Monday, July 15, 2013

Become a Foodie and Your Baby Will Too!

Become a Foodie and Your Baby Will Too!

by Guest Blogger Melissa from the Momganic Blog

When I was pregnant with my first son, I started doing a lotof research on baby food.  I love tocook, so naturally I was interested in what I could feed my baby when the timecame.  We are also a huge fan of organiceating, so this was an important factor in my research.  I purchased some jarred baby food initially,just to have on hand.  I was surprised atthe cost for such a little jar, and then I opened the jar and immediately askedmyself, would I eat this?  The answer wasno.  So, if I wouldn’t consume it, whywould I expect my child to?  Now, I amnot bashing jarred baby food, they are convenient when on the go and I am surethey don’t taste all that bad to little ones. But, I have labeled myself a bit of a “foodie” and knew I needed to givemy son something more along the lines of what my husband and I wereeating.  It was at that time I decided tomake my own baby food.

So, where to start?? Well, I had received a baby cookbook as a shower gift so I startedflipping through the pages and ideas started flowing.  I have never been one to follow a recipe, soI chose to use the cookbook as a launch point to my own recipes and ideas.  I already owned a food processor so when myson was old enough, all I needed were the ingredients and some freezer storagecups and I was ready to begin.   

I started doing some basic fruits and veggies, introducingone at a time to ensure we didn’t have any allergies or sensitivities.  Once I knew we were good to go, I got creative– rice, chicken, veggies, potatoes, pasta, fresh herbs.  The possibilities are endless.  The only rules I really followed were:

1) Is it something we eat regularly?  I didn’t want to purchase specialgroceries. 

2) Add ingredients to help sophisticate my lil guys’palette, but don’t go overboard with spice.

With that, here are a few of my “recipes”.  I will start with ingredients list and showyou how to create multiple dishes from just a few items.

Grocery List
Brown Rice
Sweet Potato
Corn (on the cob if you can, if not frozen is fine)
Spinach (fresh or frozen)
Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast
Chicken Broth
Fresh Herbs (I chose more mild options, Italian flat leaf parsley, cilantro,basil etc.)

I am sure just by reading this simple list; you can see thepossibilities of things to prepare for your little one.  When you’re ready to begin, start by cookingthe above ingredients: poach the chicken in a bit of chicken broth, steam theveggies (each vegetable separate) in water or chicken broth and cook the brownrice according to package directions. Pull out your food processor (you can always mash and chop by hand ifyou don’t have one) and you’re ready to prepare.  Here are a few of my favorite combos (I triedto add in a non-starchy veggie in most dishes, in this case I incorporatedspinach). For all recipes, toss ingredients into food processer and chop.  I liked to do a more “rough” chop, so thefood still has some texture, but you can puree this as much as you like.

Green with EnvyVeggie Puree (6+ Months)
1/3 C. spinach
1/4 C. sweet potato
1 Tbsp basil Leaves
Splash of chicken broth

Orange Ya GladChicken Is So Yummy! (7+ Months)
1/3 C. sweet potato
1/3 C. carrots
2 Tbsp. spinach
1/4 C chicken (rough chop)
1 Tbsp. parsley
Splash of chicken broth

Corny Rice andChicken (7+ Months)
1/4 C. corn
1/4 C rice
1/4 C Chicken
1 Tbsp cilantro
Splash of Chicken Broth

Corn, Carrots andChicken Oh My! (7+ Months)
1/4 C. corn
1/3 C. carrots
1/4 C. chicken
Splash of chicken broth
1 Tbsp basil leaves

As you can see the above “recipes” are more of a method thananything.  Get creative with food foryour baby, toss in some apples or blueberries, try different herbs or switch upto turkey instead of chicken.  Ourchildren can be raised on tasty fun foods and won’t get stuck on only wantingmac-n-cheese if we introduce them early on to things that really have wonderfulflavors.  Enjoy!!

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