Thursday, February 11, 2010

DIY Baby Food: Part Two

Continuing from DIY Baby Food: Part One, I read somewhere on the internet an interesting theory behind commercial baby foods. Like any marketable item, companies obviously desire consumers to buy and continue to buy more of their product. Believe it or not, this even applies to baby food, and some might argue that the target demographic is indeed the pickiest of consumers. To help combat this, commercial baby foods intentionally produce bland tasting fruits and vegetables in order to help a baby like it. How so? Think of the various flavor nuances that abound in a piece of broccoli. Admittedly, it was only a few years ago that I would cheerfully enjoy the taste of broccoli. But nonetheless, most babies' palates would not take to broccoli immediately. The blander something is, the less chance of rejection. Baby enjoys it, mom buys more of it. More of it = more money for company. Now, all of this to say, I am not certain that execs at Gerber do actually think this way. (You can't believe everything on the internet, ya know)? But it makes sense to me anyway.

So in conjunction with that theory, I am enjoying the fact that my son is able to taste carrots, peas, green beans, even cauliflower as God intended them. And surprisingly he hasn't turned up his nose at any of them. He still gives me that doubtful face with the first spoonful, but he'll gobble it all down. It's pretty cool that his palate is learning the subtleties and complexities of flavor.

Okay, okay, enough of my babbling, on to the steps of making your own baby food.

DIY Baby Food at home:

  1. Buy it! Choose your preferred foods. Fresh or frozen works great. Never do the canned!
  2. Prepare it! Rinse, peel, and chop/slice if needed.
  3. Cook it! I use my pressure-cooker which gives precise times for cooking specific foods. Alternatively, you may use any other traditional form of cooking; steaming, roasting, stove-top, even microwave maybe?
  4. Blend it! Cooked food is dumped into the blender or food processor and pureed. If you are doing steps 3 & 4 back to back as I do, make sure you simply place a paper towel over the blender's lid hole to allow steam to escape. If not, you may end up with a kitchen messier than your infant's face.
  5. Freeze it! Pour into any pop-able container or trays to freeze overnight.
  6. Store it! Keep in labeled bags in your freezer.
  7. Thaw it! I simply place desired amount in the microwave to defrost, but you could also use your fridge and simply allow more time for the process.
  8. Eat it!

So, oh wait, 8 steps? 8 steps?! I can already hear you balking in your head. But really, the only hands-on time you're actually investing deals with buying it (which you'd be doing anyway), cooking, and blending. The rest is essentially storage time.

I hope this post will encourage you to simply try it. Don't forget that this food has love cooked in it too ;) Feel free to ask or suggest anything!

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