Baby Foods | Blend it or Buy it

9:15 PM

I got so excited for Emerson to finally start trying food. There's something about watching her face and reaction to new flavors, letting her make a complete mess and the satisfaction that comes from feeling her eating the whole serving. I am not a baby food making pro by any means, but we do have a couple favorites recipes.  On the other side of things, I am a huge fan of an easy to carry pouch of baby food. Seriously, no spoon, jar, and rarely a bib required. 

I initially thought making baby food would be time consuming, but it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Often times I'll take something I already have easily available, such as avocado, sweet potatoes, bananas - items that don't have to be cooked, and blend them with something that I'm already cooking for the rest of us to eat, like sweet potatoes or zucchini.

Always peel, remove seeds & chop your selected ingredients into smaller pieces to make everything easier. Many items can be blended without cooking, but to soften something firm like carrots, apples, greens, just steam in a small saucepan or place in boiling water for 8-10 minutes before adding to the blender.

Our Top Four Blends: 
Avocado & Kiwi: I have left the seeds a few times, and also used a spoon to remove them. Emerson isn't the biggest fan of avocado, adding some fruit seemed to help. If you make a bigger batch and have leftovers, you can freeze them to slow the oxidation/browning process. The flavor doesnt't change, it just turns brown, so you can store it in the refridgerator a few days if you prefer.

Sweet Potato & Apple: Both our girls love sweet potatoes, and I tend to have some on hand since I bake 10-12 at a time. Peel, core, and chop the apple and simmer on the stove for 10 mins before pureeing makes it super easy. I also like to add cinnamon to this one.

Zucchini & Pear: Peel & seed the zucchini like you would a cucumber, slice it up and steam for 12-15 mins until its soft. Blend with a ripe pear and even some oats for a perfect breakfast blend.

Pumpkin & Banana: I've been making this one frequently since I seem to be using pumpkin in everything (it's fall ya'll), somehow I keep ending up with half an unused can after baking up pumpkin bread or this pumpkin pie creamer so I throw what is left in the blender with a banana then portion it out into trays in the freezer to keep the banana from browning too fast.

I also love the convenience of pre-made baby food. I keep these pouches everywhere; in the car, in my purse, diaper bag, etc. These are backup for Aria if I'm stranded without a snack and as Emi gets older and relies on more and more food, they make life so much easier. Sometimes I don't have pre-homemade baby food available, don't want to deal with a bib & spoon, or just don't have the time, and that's okay. I choose organic when I can, and stick with fruit & veggie blends. We love Plum Organics & Sprout, the quality is awesome (have you ever tasted them, they make an awesome preworkout too;) and they offer flavor combinations that other brand's don't. 

4 Pre-made Favorites: 

Plum, berry, brown rice & quinoa 
Blueberry banana oatmeal

Orange: peach, pumpkin, carrot & cinnamon
Purple: plum, eggplant, blueberry & sorghum

No matter your preference, homemade or pre-made the most important things is offering a variety of whole fruits, veggies and grains, and as they get older, including a source of protein, will set the stage for healthy choices as they get older as well as offer the best nutritional profile for happy, healthy kids. 

Below are some of our favorite items and a few new ones available that I can't wait to scope out. I've had my eye on those reusable pouches for a long time, I'm finally going to get them. 

The Baby bullet is a tried and true favorite for all of my homemade baby food blends.  I love the stackable glass storage cubes as well as the freezable mold. Munchkin as my heart with their suction bowls, I don't know how many messes those have prevented! 

I had a serious #momfail when Aria was first trying solids - I didn't want to give her cold baby food, so I microwaved it a few seconds, but apparently didn't stir it together enough and gave a spoonful of food that was too hot, I felt awful! (If you've been around her, you know she still has a hangup with food that is warm.) I since discovered Munchkin's safety spoons and use those every time. 

I'd love to hear from all you moms on this - What do you prefer? Making your own, pre-made or both?  I'd love to hear your favorite blends! 

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