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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Make Your Own Baby Food

Make Your Own Baby Food

Make Your Own Baby FoodMaking your own baby food is a simple and cost-effective way to introduce your infant to new foods, without resorting to the less flavorful (and more pricey) store-bought kinds. To make these foods, you’ll need a strong blender or food processor (or a great sense of patience to keep on blending until smooth!). The nutritional info listed below is for the entire quantity of food prepared—not the individual portions you’ll dish out, as that varies from baby to baby.

Of course, ask your pediatrician which foods are best for your child if you’re not already sure!

Ginger Carrots with Onion
This is a simple recipe with simple flavors that will go a long way! When putting hot vegetables in a blender, cover the top with a firmly-held dishtowel instead of its plastic cap so that the steam can escape.

Makes about 1 cup

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped in even chunks
½ of a yellow or white onion, chopped in even chunks
¼ tsp fresh grated ginger

If you have a vegetable steamer, use that to soften the three ingredients all at once, or put the chopped pieces inside a deep skillet with a lid that can fit over top. Pour in half a cup of water, turn the burner to high, and steam until the vegetables are soft when pricked with a fork, about 15-20 minutes. Add more water if necessary. When done, drain the excess water but set it aside. Add the vegetables to your food processor or blender, then blend until smooth and pureed. Add more cooking water a little at a time to get the consistency you prefer. Obviously, let cool before serving! Will keep up to a week in a sealed, airtight container.

Nutritional info for the whole dish: 110 calories, .6 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 779 mg potassium, 25.5 carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 2.7 g protein. 520% RDV Vitamin A, 18% RDV Vitamin B-6, 27% RDV Vitamin C.

Banana-Pear Delight
This sweet treat is great even for parents, especially after chilled in the fridge on a hot day. You could also use apples, but bake the (peeled) pieces in the oven first—about 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until soft.

Makes about ¾ of a cup

1 ripe pear
1 ripe banana
1 sprinkle of nutmeg

Peel the banana and pear, cutting into chunks, and add to the blender or food processor with a dash of nutmeg. Blend until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides if necessary. Stores in an airtight container for about 2 days.

Nutritional info for the whole dish: 209 calories, 1.4 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.2 mg sodium, 676 mg potassium, 53 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 14.7 g sugar, 1.8 g protein. 35.6% RDV Vitamin B-6, 29% RDV Vitamin C.

Zucchini and Tomato
These ingredients also make a delicious sauce you could use over pasta—so you can give some to your baby and keep some for yourself!

Makes about 1 and ½ cups

2 medium zucchini, skins on, cut into chunks
2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks, seeds removed as much as possible
2 leaves basil
1 tbsp olive oil

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, then sauté the zucchini and tomatoes, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10 minutes. When soft, add to the blender along with the basil leaves, then purée until smooth. If the mixture is too thick for your (or your baby’s) taste, add water a tablespoon at a time into the mixture, blending until it reaches the consistency you like. Will keep 3-4 days in a sealed, airtight container.

Nutritional info for the whole dish: 223 calories, 14.5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 32 mg sodium, 1,370 mg potassium, 24 g carbohydrates, 7.3 g fiber, 5.5 g sugar, 4.2 g protein. 104% RDV Vitamin A, 22.5% RDV Vitamin B-6, 66% RDV Vitamin C.

If you’ve heard your pediatrician say that you should feed your baby what you eat, you can also apply the blender principle to your own food. Having pasta and red sauce? A vegetable medley? Baked apples with oats and cinnamon? Blend it up and serve it!

Originally Posted by Vocalpoint 4/17/2012

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