Co-authored by Heidi Hayes & Sadie Prise
Whether you are a first-time mom or you are on baby number three, it can be an overwhelming time. Especially when deciding on what to feed your little human or humans when they are ready to chomp something other than that liquid milky gold. Let’s be honest, it’s completely new territory, even if you’ve done this before. All babies are different and changes are happening daily in every type of community. Pluto was a planet and now it’s not, eggs were good, then bad and now good again. Babies should now sleep on their backs not their tummy.. The point is, it’s hard to keep up with it all! With all this back and forth and contradictory information, we don’t even know how to eat right ourselves so how the heck are we supposed to feed and teach our perfect little squishy fresh baby?!
The newest study to recently surface from the CLEAN LABEL PROJECT, a nonprofit group focused on the health and transparency in consumer products, tested hundreds of baby food products and found that most of the products weren’t as safe or as “clean” as we thought.
In the study 65% of the food tested positive for arsenic, 36% of the items it examined tested positive for lead, 58% tested positive for cadmium, and 10% tested positive for acrylamides, a potentially toxic chemical. Even more alarming, almost 80% of infant formulas, the very essence for growth during a baby’s first year, if you choose to use formula, also tested positive for arsenic.
The sad truth is that these were not some generic off brands either. Many of these are big-name companies we are familiar with which is exactly what inspired us to write this blog post. We want to help you to make and create REAL food for your tiny humans.
Not only will you know exactly what’s in your baby’s superfoods but you’ll also save some dollar bills in the process. Huge potential for savings here…. Most jars of baby food cost between 40 cents and $2.50, and is usually gobbled up pretty quickly. One large bag of organic carrots costs between $4-$6 and can make upwards of 40 to 50 meals! Yes, you heard right – up to 50 meals. If you are feeling like super mom or super dad then you could even consider growing a garden and harvesting your own fruits and veggies. But we will slow down and take things one step at a time.
A FEW HELPFUL TIPS:
- First off, DO YOU! YOU ARE THE PARENT. YOU GET TO MAKE THE DECISIONS. You took care of your little offspring for nine months in the womb, or supported your wife during the ups and downs of pregnancy. Take the advice your mother in law, or great aunt Priscilla and whatever else the world is throwing at you with a grain of salt and decide what you believe is right after the proper research and some good ole’ fashion knowledge of your beloved pediatrician.
- Don’t freak out if you baby doesn’t like the new yum yums you whip up. It’s new and they’re new and they don’t know what they like yet. They’ve been in a milk coma for several months now… give it time and try new things. Think of it as an exploration journey for their little taste buds.
- Don’t buy a fancy new food processor or blender unless the old one you have isn’t even suited to blend up the occasional margarita because nobody’s got time for that. Especially new, busy parents!
- If you can, try and buy organic fruits and vegetables. Yes, they cost a little extra but you know your fruits and veggies are not being sprayed with crazy amounts of chemicals. Consider it investing in your family. If you are already an advocate for a natural and organic lifestyle then check out our latest post on natural ways to increase your breast milk supply!
- Buying in bulk not only helps save time and money but you can make more baby goodness at once and then take the day to spend a few hours cooking, blending and freezing EVERYTHING. By doing this you can usually create a couple months of food purees all in one day.
- When starting your little gal or guy on real solids start with one fruit or vegetable at a time and feed them that one for a few days. If your baby has a food allergy you will quickly be able to determine what it is instead of playing the elimination game. Once your baby has gotten used to different foods, it’s then time to start mixing the cubes. Options can be endless because babies are still deciding on what they like so have fun with the flavors!
- Depending on what type of purees you are making, some may be thicker or thinner than others. Just add a little oatmeal/ rice cereal to thicken it up or a dash of water to thin it out.
- Always wash your fruit and veggies, even if they’re organic, prior to preparing them and follow the correct cooking methods of each. Usually steaming veggies and simmering fruits is a good rule of thumb.
To make baby food cubes of magic you will only need a few simple things which you probably already have at home – yay!
Ice Cube trays, BPA free plastic bags or if you’re against plastic use glass containers, and your trusty blender.
GOT THOSE? GREAT!….. NOW IT’S TIME TO GET STARTED:
BATH TIME – All those gorgeous fruits and veggies you just bought might not look dirty but they are in need of a thorough rinsing. Not only will you be washing off any chemicals but think of all the hands that have probably touched them before it made it into your shopping cart. Even if you have bought organic, still give the produce a good scrub. You can pick up a fruit and veggie wash at your local grocery store or you can make your own wash by filling your sink with water and mixing in a cup of vinegar. Then let the produce soak for 5-10 minutes. Go give your little one a quick snuggle while you’re waiting! Take note of the color of the water after you’ve taken out and dried your fruit and veg…. it won’t be clear.
LET’S PREP THAT PRODUCE
Apples & Pears- Core both these and cut into cubes keeping the skin on (that’s where all the nutrients is hiding, take it to the stovetop and simmer on low until tender.
(around 20 minutes)
Squash – Roll up your sleeves because these can be hard to cut. If you want to poke it several times with a fork you can nuke it for 5-10 minutes in the microwave. Cut it in half, scrape out the seeds, bake at 400 degrees until fork tender
(around 30-50 minutes depending on your oven and the size of your squash)
Sweet Potato – Bake at 400 until fork tender OR wrap it in paper towels, score and cook on high in your microwave for 6-8 minutes. If making multiple potatoes, opt for the oven and throw these in at the same time as the squash.
(around 30 minutes in oven 6-8 minutes in microwave)
Carrots – Peel, cut into quarters, boil until fork tender
Green Peas (frozen)- Heat in microwave according to package
Many types of fruit and veggies can be used but these are pretty baby friendly, nutritious and simple!
PULL OUT YOUR BLENDER – it’s Margarita time! Not really, it’s baby food making time but feel free enjoy a well-deserved Mommy/Daddy beverage after all your hard work.
The softer your cooked produce is the easier it is to blend it up to the most perfect puree. Be careful because cooked anything is HOT. Let your goods cool for a few minutes so you a) don’t teach your babies any “new words” or b) don’t have to explain to your friends/ family/ the trainer at your gym about how your steamed your eyebrows off. ????
TIME TO CHILL
Once you have blended the fruits/vegetables, evenly distribute the puree into an ice cube tray. Let freeze for at least 3-4 hours. The silicon trays are so much easier to pop them out of. Much like the Wawita shatter resistant glass baby bottles, these silicone trays are essentially indestructible! You don’t need plastic shards flying all over your kitchen when you are taking them out of the freezer.
Once frozen, transfer those nutrient-rich cubes into sealable baggies or freezer containers. If using food saver bags, these goodies can last for quite a while. If using freezer sealable baggies you may want to double the bag up to make sure they stay as fresh as possible.
When the little ones become HANGRY (hungry+angry) it’s not a good combination! Have no fear, because you are now prepared! Pull some of these cubes out and warm them up; usually a 30 second microwave zap is all it takes! Test out the temp to make sure it’s perfect for some baby consumption and get ready to make those airplane noises! It is so important to make sure the temperature is right for baby. That’s why the Wawita glass bottles have an amazing temperature, color changing feature. The bottle will change color to warn when the contents is too hot. Of course, as a parent, you will always test out the bottle contents temperature but another visual reminder is always appreciated! So once the temperature has been checked, your little one is ready to eat! They grow up so fast, don’t they? If you are still in the early stages of exclusively nursing your baby, check out our post on how to properly introduce a bottle to your breastfed baby. You can enjoy that bonding with baby by continuing to nurse AND let daddy bond with bottle feeding.
Repeat until pureed baby food is a time of the past and your little is onto finger foods! Or keep doing it! These are great in smoothies for mommy and daddy as well! ENJOY!
Please use this as a guide for feeding your little one. Be sure to always consult with your doctor or pediatrician to ask when you can introduce new foods to baby.
If you would like to know more about this topic or have any questions, please comment or reach out to us through our Contact page or social media platforms. Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to us if you would like to receive updates on new blog posts, new product and special discounts!