3 Foolproof Ways to Make Baby Food
Simple techniques to make healthy baby food at home
Making baby food is simpler than it sounds. I head up a blog about cooking for kids and with three small fries of my own, you can believe I’ve made a lot of baby food. I’m gearing up to do it again when our fourth is born in May and these are my favorite ways to do it.
1. Roasted + Pureed
More than any other method, roasted is how my “bigger” kids eat the most veggies. (Bigger means 4 years, 3 years and 1 year–and they all love them some roasted vegetables.) No wonder babies like them too. Use any combination of fruits and vegetables and single vegetables work too.
How-To: Peel, cut into 1-2 inch chunks, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a dash of sea salt and roast on a baking sheet at 425 degrees until the edges are brown and the center crispy. For things like carrots, broccoli or cauliflower (all delicious when roasted) this will take 20-25 minutes and I like to flip once along the way.
Slide the whole tray into your food processor, add enough water to liquefy (more than you think, depending on how many veggies you’ve got, this could be 1-2 cups) and pulse until it’s smooth. For new eaters, consider adding whole grain powdered cereal to thicken as you like. For advanced eaters, try some cooked cous cous or brown rice.
Great Combos: Sweet Potato + Apple or Carrots + Cauliflower
2. Steamed in Broth
Another easy way to get the soft stuff prepared is putting a pot of vegetable or chicken broth (or stock) on to boil, then adding your veggies. This technique also works well with chicken and canned beans.
How-To: It’s more about proportion than a “recipe”. You want enough broth to cover your veggies (and protein if using) by about an inch. Then simply simmer until everything is cooked through and fork-tender. Usually about 15-20 minutes.
Great Combos: Pears + Chicken (try adding cooked quinoa afterward), Squash + Fresh Ginger (add a banana during the pureeing process).
3. In a Baby Food Maker
Sometimes nothing beats a 2 in 1 method, which is why I love my baby food maker.
How-To: Add raw food (fruit, veggies, proteins, any combination of the three…), pour in the water per your unit’s instructions and let the little miracle machine do its work. About 15 minutes later everything is soft, and you’ll simply turn the dial in another direction to blend both the cooking liquid (full of juicy vitamins) and the now-cooked veggies and proteins. Ta da!
Great Combos: Zucchini + Sweet Potato + Chicken Breast + Fresh Basil or Baby Spinach + Plums + Oatmeal
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