Homemade Baby Food: Vegetables + OXO Tot Giveaway

by Rachel Gurk on July 29, 2013 · 93 comments

in Baby Food

Making homemade baby food couldn’t be easier! Start with vegetables and you’ll gain confidence quickly.

Making Baby Food At Home: A tutorial | RachelCooks.com

Vegetables are by far my favorite type of homemade baby food. If I’m doing nothing else, I’m pureeing up some veggies for my kids.

Why are they my favorite? Well, they are the easiest to make — at least I think they are. It’s also the place where you can save the most money (I think — I haven’t done the math). A bag of carrots is super cheap and will make a ton of carrot purée to feed your baby.

Making Baby Food At Home: A tutorial | RachelCooks.com

I also like the versatility that it offers. When was the last time you saw a jar of parsnip or asparagus purée on the shelves of the baby food aisle? Parsnips were one of my daughter’s favorite foods.

I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my favorite things about making my own baby food is that you can control the consistency. The first couple of months, I like to purée the food very smooth. Then, gradually, I leave it a little more chunky and introduce my child to some texture.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of vegetables. I have found that these are my favorites.  Do you have any specific vegetables you’d like preparation instructions for?

baby-food-vegetables2-600

Carrots or Parsnips:

8-10 carrots or parsnips
yield: depends on size of vegetables as well as size of storage containers. About one large ice-cube tray.

1. Peel vegetables.
2. Wash vegetables.
3. Roughly chop vegetables.
4. Place vegetables in steamer basket in saucepan filled with ~1 inch of water over medium-high to high heat and steam about 15 minutes or until tender.
5. Puree (I prefer the blender or food processor for these vegetables), adding enough of the steaming liquid (or water if you’re doing carrots) to come to a good consistency. I like to err on the thick side because it can always be thinned with breast milk, formula or water.

baby-food-vegetables-RC

Peas or Green Beans:

1 bag frozen peas or frozen green beans (use organic if you want)

1. Place peas or beans in steamer basket in saucepan filled with ~1 inch of water over medium-high to high heat and steam about 10 minutes or until tender.
2. Puree (I prefer the blender or food processor for peas and green beans), adding enough of the steaming liquid  to come to a good consistency. Again, I like to err on the thick side because it can always be thinned with breast milk, formula or water.

n-sweet-potato-600

Squash:

1 large squash (I use butternut)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash squash, cut in half lengthwise, clean out seeds, and place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour or until soft.
2. Once cool enough to handle spoon squash out of peeling and into the blender or food mill (I love the food mill for squash!). I fit the food mill with the disc that has the smallest holes for the first time. Next time I might use a disc with slightly larger holes to introduce N to more texture.

oxo-food-mill-squash

Sweet Potatoes:

2 sweet potatoes

1. Scrub sweet potatoes clean, poke with a fork all over, wrap in foil, and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for one hour or until tender.
2. Similar to the squash, once cool enough to handle, spoon sweet potatoes out of skin and into the blender or food mill (I prefer the food mill for sweet potatoes as well as squash). Again, I fit the food mill with the disc that has the smallest holes for the first time N tried sweet potatoes to make sure the smoothest texture.

squash-oxo-600

Notes:

  • There are of course countless other vegetables you can prepare for your baby but these are some great starter vegetables for the first few months of solid foods. Pumpkin is also a great one for the beginning and can be prepared the same way as the squash. Wholesome Baby Food has great instructions for a number of different vegetables as well as some creative recipes for combining vegetables with other foods.
  • Refer to my overview post for general instructions regarding preparation and storage of homemade baby food.

sweet-potato-chicken-oxo

Giveaway details:

One (1) winner will receive an OXO Food Mill, a Divided Feeding Dish, an On-the-Go Feeding Spoons, and a set of Baby Blocks 4 Ounce Freezer Storage Containers.

OXO
(spoon not pictured — but might be my favorite item!)

All of these things will make your baby food preparation, as well as feeding, a breeze. I LOVE the spoon — it is perfect for the baby’s tiny mouth, soft and flexible. It is comfortable to hold on to and the travel case makes it perfect for tossing into the diaper bag. The feeding dish is perfect and the grippy bottom will be great with N starts to try and feed himself. It also comes with a great cover. The freezer containers are great for storing the food in the fridge or freezer but also for reheating. The lids have a venting feature that is so helpful. And then the food mill! That’s obviously the cat’s meow. I made applesauce and didn’t have to peel or core the apples! The food mill did all the work. It was great for making a super smooth puree out of the sweet potatoes and squash. It will be used frequently in your kitchen, for baby food or any other purpose! All the stuff is high quality, just like you would expect from OXO and OXO Tot.

OXO-food-mill

 

Use the widget below to enter the giveaway. It make take a second to appear. Any comments left on Rachel Cooks will be moderated within 24 hours. If the widget does not appear, you can follow the link to enter. Good luck!

Win OXO Baby Food Essentials!

Disclaimer: I am not a pediatrician nor a dietitian. Check with your doctor before introducing solids and definitely use this only as a rough guideline. Always trust your gut and do your research.

{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary Beth Elderton July 29, 2013 at 6:30 am

I’d make something green–spinach with a bit of applesauce maybe.

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2 Carolina Yng July 31, 2013 at 8:55 am

Babies aren’t supposed to eat leafy greens though (before the age of 12 months).

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3 Karen July 29, 2013 at 7:13 am

I would be giving this to my Son and Daughter-in-law for my only grand daughter

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4 Jessica W July 29, 2013 at 7:22 am

My niece was just born, so when they visit, I would make some baby foods. Maybe an apple, blueberry, and sweet potato mix.

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5 marsha July 29, 2013 at 7:26 am

I would probably make a fruit mix, maybe bananas and berries.

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6 Jessica @ Burlap and Butter Knives July 29, 2013 at 7:27 am

the first thing I would make would DEFINITELY be pureed beets! I love the flavor of long roasted beets, so I would definitle puree them up for the little one!

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7 Bryn July 29, 2013 at 7:29 am

Applesauce

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8 Cindy Brickley July 29, 2013 at 7:39 am

I have a very large garden and I would use this first for zucchini, squash and sweet potatoes.

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9 steph@stephsbitebybite July 29, 2013 at 8:25 am

Oh m gosh! I want to win this SOOO bad!! Logan is just getting ready to turn 4 months and I’m super excited to start making my own food for him! [a little sad though because that means he's growing up] I think the first thing I would make for him would be CARROTS! They’re my favorite veggie and I just love the bright orange color!

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10 Shelly July 29, 2013 at 8:29 am

I’d make applesauce.

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11 Katie July 29, 2013 at 8:36 am

Sweet Potatoes.

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12 AmyCK July 29, 2013 at 8:38 am

I think I’d try mashed potatoes, because I’m curious what the texture would be like!

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13 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel July 29, 2013 at 8:46 am

So cool that you’re making your own. I had ever intention of doing that and failed. Go you! :)

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14 latanya July 29, 2013 at 9:34 am

I would make some sweet potatoes puree

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15 Jessica Lea July 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

I would love to experiment with a baby kale and pear blend :)

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16 Denise Fedor July 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

Applesauce. SW MI apples this year, unlike last year!!

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17 MArgo Kipps July 29, 2013 at 10:26 am

I have two 8 month old grandchildren and need equipment to make them organic food here. They already love sweet potatoes and peas! But those packages are in plastic– that scares me. BHA and BHT are not the only dangerous chemicals leached out of plastic.

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18 Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats July 29, 2013 at 10:27 am

What a fantastic series! Ive been making homemade, but am starting to run out of ideas for combinations..I dont know how since there is so much! But I am! Can’t wait to see the rest of the week! I have to try squash soon! Im not sure how I forgot about that one! :)

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19 Meagan @ A Zesty Bite July 29, 2013 at 10:29 am

Olivia is just now starting to eat things that I cook for her. She only wanted the pouch food but I’m so glad she is getting away from that because it’s getting expensive.

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20 sandy July 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

i would use the food mill to make tomato puree since I have so many fresh from my garden right now

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21 Janet July 29, 2013 at 10:40 am

Peaches would be first since we just picked a bushel of them!

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22 Robin C. July 29, 2013 at 10:45 am

I would use the OXO food mill for the first time to make and freeze homemade tomato paste, the little cans are expensive and I almost never use the whole thing.

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23 Megan B July 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

Since I have a baby who will be starting solids in the next few weeks I’d probably use it for a sweet potato or squash purée. But I think I’d also like to try it with mashed potatoes. I think that would be interesting as well.

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24 Kel July 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

The squash recipe – thanks!!

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25 Kate July 29, 2013 at 11:16 am

Baby girl isn’t quite ready for solids but will be very soon. I want to start her on veggies so she develops a love for them that I don’t possess. Definitely starting with the yellow vegetables!

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26 Veronica Miller July 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I’m due in December and I’m definitely planning on making my own baby food – it just makes so much sense to me! I would do the carrots first!

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27 Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain July 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Even though I don’t have kids, I am totally bookmarking these for if/when that happens! So informative!

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28 Melissa C. July 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Mashed turnips!

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29 adina July 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm

mashed cauliflower!

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30 Nikki July 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I’d love to make tomato puree/paste. So neat!

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31 Tara July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I would love to make some applesauce for my little baby-to-be! He gets here in just a few days and I can’t wait!

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32 Anne [A Squared] July 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I love the consistency of mashed potatoes from a food mill. That would be the first recipe I’d try!

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33 Marie July 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I’d do sweet potatoes with bananas.

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34 Kara D July 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Definitely apple sauce!

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35 Kristy July 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Likely lots and lots of baby food similar to what you are making :)

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36 jen July 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I’ve always wanted to make mashed potatoes from a food mill, so I would make that first!

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37 Rachel Roberts July 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Carrots but maybe roast them first.

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38 Jen July 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I’d love to have the foodmill to prep food for my husband who just had a gastric bypass and is eating pureed foods. I could also use it for jams and jellies, tomatoes, etc. Such a versatile item!

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39 Christina @ This Woman Cooks! July 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Pumpkin. My daughter still hasn’t tried it. Although she’s moved on to table food I still find this post very interesting! I made most of my daughter’s food and I’ll make baby food again for whenever we have our second child. Great post!

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40 Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds July 29, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I think the first thing I would make with a food mill, would be a super smooth mashed potato for my hubby.

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41 Emily B. July 29, 2013 at 8:20 pm

With my daughter we started with sweet potatoes. Since they aren’t quite in season, I would probably start our 5 month old with something green. Maybe peas? They are my favorite!

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42 Stephanie O July 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I would use it to make gnocchi and once the baby gets here the first baby baby food will be carrots.

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43 Cassie | Bake Your Day July 29, 2013 at 9:13 pm

So informative…definitely going to need this someday!

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44 Becca T. July 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I would likely use it to make some jam as so much good fruit is in season now.

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45 Chelsey B. July 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm

So excited to make baby food for my little girl!

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46 Zainab @ Blahnik Baker July 29, 2013 at 10:52 pm

I don’t have kids…but just wanted to say your baby is a cutie pie :) (Oh bookmarking for the future too!)

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47 Danielle H July 29, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Just started baby girl #2 on solids 2 weeks ago. Would love the mill-haven’t tried sweet potatoes yet but it was my first daughters favorite!

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48 Jon July 30, 2013 at 12:17 am

I guess mashed potatoes

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49 Kathy July 30, 2013 at 12:22 am

I would make peas with mint.

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50 Leslie July 30, 2013 at 12:24 am

I would make healthy meals for my granddaughter. Squash, fruit, chicken, and green beans would probably be first choices.

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51 Karen - Cinnamon Freud July 30, 2013 at 1:51 am

Definitely would make some mashed potatoes!

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52 megan @ whatmegansmaking July 30, 2013 at 7:01 am

I would make baby food first – Zeke is almost 6 months old! :)

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53 Rachel Gurk July 30, 2013 at 8:34 pm

yay!

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54 Linda July 30, 2013 at 8:25 am

I would love to try to make my own sauces, jellies and purees! Making things homeade would be so much easier and when I have kids I want to make my own baby food!

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55 Colleen G July 30, 2013 at 8:32 am

I’d have a blast making sweet potatoes

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56 sandra July 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

maybe applesauce

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57 Alida July 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

apples or sweet potato (or a combo of the two!)

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58 Karen D July 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

I would make apple sauce! Almost apple season here!

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59 Jamie July 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I would make baby food for my nephew!

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60 Rebecca Peters July 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I would make kale, apple, spinach, peach. Its my daughters favorite combo so far, but we have been doing it the old fashion way, its a lot of work!

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61 Emily July 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Probably banana or sweet potato baby food. Little one not coming until October, but I want to start testing now!

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62 Micky July 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I want to try pureed cauliflower

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63 renu July 31, 2013 at 4:58 am

i came on this website by chance.. thru foodgawkwer ..and i am soooo glad i came …i have a 4 month old baby and only today i googled about introducing solid foods…thought of doing some research befre the time comes to start solids.. bookmarking this.. thank you sooo much for this lovely post… going to ur overview post after this….:)

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64 renu July 31, 2013 at 5:06 am

i just saw teh giveaway after leaving a comment.. i am in dubai and am not sure whether i am eligible.. but these are soooo useful at this time for me .. for my baby…the first things i will make will be the carrot puree for my baby..:)

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65 Sarah A. July 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Something green- peas, beans for my baby girl.

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66 kesha July 31, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I would make pureed green beans or blueberries

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67 Brookedixon July 31, 2013 at 3:34 pm

My baby boy just turned 5 months and I am SO exciting
About making his food.

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68 Mia July 31, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I would make pureed carrots and potatoes that i can add to other meat or pasta dishes for my little boy.

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69 Khanh August 1, 2013 at 4:19 am

I would make mashed sweet potatoes, yum for the whole family!

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70 akhestilow August 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm

i would make applesauce!

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71 Anne August 1, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I have a 6-month old that just started on solids last month, so a food mill would be ideal! Sweet potatoes are a current favorite for her.

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72 Ashlee August 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I’m excited to try making pumpkin!

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73 hannah August 2, 2013 at 4:26 am

I would love to start making applesauce for my family!

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74 Amy Chao August 2, 2013 at 6:10 am

Love to make peach sauce! Thanks for the amazing giveaway~

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75 Rebecca P. August 2, 2013 at 9:40 am

I am expecting my first baby the day after Christmas, I would love to make some spiced squash and other “holiday” foods for my baby while I am awaiting his or her arrival! :)

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76 Amy Clarke @ The Savvy Kitchen August 2, 2013 at 10:32 am

I’m expecting next month so I would definitely try out some baby food recipes before things get hectic! Then I can really put it to use :)

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77 Lucy August 3, 2013 at 11:19 am

I think I might try the sweet potatoes for my grandson.

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78 Nelie August 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I would use this to puree all the fruits and veggies from my parents home for my baby. He already loves carrots and squash!

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79 Theresa J August 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I would make mashed sweet potatoes for my nephew

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80 Leah August 4, 2013 at 2:56 am

Sweet potatoes! A favorite around here. Hopefully for the baby too.

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81 Erica August 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

Just had my first baby. I’m excited to make my own baby food. A combination of apples and butternut squash is definitely at the top of my list.

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82 Jamie August 4, 2013 at 10:53 am

I’ve already started making some food for my 5 month old but I could easily use the mill for just about any fruit or vegetable. I’m excited to create combos for him to try like squash with apples and cinnamon…or blueberries, bananas with spinach and yogurt. The possibilities are endless.

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83 ashli August 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I would love to try making a sweet potato, apple, and corn combination.

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84 Stephanie August 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

My little boy is due next month. I think the first food I’ll try pureeing is the parsnips!

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85 Bonnie Esterow August 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I would love to be able to give this to my “baby”. She is 30 years old and is pregnant with her second child. She made virtually all of my almost two years old (second birthday is next month !) granddaughter’s food (sweet potato was her fav!) My granddaughter loves to eat and until very recently (yes “the terrible twos have hit ) would eat most everything including pickles, sushi (not raw fish kind) and capers!!
I know she would LOVE to have all this wonderful new baby food making stuff for the new baby (due in december)!!!
Thanks so much !!!

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86 geri August 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm

I would make some yummy carrots!!

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87 Stacey August 5, 2013 at 8:18 am

sweet potatoes

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88 mindy August 5, 2013 at 11:51 am

I will probably try the sweet potatoes first if I won….I received an info sheet from my pediatrician that said not to do beetle, turnips, collated greens, carrots, or spinach homemade due to high levels of nitrates in some of these. The nitrates cause an unusual type of anemia in infants. Have you ever heard this? It’s new to me after 4 kids.

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89 Tiff @ Love Sweat & Beers August 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Sweet potatoes!

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