I used to volunteer at an orphanage in South Africa while I was living there. One day, one of the house moms asked me if I would make baby food. She gave me some simple instructions and away I went. Each week I volunteered, she kept asking me to make the baby food until I just became the “baby-food-making” volunteer.
I knew that every Monday I would spend part of the day making the babies their food for the week ahead. I would freeze quite a bit and then each week the house mom would check the stash and buy the fruits or veggies I would need to top it up. I’ve decided that when it comes time for my little one to start solids, I will keep this Monday baby-food-making routine.
Here’s how easy making homemade baby food really is:
- Wash, wash, wash — wash the fruit or veggies thoroughly.
- Peel — if you are using a fruit or vegetable that has a skin, peel it.
- Chop — chop your fruit or veggies in relatively small and similar sized pieces so they cook more evenly and mash better.
- Cover and Cook — place your chopped fruit or veggies into a saucepan and fill the pan with water. Make sure the water completely covers the food and then cover your pan. Cook on medium until tender. I always test the softness by sticking a fork through a few pieces and if it goes through easily, I know I’m done.
- Transfer to Blender or Processor — transfer the cooked fruit or veggies, in batches, to the blender. Gradually add a smidgen of water from your saucepan in order to make a smooth consistency.
- Portion Out — portion the food into storage containers and freeze any extra portions. Typically, if your freezer is set at 0º F you can freeze food for eight to twelve weeks.
For foods such as bananas and avocados, you can simply mash them in a bowl with a fork until they’re smooth and creamy, and serve them the same day.
You could easily spend just a few hours a month doing this and not have to make food every week. Because of the number of babies at the orphanage and the lack of storage space and containers, I made food once a week. I don’t have a ton of freezer space or containers now, so I will probably stick to making it once a week or every other week on a Monday, when the time comes.
There are also tons of baby food recipes online. I have a really neat and resourceful baby purees cookbook which has over 200 organic baby food recipes that I was given as a gift. When I want to get creative, I will use this. In the beginning, however, I’ll stick to the basics and introduce one food at a time.
By Holly M.