"Stage 1" Baby Food

As promised, here is my adventure in making "Stage 1" baby food for Nina. She started on a rice cereal about two weeks ago and is doing great. However, it's time to start on some more flavorful food... flavorful at least for her palate. :) I've decided to make (most of) Nina's baby food not only to save money and provide her healthy and preservative-free food, but more importantly because it tastes better. She deserves to eat "real" food just as much as an adult. :)

Here's my game plan. I'm a planner and overly organized, so I'm always thinking ahead. Keep in mind, these are guidelines only. The amounts of liquid and solid nutrition (and the timing to do so) are totally up to you and your baby, and me and my baby. I'm sure they'll be (lots of) changes as I go. Personally, I formula feed and have followed the feeding guidelines in The Baby Whisperer and Baby 411 - this is what has worked for us.

From my research (or so-called internet searches and basic knowledge and books), this is the deal...

Stage Age Range Type
1 4-6 months Single ingredient, pureed (blender) food (if your baby is ready)
2 7-8 months Single and combo ingredient, strained (food processor) food
3 9-12 months Integrate more texture and chunks
4 12+ months "Table Food"
This go around we're at Stage 1, so I made the following: peas, bananas, carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. I'll supplement with purchasing pears, apples and rice cereal.

Here are the supplies to be sure you have on hand.
** a good blender (tried a food mill, but didn't work as well)
** containers to freeze the food (you could use ice cube trays or containers of your choice, but I used these and then these when the others ran out)
** food from this grocery list...

  10 oz bag of frozen peas
  4 ripe bananas
  1 lb bag of carrots
  1 large butternut squash
  2 sweet potatoes

Here's what I did:

Peas - steamed them, pureed in blender along with water to desired consistency (resulted in about 12 1-oz. containers)

Bananas - since they were very ripe, pureed in blender along with a little water (resulted in about 12 1-oz. containers)

Carrots - chopped and steamed carrots, pureed in blender along with water (resulted in about 10 1-oz. containers)

Squash - cut in half and roasted in oven at 400 degrees for 70+ minutes, pureed in blender with a little water (resulted in about 24 1-oz. containers)

Sweet potatoes - roasted on same sheet pan as squash, pureed in blender with a little water (resulted in about 12 1-oz. containers)

Pears and Apples would work the same way, although I didn't make these fruits this time.

How easy is that? These little cups now reside in our freezer. Perfect to grab and go.

I know this post is a little lengthy, but maybe it will help someone out there. Next time, I'll post on Stage 2 foods. We're going gourmet - you just wait. :)


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