Last month I hosted my second annual Purees & Pop class and it was a total blast! This class is all about creating baby food that 100% benefits your baby ... as well as your entire family. I am a huge advocate for creating baby food wherein the whole family can enjoy the ingredients. When I go grocery shopping I like to focus on foods that everyone can eat, therefore it lessens waste and cuts down on time (and money) spent of making separate meals for your little ones. For example, any fruit blends you can blend into a puree for your baby. You can blend up the fruit for yourself in smoothie or eat the fruit on its own. The same goes for vegetables and proteins. You can prepare these for the family and then pull aside a certain amount to blend up for your baby to enjoy too. I'll be sharing more of my meal time baby purees that can also be created as a whole meal for your family in my next blog regarding baby food!
Today I am going to recap my Purees & Pop event and share with you the two baby food purees we created ... and then turned into delicious cocktails. (I also give direction on how to make a mocktail if cocktails aren't your thing ;) So, lets jump in! 25 mamas joined us to learn about baby food, tips on starting their baby on solids and for general motherhood support. Which lets face it, as mothers we need all the support we can get from others who are walking down similar paths with their children. This time we partnered up with the incredible plant-based baby food delivery service Yumi who supplied our mamas with such great swag and a brilliant nutritionist to answer questions based on foods nutritional value. Upon arriving mamas were greeted with either the 'Mama Vacay' or 'Baby Bourbon' cocktail and mingled before finding their seats for class. Think college class but waaaaaaaay better! Once everyone was seated class began and I shared the following info ...
While I am mom who has successfully made homemade baby food for both my children, I am not a doctor. I do strongly believe that starting your child off on a variety of foods and flavors is key in helping them grow into healthy, well-rounded eaters. It is important to fully understand that every baby is different. And though we are all moms here, we are all going back to different situations/different babies. Try not to compare. (Comparing yourself to others is honestly the thief of all your joy! I'm learning that the hard way) Take what you learn here and apply what you can, swap out things that you need to and make this solid food journey fun for both you and your baby. Keeping meal time fun is necessary to ensure its successful.
We all know fruits are a great food to start your baby with. They are sweet and usually go over well with babies. Plus, as your baby gets older fruits offer a great 'mask' as you sneak veggies into their diets. The two baby food purees I am listing below are blends, which mean the include more than one fruit/ingredient. However, when you start your baby on solids you always want to start with one puree at a time. Simply because, if your baby has an allergic reaction to a food you can immediately rule it out rather than try to decipher what it was that caused it. I think a good rule of thumb is to feed your baby a new food and wait 5-7 days before introducing another new food. And because I am paranoid, anytime I introduced a new food to my children I always do so at home and when my husband is around. Just in case. I don't want an allergic reaction to happen while traveling or at a restaurant or while I'm alone.
I will say I started both my kids on their solid food journey around 5 months with breast milk and baby cereal. I started Ryan off with a mashed banana and Mila’s first food was mashed avocado. Though generally you’ll want to start solids around 6 months. In a lot of my baby food recipes I add things like spices, onions and lemon. These you also want to introduce one at a time. Try adding spices after they have mastered the concept of solid foods. Obviously milk (breast or formula) plays a huge factor. I know up until they are one babies need about 18 ounces of milk a day to support their growth. With the introduction to solid food you can add milk (breast or formula) to cereal and purees to give it a creamy texture and also to bridge the gap between milk and food. Making food taste similar to something your baby already knows and enjoys can be helpful. Of course, check your babies doctor with food amounts and any questions you may have as they (along with you) know your baby best and can offer sound advice. :)
If you only leave this post with one piece of advice I want it to be this. Strive to make meal time fun. If at any point you or your child become frustrated, things just won’t work. Take a break and revisit feeding when you both are ready. As with anything new it takes time and some babies will gobble it all up and others won’t. Keep trying, practice makes perfect. Go with what you baby enjoys. In my experience it is always smart to start your child with things they enjoy and mix in things they might not slowly. For example if you know your child loves apples try mixing it with something they might not care for to re-introduce it. Patience is everything here. Try solid foods everyday when your child is at their most happiest. For both my kids that the morning time. So any new foods etc. were introduced in the morning. Happy Feeding Mamas!
I also want to send a huge hug and thank you to our Purees & Pop sponsors Yumi and Seedling!!
As well as our swag bag contributors; Baby Brezza, EZPZ Mats, Babyganics, Munchkin, Gathre, Seedling & Yumi
On to the baby puree recipes and cocktails!! Both these recipes are great for so many things, enjoy ... Be sure to read the tips prior to making.
Apricot, Apple, Pear + Vanilla
For 6-7+ months
Cooking Time - 10 minutes Suitable For Freezing
-For Baby - Serve this puree on its own or with baby rice cereal, yogurt or mashed banana.
-For Mama - Serve this puree with granola and/or yogurt. For a beverage serve 1 tablespoon of puree with cold sparkling water. To make this into the ‘Baby Bourbon’ cocktail serve 1 tablespoon of puree stirred with 1 shot of bourbon. Then top off with sparkling water in a sugared rimmed glass.
Ingredients + How-To
1 diced apricot
1 apple peeled and diced
3 tablespoons purified water (or coconut water)
1 pear peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place all diced fruit + vanilla into the blender.
Blend the fruit and then slowly add your water to achieve the texture you want.
-Always start with no water as some fruit and vegetables have high water content. This way you can control the amount of water going in and achieve the perfect texture for you and your baby.
-Dice all fruit the same size.
-Start your baby off on peeled apples, but as they get older you can leave the skin on as a lot of nutrients are within the skin. Although I used to say I’d never be one of those moms who would peel the skin off apples because my mom always made me eat the skin along with the apple. Yet, just last month we found out that Mila won’t eat apples unless the skin is off and now pretends to gag when we try to serve her apple slices with skins. So, I peel off the skins and she eats the damn apple. As a mom you just have to pick your battles I guess.
-With fruit purees you always want to make sure you are using the ripest fruit because that is when the fruit is at its best flavor-wise.
-Here I am using a tiny bit of vanilla. Using vanilla is optional, but it does give the fruit a nice flavor. Plus it tastes great with bourbon. ;) Again using aromatics just heightens your babies flavor profile and sets the tone for food tasting a variety of ways.
-This puree is great and if you make it in the morning for your baby, you can enjoy it with yogurt and granola too!
-Apricots to me aren’t known as a popular go-to fruit but they are actually pretty great for you! They have iron, vitamin A & C and potassium.
-Blending three fruits together is great and keeps meal time interesting.
-Store in freezer safe containers for up to 2 weeks.
Pineapple Mango Banana
For 7-9+ months
Cooking Time - 10 minutes
Suitable For Freezing
-For Baby - Serve this puree on its own. The mashed banana will make it creamy and filling. You can always skip the mashed banana and add yogurt or baby cereal.
-For Mama - Use the frozen purees in smoothies or yogurt. This tropical mix taste great with cold sparkling water. To make the ‘Mama Vacay’ cocktail add 1 tablespoon of puree (minus the mashed banana) into a champagne glass then top with champagne or sparking wine.
Ingredients + How-To
1 cup diced pineapple (freeze the rest for smoothies or keep in the fridge for a snack)
2 tablespoons water (or coconut water)
2 diced mangos
1/2 a banana (to be used when it is time to serve to your baby)
Place the pineapple and mango into the blender.
Add water if needed and blend to your desired texture.
Freeze just the pineapple mango puree. You’ll add the banana when it is time to feed your baby.
When it is time to serve, mash half a banana and stir with pineapple mango puree.
-When defrosting purees, be sure to heat baby food until it is piping hot. Then let cool down before serving. Heating food until it is piping hot will eliminate any bacteria that may have grown while being stored. Never re-store food after it has been heated.
-Store in freezer save containers for up to 2 weeks.
All Photos By Lily Ro Photography