Published on March 29, 2015—  Leave a comment

DIY Baby Food Made Easy

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If your baby is working his or her way up to solid foods, you’ve probably at least considered making your own baby food—before also considering how little sleep you’ve been getting and how long your to-do list has gotten. But breaking your reliance on Gerber isn’t just good for your bank account; it’ll also allow you to introduce your baby to interesting new flavors and keep a lid on the amount of sugar, sodium and preservatives in his or her diet. (Turns out packaged baby food isn’t all that healthy.) Here are some tips on how you can make nutritious meals for your baby without too much of a time investment.
Keep your gadget arsenal stocked. Invest in some special ice-cube trays that are just for baby food, and fill them with purees to get individual servings that can quickly be defrosted in the microwave. (These OXO ones even have lids, keeping freezer burn at bay and saving you from confusing them with the normal cube trays.) You can also buy fill-your-own versions of those fruit puree packs, allowing you to carry purees of your own creation on the go. But don’t worry about investing in a special baby-food steamer or grinder: a normal food processor is enough to get the job done.
A fork can go a long way. Most baby foods require some level of cooking, and the subsequent time investment. But don’t forget that nature has a few more-or-less instantaneous baby foods of its own. Keep a stock of ripe bananas and avocados on hand, and with a fork and a bowl, you can have fresh baby food in under a minute.
Trade time. If finding time to make baby food is an issue, consider teaming up with another parent. You can take turns watching the kids while making enough baby food for both households, or trade off babysitting duties: one weekend, someone looks after both kids while the other person shops and cooks; the next weekend, switch roles.
Make dinner for everyone in one shot. There are innumerable adult dinners than can have their components adapted for baby food, without taking too much extra time or causing extra hassle in the dish department. Ratatouille can be pureed for a baby and served over pasta for grown-ups; roasted salmon flakes easily into bite-size pieces; a white-bean stew can have a portion set aside to be pureed. If you can, make extra and set aside a chunk for blending and freezing in your ice-cube trays.
If you can’t always cook, don’t beat yourself up. Everyone has those days when there just isn’t time, and packaged baby food isn’t the end of the world. If you need to feed your baby a premade jar, check the nutrition facts for blends that are low in sugar and sodium and high in fiber. And consider going organic; babies’ tiny bodies are far more sensitive to pesticides than ours.
Got a tip for making baby food a little easier (or a favorite recipe)? Let us know in the comments.