I did not think that I would be one of those moms who makes homemade baby food. Why? I am running my own business and involved in so many things, I just figured I would let Gerber take that task off my plate. We started out buying the Gerber Organics and Mini Whipped was happy with everything. Thank God, I did not get a picky eater!

What first inspired me to make her food myself was all of the little containers. She is eating more and more at nearly 8 months of age and I felt like every day I cracked open these little jars and plastic containers one after the other after the other. After a visit to the doctor, I learned that she can eat anything except eggs, fish and nuts and to be watchful of too much sugar and salt. I felt so elated…. but wary.

Caroline: You mean ANYTHING else I want to give her?
Doctor: As long as it isn’t a choking hazard.
Caroline: So, what about spaghetti and meatballs all blended up?
Doctor: Sounds good.
Caroline: What about mango, banana smoothies.
Doctor: Sure.
Caroline: Well, what about Kale? What if I cooked Kale?
Doctor (losing patience): Yes.

Now I have become obsessed with making baby food. And, so far, Mini Whipped likes everything except black beans and mashed potatoes. On her “love it” list: pancakes, mango, Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef Stew), swiss chard…the list is growing daily.

You may not want to be as brazen as I am with your little one’s palate. I am such a food junkie (addict?) that I feel warm from my inside out when I make a delicious Cuban Beef Stew and my little cherub kicks her legs in delight with each bite. Below are some simpler more tame ideas to start with. Please note that I am not an expert and you should get approval from your own doctors before feeding new things to your babies.

STORAGE: Put baby food in ice cube trays, pop them out and store them plastic freezer bags and remove a few as needed.

YOGURT PARFAIT: These are great when you will be on the go. In a jar, layer plain yogurt, applesauce (no sugar added) and a sprinkle of baby food rice or oatmeal cereal. Mix it all up before feeding.

TURKEY DINNER: Saute half a package (3/4lb.) of ground turkey meat. Put it in a food processor or blender with about 1 cup of sliced, cooked carrots and 1 cup of cooked rice. Use water little by little as needed to process until thick and smooth.

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP: I used chicken thighs to make a basic chicken soup. I removed some of the chicken, noodles and a little broth before adding any salt or spices and blended it up.

CINNAMON PEAR BANANA: Steam pears for about 3 minutes. Blend them with banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

FOR NON PARENTS: If you do not have children and you have read this whole post anyway, I will reward you with an idea! I just found this idea in the magazine ReadyMade and I wish I had thought of it sooner. Freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays and use it in iced coffee drinks so they don’t get watered down. And, freeze leftover wine in cubes to pop into sauces easily.