Monday, July 16, 2012

Purees

(WARNING: children mentioned/discussed)

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am not a cook.  (I actually lack quite a few of the skills traditionally considered domestic, but that's a topic for another post.)  I would actually have to sit down and really think about it to tell you the last time I prepared a meal in our kitchen. . . . that is, if you don't count "preparing" frozen entrees in the microwave, sticking a frozen pizza in the oven or dishing up take-out as preparing a meal.

You might think "well, of course you don't have time to cook; you have twin infants and work full time outside the home."  Yes, both true. . . . but I almost never cooked even before our boys were born.  It's just not something that I do, and my husband doesn't care--preferring to eat the same convenience foods (hot dogs, frozen pizzas and the like) that he ate as a bachelor or take-out--so I've never worked on acquiring that particular skill.  (I always thought getting married would inspire me because I'd have someone to cook for.  But that only works if the person you marry will eat the things you cook.)

Despite my lack of skills in the kitchen, I have long planned to make my boys' food.  As you know from this post, I was unable to breast feed.  Having not been able to give our sons the benefits of the best nutrition early in life, I have felt even more determined to do what I can to positively impact their growth and development through wholesome food.  I'm also hoping that they will enjoy the fresh vegetables and fruits much more than canned varieties of the same and that this will help shape their tastebuds and make them less likely to be finicky eaters.

Several people had told me how easy it is to make purees, but most of these people cook meals regularly.  I wasn't sure if it would be that easy for someone like me, who doesn't cook.

A friend whose daughter is 2 sent me this book: Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler.  (This friend is the one I wrote about in this post, whose daughter was born on what would've been my due date had our "chemical pregnancy" of August 2009 gone to term.)  She, too, assured me that making purees was easy. . . . but she is a foodie who cooks for fun and loves to entertain.

[On an unrelated side note. . . . I didn't know before reading this book that Norah O'Donnell--who has been a correspondent for NBC news and co-authored the book with her chef husband--had twins.  Wonder if she did fertility treatment?]

You know what?  Making purees IS super easy!  Even for someone like me who is not-at-all-adept in the kitchen.

I made the boys' first purees this weekend, all from local, seasonal organic produce I bought at the farmers' market.  I can't get over how easy it was!  And now I have four ziploc freezer bags of carrots, sweet potatoes and peaches just waiting to be fed to my sons.  (They will get their first veggie, carrots, on Friday evening.)

My plan is to make two or three veggie or fruit purees every weekend when I have time.  (They are good for up to three months in the freezer.)  That way I won't be forced to necessarily prepare food every weekend, just in case I have too many other things happening on a particular weekend.

I am totally inspired to continue doing this.  And who knows?  Maybe this will finally provide the push I need to actually acquire some culinary skills.

I'll let you know what the boys think of their purees once they try them.  (I sampled each and thought they tasted pretty good.)  That will be the real test.

8 comments:

  1. And if you think that is easy, you're half way to making pureed soups for you to enjoy... my absolute favorite comfort food...

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  2. HAH!! I could have written your first couple of paragraphs. Hubby is the same way - happy with frozen pizza every night, and not at all adventurous. Plus, I just don't like to cook. I turn out good meals, but I find it to be a hassle and annoying.

    So, this whole "the kid can't live on jarred baby food forever?" thing is slowly killing me right now. I want him to eat healthy, and to have a variety, but I absolutely hate planning a meal, prepping a meal, cleaning up after a meal. Hubby is absolutely no help because, as I said, he'd have pizza every night and leave me and kid to fend for ourselves.

    Now that I've taken over your comments section (I think you inspired a new post for me...), allow me to say congrats on making your own purees!! That sounds like a great plan - making a stash when you have time and not pressuring yourself about doing it every weekend.

    Can't wait to hear how the boys like carrots!

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  3. That's awesome -- congratulations! I do cook, so it wasn't so intimidating, but I found that Annabel Karmel's book (name forgotten at present) was super easy and you could just plod all the way through it until the kids were older. Also good are Super Baby Food and Petit Appetit Cookbook.
    I basically would make one every evening after B was asleep so that he had variety during the week.
    I loved making purees!

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  4. I'm so proud of your domestic skills! I've heard it isn't that hard & think of how much money you will be saving too! Good job mama, those boys are going to love it!

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  5. My twins are going to be starting on veggies/fruits in a few weeks and I was thinking about making some at home too. Although, I'm a little confused and I want to see if you read anything about this too...In my book I read that you should not prepare carrots at home for your child under 1 (along with turnips) because they have too many nitrates in them that can cause anemia. You should just buy the canned baby carrots because the nitrates are taken out. Do you know anything about this? It surely surprised me!

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  6. @Erin, I've seen this question a few times. It's perfectly safe to give home-prepared carrots to infants who are 6+ months of age. The risk of methemoglobinemia is only for infants 3 months and younger. (You can see the American Academy of Pediatrics article on the topic here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/116/3/784.full.) Not sure why anyone would be feeding solids to a baby under 3 months anyway.

    BTW, it's a common misconception that baby food companies take out nitrates from carrots; they don't. They may screen for the presence of nitrates--though they aren't required to do so--but they don't remove them.

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  7. I made a lot of purees for our daughter as well. I have the baby bullet and it came in really handy.

    Also, check out this book: Sprout Right: Nutrition from Tummy to Toddler. It has excellent recipes etc.
    http://www.sproutright.com/store/book

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  8. Thank you for the info! I appreciate you posting that! Why would that book print suck bogos info!

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