Homemade Baby Food: Health For Baby…and Mother Earth

By the Welcome Baby Care Doulas

Thank you for joining us over the past three weeks, in our exploration of environmental parenting.  Our last earthy blog post before our big “Growing Green Babies” festival is simple:  homemade baby food recipes.  Making baby food at home is a GREAT way to go green.  Fresh food, no additives, no waste, no packaging materials.  No problem! 

This is way easier than you might think.  Many parents make purees on Sunday night and freeze them in ice cube trays for the week ahead.  Here are 5 simple recipes to get you started:

1.  Classic Sweet Potato

Preheat oven to 375º…Thoroughly scrub one large sweet potato…Prick potato 3-4 times with fork…Bake for 45 minutes, or until soft…split and scoop out…mash thoroughly…breast milk can be added for moisture to start…melted farm butter or your favorite healthy oil (flax, oil, coconut) can be added for older babies.

2. No Fuss Avocado Banana Pudding

Mash one large banana and one large avocado together…stir to remove lumps…this rich and creamy treat is a great follow-up and supplement to a breast milk diet and will follow baby’s natural preference.

3. Poached Pear and Blueberry Puree

Lightly simmer one large peeled pear (quartered) and 1/2 cup of fresh, ripe blueberries in shallow water…once pear is soft to fork, remove all fruit from pain…drain…puree.

4. Baby’s First Beans

Perfect for babies who like to finger their food…buy one bag (or about 16 oz. in bulk) black beans…put them in a colander and rinse…remove any broken, shriveled, or skin-compromised beans…place in a slow cooker…cover with water and then add two inches more…soak, with no heat, for 6 hours…if you live in an extremely hot or humid area, soak them in the fridge…rinse in the colander again…cover with water and add 2-3 inches more…cook on low for 8 hours…beans should be so soft that you don’t need to puree, but you certainly can if you and baby prefer a spoon fed meal.

5. Spicy (or not) Apple Squash Mash-Up

Preheat oven to 350º…cut one butternut squash lengthwise…remove seeds and fibers and brush both sides with olive oil…bake for 30-40 minutes until tender…simmer 3-4 peeled and quartered apples in about an inch of water for 10 minutes…puree together…can season with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves…or not!