I have always wanted to make my own baby food, but I haven’t done it much. With my first child, it was a challenge enough to have other food before him because I was so disorganized (and breastfeeding is so convenient). So, I ended up buying the stuff from the stores. I was also going to try and make my second child’s food, but one of my husband’s coworker gave us a bunch of baby food because their son rejected it. His wife had started giving him homemade food from a book called Super Baby Food and their baby didn’t want anything to do with that processed stuff. I did a mix of homemade and jarred, but soon he was eating table food with us anyway. Well, now that my third child has been looking at us like a vulture when we are at the table, I decided to get the book from my local library and see what it had to offer.
With the exception of a few precautions, it doesn’t take much know-how to make baked apples, sweet potatoes, and puréed peas. You don’t really need a book for that kind of stuff either. But Super Baby Food is more than a baby cookbook. The subtitle saying that it is “absolutely everything you need to know” is pretty accurate. In addition to recipes, there are plenty of money and time saving tips. Cost consciousness is a plus for me, as this is often a downfall in most cookbooks. For those who prefer a schedule, the author has provided one. Also, there’s a chapter detailing almost every fruit and vegetable you can think of, providing information for from selecting them in the grocery store, to cooking and freezing, as well as at what age it is appropriate to include those foods. The nutrition advice is sound and well explained, and there is an emphasis on whole (i.e. minimally processed) foods. To keep up with the current recommendations, corrections and updates are available through http://www.superbabyfood.com/. You can also browse sample chapters on the site.
By the way, you know how the packaged baby cereal tastes like cardboard? Well, homemade cereal has a much better taste and texture to it. I did buy the boxed stuff. It comes in handy for thickening the cereal when I add too much liquid, and when I haven’t had the chance to make more cereal, but my baby seems to like homemade food better.
In addition, Super Baby Food includes information on cleaning your home with baby-safe materials (I tried cleaning my bathroom with vinegar and baking powder. It worked out really well), as well as a section on birthday parties (I’ve got to try their spaceship cake design).
In summary, Super Baby Food is a resource well worth having.
Super Baby Food (2nd ed), by Ruth Yaron. ISBN: 0965260313