cooking for your baby pt.2
OK moving onto part two of my 'cooking for your baby' series. This part is all about food preparation and cooking.
As I mentioned, cooking for a baby takes up a substantial part of your week. I would rather be doing numerous other things compared to slaving away in the kitchen for hours a day. So I've come up with a pretty good system that works for me.
1. Carve out at least 4 hours of every second weekend for hard-core baby food making. I'm talking uninterrupted non-stop food making. Get your partner, family, friend, cat, to watch the baby so you can be fully focused on getting this done as fast as possible. I've tried alternatives by doing a little bit everyday, but you'll be surprised how much you can cook when you focus on the one task at hand.
2. Line up the ingredients, pull out your recipes and gather your tools. I like to pull out everything on the counter so I see how many veggies/fruits I need to steam or bake until complete. Baby food cookers are something I now wish I came across when we first introduced solids. They are totally worth the investment. I've got the Babycook from Beaba and it's so much faster and safer than a steamer basket over boiling water. Also much more efficient as you can straight up blend the puree to your liking in the same jug. WIN WIN! You'll need:
- Babycook or large pot with steamer basket
- Hand-held mixer
- Silicone ice-cube trays
3. Now everything's cooked and cooled. Set aside a few meals you've cooked for the coming week and freeze the rest. Silicone ice-cube trays are the best as you can control how much you defrost instead of a giant frozen clump. I try not to have more than 3 of the same meal in the fridge as Miss Lily likes variety. She sometimes likes eating 5 different types of food per meal - so I'm always running back and forth between the fridge and her highchair :D.
4. Keep stock. I try my best to keep the following always in stock in the fridge (suitable for 10-12 month old):
- Pureed pear & apple for breakfast (3 portions)
- Tub of yoghurt mixed with pureed fruit & cinnamon
- Meat meals (2 portions e.g. meat balls, beef and cous-cous)
- Veggie meals (3 portions e.g. tomato and cheese pasta, latkes)
- 3 types of fresh fruit - blueberries, raspberries, banana, blackberries, plums, grapes etc.
- 3 types of veggies - cucumbers (peeled), avocados (a fruit, I know), sweet potato, baby carrots, broccoli, green peas etc.
- Tub of Tahini (mixed with olive oil and lemon)
Having some variation of the above means I'm very rarely stressed out when it gets to 6pm and I'm freaking out about what I'm going to feed my hungry (usually screaming) child. And then when you're running low mid-week, you can defrost some items from the freezer.
ALSO - if you're interesting in getting your hands on a Babycook or any of their other amazing products, I've partnered with Beaba to give you 5% off and free shipping when you use the code 'SHARDAYENGEL' at the checkout.
P.s. I don't normally cook on our dining table! Our kitchen has only one source of light making the photos poor quality - so excuse the randomness. Cooking on your dining table is not something I recommend ;)
Photos: Avner Engel & myself