
Copyrighted © Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.