Before having children, my husband and I always discussed how we would like to pass down healthy eating habits to our children, but after having our first child, this evolved into something more than either one of us ever imagined. I never thought I would be that “crunchy” mom, but somehow, I became that crunchy mom. Here is our story on how we got started on eating organic and homemade foods.
After months and months of screaming and crying in pain, at all hours of the day, our daughter, Molly, was diagnosed with a milk and soy protein intolerance. (Our youngest has also been diagnosed with this too.) When she was able to start eating real food our GI doctor gave us a list of all the different names for milk so that we could look for it in the ingredients when buying food. He also mentioned that companies are constantly changing the ingredients in their foods so we would need to check frequently to make sure the product did not contain milk. That sounded like a full-time job to me and not one that I was particularly interested in doing.
Long story short, I started making all of Molly’s food. I was skeptical at first, because I am not a fan of change, and I was also worried that I would be spending all of my time in the kitchen, instead of with my sweet baby. At first it took me longer because I was not sure what I was doing, but once I got the hang of it, I could quickly prepare everything. I would whip up some sweet potatoes for Charlotte, and it took me less than five minutes to peel, cut, and place them in the steamer. It’s quick, easy, and you know exactly what is going in your baby’s food.
I started out my baby food journey by doing research. The Best Homemade Baby Good on the Planet and Super Baby Food are my absolute favorite books. I referred to them all of the time with questions about feeding my child and great recipes that I could easily make. There are also a ton of recipes on Pinterest. You can also check out my Pinterest Board for baby and toddler food.
When we finally committed to making baby food from scratch, we purchased a BEABA Baby Cook Pro. What’s great about this product is that it is a one stop shop. You can steam the food and then puree it all in the same container. It makes for less dishes to be cleaned, which is worth every penny! If you choose not to do this option, you can easily steam your food in the oven or on the stove, and then use a food processor to puree the food. Either way, you will come out with the same result — homemade baby food!
Another thing I really like about making food from scratch is that you can introduce healthy finger foods very early on. Once our oldest started getting the hang of eating solids, we would chop the food into small pieces and steam it, but not puree it. With the Baby Cook you can fill the water to three different levels. When you start feeding your baby, you can fill the water to a three to make sure that the chopped food is soft enough for kids to eat safely. As they master the level three, you can go down to level two and then level one. This also encouraged Molly to feed herself! She quickly learned she could grab the chunks of food from her high chair and feed herself. It was not always pretty, BUT she was feeding herself and that was awesome!
I bought these food storage containers and used them to store all of her food. They are pretty durable and have lasted for quite some time. They have food container labels that you can purchase, but I have found that using masking tape is just as effective and much cheaper. I always write the name of the food and the date I made it. I found cooking in bulk to be the easiest way, and then I would distribute the food into these containers, label, and stick them in the freezer. Once Molly was eating a lot of food, I would dedicate one day of the week to prepare and cook her food. This made the rest of the week a breeze!
It can get a little bit difficult when traveling with a baby that eats only homemade foods, and that is why I love the Infantino Squeeze Station. This is great for when you are on the go and baby is going to need to eat because you can make your very own squeeze pouches! We did not use these for very long, as I tried to transition to finger foods fairly quickly, but it was great when we were at this stage.
It has been so much fun making food from scratch for my family. I honestly never thought those words would have come out of my mouth . . . EVER, but they did and I am proud that I can help instill some great, healthy eating habits in both of our girls, while also igniting a love for cooking in our oldest. She is a little chef in the making and always “helping” me.