At first, the idea of making food for River was incredibly intimidating.
Where do I start?
What would he like?
What if he hates it after we put that much work into it?
Do I have the time to follow through with it?
And then, we made his first batch and stocked our freezer with it and on his sixth month birthday we let him eat it. And he loved it. Of course, he made funny faces but he didn't spit any out and it was so fun watching him start down this new, exciting world of food. It's such a special thing for Colby and me to make meals together and it's so exciting getting to share that with River.
For his first food we just went with sweet potatoes, and ever since that seems to be his favorite. Although, now he's branching out into other flavors. I thought it was going to be really time consuming and difficult and I was confused about what he could and couldn't eat. I researched lots of baby food blogs to get recipe ideas, but when we started making food I just went with super basic meals. We baked sweet potatoes, and steamed carrots, peas, and greens. I have been using these and these for storage and they've both been great. The Sage Spoonfuls have been our favorite. They come with great labels that peel off easily without leaving a mark--which works out great to be able to send food with River to daycare. Also, they're much more affordable.
Usually, we just spend a few hours on the weekend making enough containers of food to last for a week or two. Every baby is different, but River usually eats one container of food at breakfast, one and a half at lunch, and two for dinner. And once we started it was really easy and we got in to a great rhythm.
Here are a few easy ideas to start out with... you can do more or less of anything because it's all just fruits and veggies.
Baked sweet potatoes - bake for an hour at 400 degrees. Sometimes I add quinoa to this. Puree until smooth in food processor.
Steamed carrots with greens (kale, spinach, chard, brussel sprouts, etc) - steam the carrots until very soft and then add the greens at the very end to steam. You can also do a few containers without the greens. Puree until smooth in food processor. I've been filling the food containers with a little quinoa at the bottom and then putting this on top.
Pears and blueberries - steam the pears with a tiny bit of water until soft and then add the blueberries towards the end. Puree until smooth in food processor.
Apples - steam the apples with a little water and then puree until smooth in food processor.
Baked butternut squash - bake until soft at 350 degrees. Puree or mash with a fork.
We also feed him a lot of fresh avocado mashed up. He's not so in to plain bananas...although that's another great option for an easy meal.
Here are a few more involved recipes that we've had fun making for him...some of them were inspired by the Sprouted Kitchen recipes that you can find here...
Blueberry Banana Oats
2 cups of water
3/4 cups of oats
1/2 banana, sliced
1/2 cup of blueberries
Bring the water to a boil over medium heat and then add the oats. Cook until they're soft (about 15ish minutes) and then add the bananas and blueberries. Mash in the pan with a potato masher and let cool before serving.
Lentils with Carrots
1 cup of red lentils, washed
2 cups of water
6-8 cups of steamed carrots
2 tbsp parsley
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1/8 tsp Salt
Add the lentils and the water to a pan and cook until soft - about 20 minutes. Combine the cooked lentils, steam carrots, parsley, salt, and coconut oil in the food processor and mix until smooth.
Colby and I even made a little extra for us to put over some rice and chicken.