If there were a Top Chef for baby purees, I would definitely apply to be on the show. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most in terms of LJ’s development over the past 3 months has been the addition of solid foods to her diet. Not only have I really loved seeing her facial expressions as she tastes flavors for the first time, but it has challenged me to take my love for cooking in a whole new directions; purees!
My mother bought me my food processor when I moved into my first apartment in NYC. Being 24, single, and more interested in eating OUT than eating IN, I can count on one hand the number of times I really used it. One time was making matzo ball soup with my roommate, and another time involved tequila and limes so that doesn’t really count. Now it is a staple in my kitchen. The first things I pureed for LJ were green peas. She was only 4.5 months old, but she was intrigued. I don’t think she swallowed too much, but it was a start. I made her applesauce next. Huge hit. As were carrots and sweet potatoes, and soon we were doing green beans, beets, idaho potatoes, pears, mangos, peaches and our latest addition; cauliflower. There isn’t anything this kid won’t eat, and there isn’t anything that I won’t try to puree. We have enough stocked in our freezer now that we can start to do some really cool combos.
We freeze LJ’s purees in ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, we pop them out and put them in freezer bags labeled with the name and date. Then when it comes time to take her food out for the next day, we just pop 3 cubes into a plastic container, and let it thaw out in the fridge. I love doing flavor combos now. Tomorrow LJ is doing yogurt and banana for breakfast (do NOT try to freeze banana puree, fyi, just smash up a ripe banana at mealtime, LJ does about 1/4 banana at a time), peas, beets and potato for lunch, and carrots beets and potato for dinner.
I have done all her purees without an expensive baby food processor, just a big-person Cuisinart! I bought inexpensive ice cube trays at the grocery store, and plastic food storage containers as well. I generally do a few batches of food once I get going, so that I don’t have to make her food every week. Just be sure to label everything and you should be able to make enough to last 2-3 weeks before re-stocking.