As a first time parent, I wanted to make sure that I was providing all the right things for my daughter. When my pediatrician gave the ok to start introducing solids to her, I wasn’t 100% sure where to start and I just kept having questions: What could she have? What can’t she have? When can I introduce the vegetable or fruit or meat? What about spices? How do I make sure she developed a palate and appreciate the food we eat?
When I went to the store, I knew that my daughter would eat stage 1 and 2 right off the bat. When I looked at the prices and compared them to what I got (i.e., mushed up peas and carrots), I noticed one jar or pouch cost as much as a bag of the fresh veggies. I knew the basics on how to make pureed baby food, but I wanted to experiment beyond avocado, bananas, and simple steamed and mushed up veggies.
Beyond talking to my pediatrician, the book The Baby and Toddler Cookbook, helped me out a lot. It guided me with some flavor combos that would be good for baby and the budget. It also goes into detail on what foods can be introduced at a given age. I especially loved some of the different flavors, that as a very cautious new parent, was surprised to read about such as beets, coconut, lentils, risotto, and quinoa. It opened my eyes to more than just the typical single-flavor purees of apples, carrots, and broccoli that I was cooking.
The great thing is that this book also discusses nutritional needs for your baby, what foods are considered gassy or may be hard to digest, when and how to offer finger foods, and so many other things that as a new parent, helped answer so many of my questions (and put a lot of fears at ease).
Making your own baby food is a lot simpler that what one would normally think – purees are usually nothing more than bringing a pot to a boil, add whatever vegetable or fruit you want to soften in a steamer, cover and cook until tender. When you’re done steaming, blend in a food processor, bullet, or whatever you have on hand with some water to get the consistency you want. Start to finish is about 15 minutes. You can then freeze whatever you wont be using in the near future in ice cube trays so that none of it goes to waste.
If you’re a new parent or about to be one, this is a great book to help build your confidence in what you can feed your baby so that it doesn’t get boring for him or her. It was a constant source of reference until I became more comfortable giving my daughter something beyond milk.
Do you think you’ll try or do you make your child’s food? Why or why not?
I don’t know about other new parents, but I always tend to find that when you add the term “baby” in front of something, it jacks the price up by a good 30-40% – AT LEAST. When I felt my daughter was at an appropriate age to start having some teething biscuits (maybe around 8 months or so), I was shocked at how expensive they were! I was even more shocked at how much of a mess they made – on her face and minor stains on her clothing.
Then I found a basic recipe for making homemade teething biscuits at Wholesome Babyfood that was an easy way to use up our baby cereal (my daughter quickly graduated from eating baby cereal to purees and never looked back – leaving us stuck with a bunch of leftover cereal). The down side is that I haven’t found a way to make them pretty (hence the ugly in the title). It’s a good thing babies don’t care about “plating” so long as they like the taste and texture!
These also don’t take long to make and are a good way to use up some stuff that you may already have lying around the house.
As a side note, I made these using pomegranate juice only because I finally found it on sale at a price I was willing to pay to try it. The brand I bought (and it could be just pomegranate juice in general) made the juice seem over powering However, it gave me ideas of how it would be great to use in other things. I’m looking forward to reducing it down another day later in the week to a sauce that I may drizzle over steak, pork, or as a sweet accompaniment to a pie, cake/cupcake, or ice cream.
When my daughter tried these, she LOVED them even more than when I used apple juice. Hopefully your darling baby will like them too – both for taste and some teething relief.
Note: Always check with your pediatrician to make sure if giving your baby a new food is appropriate.
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 35-40 minutes
Makes: 12 Teething biscuits
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup baby cerial (I like oatmeal and rice)
- 1 cup pomigranate juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl until thuroughly mixed (yes the batter/dough should be that weird sticky feeling)
- Line a bake sheet with aluminum/tin foil (makes for easy cleanup since you can throw it away and not have to wash another dish) and spray it with a non-stick cooking spray such as Pam.
- Using two spoons, scoop out one spoonful of the batter and place it on the baking sheet. Use the second spoon to help get the batter of the first and flatten out the serving on the baking sheet.Continue doing this until all the batter is gone
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes
Note: I store these the the fridge and they keep for about 6-7 days.