(This is a note-to-self kind of post. For when I have future babies in the house and need a refresher course on how to prepare baby food.)
Preparing baby food seemed like a very daunting task at first. But now that I'm in the midst of it, it's not so overwhelming. Especially when I cook 2-3 different foods every week and freeze. Pureed baby food stays good in the fridge for about 1 week, but frozen it will keep for at least 3 months.
Fresh foods, mashed with a fork:
Foods pureed fresh (if they are very ripe):
If the above fruits are not sufficiently ripe, peel/core/chop and then cook in a small amount of water until softened. All fruits are suitable for freezing except for melon.
Vegetables to cook:
* Peas (frozen)
* Broccoli (fresh or frozen)
* Cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
* Spinach (frozen)
* Corn (fresh or frozen)
* Zucchini (peel/chop)
* Sweet potato (peel/chop)
* Carrots (peel/chop)
* Butternut squash (peel/chop)
Prepare as noted above, put in a large pot and cover with water. (Make 2-3 bags of frozen veggies--it will fill 4-5 trays of ice cubes.) Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 4-15 minutes, until veggies are soft when poked with a fork. Puree in a blender. I use my simple food processor and it works just fine. Make sure to add enough cooking liquid. Transfer from blender to ice cube trays. Cover and freeze for 24 hours. Transfer to a ziploc bag, noting the item & date.
Two odd items:
* Applesauce--use already prepared, sugar-free (apples only) applesauce from the grocery
* Tomatoes--use organic, sodium-free diced, canned tomatoes, simmer for 10-15 min and then puree as usual
*adapted from Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel