Baby Food Day 34- Carrots!

We’re in month seven now, and Baby may be eating closer to a fourth of a cup or more now at each meal. Each cube of frozen baby food is about a tablespoon, so every four cubes is about a fourth of a cup. If two cubes just doesn’t seem like enough but a full fourth cup is too much, just use three cubes and hit the middle. At this point, some babies are ready to move to three meals a day, averaging anywhere from 3/4 to 1 and 1/4 cups of baby food, in addition to their chest milk/formula. Trust your gut. If Baby still seems hungry, Baby probably is. We’re also going to try some legumes and bean this month and see how Baby feels about complex carbohydrates!

Today, I’m going to use my Instant Pot. Many busy families depend on their Instant Pots to feed themselves, because they don’t need to be watched. I rank the simplicity of the Instant Pot for baby food near the simplicity of the microwave, possibly higher for one specific reason. If you get distracted, which happens a lot with children, it can be easy to find your steamed veggies still in the microwave the following morning. The Instant Pot switches to warm and removes that risk. I’m not sure I’d recommend making baby food from veggies that had been on warm overnight, but the Instant Pot does give you more time to work with than a microwave does.

Shopping List

-1 lb bag of baby carrots

-bananas or unsweetened applesauce if you’re in need

Meal Plan

-1/8 to 1/4 cup of carrot puree at one meal

-1/8 to 1/4 cup of any other baby food (bananas, avocado, unsweetened applesauce, green beans, butternut squash, any combination of those and other foods Baby already knows, etc. at the other two meals)

-chest milk/formula as usual

Of course, this same method can be done with freshly peeled carrots. There are some recipes that I do feel deserve freshly peeled carrots. This is not one of those culinary endeavors and I feel that the ease of baby carrots makes the slight different in cost between a lb of baby carrots versus a lb of carrots well worth it.
Dump the carrots in the pot.
Add about a half to a full cup of water to the carrots.
Set the Instant Pot to “sealing”. Clearly, I need to wipe down the lid to my pot. It’s amazing how much photographs show!
Set the pot to “manual” for four minutes, and leave it. It will beep and tell you it’s ready later. I recommend you let it release its steam on its own.
The Instant Pot does all the work for you and the carrots will be fork tender. You can leave them on warm for now to come back to later, or turn the power off and let them cool enough to puree in the blender.
I didn’t use water here, but instead used the broth the carrots and the water made in the Instant Pot.
I needed a little more broth to reach this consistency. It’s a bit like the texture of applesauce.
For the next blender batch, I used some unsweetened applesauce. I usually like to have a back-up with some sort of fruit in case Baby doesn’t like the veggie alone. Plus, it takes care of vegetables and fruit in one meal. I like that option when planning just isn’t in my brain on a particular day.
The carrot by itself is on the left and the carrot/apple mixture is on the right. The apple brightens the carrot. Either way, be prepared for Baby to be somewhat resistant to carrot. There is sometimes a tartness to it and it might light up some of Baby’s sour taste buds. If Baby doesn’t like it after trying it these five days, mix a cube of it into something else you know Baby loves and see if that gets a smiley face.
I still had this much left after making the two trays above. They’re in the fridge now for me to blend into a different mixture I’ll share soon.

I know I haven’t done a numbers breakdown yet of the monthly savings on homemade baby food, though it’s on my list. To highlight how making your own baby food can help financially, lets look at the cost of these carrots and applesauce. I paid approximately $1.50 for the ingredients and came up with about fourteen 2 oz servings of baby food. It would cost just over $7 for the same amount of carrot baby food from Parent’s Choice brand and about $9 from Gerber. Not counting the cooking time, which the Instant Pot does for you, the actual preparation, blending, and spooning of this carrot puree into ice cube trays took less than ten minutes. Between the savings and the simplicity, this is definitely a baby food worth making! To really prove my point, that $1.50 is doing even more, because those carrots above have yet to be made into something.

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