My son Azrael is now 7 months old (what?!) and has been eating homemade baby food for a month now. Since our diets are pretty clean and free of most common allergens, he often eats what we eat- I just mince it up into tiny pieces right on my plate. But I also made some baby food puree that we could turn to for something quick and easy. I like to have back up food like this especially if we are going to be away from home- that way he is guaranteed something.
Along with the chips, soup, etc that I made with the butternut squash from my mother in law's garden, I made butternut squash puree for Azrael. It is so easy and quick to make your own baby food, much cheaper than the jarred stuff, more environmentally friendly (no teeny tiny jars to contend with), aaaand you know what is going into the food. (The government allows for a small percentage of such things as rat feces in the manufactured stuff. Mmm, poop anyone?)
With Aurelia, I did the same thing, making my own baby food. But I started her on one food/ingredient at a time, to test for allergies. As Azrael is the second kid, (you know how they say you don't do everything for the other kids that you did for your first? It's true) I went straight to seasoning and mixing foods. Nothing I have been feeding him is a common allergen- it's all fruit and vegetables. If we give him eggs, seafood, dairy, or anything containing gluten in the future, I plan on following the one ingredient protocol. And of course, they don't eat meat or chicken. Fish, eggs and dairy are seldom consumed.
Butternut Squash Baby Food Puree (if not thinned/pureed completely, could be served as a mash-type side dish)
1 large butternut squash
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sage
3 tablespoons coconut oil
water to thin out as needed
Peel squash and slice in half. Scoop out seeds and set aside (for something else I will post.) Chop squash and onion into 1 inch pieces. Toss everything together with the oil, nutmeg and sage in a roasting pan. Roast about 45 minutes, stirring half way through, at 350 degrees.
Let it cool, then put it all in a food processor and puree, adding water if needed. Since he is only starting on solids I pureed it rather thin and smooth. But as he becomes accustomed to solid food and chewing, I will make it more and more chunky.
Pour/spoon the puree into an ice cube tray and tap the tray down gently to get the puree to settle and avoid air bubbles. Freeze the tray until the puree is solid. When frozen solid, pop the cubes out and store them in a freezer safe container. That way, you can pull out one or two at a time to defrost, depending on how much your baby can eat in one sitting.
Bonus tip! Coconut milk, meat and oil are really good for babies. Coconut is a source of lauric acid, which is found to have antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. Breast milk is also a good source for lauric acid for babies. But it is important for everyone, not just babies, so coconut oil and milk should be added to most diets.