Adventures in Baby Food Making

This weekend, I decided to go granola and try my hand at making baby food in huge batches to freeze and store. I’ve been making some of the girls’ fruit and veggie purees myself, but since I don’t own a blender after breaking it last year, it’s been inefficient time-wise to make everything myself. Every time I buy jars or pouches of baby food from the store, however, I start thinking about all that money adding up once the girls start eating more and all the money I could be saving be using to buy the girls cute Halloween and Christmas outfits by making my own. So, before my adventure began, I bought the Beaba Babycook Pro (sounds fancy, I know!), which will steam and puree your food with the same machine.

So pretty!

First up: sweet potatoes. I grumbled as I was peeling and chopping the sweet potatoes, wondering why I was going to all this trouble when I could just go to the store and buy a jar without having to do any annoying prep. Also annoying was the instruction booklet for the Babycook, which was all in French except for one page. I realized I really can’t read French as well as I used to and was aggravated that I couldn’t figure out how much water to put in the stupid machine. Once that part was over, however, the rest was really easy and (kind of) fun!

I placed the cut-up sweet potatoes in the steamer, put in some water (after finally decoding the measurements page) and pressed a button. The Babycook did the rest and let me know when they were done steaming, which took about fifteen minutes.

Then, I poured the puree into these ice cube trays and let them freeze overnight. The ice cube trays are great because they are divided into perfect portion sizes.

The only part that went wrong in this whole process was that while the sweet potatoes were steaming, I decided to get ahead and bake a few other sweet potatoes in the oven since the Babycook will only hold one or two. There must have been some kind of leftover food or liquid splattered on the bottom of my oven because I started noticing smoke coming out of the range. Like an idiot, I opened the oven door to see what was going on and out rushed billows of smoke.

I frantically turned on the vent and opened the patio and front door, but it was too late. The fire alarms started shrieking, Bandit ran in the garage and hid under the car, and, because it was eight o’clock and the girls were in bed, Jake was sprinting around upstairs, checking on the girls and trying to pull the batteries out of the fire alarms to no avail.

The alarms went off for a good ten minutes and, of course, all the neighbors came over to make sure we weren’t burning down the house. They were pretty confused when I told them the alarms had been going off while I was making baby food.  One kindly neighbor pointed out that the alarms were still going off because the downstairs alarm needed to be deactivated before the others would shut off. Good to know! The amazing part throughout our little debacle was that the girls NEVER woke up! They usually pop open their eyes and sit straight up if I so much as brush my teeth, turn on the bathroom light or pull out a tissue from the box, let alone a hear a blaring fire alarm. The girls continue to astound me!

In the morning, I popped out the cubes from the trays and threw them in a ziploc to be put back in the freezer for storage. I was hoping to make a month’s worth of sweet potatoes, and so far, I think they might just last that long or longer. I also made some peach and mango as well, but only ended up with about half a batch since I couldn’t stop tasting the peach and mango for myself!

This is what I will be remembering when I’m annoyed about peeling/chopping veggies for baby food in the future:

5 sweet potatoes= $4.50

Jar of baby food sweet potato= 75 cents x 30 for a month’s supply  = $22.50

Total savings = a cute outfit for the girls!

Yay!

While you can thaw the frozen purees in the fridge or microwave before a meal, I’ve been putting the sweet potato cubes in the girls’ mesh feeders and letting them feed themselves. They used to be pretty unimpressed with sweet potato when I fed them puree, but they absolutely LOVE the frozen version in their feeders. Now, I so much as pull out the bag of sweet potatoes from the freezer and they start going crazy, flapping their arms, and reaching for the bag. The girls feed themselves and I actually get to eat while they eat…a win-win!

Of course, homemade baby food or not, there is still a lot of mess involved.

Amelia takes a break from stuffing her face to admire the swaying palm trees. 

Do I have something on my face? 

Being entertained by Bandit’s antics during meal time. 

Samantha goes native. 

Using their food as finger paints to create masterpieces of artwork on their high chairs and faces. 

Lots of love,

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  1. Cute pics! Thats a great idea to given them the frozen food in the mesh feeders i will have to try that:)