Hello AHO Co-Producers! Jessica here, AHO photographer, foodie, and new mom. Yes, I am now the proud mom of a 7 month old baby girl and if I have any control over it…a future gourmand. A couple of years ago, long before I was a mother, Vernon handed me a book that he insisted I read called, French Kids Eat Everything. If you haven’t read this book you owe it to yourself to do so. I highly recommend it. It completely changed my perception of how we (and especially our children) eat. The author (an American living in France) stressed the importance of introducing yourself and your family to the wonderful world of foods from a very early age.
When I found out I was pregnant, I reread this book and I made a commitment to giving my daughter a head-start on being exposed to a wide variety of different foods, tastes, smells, and textures. I was determined that as she journeyed into the new world of solid foods, my husband and I were going to be there to offer her homemade baby food. Why do this when its so easy to go to the store and buy it? The reason, one that likely also informs your decision to buy your weekly box of AHO produce, is because I want to know (and have control over) what is going into her food.
It’s quite a monumental task to take on making homemade baby food (because as we know being a new sleep deprived parent is enough work on its own!), so this is going to a three series post. In the following posts I will discuss the types of fruits and veg that make the best baby food, explore spices and seasonings, and finally provide tips on how to freeze your homemade delicacies.
But before you get started it’s important to be prepared. In this post I will cover the tools you might want to have on hand to help you get off to the best start in the kitchen. As you begin to explore new menus choices for your dear little ones the process will become less of a chore and more of a joy. Having the right tools now will make it that much easier in the future. And who are we kidding, seeing the joy on your little one’s face when they love the taste of something you’ve made. Priceless.
Making baby food requires a lot of boiling, steaming, chopping, peeling, and blending. So here are a few of the items you might want to purchase and have handy and why.
Peeler & Small Strainer
A peeler is handy for removing fruit and veggie skins, the strainer for making that super smooth puree.
Pressure Cooker and Heavy Bottom Pot
A pressure cooker (top) is an amazing tool to help quickly cook and soften foods when you are short on time. A quality heavy bottom pot is essential for when you want to slow cook foods, particularly good for soups and sauces. Investing in a good dutch oven (bottom) is totally worth it.
A good set of sharp knives
This one should be fairly obvious because you will be peeling and chopping a lot of of fruits and veg and other items. So keep a good set clean and ready to go. Add a good quality cutting board to that as well. Need suggestions on what kind, check out our post on this here.
Small food processor/ Immersion blender
You will be making food in slightly smaller batches so these small easy to clean blender will become your best friend. I’ve even used it as a serving dish and given fresh food to my little one with a spoon dipped in the mixing container (less dishes to wash – yay!). An immersion blender is awesome for making pureed soups and sauces right in the pot. Both are inexpensive and totally indispensable when making homemade baby food.
Glass Tupperware is awesome because you can use it not only to serve and store food, but to reheat and freeze food if desired.
Measuring cups and spoons
Spices and amounts will be small, just like your little one, so having a good set of measuring cups, spoons, and even a good glass 2 cup measuring Pyrex that can handle warm and cold foods would be ideal.
These should get you off to a good start. Have other suggestions? Let us know!