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Homemade Baby Food: Roasted Superfood Veggies
We all love our children and want to feed them the best foods we possibly can. This starts in infancy of course.
The social norms for feeding babies solid foods in this country have largely been shaped by the Gerber baby food commercials over the last 50-60 years. Don’t we all remember those chubby cheeked babies eating out of a jar of baby food?
However, store bought baby foods in those adorable little jars are overpriced and lack key nutritional elements. Packaged baby and toddler foods have a lot of added salt, sugar, and synthetic (manmade) ingredients. These are both unnecessary and potentially harmful to our babies in the long run. See the American Academy of Pediatrics latest press release for more information.
The whole concept of feeding babies jarred food is a marketing tactic from the industrial food producers, who make millions marketing to busy parents.
With a little bit of preparation and advanced planning, busy parents can make delicious, nutritious baby and toddler foods at home and store them in the freezer to pull out and use as needed.
✿ According to conventional wisdom, when introducing solid foods to babies, each new food should be introduced alone with a four day wait period to make sure the baby does not have an allergic reaction. Learn more here.The science is changing on this thinking but to be on the safe side, the recipe below should only be used for babies who have had exposure to multiple foods. Check out WholesomeBabyFood for options for introducing and puréeing earlier foods.
✿The most affordable place to find locally grown vegetables is your local farmer’s market. Find one near you at Ecology Center Farmer’s Market Finder.
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 yellow beets
- 1 head of chopped broccoli
- 3 chopped carrots
- 2 chopped zucchini or yellow squash
- 2 cups of yellow corn, peas, beans (frozen is fine)
- 2 cups kale, spinach or your favorite leafy greens (frozen works well)
- Optional: 2 kiwi (kiwi are packed with vitamins and minerals and will act as a bit of a sweetener)
- Herbs: whatever you have on hand (do not use salt); we have used dried oregano. Cilantro will also add a sweet and delicious taste
- Low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- Olive oil
✿ Olive oil is a much healthier option than most other vegetable oils. We recommend never feeding margarin or similar processed fats to babies.
- Optional: Coconut oil, ground flax and chia seeds (and supergreen powder)
- Chop all vegetables
- Optional: sauté frozen peas, spinach, or kale in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Let it cool
- Combine herbs and optional ground flax and chia seeds
- Toss chopped vegetables with olive oil and combination of herbs and seeds
- Drizzle a little olive oil on a cooking sheet and spread the veggies
- Roast at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until veggies are cooked but are still slightly crunchy. Let cool
- In a food processor or blender, mix roasted veggies, sautéed (or uncooked if you don’t have the time)
- Blend while slowly adding chicken stock and optional coconut oil until a semi-mushy mix is achieved. The consistency should be based on your baby’s age.
- Spoon the puree into ice cube trays, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in your freezer. Defrost and feed baby as needed.
✿ The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding or formula feeding at least until the age of six months, longer if possible. Studies show that introducing solid foods too early (before 4 months of age) may increase obesity risk. Learn more here.
Do you prepare your own baby food? We want to hear from you! Visit us on our Facebook or Twitter pages to share your tips.