Chef Laura

03/22/2010 at 9:26 am | Posted in Belly to Butterfly | 3 Comments
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(This is part of Belly to Butterfly, by my sis Laura.)

I like to cook almost as much as I like to eat. I’m Italian…enough said.

I’ve been having fun “cooking” for O. It’s super easy, affordable and pretty cool knowing exactly what’s going into her body. So far she’s eaten (at eight months old): apples, pears, avocado, papaya, mango, spinach, peas, corn, carrots, sweet potato, chicken, onion, banana, blueberries and butternut squash.

Steps are: buy produce/meat (I prefer organic and/or locally grown), cook until tender, blend smooth, and voila! Dinner is served. She now gets three semi-solid meals a day.

Trader Joe’s comes in really handy for the organic part and the NC Farmer’s Market helps with the local bit. TJ’s sells affordable organic mango chunks, papaya, wild blueberries and more in their frozen section. So no guessing when it comes to ripeness.

I bought a collection of glass, snap-on lidded containers from Costco and also use wide-mouthed 8-oz mason jars found at Target to store the food. Sometimes I’ll fill up muffin trays if I’ve made a big batch and once frozen dump them into a Ziploc bag. I also just discovered our Ace Hardware store has a great collection of jelly jars and other freezer-safe mason jars that would work great. I’ve got a Braun hand-held blender that I love!

What I’ve learned: juicy foods like blueberries are really messy; it helps to have a towel over the bowl while I blend to keep from spraying the kitchen. I also do my blending in the sink, as it’s deep, and will block a lot of the mess. To keep things simple, I do fruit for breakfast, veggie for lunch and meat for dinner. I heat up her meal to kill any bacteria, then cool it off and make it smoother by adding cold water. It’s good to have some prunes in your cupboard in case you need to help loosen things up down below, and sweet potatoes can make just about anything delicious in O’s mind (including spinach)! I’ll either make one recipe, blending various veggies or fruits, or I’ll make bulk batches of separate foods and blend as I go. Lastly, I take an hour over the weekend or when my mom’s here and pump out a bunch of food so I’m set for the week.

Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel has been an awesome resource. She walks you through the different stages of eating solids beginning with easy purees like apple and sweet potato. Annabel gives nutrition information to let you know what vitamins your baby will get with certain foods and great tips like boiling broccoli cuts its Vitamin C content in half. There are pages on no-cook purees like using banana with avocado, and the book includes tofu recipes if you’re wanting vegetarian options. Each recipe tells you portion-size, whether it’s freezer-safe, cooking time and appropriate age.

Happy cooking (and eating)!

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3 Comments »

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  1. She looks like one satisfied customer! Sis, you’ve totally inspired me to try making my own baby food the next time around. I’ve been admiring your handiwork from a distance, and it’s so nice to know your secrets! Thanks for this great tutorial!!

  2. Ooh, I’m so inspired now! I just had my second son so I’m looking forward to following these tips when the time is ready. Thanks for the book recommendation too!

  3. I’m inspired to make yams!


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