Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Making your own baby food.

Okay, well really toddler food since my youngest are 13mths. I am not a big fan of those little jars of cut up carrots, apples, and "meat sticks" that they sell in the grocery store. The prices are just nuts when you compare it to 'real' food.

Take one of those little jars of chunked up carrots. At the commissary one of those little jars will run you $0.80 now that isn't unreasonable in itself but if you walk over to the produce department you will see you can get a whole pound of carrots for $0.80! Do you know how many of those little jars you would have to buy to make a pound of carrots? It gets even worse if you look at the 5lb bags of carrots... $0.78 a pound! How hard is it to peel, wash, and chunk up your own carrots? Yes you have to cook them to what I call smoosh consistency but really that time is all hands free. Set the carrots to steam set the timer and walk away. If you have a half an hour you can process up the whole 5lb bag of carrots, separate them into several freezer bags and freeze them. When you run out of carrots in the fridge just pull a baggie from the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge overnight or drop them in some boiling water for a few seconds and they are ready to go. This works great for all types of veggies and your little ones will get tons more variety and nutrients than if you only served them the little carrot chunks! Some options include broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, peas, squash, etc.

Don't get me started on "meat sticks" I am sorry but meat is not supposed to come in stick form! I shudder to think what is in those overly processed sticks. I am adamant that my girls get protein at every single meal. I would go broke real quick buying all those little jars of "meat". My solution is to throw several frozen chicken breasts in my crock pot and cook on high for 6 hours. I then shred the meat and stick it in the fridge. Done! Another option is beans. Beans are cheap, easy, full of protein, and perfectly mushy. Again the crock pot is my friend. I soak the beans over night and then toss them in the crock pot on low for 10hours (smaller beans get done faster). Just like with the carrots and other veggies you can portion them out between baggies and freeze any that will not get used in a week. They are the perfect finger food. Eggs are also a great option. I like to scramble up a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week and then dole them out for breakfast in the mornings. Easy peasy! Also great options are turkey burgers, beef burgers, ham, shredded turkey, etc.

Fruit I do a little different. For things like apples that are hard and need some softening I like to saute them in a little bit of 100% fruit juice just like you were making applesauce, just stopping them before they turn into mush. I personally don't freeze fruit it never quite turns out the same consistency as it went in.

My girls are also allergic to milk in all shapes and forms so if I want to serve the girls any type of baked goods it has to be made from scratch by me with soy products. Again the freezer is my friend :)

1 comments on "Making your own baby food."

Sweet Tater on February 1, 2011 at 10:48 PM said...

I just wish my boys weren't so PICKY!!! There's only a scant handful of nutritional items they'll eat...what am I talking about? Even with junk food, they're picky!!! If I make cookies, I generally have to make different kinds! LOL The only way my boys will eat veggies are in BOUGHT (I've tried homemade, truly I have) baby food form or hidden--they don't care for the texture of not pureed ones. Naturally... (Sneaky Chef is my friend!) But a picky family much limits what you can do! And I can't really complain too much, as I know they get the picky-ness honest...on both ends. They take after their uncle, who also only eats about four things. LOL


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