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Friday, March 23, 2007

Homemade Baby Food on Ice - How to Freeze Your Own

So you've got all that fresh organic produce, and you're ready to start cranking out the most wholesome, healthy meals possible for your little darling. But that big bag of peas isn't going to last forever, and if you make the whole thing now, baby will be eating mashed peas morning, noon, and night for three days. Not to despair. Freezing the food is so easy and cuts down on your work time later. All your friends popping open jars of the store-bought stuff just think they have it easier. Wait until they see your freezer full of baby food goodness. They'll be as green as that bag of peas over there.

Naturally, the first step is to make the food. Try and get organic if you can. Some places, like Costco, even have frozen organic. It's okay to start with frozen even if you plan to cook it and freeze it up again. If you have access to fresh, even better. But we all know it's darned hard to find fresh organic peaches year round if you're in the frigid north. Fresh or frozen, steam the vegetables when possible. It retains the most nutrients. Fruit can be boiled, steamed, or even just mashed (like kiwi and bananas.) For more information on preparation, try Wholesome Baby Food.

For freezing, I prefer 1-cup glass containers by either Pyrex or Anchor Hocking. They're a nice little size, you can freeze them safely, and they stack well in the freezer. I also like the fact that once the food is defrosted, I can set the glass dish in a pan of shallow hot water to warm the food. Some moms freeze their food in ice cube trays. The portions are smaller, and you can defrost just the right amount, but I prefer freezing in larger quantities.

Make sure you mark the containers so you don't forget what's in there - small sticky notes work well. I always put the month, date, and contents on my labels. If you're making batches of broccoli, peas, and beans, you'll never be able to tell them apart once they're all stacked together. Also, make sure you rotate your stock. Try and use up the older frozen food first. I would recommend not keeping it for more than a month. The fresher the better - even when it's frozen!

Now you've got beautiful rows of baby food lined up in your freezer. Believe me, there's nothing more satisfying than feeding your baby fresh organic food you've made yourself!