spicesWe added spinach this week and various spices. Spices make food preparation fun and I can see the boys getting closer to eating the foods we do. I have added cinnamon to cereal and apples for a while now, but just this week included nutmeg and garlic powder.
I made a batch of bulk foods this week. The only new food was spinach, but I also made carrots and white potatoes. I made all of my food one night after the boys went to bed and was able to complete about 2 weeks worth of food in only a few hours.
- Carrots I bought these already peeled in a bag. Then, rinsed and cut into small pieces. I had quite a few this time, so I used my large stock pot with steamer insert to steam them for about 20-30 minutes. I cooked them a little longer than usual (avoid overcooking vegetables to retain as many vitamins and minerals as possible) because I wanted to save a few small pieces to try for finger foods. Once fully cooked, I added fresh water (don’t use the cooked water from carrots to avoid nitrites) and pureed in the blender with a few dashes of nutmeg. I froze these in a few 4oz. and 8oz. bowls which I then placed inside freezer bags.
- White Potatoes I bought a bag of organic russet potatoes. Preparation only involved rinsing and cubing all potatoes. Then, I boiled them (as you would to make mashed potatoes). Instead of using the blender (this tends to make potatoes rubbery, but I did do this earlier on to get a smoother consistency), I mashed them by hand with whole milk and froze in bowls.
- Spinach I bought frozen organic chopped spinach in a bag. Since there was only a small amount, I used my Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker. I mentioned this in my post about getting started and my suggested tools. We do not own a food processor, so I felt I needed this additional tool before I started making babyfood. I compared and debated on buying a small food processor or this baby food maker and ultimately decide on the Beaba. I’m not much of a kitchen gadget person and had a hard time making this decision. I have an old blender from my mom’s work lost-and-found bin, an old hand mixer from college and don’t have a stand mixer or food processor. If you do have a food processor, then I wouldn’t suggest buying any other tools. But, if you don’t, then I think the Beaba Babycook is a great buy! My only negative is that it doesn’t make much food at a time. But, it is super easy to operate and a cinch to clean, which is a plus! Since there was no preparation necessary, I just put the spinach in the basket with the appropriate amount of water in the reservoir, turned on the machine and let it cook. Once it finished cooking, I transferred the cooked spinach from the basket to the cup and pureed it quickly. I then added some garlic powder and mixed together with a spoon. I stored in a bowl in the refrigerator for immediate use.
WHAT I LEARNED
There are a few things to note with this week’s preparation.
- I am starting to freeze more in individual containers because of the quantity of food the boys are eating now. The food cubes from ice cube trays are great to start with, but they are only 1 oz. Since, you have to fill them all and freeze overnight, then release and store in bags, this is a longer process than just filling a bowl to freeze immediately. The boys are eating 3-4 oz. of vegetables at lunch and dinner so these bowls work perfectly to thaw overnight for the next day.
- As I mentioned in WEEK 01, I’m making the boys food chunkier and they’re doing great with it. However, my potatoes were way too much for them to handle. I thought leaving the skins on the potatoes would be a nice addition as the skins are nutritive and I enjoy this type of mashed potato. But, the skins were just too big and didn’t mash small enough. So, every time I feed from these bowls, I’m having to pick through the skins. Don’t make this mistake.
The boys liked the addition of the nutmeg to the carrots and LOVED the spinach with garlic powder. My husband did mention that night that they did have bad breath. I admit that I may have overdone it a little on the garlic.
This week was another success, even with the learning experience from the white potatoes. My husband did mention the night the boys had the spinach that they did have bad breath. I admit that I may have overdone it a little on the garlic, but I’m a garlic lover. This is where I would say to make sure you are feeding your baby what you like. You want them to learn the tastes that you enjoy and will be preparing for family meals in the future.
With the addition of spinach, I have to admit that I just can’t the theme song to “Popeye” out of my head. Where is that cartoon anyway. It seems like so many of the old good ones have come back, but I haven’t seen this sailor pop back up.
Please share your thoughts or ideas.