Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baybo Food 101

After stalling for a month I FINALLY did it! I jumped into baby-food making with both feet and I feel like I fared pretty well!

There is so much discussion about making your own baby food or going with store-bought. My philosophy on baby food is the same as for my own nutrition, I prefer fresh fruits over pre-cooked and canned. Fresh contains more nutrients and flavor, I mean we've all tasted canned peaches or green beans at some point in our life and while there's nothing wrong with the way they taste, the fresh version tastes so much more flavorful. I also think that baby food should be palatable. I don't know how many parents actually taste the jarred food they feed their babies, and if they don't taste it they should. How can I feed my precious something that makes me gag when I taste it? (jarred sweet potatoes, carrots, and any jarred meat... super yuck!) That's just how I see it.
I've also encountered a lot of dialogue from moms as far as whether they work or stay home and that being a factor on making their own baby food or not, which makes zero sense to me. This reasoning somehow implies that stay-at-home moms have tons of free time on their hands to sit around and make loads and loads of gourmet baby food...huh? Ummmm, the last time I checked, there's one thing for certain about staying at home with a baby/small child is a complete LACK of free time. SAHM's are lucky if they get a shower and their teeth brushed some days, so I just don't think it's fair logic that SAHM's some how have "time" that working mom's don't. I work full-time at a non-profit organization and we have a wonderful SAHN (stay at home Nanny, I just made that up :~) and I'm making my son's food because I want to. It's a choice and a priority. That's all.

So I've had this mental block to beginning my foray into baby food because I couldn't make up my mind on a baby food maker-machine. There are several on the market but I had my reservations with all of them and was stalling on a decision. I finally decided on a mini-Cuisinart food processor, and a steamer basket. I chose this route because I could steam larger quantities of veggies for AJ and I to have on hand for us to eat also.

So with my iPad and baby food books in hand I made a grocery list as we sat at our favorite cafe for Sunday morning coffee (I couldn't resist snapping a pic of our delicious espresso beverages, pictured right). We then went to the Sacramento Food Co-Op, which is much like a Whole Foods, just a little smaller-scale. They have an amazing selection of organic produce and the majority of their produce and meats are from local farmers which is another bonus. So I bought my menu selections and we headed home. While I shopped, AJ took Bowman around in the stroller and Bowman loved reaching out and touching anything/everything he could get his little (not so little actually) paws on.
When we got home I started my Baybo-food project. I was so focused I kept forgetting to take pictures, but I did my best and got a few shots of the process.

Here are the tools I started with:
  • Cute turquoise Cuisinart food processor mini-sized (my big one is to heavy and clunky)
  • Steamer basket
  • Produce wash
  • Baby food books
  • iPad to reference
And these cute little single serving freezer pots made by Vital Baby
Here's what was on the menu:
  • Carrots
  • Rutabaga
  • Broccoli
  • Apples (Red Delicious)
  • Sweet Potato
  • Red Crescent Fingerling Potato
  • Bosc Pears
  • Parsnip
  • Leek
  • Whole Grains: Oat Groats, Hulled Barley, Short-grain Sweet Brown Rice
  • Butternut Squash chunks
  • Sweet Peas (because I draw the line at shelling peas:)
Peel, chop, steam, saute, puree, strain, repeat! I was like the mad scientist in the kitchen...
... and VOILA we have Baybo food!
  • Apple&Pear
  • Butternut Squash&Leek
  • Carrot/Apple/Parsnip
  • Sweet Pea
  • Sweet Potato&Broccoli (not pictured)
  • Whole Grain Cereal (not pictured) a blend of all 3 grains, cooked and strained
Overall it was a good first-run despite the kitchen looking like a fruit and veggie war-zone by the time I was finished. I figured out some ways to streamline thigns and make the process easier, because such a messy ordeal isn't sustainable over the long term.
At first Bowman only liked the apple/pear puree and LOVED the grain cereal, but now he likes the peas and the carrot/apple too! He's warming up to the butternut squash/leek and sweet potato/broccoli but we're not quite there yet...



  1. Wow friend I am very impressed! You have become quite the cook!! I like your little mixer, I have it in pink:-)

  2. aw man, i wrote such a long comment and somehow deleted it on accident! :(

    anyway, thank you SO much for this post, we'll be starting solids soon and are planning to make levi's food! we even have the same food processor (but it boring white - wahh)! keep some updates on how it's going, i'd love to read up on any tips i can learn from you.

    p.s. i think i'm blind...i can't seem to find your "follow" button! :(

  3. Nice! We're jumping into baby food production tomorrow. After seeing your post, I can't wait!