As my 2-year-old clamored for macaroni-and-cheese at the Thanksgiving table, I had to sigh over so many good intentions gone awry.
Rewind to the 2013 holiday, when he was still happily eating squash, sweet potatoes and vegetable soups pureed with turkey stock. Because I made all his food, I naively assumed that he was developing, if not a sophisticated palate, at least a preference for wholesome meals.
It’s just a phase — the beige-food phase — other parents tell me. He’ll come around.
In the meantime, his younger brother is filling up on the same menu of roasted, steamed and simmered ingredients mashed or blended to baby-friendly consistency. I may not have sent out his baby announcements within his first six months of life or jotted down all the myriad milestones in his baby book. But I make the time to make his baby food. In addition to health, economy is major factor.
Winter squash are basically free from my own garden while sweet potatoes, even organic ones, are affordable. Today, I threw a few of each in the oven, left them alone for an hour, then peeled and pureed them, using an immersion blender, with some organic pear juice. In about 15 minutes of hands-on time, I had enough food for the fridge and freezer to last a couple of weeks.
Even quicker is mashing fresh avocado or banana. Even very ripe, peeled pears can be pushed through a sieve. About once a month, I poach a couple of pounds of dried apricots and prunes and run each through a food mill to remove any pit fragments.
It’s as simple as that, I say, when other families have asked me how to make baby food.
Here are a few more tips from the Washington Post:
Grind ¼ cup brown rice, millet or oatmeal in a blender for 1 minute.
Boil 1 cup of water; reduce heat to low and add grain.
Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve, refrigerate (for two to three days) or freeze in ice-cube trays (up to one month).
Grind cooked chicken, fish or meat in a food processor or blender and refrigerate (for one to two days). Babies should be 7 to 8 months before eating most poultry, meat and fish.
Serve alone or mix with pureed vegetables or cooked grains.
Homemade stock is full of vitamins and minerals. It aids digestion and builds bones.
Mix homemade chicken or vegetable stock into baby’s cereal or vegetables to liquefy and add nutrition.
Babies can drink homemade vegetable stock from a bottle after the age of 9 months.
Worried about allergies? Introduce one food at a time, and wait at least four days before introducing another. Common problem foods: cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, soy, nuts, shellfish and artificial additives. Shellfish and honey should be avoided until at least a year.