Mar 312015
 

BabyMaking Sundays Writing about and teaching about baby food making is what we are all about.  As you know from our social media posts, I love sharing the great work that other people are doing in the baby food making world. I am happy, in fact, exuberant to share it all: recipes,  products,  tips,  books,  and websites that make baby food making easier, more productive and more tasty and nutritive, One site that is knocking it out of the park is Baby Prep Sundays. I found Baby Prep Sundays on our Instagram feed and I was amazed at the sheer volume of baby food preparation methods that were displayed in beautiful multi-color pictures.  When I visited the Baby Prep Sundays site, I was even more impressed. I decided we had to know more and the creator of BabyPrepSundays, Arianny Rodriguez, generously agreed to talk to us.  I hope that we asked the questions you would have asked and that you learn some helpful hints.

Arianny, thanks for talking with us today. We love your website. Any mom who shares ways to make feeding baby and toddlers easier is a hero to us!

Can you tell us why you got started with your site, BabyPrepSundays.com?

Aw, thanks – but I’m just a mom helping to encourage other moms to at least try making their own baby food. Actually, BabyPrepSundays started out only as a an instagram account. The website just came naturally a few months later. My friend is the mastermind behind the very successful Instagram account @mealprepmondays. This account is about how to prep your meals for the rest of the week so that it encourages people to eat healthier. I had been following him for years. Then one day last summer, I was at home making my daughter baby food which is what I do every Sunday. Out of nowhere I thought “other moms must be doing this today too!” I then posted my prep to my personal instagram account and tagged @mealprepmondays. I asked what he thought about “babyprepsundays” and he loved the idea! And here I am!


Many new moms are intimidated to make their own baby food. They feel that the baby food in jars on the grocery store shelves are better for their baby and that making their own baby food is too difficult. What would you say to those moms to encourage them to try to make their own baby food?

This is a great question. At least once a week I feature a prep from a real mom that l refer to as “Monster Preps”. This is usually over 100 ounces of food at a time. I do this to celebrate this wonderful accomplishment but I am always reminding moms that you don’t always have to make “Monster Preps”. Even I don’t always make them! It’s about doing what you can – a small prep – any prep is awesome! If that’s what feels right for a mom, then by all means, stick to your small preps. Once you get the hang of that, the rest will fall into place. Also, I think sometimes moms that are new to this imagine it to be a very complicated recipe. It’s the complete opposite of that. Combine any two veggies and or fruits, peel and steam them together, and puree. I bet you that most of the time it will taste amazing. No complicated ingredients, no spices – simple is key. When you use fresh, organic produce, it will be delicious!


What is the most important benefit from making your own baby food in your experience?

For sure the answer to this is that your baby is getting the best nutrients possible. Fresh, clean eating. You know exactly what’s in it. You can’t beat that! Then of course, there is the added benefit of it saving you so much money which all families can use.


What is your most helpful tip in making your own baby food in your experience?

Plan ahead! This is true for when an adult wants to eat healthier and this is true for meal prepping for babies as well. My husband does the food shopping every Saturday so every Friday night I’m planning on what meals I want to make my baby for the week ahead. Usually nothing fancy – pick 3 veggies and 3 fruits. Sometimes I don’t have a chance to make it all but at least I have the ingredients in the fridge for when I do have some time to slot in the cooking.


We see you have an ebook for sale on your site, a getting started guide. Can you tell us more about it?

Yes, it’s intended to be a quick start guide. The basics all rolled into a document that you can read on your mobile device when you have some time. It includes: Food chart by age, how to address food allergies, what equipment options you have, how to cook foods, guidelines for storing food, how to thaw the food and of course my favorite recipes! There are some great bonuses as well like how to plan your baby food prep party and some productivity tips for moms.


What were your babys’ favorite baby foods?

My 1 year old absolutely loves bananas. She eats one almost everyday and she’ll eat anything I make with it, like smoothies. My 4 year old loves rice & beans with ground beef.


What is your inspiration for new and exciting baby food ideas?
Usually it’s what’s in season. I had a great time this past fall making all things pumpkin!


Are there plans for a Baby Prep Sundays Cookbook and/or what is next for your site, BabyPrepSundays.com?

I would absolutely love to feature preps from real moms! I have a few there now but I’d love to really grow that page and show all the cool little tricks that even I’ve learned from moms like using press n’ seal plastic wrap to cover the ice trays. If you’d like to feature your baby prep, please do email me at babyprepsundays@gmail.com.

Thanks, Arianny, creator of BabyPrepMondays for sharing your ideas, tips, and help! 

You can find Arianny on her Website, Facebook Page, Instagram, and/or Pinterest account.

Jan 232015
 

Kale is a great choice for baby food, starting at 9 months old

Kale is a super duper green and a great food to your feed your baby at 8 months and older.  When you see this great big bunch of kale in the grocery store, though, the thought of preparing it might might seem a little overwhelming.  Do not fret.

Kale Baby Food Puree How-to Video

This quick video shows an easy way to prepare kale baby food puree. Remember to mix the pureed kale with a fruit, such as a banana, or yogurt in order to cut the strong flavor.

If you have discovered any tricks to preparing kale baby puree, please share it!

Sep 282011
 

A Fan of Super Baby Food took the time to write a nice note expressing the reasons she loves Super Baby Food.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Thank you, Dacia, for your permission to reprint your kind words.

I just want you to know what an immense impact your book has made on my life.  I’m a research nut & the book saved me a lot of time.  Not only useful information, but well organized, user friendly and all-encompassing for all viewpoints or opinions.  The second reason it has impacted me is the support it has given me in embarking on homemade food & fully immersed nutrition.  Our society has evolved into consumers and we’ve become much too separated from our children’s nutrition.  I wanted to breast feed very badly and when I decided to make my own super baby food, I discovered the uncanny parallels the two have as far as stigmas and barriers.  I found support for breast feeding and now I’ve found support for super baby food & beyond.  What I’ve learned will go far beyond my child’s nutrition and even past our own dinner plates.

A couple years ago, my brother had mentioned possibly making his own baby food.  My silent reaction was “you can’t do that, it’s not that simple, baby food is fortified…”  Then I had my son 6 months ago and made my research and decisions.  I went to Borders and piled up 20 books to sift through before choosing yours since it wasn’t all pictures and glossy pages – LOTS of info and that’s it.  Then I went to the family meet & greet for my son’s daycare enrollment & they stated they provide Gerber foods.  I asked if I could bring my own in.  They just about gasped and said, well maybe if you had a Doctor’s note…  Can you believe it!  I pushed and spoke to the Director and they agreed if I would label the ingredients.  THEN, the following week, the teachers all huddled around me and detained me for a half an hour inquiring excitedly about home made baby food.  They just couldn’t get over how wonderful it was all of a sudden.  I’m glad I turned them on to it and plan on buying his two teachers copies of your book for Christmas.

I apologize for the windy feedback, but I really thought you’d enjoy the story as well.  Thanks for your work and for your time!

Dacia Volz
Dunmore, PA

Can anyone provide more words of support for Dacia?  Has anyone run in to the kind of reaction Dacia did at her day care regarding baby food?  How did you handle it?

Aug 302011
 

You have spoken and we have listened.  We proudly present the Super Baby Food Daily Menu of the Super Baby Food Diet free for you to download at your leisure. In the second edition of  Super Baby Food, this sample menu is found on page 136.

This is our most recent download.  For other Super Baby Food Resources including the  The Super Baby Food Diet Daily Worksheet, check Ruth’s blog page “resources” under “about the book!”

We know the sample menu will help your meet all your Super Baby feeding needs! 

Jun 212011
 

Moms are talking about:

How to get the exclusively breastfed baby ready for solid foods:

Ruth Says:

Thanks for using my book. It’s great that you are breastfeeding!  One thing you can do right now to make your little sweetie more accepting to new flavors is to eat a variety of flavors yourself.  The flavors will be in your breastmilk, so eat foods like cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, whole grains and beans, and all the super foods that are loaded with nutrition.

There are a few chapters of Super Baby Food that you should read in their entirety before you start feeding solid foods.  The chapters about food safety and setting up the feeding area, as it says on page v in the front of the book.  You may want to ask your pediatrician for a vitamin supplement for her – one with vitamin D and iron and perhaps zinc.  These are important nutrients that your baby will start needing at around 6 months.

Enjoy!

Ruth

To read more about starting solids, try the new Super Baby Food ebook available on Super Baby Food.com.

Jun 052011
 
raw-dairy-products-for-baby

Moms Are Talking About…

Raw Dairy Products for Their Baby.  We asked Ruth, Are raw dairy products  safe to feed to baby?

Ruth says:

In a word – “Nope”

Here’s why:

Milk and cheese made from raw milk have not been pasteurized–heated sufficiently to kill dangerous bacteria. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dietetic Association say to NOT feed any baby milk, cheese, or any dairy products that are raw (have not been pasteurized).  Babies’ immune systems are not mature enough to fight bacteria that might have contaminated them and some bacteria could be lethal.  Anyone who is “immunocompromised” should not eat raw dairy products, including babies and young children, the elderly, and those with an illness.  And I believe the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that NO ONE, even very healthy adults, should eat raw dairy products, especially those who are immunocompromised.

May 192011
 

What to do when your baby won’t eat a certain food?

It’s a worry for parents.  The first thing to remember is not to push it.  Put the food away and try again in a few weeks. Sometimes your baby will not eat something that is sweet and tastes good to you.  With my baby, it was applesauce.  I was surprised (but not upset!) that he simply would not eat it. A few months later, he began eating it with gusto and has loved it ever since.

If you’re afraid a toddler will not like a particularly healthy new food, such as kale, use a little reverse psychology to get her interested.  Don’t give her any and eat it in front of her.  She will want some.  Be hesitant, but agree to give her some. If you’re lucky, she will love to eat it because it makes her feel like a big girl who fits in with the rest of the adults in the family.

Remember, too, babies will almost always make a face when offered a new food, especially if it has a strong flavor.  Do not go by her facial expression.  Offer her another spoonful and if her little mouth opens to accept a refill, continue feeding!

For more baby food tips check out Super Baby Food or right back her at the Super Baby Food blog!

May 172011
 

Super Baby Food Loves This Post on How To Make Fruit Leather

Tricia, a blogger at How Sweeter It Is, is a fan of Super Baby Food.  We love that.  We also love that she took the time to describe the making of fruit leather as mentioned in Super Baby Food, with pictures, in a scrumptious blog post on her site for mom’s benefit.  Keep up the good work, Tricia.

May 122011
 

A mom had a question on the Super Baby Food Facebook Page about feeding a baby radishes!

Are radishes OK to feed a baby?

Here is what Ruth had to say:

Radishes technically are OK to give to a 9 month old, but I would suggest giving very little and very well diced – use a garlic press and knife to get it into the smallest pieces.  Radishes might cause stomach upset and may be difficult for your baby’s immature system to digest.  Try just a little tiny pea-sized bit and wait a day or so to see if your baby has any reaction.

Use only organic radishes and herbs and spices.

You can add herbs and spices anytime after 6 months, but I would first start with spices that are not hot.  Try a little cinnamon, or ginger first, then move on to turmeric (a SUPER spice loaded with good stuff), cumin, and others.  Stay away from the hot ones, such as cayenne pepper and garlic, for a while.  Introduce in very small quantities and, as always for new foods, use the 4-day wait rule.  Spices are loaded with antioxidants and are super foods, however, do NOT use imported spices, as they may have heavy metals (lead, mercury) in them.

I like the Frontier brand.  All their spices are organic and you can find them at the natural foods store or large grocery stores like Wegman’s.
http://www.frontiercoop.com/products/spices.php

TIP: If your mouth gets too hot from hot or peppery spices, cool it down with milk, which cools better than water or juice.

Thanks for writing!

Does anyone else have a question regarding a vegetable?  Send them to Ruth!

May 122011
 

Choosing, Picking, and Preparing Carrots to Feed your Baby

Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that is not toxic, even in large doses.  Your baby should get a vitamin A veggie every day!  Here are some details for feeding you baby carrots:

Age: Baby must be at least 7 months old for cooked carrots, 10 months for finely grated raw carrots.

Choosing: Carrots should be firm, and not pale.  The smaller the carrot, the sweeter the carrot.

Storing: Carrots need cold temperature and high humidity.  Store in the refrigerator in plastic bag with holes.  When properly stored, carrots retain their nutrients for up to two weeks.

Preparation for cooking: Nutrients are most concentrated in the peels of carrots and just below.  You don’t have to peel or scrape young or small carrots if you give them a good scrubbing with a vegetable brush.  Older, bigger carrots are probably better peeled.

Steaming: Steam whole carrots 15 minutes, carrot slices about 10 minutes.

Baking: Large carrots can be baked in the oven.  Scrub them and leave whole and unpeeled. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.

Freezing: Freeze pureed carrots using the food cube method for up to 2 months.

For tips on preparing and feeding more vegetables, check out Super Baby Food book or check right back here at the Super Baby Food Blog.

May 042011
 

The number one rule when considering supplements for your baby is to discuss it with your pediatrician.  Between the two of you, you can determine the diet your baby has now and what might need to be supplemented.  With that in mind, here is some general information that you can use to start to talk about supplements for your baby.

Vitamin supplements are called supplements because they are meant to do just that – “supplement” a baby’s good diet.  Vitamin supplements are terrific because even a good diet can be lacking in nutrients due to improper storage of foods, too-early harvesting, and the lack of nutrients in our country’s depleted soils from poor farming methods.

Exclusively breast-fed babies are often prescribed a supplement containing vitamin D.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends this because breast milk may not have enough of this nutrient, which is produced by sunlight on skin.  Some, however, feel the need for Vitamin D as a supplement to a breastfeeding baby may not be necessary.  You can read that point of view here on Homemade Baby Food Recipes.com.

Once you discuss supplements with your pediatrician, be sure to give your baby his vitamin supplement with her meals, not on an empty stomach.  Vitamins work with food to help with chemical reactions in the body.  For many babies the method will be to exclusively breast feed your baby until 6 months old and add vitamin D, and possibly iron drops (we’ll talk more about iron in the next post).  Bottle fed babies will not need Vitamin D as a supplement as it is provided in formula.

In the next post we’ll discuss Iron and Fluoride as supplements.  For even more information on nutritional supplements including a terrific appendix of every vitamin known to man defined with the  nutritional needs of your baby by age check out the Super Baby Food book or check back here at the Super Baby Food Blog!

Apr 272011
 

In the last blog post, we listed some signs of readiness for solid foods that you and your pediatrician will look for to determine whether your baby is ready for solid foods.  Remember to discuss these signs with your pediatrician to make the determination whether you baby is ready for solid foods.

Here are more signs of readiness:

  • Baby is at least four months old.
  • Baby is drinking at least 32-40 ounces of formula per 24 hours and still wants more.
  • Baby is breast feeding at least 8-10 times per 24 hours, empties both breasts at each feeding, and still wants more.
  • The time between feedings becomes shorter and shorter over a period of several days.
  • Baby can bring an object in her hand directly to her mouth.
  • Baby shows interest in others eating around her.
  • Baby becomes fussy in the middle of the night, whereas before she slept through with no problem.

For these and other great tips for feeding baby check out the book, Super Baby Food. For immediate information, try the Super Baby Food app, free for a limited time.

Apr 252011
 

In a previous blog post we talked about some reasons why starting baby food is not such a good idea. In this blog post and the next, we’ll go in the other direction and list some signs of readiness for solid foods.  If you would like to introduce solid foods to your baby, discuss it with your pediatrician and do whatever you and your pediatrician agree is best for your baby.

Here are some signs of readiness of solid foods:

  • Baby is at least four months old.
  • Baby weighs twice as much as her birth weight
  • Baby weighs at least 13-15 pounds
  • Baby can sit with support, allowing her to lean forward when she wants another spoonful and backward to refuse.
  • Baby has control over her head and neck muscles and can turn her head to refuse food.
  • Baby has stopped exhibiting the extrusion reflex when you put a spoon in her mouth.  If after several tries, food comes right back out of her mouth when you spoon feed her, she is not yet ready for solid foods.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog post for more sign of readiness for solid baby food.  For more information on feeding baby consult the Super Baby Food book or the Super Baby Food App (free for a limited time)!

Apr 212011
 

In Part 1, we reviewed some baby first foods.  Here are some other great first food choices.

Mashed ripe banana is an excellent first food for baby.  Bananas are nutritious and very easy for your baby to digest.  Many other cultures use bananas exclusively as their first baby food.  Try to buy only organically-grown bananas.

Mashed, ripe avocado is also an excellent first food for baby.  Avocados are extremely nutritious and contains the fatty acids that your baby needs for brain development.

Cooked, mashed sweet potato is another favorite first food for babies who are at least 4 months old.  It, too, is highly nutritious and filled with beta carotene (vitamin A).

Yogurt is a good first baby food for babies who are at least 6 months old.  Whole milk yogurt, the plain variety, instead of low-fat yogurt, is recommended because your baby needs fats. Remember that yogurt, in the under 1 year old, should not be fed in place of breastmilk or formula, but may be fed as an additional first food.

For an informative video that describes baby’s first foods, check out the video starring Ruth Yaron and Cindy Crawford.

Stay tuned for more information to feed your baby right here at the Super Baby Food Blog.

Apr 132011
 

If you make eating healthy foods fun, healthy eaters will be created.  Kids think it’s lots of fun when you make playful, decorative food.  Decorating only takes a few seconds, but it makes your child feel very special.  For the older than 1 child, try creating a recipe like Apple Smiley Face (recipe below) and then decorating with fruits and vegetables.  Once the recipe is completed and placed on your child’s plate in a pancake-shaped face, use decorative touches to add eyes (cooked egg slices or halved grapes), a nose (raisin or carob chip), mouth (orange section) and hair (curly carrot peel). This recipe is healthy all around and fun!  Any healthy food can go through the same decorative transformation.

Here’s the Apple Smiley face recipe:

To make a “pancake,” grate a well-scrubbed organic apple with peel in a processor (or use organic no-sugar-added applesauce). Mix with 1-2 tablespoons natural peanut butter or other nut butter to make a slightly thick “dough.” Optionally add 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave nectar (a healthy sweetener that can be found in natural foods stores) and a pinch of cinnamon and/or some flax seed oil or freshly ground flax seeds. Grate an apple in a processor.

Enjoy your toddler’s enjoyment of this Super Snack!

Mar 282011
 


In the last Super Baby Food Blog post, we talked about the Serving Size of a Super Baby Food meal.  Size is important Also important is to balance your baby’s diet among the food groups.  To do just that, try this tip: keep food servings about the same size.  For example, if your baby’s vegetable servings are currently 2 food cubes, keep the fruit servings about the same size:  2 Food Cubes = 4 Tablespoons = 1/4 cup.  Make cooked cereal servings twice the size of fruit or veggie servings, because cooked cereal is mostly water.

For 2 veggie food cubes or 1/4 cup fruit, a similar sized cereal serving would be 1/2 cup of cooked cereal. (A half-cup of cooked cereal is only a few tablespoons of ground dry cereal before it is mixed with water).  Keeping food servings similar in size will help to promote in your baby’s diet a nice balance of nutrients from the different food groups. This is what we mean by “similar-sized” food servings.

Mar 232011
 

In a previous post, we outlined the Super Baby Food Food Cube Freezing method.  Freezing food is an important step. Thawing the food is the next important step.  It’s important to thaw the food “safely.”  “Safely” here has two meanings.  First, baby food should be thawed in a way which prevents bacterial growth.  Baby food should never be thawed at room temperature, and baby food should not be kept at room temperature for more than several minutes.  Second, “safely” means thawing baby food so that it is not too hot or too cold to be a danger to your baby.  If it’s too hot, it may burn your baby’s mouth.  If it is too cold, and therefore not thawed thoroughly, it may contain frozen food chunks that are choking hazards to your baby.  Food that is too cold may also “burn” your baby’s sensitive mouth.  In thawing food, you simply want to take the chill out of baby’s food, you don’t want to make it hot.

Here are a few ways to safely thaw those frozen baby food cubes:

Thaw Food Cubes on the Stove Top:

Place frozen food cube in a pot and thaw over very low heat stirring often.  A double broiler can also be used.  This method takes a while so begin to warm the cubes 15 minutes to 1/2 hour before mealtime.

Thaw Food Cubes in the refrigerator:

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Be sure to stir insuring that no frozen chunks are left.  If you need to warm the food a bit, place container in a larger container with hot tap water.

Thaw Food Cubes In the Microwave:

Many experts recommend avoiding the microwave altogether because of the uneven heating that microwaves are notorious for.  It’s a fact that parents use the microwave regardless so, if you are going to use the microwave to thaw, be careful.  Place the frozen cubes in a little microwave-safe bowl.  With experience you will know exactly how long to thaw a frozen cube, probably between 30 seconds and a minute.  Once thawed almost all the way through, mash the remaining cube to even out the temperature.

Here are a few tips to make sure that baby’s food will be safe for baby to eat:

  • Stir, stir, stir baby food thoroughly to distribute heat
  • Always test the temperature of your baby’s food BEFORE feeding to your baby
  • Never re-freeze thawed baby food!

For additional information, check out Super Baby Food and check back with us here at the Super Baby Food blog.  Remember to subscribe to our feed to keep up with informative blog posts!

Feb 172011
 

Moms who have already started feeding their baby commercial baby cereal wonder if they can convert their baby to eat Super Baby Porridge after discovering it’s benefits in Super Baby Food.  In a word…the answer is, “yes.”

Of course, it is best to start your baby out on Super Porridge from the very beginning.  But  for those babies who have already had the commercial and prefer it over homemade Super Porridge, try this:  Mix just a bit of  Super Porridge into foods that your baby loves, such as pureed veggies/fruits or mix a small amount into the commercial baby cereal.  Gradually increase the amount of Super Porridge until most or all of the food is Super Porridge.

Has anyone had success with a Super Baby Porridge switch?  Please share your success story with us.