Homemade Baby Purees

Justin's at the age now where he's loving his purees and I love making them for him.  I'm not strict about it and he eats out of a jar just as often as he eats homemade baby food, but when I have the time, I really love getting out the blender and making it myself.  There's something that feels so good about it...  maybe it's the fact that I end up snacking as I'm cooking?? 

My two go-to books for inspiration when making baby food are Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel and Jessica Seinfeld's Decpetively Delicious, which I'm sure you've heard of: 

When my babies were brand-new, the level of exhaustion Dave & I were at made it a bit difficult to really feel inspired or get excited about cooking although, normally, it's one of our favorite things to do.  (WE LOVE EATING and a good meal at the end of the day is such a nice way to wind down.)  Once babies are ready for purees (mine were there around 5 or so months) things have gotten drastically easier.  I found I was excited about meals again and had so much fun chekcing out these 2 cookbooks.  I love how Jessica Seinfeld's has this adorable vintage feel:

She goes over a bunch of different vegetables and includes their steaming/ cooking times which is so helpful for someone like me who was new at it. The concept pf her book is all about "sneaking" vegetable purees into your kids's food.  I know people have given her flack  about the idea, saying we should teach our kids to eat veggies and yada yada, but regardless of whether you tell your kids the veggies are in there or not (and we do) it's a great concept to add more nutrition to almost anything.  It kind of becomes second nature once you really get into it and you find yourself wanting to add a puree to everything.  (We often do carrot puree in our burgers and it's such a yummy moist burger but you really don't taste the carrots.)  It's fun to follow along with the recipes and then get creative and make up your own.

Top 100 baby Purees is my other go-to.  I kid you not, these purees are seriously good.  When we do these, I'll typically make the same thing in an un-pureed version for Dave, Christian & myself because I already have all of the ingredients out. 

And kids love them!!  (Even Christian is always asking for Justin to "share" his food.) 

When I'm doing veggie purees, I like to do a bunch at once because I have all of the gear out.  If we're slammed for time, I'll even get the precut organic vegetables from the grocery store (I know it costs more but there have been times when a butternut squash sits and rots in my fridge because I never felt like cutting it up...  how bad is that??)  So wash all the veggies...

And then steam them:

{Ikea steamer/ pot}

I love this steamer from Ikea.  It's seriously one of the best purchases we've ever made (about 4 yrs ago.)  You can bake or cook the vegetables any way you like (think roasted red peppers- the kids love those- or baked butternut squash) but steaming retains the most nutrients and the fresher (is that a word? ;) your vegtables are when you get to them, the more nutrients they have. 

I don't have a food processor or one of those magic bullet things, but the blender works just fine.  Add in some of the leftover water from steaming because it's chock-full of nutrients & because you'll need water anyway to get it to the right consistency.  (You can even save it and use it for making broths if you have more leftover.)

We got a bunch of these "fresh baby" puree trays from Babies R Us when we had Christian.  They're amazing because they have lids.  I've used ice cube trays too in a pinch, but love the fact that I don't have to get into messy plastic wrap or any of that with these.   (And you know I'm not one for gadgets, so if I get them, trust me, they're worth it.) 

So we just fill up the little trays and label them for the freezer:

And you pop a couple of cubes into a little bowl and microwave until they're warm whenever you need them.  (transporting them is super-easy because they're frozen so they just unthaw for you.) 

And then let your little one go to town on them:

(I still haven't figured out how to make this process easy ;)

xoxo, Lauren


Emily said...

I loved making homemade baby food for my little guy. I didn't even use recipes, really--just rosted veggies (or whatever was the easiest way to cook them, but roasting usually made them so yummy) and pureed them. Graham's favorites were sweet potato, butternut squash, and pears (which can be pureed with no other effort). Keep up the good work!

pve design said...

Just finished another batch of applesauce this morning. How I wish I could pop over with a fresh jar for your babies! You would also love the site "smitten kitchen" - "smitten baby" -
In Europe, they sell purees in the freezer section, now maybe this is another business for your "Puree style home" - a licensee?

m @ random musings said...

heehee - at first I thought that flesh-colored spoon was part of the child!

What an adorable sweetie!

Janell @ House of Fifty said...

Oh, I remember these days...oh the mess they can make, but how adorable! Janell

Plantress said...

boy does this bring me back! I had one of those mini choppers and used ice cube trays with saran wrap. When they were frozen I'd just pop them out and use labeled freezer bags. When I found something he didn't like I'd mix in a little pear or nanna.

Love the pic. I think they should get messy and feed themselves. I used a plastic dropcloth under the highchair. Good times!

More Later!


Acquired Objects said...

I’m laughing…did Justin get any food in his tummy or did he just create a masterpiece? HOW CUTE! While I’m to old for babies that puree will come in handy in a few years when I’ve lost all my teeth! That reminds me I haven’t had breakfast yet and I’m hungry….Thank you for making me smile!

Debby said...

Such fun making your own baby food. The baby needs some work on getting in into their mouth, hah. Very cute.

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

The trays are a great idea!
Teresa (Splendid Sass)

Gretchen O. said...

makes me want another...there was something about making my own food for babies that was really satisfying. Why do meals now feel like drudgery (maybe it has to do with the fact that instead of cutely spitting it out and getting it all over, there are all sorts of disgusting noises and complaints...ewewww, yuck, I don't like that!!!, and me saying well that is just too bad!) Not nearly as cute! Oh and your photos are so great!


Karen said...

Hi Lauren,

I'm going to be a Grandma in November---I will be buying one of these books as a shower present for my daughter-in-law. What a great story, thanks.
Karen @ Garden, Home and Party

Susie @ Maddie G Designs said...

Oh, I like those storage trays...I used ice trays for Maddie and they would crack from use, etc. Will have to try these.

I have these two books and agree they are great....I'd also highly recommend the book "Super Baby Foods" by Ruth Yaron....she's a vegetarian so there are no meat recipes but there is an awesome appendix in the back of the book that goes through all fruits and veggies and lists various ways to cook and more important (for me at least) when is the appropriate month to introduce said food.

DecRenew Interiors said...

Now that my kids are older, I don't have to make any puree. However, I'm wondering if we'll need the recipe when we are older and have no teeth, ha. The sweet potato looks yummy. I've always loved baby fruit in a jar. Good snackin'


Laurie from Laurie Jones Home said...

Love this post and made me remember making baby food for my little girl and how much pride I took in it. I used to get teased by people but really I thought it was easy to do, I'm glad all the other girls who have posted agree!! I can't believe how big your baby is already!!

Angela@Quarter Acre Cottage said...

I love that your making your own baby food!!! That has got to be better for the little guy with out all the junk processed foods have, I'm sure it tastes better too...yum!

Debra Lea said...

Thanks for this post! I'll be needing all this advice soon :0) i love Jessica's book, I even use it to sneak more veggies into my husband, LOL -and am looking forward to using it on our kiddos. Gotta go check out the other book too!

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of adding purees to everyday foods! I like to add finely chopped apple to my turkey burgers...will definitely try the carrot.
And Justin is ridiculously cute!
Miss you lets get together soon!

LindsB said...

You really are like super mom- what is it that you can't do :)

PS- Justin and Christian keep getting cuter and cuter every time I see them!!

Melissa said...

Another great cookbook with recipes including pureed vegetables is the Sneaky Chef. I have two of her books and they are both great. My 2.5 yr old daughter refuses to eat vegetables, no matter how many times I serve them to her (she ate a baby carrot and a piece of lettuce last week!), so this is literally the only way she gets any veggies.

Julie~ My Bella Home said...

Wow, things have come along way in the baby food making business! It's so much simpler now! My baby is almost seven so it's been a while. ;) I love the cookbooks, how awesome is that!

Megan // Honey We're Home said...

Thank you for posting this- it's just in time for me as my son just turned 5 months (today!) and we've begun adding "solids" to his diet. I've been trying to research what he should be eating, when, how much, etc. and would love to start making some of his foods myself. I'm going to check out the books you recommended too- also I did hear (on Oprah) that Jessica Seinfield does put whole veggies on her kids plates to reinforce the importance of eating vegs to her kids- just for those critics out there.

Maria Killam said...

I love the way you matched the sunflowers to the puree--I notice these things you know :)

bazaarofserendipity said...

such a good mama!!!


Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

Love this fun post. I used to make my kids their own baby food. It is really easy to do too!

Your pix are great!


Marivic said...

It's so much fun and easy for the little ones. I love making homemade food for my little man too and I didn't even know BabyRUs sell little trays. How cute! Thanks for sharing! XOXO.

Anonymous said...

Soooo cute!!


Eddie & Jaithan

Animesh said...

soo cutee