For just about everything, you wash, cut, and steam or boil it, then throw it in the food processor, scoop into ice cube trays, freeze and then pop out and store in gallon freezer bags. (If you're boiling, don't boil too long - just long enough that it's soft because you don't want to loose all the nutrients! Use some of your boiled water with the nutrients in it to blend with the food!)
It's that easy. And it's hardly time consuming. Between boiling and freezing time, it takes a little while, but actual work time is minimal. Because the food stretches so far, I usually spend the extra buck to make sure I am getting organic produce...and it still ends up cheaper than store bought baby food (even the non-organic kind).
For example: a bag of organic carrots at Winco (buy the big normal sized kind, not baby carrots) is $.88 and two bags will make 2 dozen. So for $1.76, I can make 24 portions for Zeek. That's $.07 per portion. Two ice cube sizes are probably comparable to a jar of baby food, so even two is only $.14 for organic carrots, instead of about $.50 - $1.00 for non-organic store bought (usually with preservatives and other things) and $.90-$1.30 for organic baby food. We always make sure we have organic/grass fed meats for Zeek. We don't like to skimp in that department. We bought our organic free-range chicken at Trader Joes for $4.99/lb. More expensive, I know, but worth it. I was able to get about 30 cubes out of just over a lb of chicken, mixed with a little organic tomato soup and a couple handfuls of bok choy greens. So, let's say it cost me about $6.00 for all of the ingredients for that particular blend. That's 30 meals for $.20 each. Still well worth it. The beef we get is from my uncle's farm which he gets butchered.
Foods/Blends That I Make:
- Butternut Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Chicken/Bok Choy/Tomato & Red Pepper Soup
- Beef/Yams/Mustard Greens/Collard Greens/Spinach
- Santa Claus Melon
- Eggplant/Collard Greens
When we feed Zeek, we pull out 4 veggies/meats and 2 fruits and defrost the meats/veggies all together and the fruits together in a separate container. We don't give Zeek to much of the yams or sweet potatoes because we would rather fill him with veggies and meats (protein) than starchy/filler foods, so we only give him one a day (some days none). Though, yams and sweet potatoes are at least better than white potatoes or rice, which we give him none of. We also avoid oats/grains/juice completely...but that's a whole other blog post. :)
I try to blend in greens (spinach) into most anything that I can. He loves everything that we've fed him, so far! One thing we don't do is treat fruit like dessert. We believe that meals don't need "dessert" and want it to be treated as a normal part of a meal, not something "special". We often will do half a scoop of the veggie and half a scoop of the melon and feed it to him in one spoonful, rather than feeding the fruit last after the veggies/meats are eaten.
This is the blended eggplant/collard greens.
Yams, beef, collard and mustard greens with a little beef broth added to make it actually blend.
Scoop it into ice cube trays and throw it in the freezer for a couple hours.
Plop them out into a labeled gallon sized freezer bag and throw them back in the freezer!
Pull the cubes out and store in the fridge to defrost them.
I found these awesome little containers in an 8 pack at a dollar store in Texas!
I needed a few more containers and actually found these at Staples!
They are perfect and just the right size.
I try to have Zeek's food out and defrosting at all times, but I definitely do forget to pull it out ahead of time some days. We don't like microwaving in plastic, so if I forgot to pull out food ahead of time, I just put four cubes in a small pyrex glass dish and throw them in the microwave to defrost for a few minutes. If you do this, be sure to check several places in the dish for heat because there will be pockets of the food that are hotter than others! I always just touch the food to my lips to test the temp.
So there you have it. Easy, quick, healthy, cheap food for bebe! :) Hope this was helpful!