Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baby Food Making System

Recently, I did a post called "Why Homemade Baby Food?," and I thought I would follow that up with a quick summary of the steps involved in making your baby's food at home to show just how easy it is!  This post is just to illustrate the process for one vegetable.  Cooking times and methods vary for the different vegetables and fruits (before 8 months), and there are other things (whole grain porridge/cereal, for example) that are involved in a healthy, balanced diet.  Pretty much all of these details can be found in Ruth Yaron's book, Super Baby Food.  Another great (and FREE!) resource is

The other night, I photographed the steps in making kale into baby food.  Kale is a green (like collard greens) that is considered to be a super veggie, jam-packed with good stuff.  I buy it, pre-washed and pre-cut, in bags like this:
First, steam the bag of kale in a big pot for 5-7 minutes.  Steaming is the cooking method that retains the maximum amount of nutrients.
Next, puree in a blender or food processor, adding the water from the pot that you used to steam the kale.  We got the Ninja Master Prep at Walmart (they also sell it at Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond), and we LOVE, LOVE it.  Unlike many other blenders and food processors, we don't have to strain the puree afterwards.  The Ninja purees pretty much everything perfectly.  Also, it's easy to take apart and clean.  It comes with a pitcher size like in the following photo, and it also comes with a smaller blending container  with its own blades!
After pureeing, either spoon or pour the puree into ice cube trays.  One bag of kale makes about 2 ice cube trays.
Before putting the ice cube trays in the freezer, cover the tray(s) with either freezer aluminum foil or, my personal favorite, Glad Press-n-Seal.  The great thing about Glad Press-n-Seal is that the width of the wrap is the perfect width of the ice cube tray, so you only need a little bit!  Make sure to label the foil/plastic with the name of the vegetable/fruit and the date you made it.  You would be surprised at how hard it is to remember what is what when you have 5 trays of veggies in your freezer.

The food cubes need time to thoroughly freeze solid in the ice cube trays (4-5 hours).  Once they're frozen, take the trays out of the freezer and let them sit on the counter for a few minutes to make it a bit easier to pop the food cubes out of the trays.  While the trays are sitting there, get out 1 plastic freezer bag per tray and label each with the name of the fruit/veggie and the date you made them (which should be on the plastic wrap/freezer foil).  Pop the food cubes out the ice cube trays, and put them into their respective freezer bags.  I like the Hefty bags that have the sliding plastic tabs because they're super easy to open and close.

Put these labeled bags of food cubes into the freezer, and you're done!  When it comes time for meals,  you take out as many food cubes your baby will eat and thaw them in the microwave -or- you can think ahead and take out as many food cubes as you'll need for the next day to thaw overnight in the fridge.  You can use the food cube method for homemade baby cereals/porridges made from whole grains, yogurt, and all kinds of different foods.  The freezer is a wonderful thing!  In order to keep your freezer baggies from falling out onto the floor every time you open the freezer door (once your baby has a varied diet, you'll find you have A TON of different baggies to contend with), you can get some sort of shelf or drawer system.  I found a two-tiered wire basket drawer system at Walmart for $7, and it is worth every, single penny:

Hope this helps those of you with questions about the general system.  I know I've said it a million times on this blog, but Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron is ESSENTIAL...and not just for if you want to go all the way and make your own baby food.  It's great for figuring out what your baby/child needs for a healthy, balanced diet and different recipes, household ideas, ways to choose, prepare, store, and cook different fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, etc. etc. etc.  It's invaluable.
Posted by Picasa


  1. thanks for the tips! i need to be thinking about this soon!

  2. thanks katie! I'm so glad you posted this for me! :)