Bringing Up Baby– Green!

by Sarah Horan

Many parents don’t think they can feed their baby homemade baby food because they can’t imagine fitting it into their already packed schedule. However, with just a little bit of forethought, you can easily prepare up to two weeks worth of delicious, nutritious, organic baby food in one go.

Making your own baby food is an economic and eco-friendly way to introduce your baby to the world of organic food. Although it sounds daunting, it is actually very simple to do. Besides reducing the amount of trash you produce (think of all the packaging you avoid!), making your own baby food allows you to carefully monitor the quality and type of each ingredient that goes into your baby’s food, as well as controlling the amount of sodium and adjusting the spice to suit your baby’s taste.

Consider that it costs about $2 to buy a whole organic butternut squash, which will produce enough puree to last for over a week, whereas it costs about $2 per jar of organic butternut squash ready-made jar food enough for one meal.

To make your own baby food:

1. Steam or gently boil the vegetable of your choice (some suggestions that work well here are any type of greens, like spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, sweet potatoes, butternut or acorn squash, carrots, or broccoli). If you would like to add some iron you can cook the veggies in a beef broth, or you can add it when you puree them.

2. Remove and slightly cool the veggies, then puree in a food processor or blender, adding either cooking liquid, vegetable broth, or organic beef or chicken broth if you need additional liquid. Add any spices you might want in this step (Cinnamon and squash was always a big hit with my babe)

3. Spoon the resulting puree into ice cube trays, and freeze until solid.

4. Pop out cubes and store in ziplock bags or glass jars in freezer. Puree will be best if used within a month but can be safely frozen for up to 3 months. Each cube is about an ounce.

5. When you’re ready to feed your babe, simply take a cube out of the freezer, defrost and you’re good to go!

Try mixing two flavors, adding in some baby cereal for a new texture and some added iron, or adding a few tablespoons of yogurt (for slightly older babies). This works just as well with fruit, (these fruit cubes also make a great smoothie for Mommy or Daddy, tossed in the blender with a few scoops of plain yogurt so you might want to make extra!)

The possibilities are endless!

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