When it came time for my now two-year-old son to start eating solid foods, I realized very early on in the process it was a little more challenging than I originally thought it would be. I’ll spare you the full story about the first time I *tried* to make sweet potato puree (I failed miserably). It ended up taking over 2 hours and then the giant batch that 1 sweet potato yielded went bad because I didn’t realize in what small quantities babies eat when they first start trying new foods (1 teaspoon – 2 tablespoons, and the puree is good for 3 days before you should freeze it – all things I didn’t know). As a busy working mom, I didn’t think I had the time to dedicate to making homemade baby food. So I went to the store to buy my son some food. Well, that didn’t go as planned because we found out he had a sensitivity to citric acid (a perfect safe preservative used in store-bought baby food to extend shelf life). Every time he would have a bite of store-bought baby food, he’d break out in a rash on his tummy and his chest. It was awful.
I knew I’d make his baby food, and was looking for an easier/quicker way, and I discovered baby food maker devices: they steam and puree food!
The only problem was that there wasn’t a cookbook for making baby food in baby food makers, so as I went along the process of feeding and using baby food makers to make baby food, I wrote this cookbook and I am so incredibly proud of it and think it’s a great resource for parents!
I love that the book is broken up into different stages and shares information along each step-like how much babies typically eat during the different stages and when to introduce different foods. There’s even a whole section at the back of how to use a baby food maker beyond baby food (we use our baby food maker to this day to make purees as part of other recipes – for example we’ll make sweet potato puree to then make into sweet potato pancakes, or we’ll make apple sauce weekly!
I have newborn boy-girl twins, and a 2-year-old. I cannot wait until the twins can start eating solid foods, it’ll be early winter so there will be wonderful ingredients in season like winter squash and root vegetables. My 2 year old absolutely loves apple sauce and yogurt, so he LOVES the yogurt parfaits with apple-pear-cinnamon sauce (pg. 77).
- What do you recommend to new moms when they are trying to introduce solids to their toddlers?
In the book, there’s a whole section for new moms about general feeding guidelines. It’s important to remember that every baby is different. There is no hard-and-fast rule that when your baby reaches 6 months of age, they will be ready to start solid food. Typically infants are ready to begin exploring food anywhere between 4 and 6 months. There are some general developmental progressions to help assess your babies’ readiness for starting solid foods like head control, sitting supported, curiosity, ability to swallow and weight.
There is no “right” first food to start with, but I love sweet potatoes as a first food. They were my son’s first food. Sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of nutrition: high in vitamins A and C, which promote healthy eyes, skin and immune system, as well as high in fiber and other beneficial vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes take on a gentle sweetness and are easy for baby to digest.
- What about the new Baby Brezza Cookbook are you excited about?
I’m so excited that there is now an official Baby Brezza cookbook! One thing I absolutely love is that there’s a whole section at the back of the book “the top 9 ways to use your Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker after baby food. I use my Baby Brezza Baby Food Maker to this day, so it’s not just for making baby food, it’s great for making all sorts of delicious recipes (like pancakes, soups, ice cream and more!)
- Do you have a favorite recipe you love in the cookbook?
I am totally in love with the Chickpea-Sweet Potato Spread (pg. 79). It’s amazing for a dip or a spread on a sandwich. I love making sandwiches by topping the spread with spinach, cucumbers and bell peppers on whole grain bread. It makes for a delicious lunch!
I love how Baby Brezza has a baby food maker that steams and purees with the press of one button so you can literally set-it-and-forget-it while it's cooking because it will puree the ingredients when they’re done the cooking! I also love that Baby Brezza has reusable food pouches. I use them to store food all the time – it’s great for on-the-go, and it’s great for applesauce, my son's favorite!