Posts Tagged ‘ homemade baby food ’

Baby Mashed Potatoes & Peas

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Best for Babies+ Months Old

As a kid, my husband Chris was as ambivalent about his green veggies as Mason is. Green beans were a total deal breaker — still are today for the most part. Peas were a no-go until Chris’ grandfather taught him to hide the offending veggie on his fork under a pile of fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes. The combo was genius. From then on, the peas disappeared from Chris’ plate and I imagine dinnertime at the Shott household was a bit easier.

This past Saturday I tried a baby-friendly version on Mason (sorry, Mason, no butter or salt). I cooked and pureed a bag of organic frozen peas then diced and cooked organic Russet babies. A quick mix and the puree was ready. It tasted exactly as you might imagine — creamy, mild potatoes with the lightly sweet tang of peas. Not exactly gourmet but still tasty.


Mashed Potatoes & Peas

Ingredients:

1 10-ounce bag organic peas, frozen
2 organic Russet potatoes
Premixed formula

Directions:

1. Cook the peas until tender. Plunge in cold water for at least three minutes. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
2. Wash, peel, and dice the potatoes. Cook until tender. Rinse with cold water, then puree until smooth.
3. Combine potatoes and peas until well-mixed. Add formula as needed to get a smooth, creamy consistency.

Yield: 22 ounces for $4.54

So far I’ve gotten mixed reviews. Yesterday Mason gobbled the stuff up at lunch. Today he cried when I fed it to him. It’s hard to say whether our third attempt will be a hit or miss but the recipe is exciting for me either way. I got the opportunity to reinterpret a childhood favorite for Mason and it was fun to do. I imagined my husband getting that lesson from his grandfather as a little boy and I wondered what sort of things Mason’s grandfather will teach Mason when he gets older.

Have you come up with any recipes for your babe that are close to foods you liked as a child?

Add a Comment

The Trials of Green Veggies

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

Green.  It’s lush and beautiful, the color of spring. It symbolizes life, rebirth. Green is also the   color of Mason’s favorite tummy time toy, his favorite playmate (Scout), and his favorite “monster” (dinosaurs). You see, Mason loves green — except when I put it on his plate.

True, his first encounter with green food, avocado, was fun.  The superfruit made him giggle. It was squishy and fun to play with, daddy smeared it on Mason’s fingers and let Mason lick it off. But since that glorious first taste of avocado, Mason’s journey with green food has been rough.

After avocado we tried green beans. I went with organic-frozen since fresh can blend up grainy, and I was so excited to give Mason that first spoonful of goodness, delightfully rich in vitamin A and fiber. It was the perfect first veggie, or so I thought. Mason took a bite and looked bewildered. I gave him a second taste and he looked like he might throw up. I tried once more and he screamed. And screamed. And screamed. The next day I mixed the beans with sweet potato, one of his favorites. He ate a few bites but soon figured out my ruse. And that was that for the beans.

Not about to give up on green, I revisited avocado but mixed it with banana, a total debacle. Strike two.

We moved on to peas. Mason liked them OK enough, especially if I mixed them with squash or sweet potato, heavy on the yellow stuff. But I wanted him to eat spoonful after spoonful of the stuff straight — no yellow veggie foil required. I searched for inspiration and found a recipe for Minty Peas.  The blend was bright and fresh, ever so slightly sweeter than peas alone. Score! Mason finally ate his peas (almost) straight without a grimace, gag, or scream.

I’d like to make Mason’s next new food a green veggie. I’m determined for him to love his green veggies as much as we do. I’ve thought about mixing green beans with Greek yogurt and mint to sweeten the deal a bit. Or perhaps I’ll experiment with some asparagus (gross pee smell be damned). But perhaps you have an even better idea, and I’d love it hear it. How do you get your babe to eat (and enjoy) his/her green veggies?

Add a Comment

A Peachy Kind of Day

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Cooked peaches, in a bit of cooking liquid, ready to be pureed

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

Ah, Friday — the gateway to two whole days of freedom. Bliss. Before the babe, my weekend adventures would begin as soon as the workday ended. I’d go to a fun wine bar downtown with friends, to parties in artsy Brooklyn lofts, or to a neighborhood restaurant for a cozy dinner. Other times I’d travel. Occasionally I’d spend the better part of the weekend lounging on the couch watching Top Chef or Million Dollar Listing marathons. Now that the babe is here, weekends are chaotic, unpredictable but more special than ever before. They’re all about Mason, at least until he goes to bed and then we enjoy a few hours to ourselves. Tonight after Mason went to bed, I felt like playing with a some fruit.

Pears and peaches are two of my favorites, and I want Mason to love them too. He’s already a huge fan of pears, but he hasn’t tried peaches yet. It’s not the season for peaches but frozen organic peaches are still rich in vitamin C so I picked up a bag last time I was at the store. It’s not pear season either but the market still has decent-looking organic pears (albiet crisp pears), so I picked up a few after work.  I cooked the fruits separately, blended each one into a very smooth puree, and then mixed them together with a spoon. The fruit was so tender after cooking that I needed very little water to get the right applesauce-like consistency. Combined, the flavors were very mellow and balanced but sweet enough to add a little pizazz to baby oatmeal or plain yogurt. Here’s to hoping Mason is as pleased with the blend as I am!

Peach-Pear Puree

The recipe*:

Ingredients

Organic peach
Organic pear
Cooking liquid

Directions

1. Peel the peach, if fresh. Steam until tender, around 15 minutes.
2. Peel the pear. Steam until tender, around 15 minutes.
3. Puree together or separately, using cooking liquid to reach your desired texture (think smooth, like applesauce).

*I’m a working mama so I always prepare extras to freeze. The three pears and three peaches that I cooked with tonight yielded 16 ounces of fruit puree.

What other yummy peach combos does your baby love?

Add a Comment

1 Protein + 2 Veggies + 1 Fruit = 4 Meals

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

As a food editor I spend hours studying current food trends — which foods are the new superstars, how people are eating today vs. yesterday, and so on. Of course, not every trend is surprising. We all know that people are cutting back on what they spend these days so everyone is looking for creative, fun ways to cook inventive, delicious meals for less. Tonight I applied that same principle to what I was cooking for Mason. How could I take just a few organic ingredients and come up with several different yummy purees that were simple and nutritious?

For starters, I surveyed what we had on hand. The three organic sweet potatoes on the counter looked good. We had four organic Gala apples fresh from the, um, grocery store. Chicken was already thawed in the fridge so that was in. A solid, six-month-old-friendly protein. A hearty winter veggie. And a versatile fruit. I was set.

The first puree that I made was a no-brainer –  I’ve made it before, and it’s super easy:  Chicken and Sweet Potatoes.

Chicken-Sweet Potato-Apple Puree

Next I thought about the combination of food my hubby and I like to eat.  We like texture, contrasting flavors, fresh seasonal fruits and veggies. So I decided to add a little apple to the mix to create Chicken-Sweet Potato-Apple Puree. When combined, the apple added sweetness to the mix, while the sweet potato was smooth and mellow. And the chicken fit right in. Mason hasn’t tried this little number yet, but I assume he’ll like it. After all, he likes the three ingredients alone.
Sweet Potatoes and Apple Puree

From there I moved on to classic Sweet Potatoes and Apple. I wanted a blend that would be a  lovely balance of fruit and veggie. It would end my daily debate about whether Mason was getting an equal balance of the two, and there’s something so scrumptious about sweet potatoes topped with warmly spiced fall fruit. Mason’s variation wasn’t spiced, but it was equally good. I loved that it blended into a rich orange color– I used a bit more sweet potato than apple simply because that’s what I had on hand. Normally I’d do an equal balance of the two. I loved that the mixture was smooth and easy, with just a hint of sweetness. I loved that it was packed with beta carotene, vitamin C, and lots of other good stuff.

Chicken and Carrots

Three purees down but with some chicken left, I pulled out a couple of jars of carrot from the cupboard (remember, carrots have a high nitrate content so you shouldn’t make them on your own) and mixed up a Chicken and Carrot blend. Plain, straightforward,  nutritious. Mason won’t complain. He enjoys this combo, although it certainly doesn’t have the pizazz that the Chicken-Sweet Potato-Apple Puree does.

Not a bad night of cooking — and I ended up with 25 servings of baby food for about $12, including the carrots. How do you make the most of your kitchen staples when making your babe his/her food?

The recipes:

Chicken-Sweet Potato-Apple Puree

1/3 cup boiled, shredded chicken
1/2 cup cooked, diced apple
1/2 cup cooked, diced sweet potato
Water

1. Poach chicken for about 35 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Shred a cup’s worth, and set aside.
2. Steam 1-2 diced apples, depending on size, for about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside 1/2 cup.
3. Steam a sweet potato for about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside 1/2 cup.
4. Combine all three ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add cooking liquid or water until you reach your desired consistency. (Think smooth but without being watery.) Freeze extras for up to three months.

Sweet-Potato Apple Puree

1 sweet potato
1 apple

1. Dice apple, steam for about 15 minutes
2. Dice sweet potato, steam for about 15 minutes
3. Combine the two in a food processor or blender. Add cooking liquid or water. Blend until smooth. Freeze extras for up to three months.

Chicken and Carrots

2 chicken breasts
6 oz jarred baby carrots

1. Poach chicken for about 35 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Shred.
2. Combine chicken and 6 oz of carrots in a food processor or blender. Add cooking liquid or water and blend until your desired consistency. (Think pretty smooth without being watery.) Freeze extras for up to three months.

*Appropriate for 6 months and older

Add a Comment

Easy Pear-Banana Puree

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

I was running late this morning.  Mornings now come with a wrinkle or two, things happen that I can’t control. I’m a working mom of a six month old, after all. I finally got out the door only to discover it was pouring rain and my umbrella was broken. I raced to the subway station and reached the platform just as the train was leaving the station (after climbing four staircases to get there). Then my train stalled one stop before my office. At least I had my coffee — and miraculously I made it to the office just in time for the  early morning conference call I was hosting.

And it only got better from there.

Lunchtime came and my nanny texted me with stellar news: The Minty Peas were a success. Mason gobbled them up this afternoon, along with a healthy helping of Sweet Potato-Chicken Puree. Home run! Victory! Score one for Mom!

Now on to our next food adventure: Pear-Banana Puree.

And that takes us back to this morning, before it became clear my commute would be…harried. Mason and I got up at 6 and cuddled. I hugged my baby boy, kissed his cheeks, celebrated being home with him again. We played as I simultaneously got ready for work and whipped up 14 ounces of pear-banana puree.

This magical mix of fruit was simple to make.  The organic fruits were fresh and delicious. The pear was juicy and sweet. The banana was just ripe and luscious. Together this wholesome fruit made a slightly chunky golden puree that was subtly sweet and well balanced. It will be a delish way to add new flavors to Mason’s beloved morning oatmeal. I can hardly wait to see Mason’s reaction when he has his first taste — stay tuned!

Ingredients:

1 organic pear*
1 organic banana*

Directions:

1. Peel and slice pear into small chunks. Steam until soft (about 15 minutes). Reserve steaming liquid.
2. Puree pear with sliced banana. Add liquid to get desired consistency.

To add oatmeal, prepare baby oatmeal from a box. Stir in two ounces of the fruit mixture before serving.

*I’m a working mama so I always double or triple my recipes and freeze extras. This morning, I used two pears and two bananas to get 14 ounces.

Appropriate for 6  months and up

What are your favorite fruit combos for baby these days?

Add a Comment