There are many enjoyable aspects of being a mama, but one of my faves has definitely been introducing foods to my baby. I love watching Vienna's reaction to trying new foods. It is just pure hilarity!
It always goes something like this: The first bite is a very cautious one and nine times out of ten she makes her "WTF mama!?" face. The second bite is one of uncertainty and the third bite is "I am okay with this." If it's any fruit, by bite number four she's making "MMMMM" noises. I think if Vienna had it her way she'd be a fruitarian, but I'm not going to let that happen because there's a world of foods to enjoy! Which is exactly what this post is about today!
I am sharing some new recipes from my friend Jill's new book The Best Baby Food. Jill is also a holistic nutritionist and her book has given me some great inspiration on ways to combine flavours and foods I would never have thought about before, like peaches, basil and chives. Before you jump into these recipes, be sure to read my Baby Food Introduction post.
(Yes, my nails are yellow in that photo – no I haven't taken up smoking! I have been grating lots of turmeric because I've been drinking this Iced Turmeric Ginger Latte every day!)
Speaking of basil, the recipe I made yesterday was zucchini and basil puree. Even though Vienna is eating more solid food (e.g., finger foods) than just purees, I still give her chunky purees as a nice way to ensure she's getting plenty of variety.
My mama-in-law gave me a huge basil plant that we've been enjoying and I picked up these local and organic yellow and green zucchinis from a health food store.
If you compare the cost of ingredients to the cost of buying pre-made organic baby food, it's not surprising that it is way cheaper to make your own baby food. However, it is obviously a bit more time-consuming. I enjoy food so much that even though I'm back working, I still make time to make Vienna's food. I do find homemade is the most flavourful and nutritious way to feed your baby, but I certainly buy some organic pre-made baby food too. Not all organic baby food is created equal though – just read the ingredients and you'll see what I mean! Just as an FYI, I like Baby Gourmet and Love Child Organics.
Here is the recipe for Jill's Zucchini Basil puree. All the recipes are printable. Just click the blue button on the top right for a print-friendly option.
Tip from the Best Baby Food Book
*Keeping your baby well hydrated is vital to help prevent constipation. Zucchini, which is 95 percent water, is a good food source of water for your baby. Zucchini also provides folic acid, or folate, which your baby needs for energy production and to create red and white blood cells and keep them functioning well. Folate plays an important role in ensuring that the blueprint of your baby's cell structure (DNA) forms correctly.
Since it's strawberry season right now, I also toss in a handful of strawberries into the food processor with the zucchini and basil. Remember that if you haven't introduced any of these foods to your babe yet, you might want to do so one-by-one. Vienna is nuts about strawberries. I cut them up and give them to her as finger food :)
Here are two more recipes from The Best Baby Food book, Apple, Pear and Avocado Puree and Apricot and Acorn Squash Puree.
*Apples are consistently found to be one of the fruits that have the highest levels of pesticide residue so I recommend using organic apples.
*This is a raw puree.
You can substitute 3 sulphite-free dried apricots for the fresh ones. If your dried apricots are bright orange, they have likely been preserved with sulfites, which are a common chemical preservative and are potentially toxic to developing bodies. They have been linked to allergic-type reactions and may be particularly problematic for children with asthma. When purchasing any dried fruit, the only thing you want to see in the ingredients list is the fruit itself!
As always, I recommend organic foods, especially for babies. As Jill mentions in her book ...
The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that on average carcinogens are 10 times more potent for babies than adults.
This is due to the fact that baby's cells are multiplying at peak levels until about three years old. Their liver detoxification system and nervous system are not fully developed, putting them at a great risk of negative implications from toxic pesticides.
For up-to- date lists of the fruits and vegetables that have the highest pesticide residues, as well as the cleanest ones, please see this link to the EWG's the Dirty Dozen.
[THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED] Lucky for us, Jill is offering a copy of her book to one lucky winner! [THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED]
What are some of your favourite baby food blends?