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Creating a New Normal | Efficient Homemade Baby Food

Unlike cloth diapering, making my own baby food was something I have known I would do for years. I have a “system” (you’ll see this theme with me) for making, carrying, storing & feeding the baby food I make and it is easier than you probably think. Would you believe me if I told you that I have only made baby food about 8 times? Well, you heard it! I am a master of efficiency when it comes to this subject & I want to show you how simple it really is. So, here it goes. Baby food made EASY!!

WHY WOULD YOU MAKE YOUR OWN BABY FOOD?

I want my baby to grow up thinking it is totally normal to eat five different fruits and veggies a day. It’s my responsibility to cultivate my kids taste buds & let them experience anything & everything they can, so there is a better chance at liking the healthy stuff. I like to think I am doing my part to help fight the child obesity epidemic by making it very easy to like what is green & fresh and by only offering REAL food! Seems like feeding a baby from a jar is normal these days & that’s fine, this is not for everyone. However, I can tell a distinct difference between jarred & fresh food and I just think that I’d rather have my baby like the fresh over the jarred. I really don’t want to start feeding my child broccoli when she is two, then battling with her because it’s something new. I want her to already be very familiar with the flavor. So, we started right away.

Getting my baby used to different textures is also a big part of why I make my own baby food. Real food textures (like banana, sweet potato, cauliflower) are not found in jarred baby food. (Is there a cauliflower baby food?) Some foods are not jarred, and I don’t want to limit her exposure to only what is available on Aisle 5. One HUGE part of my decision is being able to regulate my daughter’s bowel movements by giving her a diet with all the fiber she needs. On a recent road trip, I had no choice but to use some packaged food (I chose Plum Organics pouches) and within three days of having three pouches a day, she was writhing in pain due to constipation. I cooked up a head of broccoli, and she gobbled it down as fast as I could get it in her mouth. After a glycerin suppository (boo) and a BUNCH of broccoli, she was back to normal. This is now a really big part of why I am so passionate about this choice!

Some may say it is cheaper. I am not so sure of this, as I buy mostly organic. Maybe it is, but cost is at the bottom of the list of reasons why I do it.

WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE BABY FOOD?

There are a lot of fancy tools out there as companies are now capitalizing on the home made baby food market. I have experience with a lot of these fancy things, but here are the basic essentials you need:

  • stock pot & lid with a vegetable steamer basket
  • blender (a good one. I shredded the rubber spinner thing [easily replaceable BTW] on my high end blender, so invest well!)
  • spatula #1 (could not live without it–Le Creuset make the best spatulas ever)
  • spatula #2 (could not get into cube trays efficiently without it, nor scrape down the blender sides. EEK! Discontinued at Williams Sonoma…I linked the next best thing. :/)
  • Tovolo Perfect Cube Ice Trays (x6) (each cube is exactly 1 ounce, making portioning a cinch)
  • ziploc freezer bags
  • a chest deep freezer is really nice
  • *a note on the BEABA BABYCOOK. I was gifted one. I have used in on occasion. I have found that it kills my efficiency since I cannot make big batches with it. If you plan to cook for your baby daily, it might be a good investment because it is far less cleanup, but I much prefer giant batch cooking. Complete non-essential. Save your $$ on that & buy organic food!

HOW DO YOU MAKE IT?

One of the big myths about making your own baby food is that it takes FOREVER. There is certainly a time commitment, but if you cook efficiently, it is pretty simple. Not as simple as unscrewing a jar, but there is an easier way to go about it than making baby food every day. (I would go crazy if I made it every day) Oh, and here’s a tip: does your mom come to visit? Mine does & she loves to cook. She has helped me SO MUCH with making baby food & I pretty much have made it from trip to trip with no additional cooking…and she lives 2000 miles away! So, use your help! This is a super easy thing that grandma can do when she comes visit!

SHOPPING: I typically buy the fruits & veggies in bulk, many at my local Costco, as they have a wonderful organic selection. I often buy broccoli & cauliflower already cut into florets just to make it easy. Fresh foods that I buy weekly & don’t cook include blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, plums, bananas, mangoes, avocados, cherries. Foods I buy in bulk and cook are apples, pears, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, corn, beets, zucchini & carrots. I am sure there are some I am forgetting.

COOK BOOKS: I only have two. This one & this one. I believe in keeping it simple, so I really only have made the single food recipes & baby stock for cooking quinoa, couscous & rice. There is also a GREAT blog, if you are looking to same some money, called Wholesome Baby Food. Not only does it give you a bunch of recipes, but there are food charts and it has a plethora of important & credible information.

COOKING: I steam or bake just about everything. The only ingredient I have ever added is Butter.  Oh, and cinnamon to the apples & pears. The first two or three batches I put in the blender to puree. Then I began making it chunkier & by about 10 months, all I had to do was mash everything.

HOW DO YOU STORE IT?

Best thing to do is watch the video at the end of this post. FULL info on freezing & storing + some tips better demonstrated than written down.

Short answer: everything is frozen in the Tovolo Cube because a cube is a very efficient use of space. I tried a regular ice cube tray & it was a disaster. I have a chest freezer that I have larger stacking cubes in that are actually meant for hanging files that I found at my local Office Max. By using the stacking cubes, I actually have nice compartmentalized space in an otherwise horribly designed freezer. Below the top cube is my stash of (adult) soups & meats. It works really well. Once I have my batch of baby food frozen in the trays (usually freeze them all in my refrigerator freezer) I put them into gallon size Ziploc freezer bags, perfectly lined up & flat. Smaller portions (on the right) I put in the hanging basket (comes with most chest freezers) in quart Ziploc freezer bags. Each bag is labeled with the contents & date of packing.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE MEALS?

Each of these cubes takes about 1 minute to defrost in the microwave. For each meal, I grab her plate & head out to the freezer, select the mix of foods for that meal, then take it in & put it in the microwave. I prefer these plates, which I actually found in pink at our local Homegoods. I have six of them, so I can run the dishwasher every other day. I like them because I can mash bananas + oatmeal in the big section, the medium section holds 2 cubes, and the small section holds one cube. The smallest section holds a half cube, so I rarely use it.

ON THE GO: This is a whole different story. I always take a soft cooler (I have & love this one) w/ icepack with me & use the following tools with great success:

  • *AMENDED 10/1/10–this is my new system for taking food on the go: The ZoLi OTG Feeder. Below is what I used before I found this!
  • Sassy On-the-Go (only needed one so far)
  • Sassy EZ Grip Feeding Bowls (I have two, great for mixing two cubes on each side or for adding meat/cheese on one side, cubes on the other)
  • Boon Squirt Food Dispensing Spoons (I have three, but only need one. I used them more when she had smoother food. Now the chunks don’t fit through the squirt hole, so all I use it for is yogurt but I LOVE them!)
  • *I just found this while checking out one of my favorite stores, BabyEarth. Looks like a very cool concept!! The Baby Bento Box.

WHAT IS A TYPICAL MEAL?

Of course this varies over time, as the child grows up & nutritional needs change. I exclusively breastfed until last week, so as per the American Academy of Pediatrics I did not start my daughter on solids until she was 6 months old. However, right from the start I always offered at least 3-4 different foods at each meal. I never gave up any foods she didn’t like, and so far she will still eat anything I put in front of her. I’ll give you a glimpse at a normal daily menu for her at 11 months old:

BREAKFAST

  • 2 handfuls of blueberries OR 3-4 large strawberries (or some of each!)
  • 1 piece of buttered toast with cinnamon OR an organic pancake
  • 1 egg, scrambled with organic milk
  • 1/2 banana OR 1-2oz of apples/pears/mangoes/peaches fed with
  • 2 TBSP whole grain organic cereal & cinnamon
  • 1/3 of a yoBaby yogurt (we call it her Yogurt Dessert!)

LUNCH

  • 1 oz cheese
  • 1 oz torn chicken or organic beef bites
  • 3-4 cubes of veggies, all different (often she eats a serving of chopped veggies instead of a cube for lunch & dinner)
  • 1/3 yogurt dessert

DINNER

  • 1oz cheese
  • 1 oz torn chicken or organic beef bites (opposite what was eaten at lunch) OR sometimes I give her a bit of what I made for dinner
  • 3 cubes of different veggies
  • 1 cube of fruit fed with
  • 2 TBSP whole grain organic cereal & cinnamon
  • 1/3 yogurt Dessert

WHAT ABOUT “OTHER” FOODS?

So of course my daughter does consume foods other than the baby cubes. I fed Caroline the yoBaby yogurts right from the beginning, along with the fruit & multi-grain cereal to start. Our progression towards self feeding began with organic Happy Baby banana/apple puffs. I broke them into thirds and she could get them to stick to her hands & gobbled them right up. Within a week we moved on to other solid foods & I never went back to using the puffs. I only used a bottle & a half total. The other nice “trainer” food was the Baby Mum Mum. A couple of my mommy friends turned me onto these & they are truly no mess, no choke. Typical teething biscuits are a disaster & definitely become choking hazards at the end. These were really great to help get the hand-mouth coordination down. Toast is another good option, but I try to keep her diet mostly protein, dairy & produce.

Caroline ate only egg yolks for breakfast until recently, as the whites tend to be quite allergenic. (healthy mommy tip: I am a big egg white eater, and my morning standard breakfast is 1 full egg + 3 egg whites, so I just used my yolks for my baby! EFFICIENT!!) She also eats bits of cheese and a serving of meat at lunch & dinner. I introduced meat at 9 months, and because I began the transition to chunkier food within four weeks of solids, I never had to do any grinding of meat. (which kind of grosses me out!!) I simply tore little bits & she picked them up & ate them without any problems. I cooked my own chicken (to control the sodium content–babies should have ZERO salt) for the first five months and have just recently began offering rotisserie chicken & small servings of what we’re eating for dinner. For her introduction to beef, I used the organic ground beef (Costco) that I roll into one ounce patties, cook on the stove then freeze. Each patty defrosts in 15 seconds in the microwave.

Caroline also eats a lot of Quinoa (it’s mixed with pureed asparagus & looks like green & white balls in the cube pictures!) which is very high in protein and so good for you! I buy it in a giant bag at Costco, but you should be able to get it in any good grocery store. It’s very tasty & reminds me a lot of brown rice, but better.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM MY DAUGHTER’S DIET

Since I began cooking Caroline’s food I have certainly learned a few things about how tasty “naked” food can be. I tend to add a lot of seasonings and extras to food when it is pretty darn delicious on it’s own. So many vegetables, like carrots and sweet potatoes, need absolutely no seasonings when cooked well. Since I am now feeding Caroline bits of the meals I cook nightly, I have cut back on adding any salt I am am surprised at how little I miss it. Sometimes the easiest way to make something simple is to just eat it straight out of the earth. Plain old fruit & veggies are pretty tasty!

 

 

THE FULL ‘HOW TO’ VIDEO

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Maureen Muoneke MD - Good fruits to start with include apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, mangoes, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes.

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kim - I saw your your list for the typical daily menu for what she eats. and on the list for breakfast, it seems like a lot for a baby. can she really eat all of that in one meal?

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Cristal Castillo - Thank you for sharing this and writing this blog. I found it on Pinterest! I’m a new Mommy, and I take this Very seriously…as it’s the beginning to the Rest of her life in Healthy eating! Thank you again and I can’t wait to start Kaydence at 6 months and will be sharing this with the other new moms I know!!

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-shawna- - butternut squash, beets, apricot. :)

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Kristen - Thank you so much for posting this. I bought an ice tray right away.

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Saartje - While I think it’s wonderful that you are feeding your baby real food instead of jars, I still think you’re overcomplicating things. At 11 months, our babies eat at the table with us, the same food we eat, which is mostly simple, real food and sometimes french fries. When I start feeding them solids at 6 months, I do freeze portions, because 1. baby doesn’t follow our meal schedule yet, and 2. when we go on trips or visit friends or family the food there is often not suitable for someone without teeth (like a salad, for example). However, I do not cook special baby meals, it seems like a waste of time and energy, when all you have to do is cook a bit more of whatever you’re cooking for the rest of the family, squish it with a fork (no blenders for me, too much washing up) and stick in in the freezer. Fruit is simply given fresh and uncooked, the way we eat it. Fruit which requires teeth is grated or when we’re on the move and forgot the grate: pre-chewed. Yep, you heard me: we will chew the food first and then give it to baby! To most westerners this sounds disgusting, but let me assure you that 1. your baby needs the germs that you have in your mouth and gut, and 2. by 6 months she is already colonized with them anyway. Pre-chewing for small children is common practice anywhere in the world that doesn’t have blenders. We also have no special baby-feeding gear (apart from bottles, to feed the baby extracted milk at day care), they do fine eating from coffee or tea spoons from normal bowls and drinking from a normal glass.

So real food: yes please, all the fuss: no thanks!

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Ivana - which vegetables yellow, purple and orange?
Tnx

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-shawna- - That is watermelon & I ended up blending it into yogurt because it was way too runny to serve. Lesson learned! This time around I am using more frozen organic food, blueberries & strawberries specifically, because my little guy was done with purees in a matter of weeks. I wanted to feed himself. frozen fruits ended up being the perfect mushy consistency when defrosted.

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-shawna- - thanks for the update! I never had a problem!

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Miranda Jean-Louis - so I just read an article that says the white film that can develop on the tovolo trays thatbresults in the bad taste and foul smell are calcium deposits caused by hard water and can be removed by a water and vinegar mix

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Miranda Jean-Louis - i have heard that the tovolo trays can cause a bad taste and foul odor, have you found that to be the case?

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Jillian - I love your system! A few questions, in one of your comments you said not to freeze banana advacado and watermelon.. But are those pretty pink cubes in the picture frozen watermelon? Just wondering how I should do it. Would rather freeze what I can to make it easier! Also when you give them fresh blueberries do you purée them fresh and then freeze them? And the fruits you said that you buy weekly and don’t cook, does that mean that you purée them fresh and them freeze them as well? Let me know, thank you!!

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Sharon - Thank you so much for the great info! Could you update your link in the list of things you need? Thank you!

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-shawna- - yes & yes. However, I always refrigerated a frozen cube overnight & left the house without refrigerating the container so I never microwaved!

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-shawna- - Why did you choose to freeze it? I think it’s the easiest food, besides banana, to carry open & feed on the go!

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Dana - I have frozen avocado with great success. Make a lemon juice bath. Put water in a pie plate or other dish and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Then add sliced avocado and make sure it gets covered in the water. Take them out of the water and freeze the slices and then put in a ziploc bag. Works great! And it is such a small amount of citrus it has not bothered my son at all. The store bought baby food often has citric acid in it as well.

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Eunice - Hi, can the Zoli On-the-go microwavable and dish washer safe? Otherwise, how do you feed her with the frozen cube?

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-shawna- - I never heated it. I fed both my babies room temp or colder purees, just to make it less work for me in the long run.

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Stephanie - How did you go about taking the baby food on the go and heating it up before they were able to eat finger foods, basically just starting out eating baby food? I see you transported it in a cooler but never seen how you served it

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April J - I’m batch freezing for my kiddo.
How do you get your foods to keep their usual color?
For instance my bananas and white potatoes look awful.
Thank you!
April J recently posted..T-Rex’s 1st Christmas

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-shawna- - I use the microwave, but thawing overnight would be eve better. I just can’t ever remember!

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lacy - what is the pretty purple food?

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Emily - How do you defrost/heat fruits and veggies once frozen? Something like apples would you just let them thaw overnight? Thanks!

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-shawna- - I just cooked the quinoa as usual & mixed with asparagus! :) You could do it extra mushy if you are more comfortable with it that way. I didn’t feed much rice. :)

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Rebecca - I am in LOVE with this post! I just ordered my ice trays and I can’t wait to get started freezing baby food for my 6 month old. I’ve been making small batches each day – can’t believe I didn’t think of cooking and freezing (especially since I do OAMC several times per year).

I wondered about the grains you mention. How do you prep and freeze the quinoa, rice, etc.? Do you just add extra water when cooking it, or how do you get it to be a good consistency for a baby to gum?

Love the blog! Thanks in advance for your help. :)

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Kimber - Thank you so much for this post! I found you via Pinterest and just started feedning my Caroline baby food two weeks ago. This has helped me sooo much!!

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Mandy - Thanks!

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-shawna- - I don’t have a specific quantity…and after having two very different kiddies, I think it is quite child specific. Good luck!

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Mandy - Hello and thank you for your blog! I love it and it’s so helpful to new moms! One question, do you have a shopping list available of each fruit/veggie that you buy and how much? My mother also lives 700 miles away and she would love to help make my daughter’s baby food and I just don’t know how much of each item to buy to make a 1-2 months supply of food. Help! lol

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-shawna- - You can freeze it in a regular freezer. Truthfully, we were done with purees after about five months so they should be just fine!

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Natalie - Hi. I’m a first time mom and I’ve been making my son’s food since he started solids about a month ago. I’m wanting to start making it in bulk to save time and money but am worried about some storage issues. We do not have a deep freezer. Is it safe to freeze the food in our refrigerator freezer? And will it keep for as long?

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Denise - You are doing a wonderful job of giving your child great food. However if you are microwaving it, you are destroying all the nutrients in the food and all your prep work is for nothing. Please do some research on microwaving. We have all gotten rid of ours!

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Megan - I just started making homemade baby food because of your blog and I love it but i’m running into a problem. I made sweet potatoes and froze them but my little guy won’t eat them, He puckers up like I’m feeding him a lemon and then won’t open his mouth for another bite. He will however eat the gerber sweet potatoes and loves them. Did you run into this problem at all? How did you get them to eat something they didn’t like? He won’t eat the squash I made either…
Megan recently posted..Project 52:20 LearningMomma

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-shawna- - I don’t see them online anymore–it was just a soft lunch box cooler. any will do!

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Laura - Hi, the link you provided for the soft cooler that you use when traveling just took my to Target.com. Do you have a different link you can give to show which cooler you use?
Thanks!

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-shawna- - I do on my styleberry youtube channel! It is linked in the upper left! :)

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Natalie - Do you have anymore videos or just this one? I just started my 6 month old baby boy on cereal this weekend. He has been breastfed so far, but I’m looking forward to making his food soon. Ordered the green sprout silicon cube trays…hope to get them this week!

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-shawna- - a couple tablespoons! & you really shouldn’t need purees for longer than 4-6 months. :)

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kristin - How much butter do you add to your homemade squash for babg along with other veggies? How long can i keep baby food in the freezer?

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-shawna- - I am not sure if you can freeze cereals. I am not feeding cereal at all this time (see project 52 post 34, I think? for the link why) I didn’t cook avocado or banana, but everything else at first. I would not freeze watermelon, avocado or banana. Everything else was good!

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Stacey - I hope you still read comments but I was wondering. I have a baby bullet, and it’s not a cooker but a blender. It will blend grains to make cereal for me, can you freeze cereals too and do the same thing as all of this?

And also what foods do you not have to steam or cook before making into food. I know bananas and avacados but is there anything else that’s good to go into my blender without any prep?

And one last thing haha, is there any food you can not freeze? Something that has to be served right away or is all food freezable? May seem like a dumb question but I’ve just started this journey and we are about to go bulk shopping and I don’t want to mess this up haha.

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Lauren - Here’s that cauliflower baby food you were looking for: http://farmtobabynyc.tumblr.com/post/28132504669/farm-to-baby-menu-friday-july-27th

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Lisa - I also found some containers I like on Amazon by Green Sprouts. They come in glass or plastic. I use these when I need to freeze in extremely small batches (1 peach can fill 2 – 3 cubes). Then I can just put the whole container in her lunch bag & send to daycare without having to pop it out or put cubes into a little bowl with a lid.

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Lisa - Awesome! I just found your site and watched your video on making baby food. I have been doing the extact same thing for 3 months now since my daughter was 6 months old. I get so many compliments on how good of an eater she is! She will eat anything I put in front of her!!! I have the same silicone cube trays which I found at Bed Bath and Beyond. I also found OXO brand ice cube trays with covers are great for stacking while freezing…although the frozen result isn’t perfect little cubes, it works fine for us. One tip I found works well with both kinds of trays: Turn the tray upsidedown & run it under some water for a few seconds. This loosens the cubes up, but doesn’t defrost them so they pop out easier. I’m getting ready to make a big batch again as we will be remodeling our house and we will only have access to the freezer and a microwave! :-)

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Stephanie - Hi there,

Great ideas! One tip- my boyfriend is a chef. While this may not work in as much bulk (granted freezing is good but food doesn’t last forever)…the safest way to freeze anything can’t be done with a home freezer. But- to get close- freezing in individual baggies (maybe for travel??) and spread them out individually and flatten as much to be truly truly thin as can be. It will freeze super fast but also will thaw in minutes for use. And it freezes
Fast, not allowing germs to have a chance to grow.

Just a thought! Great ideas. I don’t know if u mentioned this- mixing with breast milk instead of water? I did skim your blog…

Stephanie

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Naomi Bigler - Thanks so much for this! My baby just turned 6 months old and I am wanting to make her baby food (I didn’t do it for my first…I thought it would be too hard). All of these tips are awesome and have left me really excited to start making her food!

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-shawna- - Read this! :) http://styleberryblog.com/carrying-toddler-food-on-the-go-the-zoli-sumo I would not jump straight to packaged. I’d ease in. We ended up with the most traumatic constipation when I used plum organics instead of home made on a road trip & stay in the woods. It was NOT pretty.

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Amanda - Great post. I am just beginning ‘solids’ – we are on the second day of rice cereal. I have a trip planned for a month from now. Have you found the best way to travel with baby food (on planes, etc.) Am I better off just buying it for the time we are gone?

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Kristin - Sorry, baby interference! I meant, do I have to steam/bake fruits before pureeing them even though most are fairly soft?
Thanks, Kristin

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Kristin - Hi Shawna,

I meant, do i

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-shawna- - I am not sure what you are asking. Still as in now? If that is your question, then no. We’ve been done with purees for two years! If you are asking if the order is steam then puree, then yes. :)

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Kristin - This might be a dumb question, but do you still steam/bake fruits before pureeing them?

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Veronica - Aha! Thank you. I have not used bug repellant yet either, but the bugs are bad where we live & every time my son goes outside he seems to get a mosquito bite or two. Then he scratches, then it bleeds. It makes me feel so bad- I’ve got to try a homemade solution!

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-shawna- - watermelon! & I’ve never used bug repellent!

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Veronica - No smell with mine either! I also read those reviews before buying my trays & one of the reviewers mentioned that he soaked them in a vinegar & water solution before using to remove any smell or residue, so that’s what I did & have had no problems!

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Veronica - Shawna, your blog has been an invaluable resource for me. I have a 2 year old son & an almost 8 month old daughter. You have inspired me to make my daughter’s food, using your method, and she loves it & thanks you! I’m dying to know what the beautiful pink cube is in your pics…looks like watermelon, but I didn’t see that fruit mentioned in your posts….also-different subject- what form of bug repellant do you use on Caroline? I found a recipe on pinterest that I plan to try but was curious to know what you use. Thanks so much!

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Lyn - I really tried to get my little guy to eat homemade food at first but he would only eat the jarred stuff. I managed to get him to eat a few of those Plum pouch foods too shortly after. He has had constipation everytime. I never really understood why. However, I will say that things that he wouldn’t eat before that where homemade he is willing to gobble up now because he sees his family eating it. I’ve always advocated for the homemade stuff and am so happy he is widening his palet. Still so weird about the Plum thing.

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Kelly - Cool thanks. I hadn’t noticed anything, but wanted to check with you also. I love your blog and have totally followed your tips for making homemade food. Thanks for making it easy and realistic.

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-shawna- - never!

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Kelly - Hi – I was wondering if your tovolo ice cube trays ever smelled or had a bad odor. I’ve read a lot of reviews online about this and then people questioning their safety – do you know anything about that? I’ve been using them for about two months and love them, but now wonder if I should be worried…

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-shawna- - I can’t remember! I did always buy what was organic at costco! :)

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kayc - Same here! Arrgh! Love your site, but I also love to have a bunch of tabs open at the same time. I’m using Chrome.

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Madi hoffman - First time mom here:) thanks for posting this! I was worried about doing this but you make it look possible! I was looking at the recipes and was wondering how much you do to make your foods for the month? Just wondering how much to buy?

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-shawna- - I haven’t! all I do is steam & puree–sure couldn’t be that enlightening…right?! ;)

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Anne - Thanks for these wonderful tips! I want to switch from baby food jars to homemade, but I thought I’d have to buy expensive storage containers and such. Your method is so convenient and non-expensive! Now I can’t wait to start!

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Laura - Hi Shawna, I’m so happy I found your blog. I see you are in San Antonio, so am I. Have you ever thought about doing a food making class? I think it would be great!!

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Michelle Koen - Lovely Ideas, thank you. Just want to know if you are not scared using your microwave. Seeing that you are going through all the trouble to make everything as healthy as possible. Only asking, because I recently read an article about what microwaves do to our food. Just curious what your opinion is.

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katrina - the same happens to me, i use internet explorer. and i also noticed a couple of the links go to non-specific store pages (like target for the cooler bag, i think it was) so i imagine the items may no longer be available. just to let you know :)

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Paula - This is so great BUT just one thing that made me sad. You put all this effort into buying organic food and preparing it in a natural way and then you go and NUKE it in the microwave! Microwaves distort the molecular structure of food, it only takes a few more minutes to heat gently over the stove…. think about it :-)

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sasha stanley - I’m having this same problem! I’m using safari!

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Amanda E - I found your post and I love it! I wrote my own about my first baby making food experience and added a link to your site. http://ericksonandco.blogspot.com/2012/04/making-baby-es-food.html. Mine though does not look nearly as good as yours. Do you have any of your recipes posted on your blog or a link to where you got them?
Thanks!
Amanda E recently posted..Making Baby E’s Food

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Misty - I don’t want to say you make everything look easy, you make it look possible!! I love all your posts and can’t wait to try this. And we love our stylebaby log! :)

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Linsey - I’m not going to start this like everyone else because I really hope it catches the eye… I love what you’ve written here. It is super helpful and informative. I started making my own food with my second baby and this is great info!

Though, I noticed that you said that right from the start you were giving her several things in one sitting. You may be unaware, so I just thought I’d share this with you.

The reason that the “experts” tell you to give them one food at a time over the course of three days is because of food allergies. That’s also the reason they say to wait until they are a year for milk, eggs, and peanut, tree nut, shellfish, whole wheat, soy, and to be careful with fish (These are the top 8 food allergies).

Neither my husband or I have a family history of food allergies, so I never really heeded that advice like I should have. My first baby (now 5) was allergy free. I was extremely careful about introducing new foods to her–especially as a new mom, you always want to go above and beyond for your baby–She had no problems and still has no problems.

My second baby–I started him on solids like I did with her, thought we’d been okay with her so I wasn’t as uptight about it. We suspected he had a problem with milk, but I had no idea that it could even be an allergy (So clueless about it–it’s one of the top 8!), but when he was just 8 months old, he almost died of anaphylactic shock from broken down form of milk protein (whey). It was one of the worst days of my life.

If I can help someone else to prevent that experience I will and that’s why I’m telling it to you. He is 3 now and is still extremely allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and shellfish. It’s actually worse now than it was then.

I have a new baby (she’s 8 months old), and she is starting to show signs and symptoms of allergy despite my avoidance. Introducing her to solids has been quite a challenge. After that experience, I will never ever ever take it lightly again.

One food at a time is important. Food allergies are a rapidly rising problem. They can happen to anyone, they are totally real and every day I wish they weren’t.

Just to reiterate, neither my husband or I had a family history of food allergies before this. Now, we have a niece on his side (7 years old) who just experienced anaphylaxis last year to tree nuts–no known allergies before– and a nephew on my side who is allergic to peanuts and strawberries (from birth).

I grew up on a farm eating straight from the earth, my hubby grew up in the mountains eating from the garden, as well. So I don’t know what in the world caused us the have this problem. I just wish people knew that it can happen to ANYone. I wish I had known.

My purpose in sharing this is purely educational. I don’t want you to feel bad. Just sharing my experience.

Having said that, I love love love the information you shared here and I’m excited to apply it to my own system. You have some great ideas! Thanks for sharing. :)

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Lea - I was directed to this post from a friend, and really really enjoyed reading it. You are so thorough in your descriptions which I think is so helpful! I am writing a post on my blog about starting solid foods and am planning to link to this post as a reference. If that is not ok, will you let me know? :) Thanks!

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-shawna- - All of my links are coded to open in a new tab. What browser are you using?

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Jennifer Brothersen - Thank you for the extra push I needed to start making homemade baby food. I always wanted to but it seemed like a lot of work and I didn’t know where to start. I just made my first big batch and my freezer is stocked. My 8 month old is loving all of the new flavors and textures, and I’m loving that she is eating “real” food.

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Anne - This is a great post! But, as a web designer I feel you should know. Your anti right-click script (with the pop-up message about using pictures) makes it so I can’t right-click “open in new window”. So, for the sake of those of us who want to follow your links without leaving your post, please have your links open in a new tab. Its driving me crazy having to command click. And I keep getting that picture pop-up when I forget and right-click! Thanks!

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Erin - I have been making and freezing baby food all weekend thanks to you! The video tutorial was the best. I’m such a visual learner. ***Question: did/do you heat up the cubes in a glass dish or plastic? In the microwave or hot water?

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Elizabeth - Love this! Thank you so much for posting your system here and all of your product suggestions, etc. I am just now starting to make food for my baby & have found this so helpful!!

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Danicka - I saw you were bummed about your spatula #2 being discontinued. I think a good one to try might be this micro scraper by Pampered Chef. I’m not a rep or anything but I know it is pretty sturdy! :D

http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details.tpc?prodId=18907&catId=123&parentCatId=123&outletSubCat=

Love your pics and your baby food ideas! Thanks for sharing!

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Jorjie - First I mean no disrespect by this question but why go through all of the trouble to buy all organic and then microwave it? Second I read that you feed yogurt, I have been searching for a sugar free yogurt (and all of the “other” sweeteners ), does yo baby have sugar?

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Darla - Hey, there. I want to raise my little ones vegetarian. Do you have any suggestions for good cookbooks? I know more than plenty about nutrition for adult vegetarians, and growing vegetarians, but babies? I know next to nothing.

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Grace - Hello! I’ve just discovered and am absolutely loving your blog. I’m a new mom to a 7 month old baby boy who adores food. My goal is to give him the healthiest and, of course, yummiest food I can give him. I was wondering if you could share your asparagus and quinoa recipe? Also, if you wouldn’t mind, a yummy recipe for cauliflower? Thank you so much!

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Mariana - Love your site Shawna! Thank you for sharing your invaluable system! Thank you for sharing the on-the-go product list too. My son is 5 months old and I just made my first batch of baby food yesterday and it was so much fun I can’t wait to make the next batch! I was wondering though, as far as efficiency goes, once your little one was ready for chunkier foods, how did you pre-portion and freeze? Could you still use the cubes? Doesn’t seem like it will work as well, but I’m new to this. Thank you!!

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Emily - Hi, I love this system! My baby girl is just starting on the cereal today and I plan to make all of her food (organic). Thanks for the video! One question- how long do you microwave the food, and do you just use a microwavable bowl? Thank you!

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-shawna- - I don’t remember! I’d suggest consulting a nutritionist. I did & it was super helpful. My girl has always been in the 90-99%ile though–so she is big! & is a big eater!

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Lindsay - I just ordered my freezer trays! i have been using ice trays and not loving it. I kept think there has GOT to be a way to make my freezer more organized. I’m SO excited! :)
My question is…That seams like A LOT of food you are feeding your LO? My baby girl is 7 months old (today) do you remember what you were feeding then. I’m going to go look through your old posts to see if you have anything about it. :)
I’m really excited to make my next batch, next week, with my new trays. :)

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Erica Perez - Thank you so much so all of this information I make all of my daughter’s food every couple of days but haven’t frozen it. I’m super organized and love your system… I will be doing some batch cooking this weekend, thank you.

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-shawna- - you’re funny–I’m totally an organizational freak. ;) you mean not everyone organizes their closet by color? surely not! :)

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Ali - I didn’t mean to call you an organizational freak. I just re-read my comment and realized I should have worded it differently. I apologize.

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Ali - My baby boy is 5 months and this weekend I cooked up my first batches of homemade organic babyfood. I’m an organizational freak too and I am trying out your ‘system,’ deep freeze and all. I showed my husband the filled, labeled freezer bags four times over the weekend. Clearly, I am super excited about this!

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Andrea - Great blog post! When you have a bag full of food cubes, and you only want to use one or two, do you just pull it out of the main bag in the freezer and take it to the kitchen, or do you pull out a couple days worth at a time? I’m going to start making food for my almost 8 month old this week, and am excited to start this new adventure!

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Andrea - Hi Shawna! I have a 7 month old baby girl and LOVE your blog. Can you share the recipe you used for Quinoa and asparagus?

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Erin - Ordering the ice cube trays NOW!

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Stefanie - Quick Question, I am about to start making my own baby food and this will all be first taste for him. Did you add butter/cinnamon on the first go around or did you wait till you were sure C. wasn’t allergic to the foods before adding ingredients?

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Tara - what beautiful baby food! :)

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-shawna- - Sure do, Ann! about 20 sec in the microwave heats them back up! :)

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ann - Sorry I keep asking you questions! I’m really trying to get my daughter to eat more meat. I too buy organic grass fed beef from the market. Do you basically just make little patties, cook them, then freeze and heat up? Thanks again for all your help!

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-shawna- - @Ann-I cooked the cherries on the stove in a sauce pan & mixed with apples or pears to eat. They were a bit tart by themselves! She does eat fresh blueberries (only) and I did freeze cauliflower. I whipped it & added a bit of butter. & the organic beef is by Verde & is frozen by the meat section. It is NOT grass fed beef. I have since switched to grass fed from the farmer’s market. I do not add anything, just sometimes a shot of salad dressing mixed with the veggie. :)

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ann - One more question – can you tell me more about these organic beef crumbles at costco? are they fresh or frozen? Where are they located? Do you add anything to the beef when you form it and cook it? Thanks!

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ann - THANK YOU! I cook a lot like you do for your daughter. I saw the frozen cherries, do you steam them and then freeze them and feed them that way. Does she eat fresh blueberries? Do you freeze cauliflower after cooking it or just feed it fresh? Thanks!

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Brittany - Chelsea sent me this link and I’m so grateful! I just started making food for my second little one and this has given me a lot of great tips! My hubby was a couple of years (I think) behind yours in college.

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-shawna- - @Shannel–you are welcome! What a wonderful perspective… @Kendra–it can keep 3-6 months, but it never lasts that long! P.S. You have the best blog name hybrid EVER.

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Kendra Walker - Wow, I love these photographs! And the baby food looks super simple. My only question is how long will it last in the freezer?

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Shannel - I feel compelled to write “thank you” at the end of every one of your baby related posts, on behalf of the baby growing inside me, and my husband and I. You teach me so much and I know my baby will be happier and healthier because of it!

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-shawna- - @Love–I thaw it so it is mushy first. I never heated anything up too much, as I did not want my daughter to be so used to warm food that she would not eat cold food on the go. Glad you enjoyed!

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Love - LOVE this post-using to make my supply list for getting started making my daughter’s food! When you do have to pack the food in a lunch box, do you thaw it first, then go, or do you let it thaw out in the lunch box? Thanks for sharing-great great post!

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Jenna H - Wow! I am excited to use your tips. I made some of my own baby food with my first two, but I got sick of trying to get the food out of ice cube trays. I acually use my silicone mini muffin tray a few times, but cubes would be SO much better! I am going to try find some and I tagged your page. Thanks so much I can’t wait for Alexa to start baby food so I can try your system! (I am a cloth diapering mama of three, only two are still in diapers but they are all under the age of 3)

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laurie - It was great meeting you at Homegoods last weekend. Thanks for the post on baby food making. I will definitely be doing this in the future. Only 6 weeks until our baby girl arrives!!!

Laurie

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Ashley - Thank you so much for commenting on my blog with a link to this post. Perfect timing because my mom just gifted me the Beaba Baby Cooker. I’ll probably stick with it because we have NO room for a large freezer, so the little portions will work well, but I’m glad I have all of these tips from you to use!

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Amber - I just love the fact that you post such interesting information and it is so detailed for us beginners. I can’t wait to start making my own baby food and this is a great psot for getting me started. Thank you :)
~Amber
P.s. via your fuzzibunz post I ordered all my cloth diapers and they just arrived today, YEH!

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Christa - Yes, thank you!! It is clear that you put a lot of effort into your posts, they are so informative.

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Erinn - Just put a link on my facebook page. If I can do this with triplets, than surely people can do this for one baby.

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Erinn - I could’ve wrote this myself! It sounds like our kids are eating the exact same things. I absolutely love your pictures!

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Shibahn - I love this! I am prepared because of you!! You’re amazing :)

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Whitney - Bravo! Bravo!

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Megan - Great post! I started making my daughter’s food about a month ago and agree that it is very simple and doesn’t take much time! Thanks for the recommendation on some tools for being out and about and also the books, I’m going to check them out!

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Carrington - Thank you for this awesome informative post! My son is 5 months old now, and I am looking forward to making his food, but feel really overwhelmed by it. You made it seem so simple! I’m printing out this post, and I’ll let you know how it goes!
Those are the prettiest pictures of food I’ve ever seen ;)

P.S. I found your blog when you did the fuzzibunz tutorial, and have been a fan ever since! Hi!

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Rachael - Love it! I too have been planning all along to make my own baby food so I found this post to be SO informative! :) Thanks for sharing your system with us!

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Tori - AMAZING! I don’t have babies to cook baby food for but I’m totally inspired to do it! :) You rock! Thanks so much for sharing the ideas that make you so efficient. You are so creative and we will all benefit from your sharing!

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Lilliana - Oh Shawna… I want to be you! :-) LOVE your system and think it is very achievable for any busy mom. Great video and great photos as always. I will cook ALL my next one’s food… did a little for Gaby but my system drove me nuts because I was cooking (or trying to) every day. Thanks for sharing.

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Cassie - What an AMAZING presentation! You have inspired me to use cloth diapers and now make my own baby food! You’re such a good mom! :o)

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