Monday, April 19, 2010

Shoulda Bought a Beaba...Adventures in Baby Food

Since we got the go ahead to add protein/meat to Nate's diet (at 6 months), I have been struggling with how to go about doing so. My go-to babyfood brand, Gerber, only has meat products in jars, which I am avoiding because of the BPA in the lids. The two packs have been great for starting fruits and veggies, and I'm bummed that they don't carry any protein in those BPA free containers. I looked in all of my local supermarkets and baby stores and quickly discovered that the best way to get BPA free meat into Nate would be by making my own baby food.

Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker

Now I have had zero interest in making Nate's food. It seems time consuming, and most days I feel accomplished if I can just get a shower, and lets face it, I can be pretty lazy. But since Nate's health is more important to me than anything, I began researching how to make food. I don't have a lot of key kitchen gadgets...we don't even own a blender or food processor, so the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker quickly made it's way to the top of the short list when looking at a way to puree the food. It steams, purees, and even defrosts. It's BPA free and gets great reviews. But that price tag...about $150! Since I'm not working, I'm trying to be thrifty and it seemed like I could find something for less, if I gave up some of the convenience. So after tons of research into blenders, food processors, etc., I bought a little processor at BuyBuy Baby on a whim (why do I do these things???). It's the Dexbaby processor (not sure of it's exact name). And it sucks.

Let me back up. I didn't even know how to steam fruit. I am a whiz in the kitchen, as you can tell. But I wanted to make everything as healthy as possible, so I went to Whole Foods, got the most beautiful organic pears (pears are Natey's favorite),organic sweet potatoes (another fave) and some grain fed, no hormone chicken breasts...since meat was the whole reason I was doing this. I attempted to steam the pears, which it turned out weren't ripe yet (I don't eat pears, if that helps to excuse it, and I let the sweet potatoes get moldy, but I did manage to bake and puree the chicken (small success!). So, of course the one thing I actually managed to make, Nate HATED. I don't blame him. Plain chicken mush is nasty, it turns out. Shocking.

But using the dexbaby was awful. You push down on the container to get the blades going, but you can't push for too long before the motor makes the whole thing hot and it smells like something's burning. And of course everything is stuck to the sides. So you have to unscrew, stir, wait for the thing to cool down and try again. Not convenient or appetizing. I should of bought the Beaba. I ended up putting the chicken in Babycubes (very convenient, bpa free)and on a different weekend got some sweet potatoes in the freezer too. Where they have remained. And are now freezer burnt. I am just not meant to make his food.

Plum Organics Baby Food, Blueberry, Pear & Purple Carrot, 4.22-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 24)

Which brings me to my latest favorite discoveries...Chef Tyler Florence's Sprout baby food, Plum Organics and Ella's Kitchen. All organic, in bpa free pouches and with some great new flavors for Nate (along with chunkier textures). Our favorite so far is Sprout's Baked Sweet Potatoes and White Beans (with cinnamon!). Nate loves it and finally, some protein. Plum's Sweet Potato, Corn & Apple has been a huge hit too. Ella's has been more hit or miss. Nate was NOT a fan of the Broccoli, Peas & Pears, but does like Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Apple & Blueberry. Notice a sweet potato trend here? I just ordered some Sprout Pasta with Lentil Bolognese (more protein!) from diapers.com, so we'll see how Nate does with tomatoes, lentils and onions!
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