February 11, 2011

Making Your Own Baby Food - Sweet Potatoes

February 11, 2011
Before it was time for Colton to start solids I did tons of research on baby food and infants.  More than ever I found it important to know as much as possible about nutrition and especially nutrition in children.  You form good (or bad) eating habits at a young age that will stick with them for life, so I wanted to do whatever possible to lay a foundation for a healthy child and adult.  Granted, I still made plenty of mistakes and I am still working through those, but now the second time around with Claire I am able to tweak some of the things I did (or did not do) with Colton.  Each of my babies first foods were bananas and avocados.  Both are easy to feed to infants because you can mash them with a fork - they are also both super nutritious which has laid the foundation for healthy diets.  I made some of Colton's baby food, but not much of it - this time around I am making almost all of Claire's food.  Making your own baby food may initially sound a little hard, but honestly it is super easy and you (or at least I do) will feel so great when you feed your infant something you "made" rather than something from a package from the grocery store.  Disclaimer: I do still use store bought baby food at times simply for the convenience when were away from home.

According to nurtitionist and the Center for Science in Public Interest (CSPI), the single most importnat dietary change for most people, including childre, would be to replace fatty foods with foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes.   Sweet potatoes are low in sodium, and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.  It is also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium.  We eat a ton of sweet potatoes in our house so this has naturally been one of the things I feed Claire most often.

Making sweet potato baby food:
I start with cleaning and baking several sweet potatoes.  I usually do about 6 at a time.
After baking I let the sweet potatoes cool and then the skin will come off the sweet potato easily.
I then put the sweet potato in my Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor(I have found this much easier to use and clean up than the traditional larger food processor).  I use do about 1 large sweet potato at a time adding a tablespoon or two of water just to get the sweet potato to blend up well.  

Next, I dip the potato out into ice cube trays.
Put your trays in the freezer and they should be frozen in about an hour.  After they are frozen put them in some freezer bags or rubber maid containers and back in the freezer.  I usually label my bags with the date just so I can keep track of how long they have been in the freezer.

When it is time to eat I take out a cube or two or three put them in a microwave safe bowl and nuke them for about 30 seconds.  If you prefer not to use the microwave you can also put them in a bowl and in another bowl with hot water (sort of like a double boiler).

You will feel great feeding your little one something you "made".

You can do almost any food and you will be able to do fruits that usually are not available in the baby food isle such as mango!  Yummy!!

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