baby food one-oh-one (the hunter house version)

IMG_1853-2I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time.  But the the holidays happened, and then January happened, then February happened, and here we are…whew!  I’ve been asked a lot of questions regarding the feeding of my not-so-tiny human and am in really no place to give advice but I can share what we do and how we do it, in very generic terms.  Like my baking, I measure nothing and just fly by the seat of my pants, but I can tell you what’s worked and what hasn’t.

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I started the Saurus on solids at 4 months.  Mostly because that kid was Huhn-gry!  With a capital H.  I started out with combinations of puréed fruits and veggies supplementing his bottles for a couple of feedings and gradually increased the frequency and amount of purée over the next few months.  Apparently you’re supposed to introduce one food at a time to your kid, but this seemed boring to me so I started with combinations and just watched him any time he had something new.  He didn’t like strawberries at first but eventually came around and now eats almost every combo under the sun.  I think combos helped him ease into fruits and vegetables since he didn’t have sweet fruit one time and bland veggies the next – green beans were sweetened with apples and bananas were toned down with avocado or pumpkin.

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I make food pouches for him using the Infantino Fresh Squeezed Station which I absolutely love.  The store-bought pouches are really great (especially Ella’s) and we use them frequently but I’m cheap and have a kid who eats a lot so making our own food saves a lot of money and makes me feel like I might not be the worst mother ever.  And it gives me control over using foods he likes and leaving out those he doesn’t.  I spend about $20 on fresh produce from the farmer’s market if I’m feeling crunchy (and have time), the grocery store if I’m running low on time, and frozen/canned when it’s just been a rough week.  I spend an evening making about 3 different varieties of pouches.  Each batch of groceries makes about 30-40 pouches which would last for several weeks at 4 months and now lasts 7-10 days.  I’m telling you, that kid is hungry.  As he got older, I started putting things like casserole (Saurus loves this chicken and rice – it’s sometimes the only thing he’ll eat) and chicken pot pie in the blender and making some fruit and yogurt smoothies and putting those in pouches, just for simplicity’s and portability’s sake.  It’s great – I can just grab one and go.  Now, he’s old enough to enjoy pouches by himself as a snack or in addition to “real” food, without a spoon, saving me a ton of time and energy.

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There is no set recipe for making your own baby food and the sky is totally the limit but here are my “recipes” and the Saurus ratings.  I’ll try to keep this list updated when I find one he totally loves.  Sorry it’s not very organized.  Maybe I’ll think of a good way to do that…eventually…

Hits:

Apples: peeled, cored and sliced and softened slightly in the microwave.  Apples are by far our favorite – they go with everything!  A favorite is 3 apples/1 handful fresh green beans, cooked/1 can peas, drained

Pumpkin: another great “base” for pretty much any combo and super easy since you can just buy a can of Organic 100% Pumpkin Puree at the grocery store.  A weird, much Saurus-approved combo: 1 lg can Pumpkin Puree/2 mangoes, diced/2 bananas

Sweet Potatoes and Squash: kind of along the same lines as pumpkin – makes a great base to mix with anything.  1 lg can sweet potatoes/3 pears, peeled, sliced, and softened

Banana/Avocado: (his favorite first food) – 3 Bananas, 2 Avocados.  Really easy – no cooking required!  Just toss it all in the blender!

Tropical Fruit Smoothie: yogurt, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, mangoes – I just toss in handfuls of whatever fruit looked good that week and about a cup of yogurt (usually vanilla).  I’ve tried greek yogurt, but the Saurus wasn’t a fan.  We’ll re-attack that one later.

Carrots: These cook down easily and puree nicely.  I usually do about 3 carrots (peeled) with some pears or apples (3) and peas (1 can)

Misses:

Anything involving beets, even just a little – I don’t blame him.  They taste like dirt

Oatmeal that has been frozen.  If it stays in the fridge and is eaten within a few days, it’s great – otherwise it mutates into a weird consistency.

Canned/frozen fruits – they tend to get a little runny.  Canned or frozen vegetables hold up great, though.

Leafy veggies like kale or spinach.  They don’t purée as well as he’d like unless I boil them so thoroughly that they’ve lost pretty much all nutritional value.  He now eats spinach in things like lasagna and ravioli and loves it but not so much in purees.

I’ve tried adding a little juice (like pomegranate) and the taste is fine, but they get too runny if they’re frozen and then thawed.

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Preparing the food is really easy:

I cook the fruits and veggies (that need it) until soft (apples and such in the microwave, and boil carrots and such).  Obviously bananas and avocados and the like don’t need to be cooked.  Then, I purée everything in the Ninja.  It’s easier to purée the mixtures together (as in, throw the pumpkins, mangoes, and bananas all in and turn it on) but if I’m making a bigger batch, then I do each food separately and then whip it together with the KitchenAid.  When the mixture is all smooth, I use the Fresh Squeezed Station to put everything in pouches and toss them in the fridge or freezer.  It’s not too messy and everything gets tossed in the dishwasher and the Saurus gets fresh food.  Yay!  Making casseroles and oatmeal is just as easy: purée the cooked food in the blender, then push it into pouches, label, and done.

I hope this helps!  As always, don’t be afraid to ask questions and we’ll navigate this feeding-of-tiny-humans thing together!

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4 thoughts on “baby food one-oh-one (the hunter house version)

  1. Have you had any issues with make a puree that has a great consistency, making the pouch, freezing, and then after defrosting it the puree is the very watery and difficult to eat from the pouch? This has happened with all my purées and I am wondering how I can decrease the water content or keep the puree from separating in the freezer.

I love comments. Did you also threaten to burn down your kitchen? Do you know how to get dogs (or ducks) to stop digging holes? Please tell me about it.

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