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How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food
I am not, nor have I ever been, an organic-y person. However, I have always been a penny pincher! So after months of nursing for free, it came time to introduce my little one to solid foods. All I could see behind my eyelids at night was dollar signs!
I went to the internet for answers! Baby food was anywhere from $0.60 to $1.50 per container!
Once my baby is eating three times a day, that’s 21 of these per week and close to 100 each month! Then about 8 months of this before she can really eat what we’re eating?! On top of diapers and other necessities plus snacks, that adds up QUICK!
There was no way I was going to be adding that to my grocery bill each week! So off I dove into the pool of Pinterest…and I started drinking the Kool Aid!
I began doing the math and it would cost chump change to buy fruits and vegetables, puree them and freeze them. We’re talking getting it down to $0.08 or $0.10 per meal! THESE are numbers I can live with!
“But it’s so much work!!”
It’s actually really not bad. No worse than making a meal for your family. On some foods you have to peel and chop. But then the steam cooks it for you and the processor/blender works for you.
If you are pressed for pennies, IT WILL BE WORTH IT!
I am 6 months into homemade food for my little one and BOY am I happy I did it! I have worked out the kinks and have 3 different methods to show you!
Frozen, fresh, and cooked purees.
That’s right, for 2 of these methods, there’s no cooking involved! Score!
I don’t want this post to be ridiculously long, so head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees
And head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruits
At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the link to get your print out of my favorite combinations & recipes. Tested by my little helper. This will help you when you don’t have any creative juices flowing at the end of the day.
A lot of blogs about making baby food will tell you to combine the ingredients before freezing. I don’t suggest this, at least at first. Get your baby through their introductions to check for allergies. See what they their favorites are. Then begin the fun of combining foods to make them meals.
When you freeze each food separately, you have endless options for combinations. You can throw cubes for three or four different foods together or keep it simple for one or two. This also comes in handy when your baby is addicted to the sweet fruits…you can sneak those veggies in there!
(Babies can reject foods up to ten times even though they may end up enjoying it. This is a big leap from milk/formula. Don’t get discouraged!)
Pro Tip: Take your time. Make one or two purees each night. You only have so many ice cube trays you can fill. The process goes slow at first. You’re supposed to give your baby a new food then have them eat it for 3 days. This is in case the baby has a bad reaction or food allergy; you know the culprit immediately and can avoid putting your little one through it again anytime soon.
Items you need:
Stages you need to know about:
Stage 1 – Supported Sitter – Your baby’s first solid food should be runny. If your purees are thick, you’ll want to thin them with milk, formula, or water.
Stage 2 – Sitter – Your baby’s second solid food should be a thicker consistency. If your purees are thing, you’ll want to thicken them with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.
Stage 3 – Crawler – Your baby’s last solid food before table foods should be thick and should have chunks in it baby can chew and mash on.
On your next trip to the grocery store, be sure to write down some frozen fruits and veggies onto your shopping list.
The list goes on and on!
- Let a bag of frozen food sit out on the counter for 15 minutes to let it thaw enough to be blended.
- Toss in food processor or blender and pulverize it! If it’s having trouble getting down to a creamy texture, add in some breast milk, formula, or water.
- You may need to stop to scrape down the chunks from the sides to make sure you get a nice even consistency.
- Scoop or pour your puree into your ice cube trays. You can also pour your mixture into a plastic bag, cut the corner, and fill into each cube like you’re icing a cake.
- Try to get out any bubbles by patting the trays on the counter or push a spoon into each cube to pop bubbles.
- Throw into the freezer.
- Once frozen solid, pop out and toss into freezer safe ziplock bag.
- Label what is in the bag and the date. These usually last 4-6 months.
The thing I love about the frozen foods is that they require no prep and the re-freeze quick! I was able to get through several bags of frozen food in one evening because they froze within an hour or two so I was able to wash my trays and start again!
These are larger quantities of fruit than you can get in the produce section and they are already prepared…and are a lot cheaper! I was not looking forward to coring strawberries, peeling mango, chopping pineapple, etc.!
Thawing & Cooking
When it comes time for baby to eat, pop out a few cubes into a microwave safe dish.
Nuke for 20 seconds, stir, 20 seconds, stir then 10 seconds & stir as needed until desired temperature is reached.
If you cook for longer periods of time, the small amount of food can heat very quickly and develop hot spots that can burn baby’s mouth. Short bursts & stirring is the trick!
You want to get between room temperature & warm. If you’re unsure, put a dab on your inner wrist to check.
Don’t get me wrong. I also love the convenience of the baby food sold in stores. I buy a few on occasion.
They are incredibly easy to throw in the diaper bag with a spoon and you don’t have to worry about their temperature or having them going bad. It’s awesome for trips or being out at a restaurant or somewhere with baby.
However, when I open those containers and smell them, I want to gag a little bit. When my little one is grumpy about the food, I don’t blame her and I struggle to pretend to take a bite of it.
If she is throwing a fit about what I have made her at home, I happily take a bite or two and it always smells fresh and delicious!
I highly recommend you try this out. It will save you money and definitely will give you peace of mind that you know exactly what your baby is eating.
Grab your FREE printable baby food recipe ideas here!