Healthful Mondays: Make your own baby food

Baby food is expensive, and somewhat wasteful with all that packaging, so I decided to make my own.  Even though I know my way around the kitchen, I was totally worried about making something that wasn’t safe for my babe. But, after doing a little research, I discovered that making your own baby food is quite simple, safe, and saves tons of money.

All you need is a decent sized pot with lid, a blender, ice cube trays, and a couple plastic bags.  After you get the hang of it, there are tons of combinations you can make for your wee tot.  It’s a good idea to stick with one ingredient for babe’s first foray into solid food to ensure she doesn’t have any food allergies. You can also mix pre-made food with a little breast milk or oatmeal cereal to thin it out.

I discovered a basic recipe for super simple baby food using 2-pounds of the fruit or vegetable of choice and 1-cup water.  You might need more water for denser items such as sweet potatoes, but the process doesn’t take very long, and IS really easy.

I started out with peas. I figured peas are sweet and tasty – and they’re green! How fun is that for baby! To make the pea baby food, I used a 2-pound bag of frozen peas. I  poured them into a nice sized pot and covered them with 1-cup of water.  I slapped on a lid, steamed on medium heat for a couple of minutes, and then blended away. Instant baby food! How easy is that?!

So, what to do with all the leftovers? I put the remaining mushy peas in ice-cube trays and froze overnight. Then, I put the cool green pea cubes in plastic bags and dated and labeled – even though I’m pretty sure I’ll remember they’re PEAS. And the frozen baby food can hang out in the freezer for up to 3 months.

You can re-heat the frozen cubes in the microwave or in a small sauce pan. I usually pull out  two or three and place them in a dish on the counter or in the fridge for a couple of hours. I figure one cube is about 1-ounce, so you can determine the right amount for your kiddo.

Once you and your babe have mastered the single ingredient baby food, you can get creative with different combinations. My daughter’s pretty partial to apple, pea, and carrot. Super sweet and super yummy. Sometimes I even add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the mix to tingle her taste buds.


Don’t be afraid of making your own baby food!  It is easy, healthy, and loads cheaper than buying your own!  It is also very eco-friendly with out all that packaging to deal with!

Healthful Mondays – Fun in the sun!

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

No matter where you live there are tons of fantastic beaches, rivers, streams, ponds or pools to visit when the sun is shining. Playing in the sun, and the water, is absolutely fantastic. The thing is  you want to protect your baby from the sun but also let her have a bit of exposure. The sun provides us with essential vitamin D, which boosts our immune system along with making us feel good. Not letting babe (and yourself) get some rays can lead to depression, or in extreme cases, rickets.

Being a new mom, I’m concerned about sun exposure with my young baby’s skin along with keeping her safe.  I’m not just worried about a doozy of a sunburn, but a reaction from the sunscreen I might use.  Experts say that brief exposure to the full on sun isn’t going to directly lead to skin cancer, but I want to make sure she is properly protected during long summer days at the beach. I have also had my fair share of bumpy, itchy rashes from experiments with skin lotions and would hate to have the same happen with my little one.

I picked up a couple of brands of sunscreen and found California Baby Sunscreen to be awesome with Sweetsation Therapy’s Sun ‘n’ Fun Organic Baby Sunscreen great, too.  Both products can be ordered online or found at baby stores. Neither gave my babe (or me) any funky reactions after spot testing on our legs, so we were ready for prolonged sun exposure.

Along with sunscreen, I picked up a sun hat, an umbrella, and a nice beach blanket.  I wanted to be prepared for our first time at the beach.  I slathered her up, packed the bag, and set off.

I figured we would last maybe a half hour at the beach, but it turned into a full afternoon of fun in the sun and cold  toes in the ocean.  It was my daughter’s first time dipping into the sea and she was a true trooper.  The sand was exciting, the sun was warm, and the water was wonderful.  The day was a complete success!  She slept the entire way home.

What’s your favorite baby sunscreen and must have fun in the sun items?