How to Make Baby Food

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Once you get your pediatrician’s approval to feed solids to your infant, it’s not difficult to make baby purees. With the right tools (and during the baby’s 30-minute nap) you can make fresh and healthy baby food for your little one. Not to mention it saves so much money, and you know that your little one is eating the freshest and healthiest food. Here are my steps on how to make baby food and what kind of foods to start with.

Tools Needed:

A food processor or blender, a saucepan, and a spoon

                         

Most likely you have these tools already. I like using the food processor over the blender because it gives a smooth consistency and it’s a great tool for home cooks because it can do several things whereas a blender just, well, blends. Which is fine for making baby food, but look into a food processor if you don’t have one already. I use mine for making pesto, salsa, nut butter, rice flour, pie crust, grating cheese, slicing veggies and so much more!

I would stay away from purchasing fancy baby food processors specifically for baby food because they have small capacities and it’s just another appliance in my kitchen that I won’t use after baby grows up. Same goes for a baby food steamer and blender-in-one. What will you use it for after the baby turns 1? Take that money and buy a real food processor or blender with a larger capacity you can use for years to come. You won’t regret it! Even this Cuisinart one is cheaper than a Baby Bullet.

Foods to Start With:

I like to introduce babies first to fruits because of the high sugar content similar to breast milk and formula. Some good ones to start off with are a banana, avocado, apple or pear, and even some sweet veggies like sweet potato and butternut squash.

Microsoft Word - how-to-make-baby-food.docx Here is a recipe chart as a guideline for how to start. I started the chart at 6 months but you can begin once your pediatrician gives the OK. Begin with 1 ingredient purees when introducing solids to infants. Switch the ingredient every 3 days to look out for possible allergies. After a couple months of trying out some new foods, add a new ingredient to the recipe. After another couple of months, you can try some proteins and nut butter. Since nuts are high on the list of allergens, start with just a 1/4 teaspoon to the recipe.

Prepare, Serve and Store:

1. Boil hard vegetables and fruits for 5 minutes or until they are fork tender. A pinch of salt is optional but I recommend it for veggies. Never feed honey to infants under 1 year.

2. Blend ingredients with a little bit of the cooking liquid to retain as many vitamins and nutrients back into the food. For more nutrition, you can use breastmilk or formula instead of the cooking liquid. I like using breastmilk/formula with baby’s first foods because they are already familiar with the taste.

3. Serve at body temperature. If you microwave to warm the food up, do so in 20-second intervals while stirring in between.  Or place the baby’s bowl on top of the bottle warmer for a gentle heat. I check the temperature by putting the food on my inner wrist to feel for temp or taste it with a clean spoon.

If you’ve made a batch, serve what you think your baby will eat in one sitting and throw away any uneaten food so you don’t contaminate the rest of the batch with bacteria from baby’s saliva.

4. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 2 months.

That is a basic introduction of how to make baby food. I’ve been having fun trying things on Drew lately and love watching her facial reaction when she tries something new. Peek over to my recipe for Broccoli and Avocado Baby Food to see how I make it at home.

Mini Pizza Bar

superbowl-pizzas

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The Super Bowl is right around the corner. I’m not a big sportsfan but I am a big foodfan and anywhere there is food and a party I am there! I created these super easy pizzas for hosts with little time. You could even have your guests put on their own toppings and pop these into the toaster oven. Just prep all the items and create a pizza bar.

If you are making a big batch, heat the oven to 400º F. Bake for 10 mins or until the cheese is nice and melty. For smaller DIY portions, I like to use the toaster oven set at the same temperature and people can just set the timer when they pop theirs in.

You can get very creative with the toppings but I kept mine simple. Here’s what I used.

Ingredients:
low calorie sandwich rounds (you can also use English muffins or pita bread)
marinara sauce from a jar
sliced tomatoes
sliced red onion
pepperoni
oregano
parmesan cheese

For a pizza bar, set up all the ingredients for the guests in different containers so they can easily choose what they like. I would include a few different cheeses like mozzarella, parmesan, and even goat cheese. A cream sauce would be a fun twist paired with the traditional marinara. Several meats like pepperoni, salami, shredded chicken, bacon, and prosciutto are good toppings. I love a good veggie pizza so include some vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and herbs.

This is a fun meal even if you aren’t cheering for a team. Kids will love it and you will too! Which team are you cheering for?

Herb Box Planter

I don’t consider myself to have much of a green thumb. Actually, I tend to say that I have a black thumb because all the plants I take home die within a couple weeks.  I don’t know if I over water them or under water them.  I don’t know how much sunlight they need.  I don’t know if I should put them in direct light or indirect light.  There are so many circumstances that I need to balance in gardening!  I also don’t understand how I know exactly what to do after plants have been picked and I buy them from the grocery store, but I have no clue about what to do before that process.

There’s one thing that I’ve always wanted to have, an herb garden.  I like to cook with fresh herbs and hate when they go bad in my fridge.  So, I decided to try it once again.

I bought already potted herbs (who knows how this would have ended up if I grew them from a seed), and transferred them into an empty wine box.  After much research on Google, here’s how I did it.

Materials:
1 wooden wine box
1 plastic trash bag liner
river rocks
potted herbs

Measure the trash bag liner so that it completely covers the bottom of the wine box.  Cut the liner just above the rim of the wine box.

Line the inside of the box with one layer of river rocks.  This is so that there is proper water drainage at the bottom of the box.

Take the plants out of their pots and place them in a row in the wine box.  Do not overcrowd the box.

Pack the empty spaces with more soil.  Water thoroughly. 

Tada!  You now can display your cute planter on your balcony or garden.  Also, if you have any tips on caring for herbs, I am all ears =) Enjoy!