Monday, September 7, 2009

Carrots: Making your own babyfood

This weekend I made lots and lots of babyfood. No we haven't started on food. We are waiting for the recommended 6 months so far. Were still strictly on breastmilk. Since I do daycare I have been making food for the babies in my daycare. Since frozen veggies and fruit are good for 3 months when frozen some of these foods will be able to be eaten by Landon in 2 months. I haven't quite decided for sure but I am thinking avocado will be his 1st food. Since it is the only food that a human can survive on. It contains all of the healthy fat baby needs.

Carrots can also be used as babies 1st foods. They are easy to digest and are packed full of nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Calcium. It is sometimes recommended to wait until baby is between 7-8 months because of nitrates in the carrots. Carrots are high in beta carotene which is great but you will want to wash anything that the food was prepared in because it will stain plastic just like sweet potatoes.

Ok so here is a step by step way to prepare carrots for your baby.

Try to purchase organic carrots when possible since they are on the dirty dozen list. If you cant find organic then scrub them and peel them before preparing. When choosing carrots look for carrots that do not have growth at the top or small hairs growing on them which can be a sign that they have been sitting for a long time.

CARROTS: (half cup steamed)

Vitamin A - 19,152 IU
Vitamin C - 1.8 mg
Niacin - .4 mg
Folate - 11 mcg
Pantothenic Acid - .2 mg
Vitamin B6 - .2 mg

Potassium - 177 mg
Sodium - 51.5 mg
Calcium - 24 mg
Phosphorus - 23.4 mg
Magnesium - 10 mg
Iron - .48 mg

Step 1: Steaming is the best way to hold onto nutrients and make the beta carotene easily accessible. So lets get started. Insert a steamer basket into a pot, fill with just enough water to reach the bottom of the steamer basket. Put in your prepared carrots (scrub, peel and chop into small enough pieces to fit in your food processor) Turn up the heat and steam them till tender.

Step 2: Fill your food processor with steamed carrots. You don't need any special kind like the Beba Babycook. (I used to want one really bad but found out the steamer basket is not BPA free, plus the basket is not big like a regular food processor and very pricey) I purchased this one at William and Sonoma. Its the Cuisine Art 4 cup mini Prep Its $59.95 for stainless steal, or $39.95 for the white. Shop around it may be cheaper.

Step 3: Puree until you reach desired consistency. I made mine a really smooth puree but you could leave yours lumpy for an older eater. If your having trouble with consistency and need to add something to make it runnier then you add water or breastmilk. Don't add the water from the pan as it could contain high level of nitrates in the water. I also don't recommend adding formula as it is not recommended for freezing. If you have a formula fed baby then you could freeze as is and add the formula later when preparing to eat. If your baby has tried other foods you could add something like apples to loosen the puree.

Step 4: Spoon into ice cube trays or specially designed dishes for that are freezable. (I had planned on saving mine in clean baby food jars but found out they are not made for freezing and could potentially if frozen leave small glass shards in the food, Yuck I don't want that. So I threw out (recycled) about 60 Jars I had been saving) I use Green Sprouts Eco-friendly Silicone Freezer Tray, Green Silicone is very nice but takes a little longer to freeze and not stackable, each cube is about 1 and a 1/4 oz when filled to the top.I also freeze in Oxo Good Grips Ice Cube Tray The covered ice cube tray keeps smells out and is stackable, each cube is exactly 1 oz when filled to the top. I bought mine on Amazon which has a dozen choices of ice cube trays, and storage containers. You dont need anything fancy just something that freezes in 1 oz portions.
Step 5: Once filled, transfer to the freezer. Freezing time will vary depending on what type of tray used and your freezers temperature.

The silicone above and the ice cube tray below. I use the side of a spoon to smooth the top.

Step 6: To get the most use of freezer space, I transfer to freezer safe Quart or Gallon sized bags. Label with contents and put the expiration date 3 months from todays date.

Step 7: Put the bag in your freezer until ready to use. Baby will need 1-3 cubes depending on age and how long they have been eating solids. Before trying new foods wait at least 3 days before trying a new food, most recommend waiting at least 5 days especially if your baby is prone to allergies or diaper rashes.
Carrots go well with the following
Apples 6+ months
Peaches 6+ months
Green Beans 6+ months
Dried Beans 8+ months
White Potato 8+ months
Sweet Potato 6+ months
Peas 6+ months
Summer Squash 6+ months
Winter Squash 6+ months
Brown Rice 6+ months
Lentils 8+ months
Chicken 8+ months
Beef 8+ months
Pork 8+ months
Tofu 8+ months

I will adding spices when Landon gets older and his taste buds are more developed and will update as we try them out.

I love cooking healthy and want to share babyfood recipes as well as Toddler/Preschool friendly foods that I use in my daycare. Making your own babyfood you know there is no added ingredients and it saves a lot of money of store bought jarred food which is quite pricey. I would love to share my secrets on how to travel with homemade babyfood. I plan to make my own Homemade grains next weekend such as Rice, Barley, Oatmeal and tell you how to do it and show how to properly store these. Is this something you guys would be interested in?

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  1. Great job on the homemade babyfood, Landon is getting so big!!
    Thanks again for always checking on Eva, Her casts will be on for about 2 more weeks and then we start P.T. back up. She will also have a sling she has to wear when she sleeps.
    Hope you all had a great weekend.
    Crystal and Eva

  2. Yes! Please post as you make more foods! I'm currently expecting my 1st baby in December and plan to make his baby food when needed. These tips are great. How do you know what the expiration date should be for each food?

  3. I made much of the baby food for my kids too - especially the 2 older ones as I am an organic gardener and there wasn't much organic foods in the stores when the first 2 were little.
    I grew my own carrots, as well as dozens of other veggies, + fruits and herbs... too.

    As they got older, they learned to help in the garden and had a little patch of their own to tend to.
    This is how I got my kids to eat spinach... - by having them grow it - they WANTED to try it.

    It is such a good feeling knowing that my kids ate healthy foods and not a bunch of refined sugars, colors, and salt...

    You are doing a great job for your little one !

    I am following your blog with mine.

    Also, do you Twitter ?
    I am Relax_Naturally on there.

    Organically Yours,

  4. Thanks for following my blog! Your little guy is so cute! I love this post BTW-- I plan on making my own babyfood too. We are going to start in about 2-2.5 weeks.


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