I started making Clare's baby food when she was about 6 months old. I'm not going to lie, the first time I made it, it took like 6 hours. However, I did make a huge batch and had Clare with me! So lots of interruptions to change a diaper, have a bottle, put down for a nap (which this was when Clare was striking naps unless I was holding her so I was in the midst of the cry it out method) and I had to pump too.
Anyway, the first batch of baby food consisted of the following:
Sweet potatoes- sweet potatoes are so easy to do! All you have to do is wash the skin, poke it a bunch of times around it with a fork and put in a foil lined baking sheet. I put foil down so the pan is easy clean up. I pre heated the oven to about 375°. You want to leave them in until they're soft to the touch. Just like a baked potato. Once it is finished cut the sweet potato in half, let cool down a little then scoop out the flesh and place it in a bowl. If you would like the consistency of the puree thinner just add a little water at a time. Do not use breastmilk or formula if you are planning to freeze it.
Plums and Peaches- plums and peaches were not so much fun the first time I did them. I choose to boil them whole. Bad idea. It took forever for them to cool, I had to peel them which took forever, and then pit them. That was a ball! I feel like I lost so much of the fruit. The next time I made them I steamed them. (See more details about steaming fruits and veggies below.) I peeled them, cut them in half and took the pit out, and then quartered them. I then put them in to my pasta pot for two, pictured below. I put just enough water where it wouldn't fill past the colander. I steamed them until they were fork soft. I never timed anything.
Peas- I bought a steamer bag of frozen peas and put them in the microwave. I later found out that microwaving food was the worste way to cook food. I rarely will hear Clare's food up in the mircrowave. The microwave kills a lot of the nutrients in the fruits and veggies. So if I were to make peas again, which I didn't because A. She didn't seem to care for them at the time and B. by the time I tried them again she could pick them up and eat them by herself, I would steam them in a pot.
Zucchini - zucchini I ended up doing in an actual steamer (see picture below if you don't know what a steamer is.) I did not peel my zucchini but there is research that shows it can cause gassiness or give your little one a tummy ache depending on how they deal with it. I knew my daughter didn't have a hard time processing anything or have any issues so I chose not to take the skin off. I cleaned them, peeling them, cut them in 1/2 and then cut the 1/2 pieces into little half moon shapes. After I was done prepping I threw them all into the steamer for about 6-7 minutes. Again you want them to be fork soft so you can easily puree them.
To puree my foods I used an immersion blender. It worked great. CAUTION: DO NOT STICK YOUR FINGER IN WHERE THE BLAD IS! I did that when I was making chicken and ended myself up in the hospital... I'm lucky I didn't cut my finger off.. It was our 2nd wedding anniversary and thankfully I was only at the ER for an hour. Anyway!! Pictured below is me using the immersion blender. Next time around I plan to use my nutribullet to puree my little one's food.
This is the one I have. I received this as a wedding gift from crate and barrel. I also used the food processor attachment when making smaller batches of foods like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
The first time I stored my food I did them in the infantino storage bags. I honestly wish I would have just did them in ice cube trays because my daughter wasn't eating 4oz at one sitting. BUT, they are great for traveling with and when you are trying foods out for the first time they're great because you'll end up using them if you feed your lo the same thing 3 days in a row. I didn't do that with Clare. I plan to do that with my next child because it is just easier!
You can use a couple different items to steam your fruits and veggies. I don't like to buy one stop items; I like items that can be used more than one way, which is why I used my pasta pot for two from crate and barrel. It is great for cooking pasta for just my husband and I, and I have used it countless times to make her babyfood and also finger foods. Pictures below is the pasta pot for two.