As a follow-up to a blog that Lisa Williams wrote last year, I would like to share my personal experience cooking for my lil' bun the past 6 months since she started on solid foods. I have never been much of a cook, but the recipes have taught me lots of basic skills and babies are gentler critics than adults – no anxiety there! Lisa highlighted the book Cooking for baby by Lisa Barnes. One of my little one’s favorites from this book (that doesn’t even involve cooking) is the blackberry & ricotta parfait. I’ve also appreciated the many finger foods suggestions on p. 68 as my daughter has begun to feed herself. Fortunately, KPL just added Top 100 finger foods by Annabel Karmel to the collection, which I am going to check out next!
On today’s lunch menu is chicken with brown rice and peas, from Blender baby food by Nicole Young. While it may sound time-consuming and impractical to spend a lot of time cooking such meals when a baby eats only a tiny portion, the great thing is that most recipes can be frozen (i.e. into 1 oz. ice cube tray portions) for up to 3 months, and most recipes make between 5-20 servings. Saving money has been a plus—from my experience, store-bought baby food fruits & veggies run at least 40¢ per serving on sale, whereas my homemade purees cost 10¢- 15¢ (4 large apples on sale cost about $3.00 and make about 30 servings of applesauce). As far as time spent, I usually make more than one type of food at a time – fruits and veggies (which mainly involve just steaming and removing skins when necessary, then blending) take less than 1 hour to make multiple servings of 2-3 different items, and recipes involving meats and grains usually take a few hours to make 3-4 different dishes, so you’re only cooking once a week or every other week, and once you build up a nice inventory, you’re golden--right now my freezer is full and I haven’t made anything new in several weeks.
For more books on this topic, check out the KPL catalog using subject search “Baby foods.”
Top100 Finger Foods