adventures in baby food making {yam puree recipe}

When my two girls were babies, I bought those little glass jars of baby food until they were clearly ready for more substantial food.  I remember Sam really liking some jarred foods and really disliking others {her pickiness continues even to this day!}.  Caitlyn only liked baby food for a very brief time, and then moved onto scrambled eggs and fruits and veggies and beans.  When it was about time to start feeding Andrew, I decided I wanted to try making his food.  I did it from the start and LOVED it.  Not only was it super easy, but it saved money, AND I knew exactly what he was getting.  I was able to vary his foods more and he loved everything!

How I made it work as a busy working mom of three:

I would buy all the ingredients at once while I was doing my regular grocery shopping and then spend about an hour to two making his food every couple of weeks, usually during his nap on a Sunday afternoon.  Babies don’t eat purees for too long, so I knew it wasn’t going to be a time commitment that I would have to make for a long period of time {I think I did it for a couple of months exclusively, then as he ate more and more “solid” foods I cut back on the purees until I phased them out altogether}.

Tools I used:

I researched recipes and techniques for making purees, then simplified them until they worked for me.  I realized I didn’t need fancy gadgets and simply used what I had in the kitchen.  My pressure cooker was fabulous for making anything with potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, apples, pears, etc.  I used a double boiler to steam things like green beans and broccoli.  Trader Joe’s sells lots of their veggies in bags ready to be steamed, so I eventually went that even simpler route.  I used my blender to puree everything!  It was faster than pulling out my food processer, easier to clean, and worked just as well, if not better.  In the beginning I used a fine strainer and strained some foods like peas and blueberries that have skins that don’t puree very finely, but I only did that maybe once before I decided it wasn’t necessary.  Other than those main tools, I used a rubber spatula, potato peeler, knife and ice cube trays to freeze the food I wasn’t going to use right away in individual portions.  I would store the little cubes of frozen purees in Ziploc freezer bags.

Let’s try it again!

Somewhere in the past decade between having Sam and Jacob, the recommended age for starting babies on solids changed from four to six months.  Andrew sat early, was so big, and just seemed ready, so I started him on solids at four months old like I did with the girls.  With Jacob, however, although he is big like Andrew, I just haven’t been in a rush.  Just after he turned six months old I started him with rice cereal.  He hated it.  He protested the bib, the highchair, the spoon, the food.  I put that away and a couple of weeks later decided it was time to start making food again.

Yam Puree

I bought four sweet potatoes {technically yams I guess since they are orange}…

peeled them and chopped them up…

cooked them with some water in the pressure cooker for nine minutes {once it started jiggling}…

drained most of the water…

pureed them in the blender…

…AND…

he LOVED them!!  He even fed himself half the bowl!

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This time around I’ve decided to try a combination of purees and Baby Led Weaning.  In BLW babies try foods that are more solid than purees.  They pick them up on their own and basically chomp away.  Some BLW inspiration here and information here that helped ease my mind about choking.

Up next are peas, butternut squash, zucchini, apples, & bananas…we’ll see how it goes!

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