So it has been a long time since my last blog. Why, you ask. We’ve had an addition to the family and he is absolutely the cutest, sweetest little time sucker.
Now you have to know that I have it easy. My son is probably one of the easiest babies out there. He is very chill, plays well by himself, and for the most part is a good sleeper (well, now he is). That doesn’t mean that I have all this time to do whatever I want however. This blog is going to take me about a week to write as I have to make sure I’m keeping said time sucker alive as well as uninjured, healthy, and happy! Who knew children were so much work?!? Oh wait, every person ever who has had children. People do not warn you, though. For those of you who don’t have children, this is your official warning. CHILDREN ARE HARD WORK AND YOUR LIFE IS VERY DIFFERENT WITH CHILDREN! Please do not take that the wrong way. I love my little man more than I will ever be able to express. Just know that everything changes. Some things are great and some are not so great, but be sure that it happens whether you want it to or not!
Now that I have that off my chest, I did want to share that making food for my son has been an absolute joy. I have been making all of his food from scratch and when he loves something that I’ve made him it makes my soul glow! He has been willing to try everything I make him and so far has only a few things he doesn’t like. For the life of me I cannot get him to like bananas. What kid doesn’t like bananas? Apparently mine! I have to say it’s been amazing to watch him eat foods that are good for him and teaching him (even if he does not know it yet) how to eat. Vegetables, no problem. He’ll eat broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, carrots, green beans, artichoke, pretty much anything I make him. Now I know this will probably change down the line and some of these will become challenges, but right now in this moment I am enjoying that he’s eating so many foods. I am always looking to introduce new foods, even foods I am not familiar with. It makes it fun and makes me try new things as well. If you have children (and the time) I highly suggest getting creative in the kitchen and making some baby food. It is pretty easy and you definitely do not need any special tools other than a blender or food processor. I believe those baby food machines are a waste of money! I happen to have a NutriBullet and that worked great for small batches, but the blender works great too! When you are first trying new foods introduce one thing at a time and wait 3-5 days before introducing a new food. This helps to identify any allergies a baby might have. I started by steaming vegetables and fruits for 20 minutes or until tender and then blending with formula until smooth, then I ran through a sieve to remove any chunks. As your child gets older feel free to start leaving the food chunkier and using no-sodium stock (with vegetables). You can also roast vegetables with a little olive oil to give them more flavor as your child gets older. My little man loves these recipes below so I thought I would share them.
Carrots, Onions, and Potatoes (Sweet or red potatoes, whichever you like best)
2 onions, quartered
1 small bag baby carrots
1 lb potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place all veggies on a sheet try and drizzle olive oil over. Mix veggies to coat every piece with olive oil. Roast 30-45 minutes or until tender.
Spinach and Butternut squash
1 large bag of frozen spinach
1 butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes
Steam vegetables for about 20 minutes or until butternut squash is tender.
Prunes and Apples
1 lb apples (your favorite variety is fine, I used Gala)
1/2 lb of dried prunes
Steam apples and prunes together for about 20 minutes or until apples are tender and prunes start to plump.
1 bag dry black beans
Chicken stock or water
Soak beans overnight in water. After soak, rinse beans and sort to remove any bad beans or stones. Boil beans for 20-30 minutes or until very tender. Drain and rinse again.
With all above recipes, let cool, then in a blender or food processor blend veggies with enough liquid of choice (you can use formula, breast milk, or water when baby is younger and any flavor stock when baby is older) to make a puree. Depending on how old your child is you can make this as smooth or as chunky as you like. As I stated above when he was younger I would run these through a sieve for my son. This can make a lot so I divided the mix up between 2-3 ice cube trays and froze it. When ready to eat, pull out the portions you want and either heat up in a pan or in the microwave until warm.
Protein is super important for a baby and can be a little more difficult to get in. Here are a couple of ideas I use to help boost my little one’s protein intake.
- Mix full fat plain Greek yogurt with any fruit puree. My little man has been eating this since 6 months and he loves it.
- When making my dinner (i.e. chicken, beef, pork, etc.) I make an extra bit without any salt and give to my little one. In the beginning I blended the meat with a little water (or if I made a sauce I would make some without salt and use that) to make a puree. I sometimes blend the meat with a vegetable puree to get an easy one dish meal.
- Blend tofu with cooked vegetables to give him an extra bit of protein.
- Do not forget that legumes are a great choice as well. I know, giving beans to a baby sounds weird, but my little guy loves them.
Thanks for letting me share some of my baby culinary experiences with you. I hope that if you have a little one some of these ideas help you out. I know how hard it is to try to come up with ideas for a baby and how overwhelming it seems to make their food on your own. Don’t be scared! You can do it and try to have fun with it!