Saturday, January 16, 2016

Baby Food 101: Introduction

Nolan started eating baby food at approximately 5-1/2 months old. We knew he was ready because he would try to steal food off our plates, stare us down while we ate and tried to take any food or drink out of our hands. We took that as a huge sign of being ready to have baby food!

First we started rice cereal and basic purees such as apple, pear, green beans, peas, banana, etc. Nolan loved them all! Then we advanced to combination purees such as pineapple pear, mixed veggies, pumpkin apple, etc. Basically Nolan has tried and loved any combination of baby food out there. He is not a picky eater at all (Hallelujah!)

Then one day when Nolan was at the clinic getting a check up, the nurse said to me, "Your son likes his orange food, doesn't he? He is starting to turn orange on his nose." Of course as a new mom, I kinda panicked a little because who doesn't want their baby to have a perfect flawless complection? Apparently my little pumpkin (literally) was taking on a hint of orange from all the orange food he was eating. Babies have difficulty breaking down beta-carotene and if they consume too much, they turn a hint of orange in their nose and cheeks. The only way to reverse it is by avoiding orange foods for a while like carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, etc. 

Well guess what.....practically every jar of store bought baby food has some sort of orange food in it!  It is literally impossible to avoid! I swear it must be a cheap filler food. Initially Dusty and I were buying baby food because we thought it would easier and convienient. Then Nolan started eating 2-3 jars of food in one sitting and the convienence of baby food wasn't worth it when we were needing to buy 35+ jars of food a week! The amount of jars sitting around the house became annoying, the cost was getting ridiculous and the avoidance of orange food was impossible. It was time to make my our baby food for Nolan!

The first thing I did was buy the book, Real Baby Food: Easy, All-Natural Recipes For Your Baby & Toddler, by Jenna Helwig. This book is amazing! I can not recommend it enough! The book starts by telling you how much your baby needs to eat by age, then goes on to provide recipes based on age. I love that. There are charts to help you make interesting combinations as well as tons of recipes to get your started. 

Here are the supplies I use to make my own baby food:
-Food Processor
-Food Steamer
-Infantino Squeeze Station with Squeeze Pouches 
-OXO Tot Baby Food Freezer Tray with Protective Cover

I'm not going to lie, making baby food is a little time consuming. To make a week to 2 weeks worth of food, I set aside 2-3 hours one day a week to power through and stock up my freezer. Nolan sits in his high chair in the kitchen with me, holding a spatula or several measuring cups while snacking on some crackers and we make tons and tons of seriously nutritious and delicious food. I know, because I've tried them all! 

My kid eats really well! Sometimes better than me!

And it is so rewarding! After making baby food, I would never go back to buying store-bought food. I love that I know exactly what Nolan is eating and that there are no preservatives in any of his foods. The store-bought food labels don't have them listed, but why can they sit out at room temperature so long? Freaky! 

Good news....after a few weeks of eating my baby food and avoiding all things orange, Nolan's pumpkin complextion cleared up. Now he just eating orange foods sparingly :) I couldn't avoid orange food all together, he loves his squash, sweet potatoes and carrots too much!

Over the next few weeks, I'll write more posts with fun, tasty, nutritious and healthy baby food recipes that your baby will love! 

1 comment:

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