My nine month old baby has decided in the last month that he loves food. Almost anything. We had a slow start because initially, he only liked yogurt, red pepper, and sweet potatoes. Because my baby wasn’t into food, I took advantage of the Gerber coupons I received in the mail and used them at Shop Rite to buy baby food. Love that doubling!
Now, I’m getting into the homemade baby food routine. Because I’m a big believer in eating healthy, I bought Super Baby Food when I had my second child and have used it as a reference ever since. Mainly I use the guides for which foods to introduce when, usually when my post partum brain is at a standstill, and the cooking guides at the back for preparing fruits and vegetables. I tried a few of the recipes, but my kids didn’t like them. Super Baby Food would make a good shower gift for a new mom because of the rest of the book – arts and crafts recipes and ideas.
The fruits and veggies I use come from all over the grocery store. Typically, for single veggies, I’ll use the canned version or fresh, like sweet potatoes, and prepare it, puree it, and freeze it in ice cube trays. I usually use canned fruit except for bananas. When I start offering mixed veggies, I use our homegrown frozen veggie mixes.
For cereal, I use the boxed baby food cereal. It takes awhile to go through this and saves me time. I tried making brown rice and pureeing it, but I found that it was too much effort for the amount of time I have and the texture was too much for my babies. With the boxed cereal, I like to add wheat germ once the babies are old enough. I’m able to offer wheat germ before one year and not have issues with allergies.
The other item that I like to offer my babies is whole milk yogurt. In the past I’ve frozen this in ice cube trays. This time, I’m just keeping the container in the frig. My current baby likes yogurt so much that we go through a 32 oz. container very quickly. Shop Rite offers their own brand of whole milk yogurt now; I used to buy it from Trader Joe’s.
As my babies are ready, I start offering them soft fruits and veggies in a plastic bowl. They don’t get much out of these pieces other than the opportunity to practice their pincer grasp. Cheese that I’ve shredded myself is another option. I tried the mesh bag with the handle when offering soft foods, but it was just trouble and difficult to clean.
I don’t offer my babies much fruit juice and when I do, I do a combination of 60 percent water and 40 percent fruit juice. In my opinion, fruit juice with its sugar content is more of a filler than something that fills a nutritional need. My older kids rarely get fruit juice either, other than orange juice.