Parents want to feed their babies the healthiest and freshest food but it’s a lot easier to open a container of food than to make something every time they’re hungry. The cost can also add up if you are only buying pre-made baby food. Even though they seem like they don’t cost a ton (typically around $1.50 for two containers) the cost to make your own is much more affordable.
P really loves strawberries and bananas so it’s safe to say she likes sugary foods. I had been making her foods that I knew she liked like carrots and squash so I thought I would switch it up to something that was sweet but also savory. When I was researching the different types of foods to feed babies sweet potato kept showing up because they are high in vitamin A and C. It was a bit of a mess to make but it’s always fun to make something tasty and to see her smile and attempt to say “yum.” I’ve never been the type to want to cook but I love watching cooking shows so this is my way of cooking for the family (my husband is much better).
After cooking four massive sweet potatoes there are several things I learned and wanted to share with other mama’s who want to try their hand at cooking baby food.
Things you’ll need
It’s better to get everything out ahead of time so you aren’t digging around trying to find it later.
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- Potato peeler
- Mixing bowls
- Storage to freeze the food
- Baking spatula
- Cutting board
- Knife to cut the potatoes
- Pan to steam the potatoes (or oven to bake them)
Make some tasty food
- Put some water in the pot to heat up with the lid on it.
Tip: I like to do low and slow so I put the stove on 4.
- Use the potato peeler and start skinning the sweet potatoes, putting the skin in one of the bowls to keep a clean area.
- Use the knife to cut off the ends of the sweet potato and throw them in the “trash bowl.”
- Cut the sweet potato into similar sized chunks so they all soften around the same time (I’m terrible at this so if you can’t get them the same size, no worries).
- Put the cut chunks into the top part of the pan and put on top of the water that has been heating.
- It should take about 10-20 minutes to fully steam. Check on them by using the fork and testing to see if they are smooshed when you press on them.
- When they are done put the strainer in the sink and pour the potatoes in the strainer.
- After straining, the potatoes pour them in a bowl and let them sit to cool down.
- After they are cool, (about five minutes) pour them in the blender.
- Turn the blender on the low pulse and then move up to the medium pulse. I like to leave it with a bit of texture so P gets used to it.
- Once the potatoes have reached the consistency you are looking for you can either pour the food into another bowl or scoop it out of the blender (be sure to take out the blade).
- Scoop the food into your container you are using to store the frozen potatoes.
- Place in the freezer.
- Leave the food in the freezer overnight to harden.
With 4 large sweet potatoes you should have a large amount of food. It should fit two of the silicone containers mentioned in my other post: Don’t like sweet potatoes? Try carrots instead.
Heat ‘Em Up
To heat up the food you can do a couple of things. You can pop a couple of cubes into a bowl and let it thaw completely in the refrigerator or you can heat them up in the microwave. I usually do 30 seconds, chop up a little with a spoon and then do another 30 seconds. Use your finger to check and see if it is too hot for the baby to eat. If it is still too hot, you can stick it back in the refrigerator and it will cool the food down.
Beware the Stain
Along with the vitamins that sweet potatoes are full of they are also full of beta-carotenes. Similar to carrots (another fave of P’s, she’s all about the root veggies) they have an orange color that will stain your fingers. I have white bowls, which means I got orange ALL over them and even after washing them in the dishwasher, they still had some orange on them. We quickly wiped down the counter so it didn’t stain but the white mixing bowls have my fingerprints lightly all over them. So my advice is to wear gloves so you don’t stain your hands and your cooking supplies.
Right now P is still eating bottles so we do about 2 cubes a night which means I do this process every couple of weeks. You can always make larger batches but I also like to switch up what she’s eating so she can try out different foods. I’d love to say that we have cut out buying her food completely but we still buy food for her to take to school. We also had leftover Gerber Bits (love these) from before we started making her food so we are using those up as well. I want to eventually get to the point where I make a ton and have months’ worth of food.
It makes me so happy when she gets a spoonful of food and makes that “mmm” noise and opens her mouth for another bite. I like to think that the extra love I put into making it myself helps with the taste. She hasn’t made a disgusted face yet so I’m going to take that as a win.
If you’re interested in seeing more food I’m making for P check out my Instagram page.