Homemade food was our go to, when deciding how to wean little man. I wanted to know exactly what he was having, introduce and mix flavours as and when I wanted and save money (it’s also considerably cheaper). I’ve really enjoyed the process, right from prepping the food to watching him enjoy mummies cooking! It’s oddly satisfying. So I thought I would share with you how I go about batch cooking for him.
As you can read in my previous blog, first tastes, we decided to take a vegetable first approach to weaning. Offering purees with complimentary finger foods for him to explore. I was so excited to go shopping for vegetables, probably for the first time ever! I decided to take little man to Tescos’ and show him all the vegetables, telling him all about them. I must have looked crazy! But he had a great time.
Usually, I just buy what I need for little man in our weekly shop. However, when I started prepping for weaning, I wanted to get a fair amount ready beforehand, so I did a bulk vegetable shop. You don’t need to buy much, it goes surprisingly far. For example, I bought one large sweet potato and it filled an ice cube tray. Much cheaper than buying ready made baby food.
I’ve recently started shopping in Aldi occasionally. We have a Tescos right near us, but you can get some brilliant deals in Aldi and its helped to reduce the cost of our monthly food bill.
Steaming and blending
Before I begin prepping the food, I make sure to give it all a thorough wash. I then peel (if necessary) chop and pop in our Philip’s 2 in 1 Steamer. I tend to batch cook a couple of veg at a time, it doesn’t take too long and you get into a little routine.
While one vegetable is steaming away, I like to prepare the next one. Its like your own little production line. At the moment I’m keeping things separate until I’m sure of allergies etc. So i’m washing everything in between use, to prevent cross contamination. So far, so good.
Freezing and storing
Once the puree is in the ice cube trays, I leave to cool before putting in the freezer. I bought these ice cube trays from Amazon, to freeze portions of the pre-made puree. These trays come with lids and a silicone bottom, making things much easier.
After they have frozen, I take them out of the tray and put them in a labelled sandwich bag. This leaves more room in the freezer and its easy just to grab a couple of cubes and go. Knowing how long food can be stored for was a worry of mine initially. However, I now follow the guidelines below, from www.foodsafety.gov, about how long to safely keep frozen and refrigerated food for.
I’ve managed to build up quite the stash. I have no idea why, but I find it so satisfying looking at it all. Preparation for the win!
I tend to choose what I want for little mans lunch the evening before and then put a couple of ice cubes and leave in the fridge over night to defrost. Alternatively, I grab a couple a few hours before and leave to defrost, or I pop a couple in the microwave on the defrost setting (I don’t think that is recommend, that is just what I personally do). I just make sure I microwave for short burst at a time, I then mix thoroughly (to avoid hot spots) and test the heat before I serve. This is how I also warm his food when at home, or by placing the bowl in warm water.
Out and About
I have a selection of pre-made pouches for those, just in case moments. They are of course very convenient and I always have one in my changing bag as a back up. However, I want to try and feed Thomas homemade food as much as possible, so I also take it with me when we go out.
I use these reusable food pouches from The Small Human Company. You can add your homemade food to the pouches, seal up and then I can feed on the go, as you would with a shop bought one. Once home, you can easily wash them out (they open from the bottom) and reuse.
If i’m in a hurry, I will place the frozen ice cubes inside the pouch and then it defrosts throughout the day. I pop these pouches in warm water to heat up while out.
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I have really enjoyed the process of prepping food for Thomas. I thought it would be a lot of effort, but it really isn’t. Having a selection of pre-made meals in the freezer makes things so much easier. I don’t have to worry about what he’s having in advance. I just grab a combination and go!
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I would love to hear how you prepare food for your little ones?
Or if you give batch cooking a try!
Let me know in the comments section below.
Previous Weaning Blogs:
Coming up soon:
Weaning – Combinations
Weaning – What Little Man Ate for the week
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