As ya’ll probably know if you’ve been around here awhile, I did a couple of baby food making things, but then I quickly chucked that idea and did baby led weaning. I just don’t have the patience to spoon-feed a baby. When I was a nanny, it was the most annoying part of my day. The clean up was a drag, too.
Baby Led Weaning is the lazy way to feed your baby and actually has a lot of benefits: baby learns fine motor skills, learns to listen to their bodies wisdom and cues about when they are full and gives them some independence and personal power. But if you are set on feeding your baby pureed food, which by the way is totally great and fine if you are into it, you may be the type who wants to make your baby food so you can control the quality and the cost of the food.
Organic jarred and packaged baby food and get expensive fast.
There are all kinds of contraptions on the market, and some are really nifty and work well. This is a one-step baby food maker that I like.
But since I have an on going love affair with my slow cooker and since you are here, you probably do, too. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I think the easiest way to make baby food is in your slow cooker!
If you want to do pureed food but don’t feel like or have the time to make extra, specific baby food for your baby, the absolute simplest thing to do is make a regular slow cooker freezer recipe and puree a portion of it with an immersion blender or a magic bullet type thingy. This way you have made dinner for everyone, you serve them up like normal and then you puree a portion for your baby and spoon feed them.
My slow cooker freezer recipes are all gluten free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and egg free so they are perfect for babies (some do have honey so swap the honey out for something else or omit all together because you can’t give a baby less than 12 months honey), since they are free of common allergens and hard to digest foods.
I wouldn’t use a slow cooker freezer recipe as baby’s absolute, very first food. I would do egg yolk, or mashed up banana or avocado if you are JUST starting out (remember grains are the worst possible first food for your baby). But once your baby is used to solids, you can introduce meat and veggies pretty quickly and start doing slow cooker recipes. If you want to make specific baby food without using a slow cooker recipe, just dump whatever combo of fruit and veggies your baby likes into your slow cooker, make sure the slow cooker is 3/4 of the way full, cook it for 4 to 6 hours on low, and puree when it’s done. Spoon out the puree into small portions.
If you want, you can add breastmilk to the baby food to make it taste more like what they are used to and help with digestion. Also, be sure you are giving your baby probiotics and enzymes if you aren’t already. Most babies born these days have compromised digestive systems to start with and need all the help they can get digesting their food, once something other than breastmilk gets introduced. You don’t need to add water most of the time, but if you want to make it a thinner consistency add 1/4 cup of stock or water till you get to your desired consistency. Season them as you would season them for yourself, salt and pepper for veggies and then whatever combos you want to change it up. Introducing your baby to as many flavor combinations is helpful in making them a less picky eater later on. When you are making baby food, I would do it on a weekend when you are home so you can really watch it and make sure it doesn’t overcook.
Speaking of storage, there are five million different types of baby food freezer containers, just get ones that are BPA free, have lids, and stack well.
So what do you think? Sounds easy right? Have you ever tried making baby food in your slow cooker and have some tips to share as well?