1. Mashed banana -- so easy and quick. Put pieces of banana in a bowl and mash it up with a fork. If you have pumped breast milk/formula, it's nice to add that in a bit, but you don't have to. (Often grocery stores have really ripe bananas on sale for 29 cents/pound - great for baby food and banana bread). You can also mix together banana and baby cereal.
2. Baby oat cereal -- with my first son, I bought a box of rice cereal, which he didn't like. Then, I bought a box of oat cereal, but he ate very little. Basically, I spent about $8 on organic baby cereal and ended up with two almost full boxes. Even if your baby likes the stuff, a little goes a long way. For baby #2, I make it myself by taking 1 cup of rolled oats and grinding them up in a food processor.
|Oat cereal (L), Puree (R)|
3. Squash/Apple Puree -- Cut your squash in half (I used acorn squash) and scoop out the seeds, fill the inside with diced apple pieces (no peel). Place in a roasting pan filled with about 1/2 inch of water and roast in the oven for about 40-60 minutes (at 400 degrees). You want the squash to get soft, so the skin easily pulls off. Let it cool, then peel the squash and puree the squash and apple together. You can add a dash of cinnamon if you like.
|You can see, this makes a pretty large batch.|
1. Even one squash can make a large batch of baby food, so to save time, I'll roast 2 squash at once and use about 1/4-1/3 of the pureed vegetable for the baby and then spice up the rest for an adult vegetable side dish or soup.
2. To make the most of your time, make big portions of baby food and simply freeze the baby food in ice cube trays for easy use later.
3. I discovered recently that swiss chard/rainbow chard stems make great teethers. My little guy loves them! (And, of course, I can't find the great photo I have of him using one!)
A great resource for me has been Wholesome Baby Food with great recipe ideas and information on when to introduce what.
Also, a fun bonus with a lot of baby food recipes is using the blender or food processor since my toddler loves to push the buttons and to be involved in helping to make the baby's food. (Of course, there is careful supervision when he is helping me with the appliances).