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Homemade Baby Food Tips for the Working Mom

Homemade Baby Food Tips for the Working Mom

Being a mama is a full time job. So when you have another full time job on top of that outside of the house, plus what I would deem another full time job just in keeping your house together, well you can see where I am going with this…the work is never done. That being said, in being a working mama, there are a few things I told myself I would try my best to give my little man despite the fact that I wasn’t able to be home with him each day. A lot of these things revolve around food – as it is something I still feel that I can “control”. Thus, as many a working mama does, I spend my days sitting in my luxury “pumping suite”, aka a closet, so that he can continue to receive breastmilk and it’s benefits when we are apart. In addition to that, it was my goal once he started solid food a few months back that because real, nutritious food is something that is so important to our family, that I would dedicate myself to finding ways to ensure little man could still receive nutrient rich foods each day, no matter whose care he was in. While I will admit, the task of preparing all homemade food was a little overwhelming at first with all of the other “jobs” I was trying to juggle, over time, I have developed a system that works for our family, and seeing that little guy of ours navigate and even enjoy such a variety of new tastes that nourish his body each day make it all worth it.

I have had a variety of questions lately about how we feed Asher, what resources I have used, favorite things, etc. and so I thought I would take some time to share a few of these things in this post, along with a few lessons I have learned along the way, particularly as a working mom, to make this process work for us.

Tip #1: Buy this book. But seriously, if not this one, then get something to give you some ideas that maybe you wouldn’t have thought of on your own, and let’s be honest, that just give you an idea in general so that you don’t have to think so much. I found “The Big Book of Organic Baby Food” by Stephanie Middleberg to be helpful because she shares how to prepare everything from first foods to baby smoothies and even which spices to pair with each dish.

Tip #2: Stock up on little belly-sized jars. These are the best to send food ready-to-go to daycare. My favorites to start were the little white topped Ball baby jars pictured above, and as Asher started eating more food, we moved to some of our smaller pyrex dishes so we could pack a bit more in for lunch. I still used the baby jars for sending snacks to daycare like cut up/freeze dried fruit, etc. (Note: Even if your daycare doesn’t except food from home, these are still great for travel or throwing things in the fridge for the next morning/evening.)

Tip #3: Keep a list (like the one pictured below) of foods that you’ve given your kiddo successfully. I initially started this as a place to document “approved foods” as we would feed Asher a new food only every three days in an effort to give his body time to adjust to it and for us to monitor for allergies. Each time we introduced a new food successfully, I would add it to the list. Now, I am grateful I did it, as it also serves another purpose, similar to the book above, as a place for ideas for meals that I already know he has enjoyed.

Tip #4: Make your efforts worthwhile and make things in “bulk”. If you are a get it all done in a day meal prepper, go for it. If you prefer to spread it out and go little-by-little, that works too. I generally pick a few things each week from the store that I am going to make for the little guy to keep up our supply and make them in large batches throughout the week generally while the hubs and I are making dinner. That way, it doesn’t seem so much like something “extra”. Many times, I will just buy extra of what we are having and while we are washing and cutting our own food, we just add his right in the mix.

Tip #5: Let your blender and ice cube trays be your best friends. This is probably not a new one to those of you who have researched anything on homemade baby food, and I stand by what all the other mamas have to say on this one. We purchased a Vitamix shortly after we got married, and it has been a Godsend for making Asher’s food along with a million and one other things. Once the food is blended (and you can do anything from super smooth to chunky – which is what we rock these days), then just go ahead and slop it into your ice cube trays – trust me this doesn’t have to be pretty. My favorite ice cube trays are these ones by OXO with a silicone top as I can easily stack them and keep anything else from getting in the food as well.

Tip #6: Buy stock in Ziploc freezer bags. These and a Sharpie marker are all you will need to store your hard work for the babe’s future dining pleasure. I label all of my bags with the name of the food and the date that I added it to my stash. I try my best to use all cubes within 3 months (I think because at one point I had read that he should eat them by then – but don’t quote me on that.)

Tip #7: Invest in a small (chemical free) frying pan. This has made my morning and evening meal prep a breeze when I am on a short time frame. When Asher first started solids, we would start with just one or two cubes of the same food, and we have gradually worked our way up. Now, I grab a few different types of food cubes from the freezer, throw them on our pan with some good fats (coconut or avocado oil and ghee are my favorites), toss in some spices and maybe a little breastmilk or bone broth if I need to add a little moisture and we are set. As everything literally just needs to heat up, I can throw it on and get other things accomplished while it heats up, and it is ready within minutes for the “boss” to enjoy.

Tip #8: Buy reusable food pouches for those “barely going to make it” kind of days. I will be the first to admit I have a love/hate relationship with these – they are convenient and relatively mess free (which I love), but I always prefer to let Asher explore and eat his food on his own accord. Alas, they do work really well in a pinch. I use these in the morning probably at least once a week on days where he sleeps in or we are running late, and as soon as I prep his food I simply toss it in and then bring it with us so he can eat it when we arrive at daycare. The nice part is it really requires no extra effort on our provider’s part to give it to him, as sucking is his jam so he gets that stuff out like it’s his job. Really, I think deep down she is thanking me for running late, as it keeps him entertained for a bit longer than normal upon arrival. My favorite reusable pouches are these from Weesprout.
Tip #9: Have some easy-to-grab foods that you don’t have to mess with cooking at all on hand too. Similar to the pouches, these work particularly well for those extra busy days when heating up food (and then giving it adequate time to cool down) just isn’t in the cards. Some of my favorites include avocado, hard boiled eggs, tofu, hummus, any fruit really, etc. I always try and have a few of these things on hand and ready to go. The nice thing is many of these foods can also double as snacks or a meal “top off” on those days when the little one is still asking for more.

Tip #10: Have meals together. If you take away anything from this post, let this be it. Trust me, I get it – with a kiddo that goes to bed around 6:30pm and wakes up on any given day with barely enough time for us to nurse and zip out the door, this one can be tough for us some days. However, whenever we can, we make it a point to eat along with Asher. This is so important as we not only serve as models for him as we eat our food, but also because we are showing him the value we place on family time and togetherness. Truth is folks, I could slave over preparing him the most nutrient rich meals with all the bells and whistles money could buy, and that still wouldn’t even have a sliver of the impact on our little guy as our presence at the table.

What tips do you have for feeding your little one? Fellow moms (and dads) feel free to share – and happy feasting!

kristahapp

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About Me

About Me

Hi, I'm Mrs. Happ! I love Jesus, Mr. Happ and being a mama to our little man. I live off of a steady stream of bone broth, kombucha, Spanglish & top knots. And when I'm not busy chasing a toddler, I love me a good creative endeavor. Welcome to our "HAPPy Healthy Casa". I'm so glad your here. Read More

Krista

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  • Just your typical morning tower building. 😋
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#ad Not only do we enjoy crafting top notch towers over here, but we appreciate using top notch supplements as part of our daily routine as well. I started using @ancientnutrition Bone Broth Protein a few years back to support my gut and immune health, and I’ve only grown to love this company, their products and what they stand for more since. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In addition to our Bone Broth Protein, some other products we are loving lately include:
*Multi Collagen Protein Strawberry Lemonade 🍋: Supports skin elasticity and healthy joint function, not to mention it’s perfect for sipping in the summer time.
*Keto Cocoa: Chalked full of MCTs, adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms, we love adding this to smoothies, making hot cocoa and even pancakes with it (see my stories from today 👏🏻).
*Ancient Probiotics -Ultimate: One of my favorites to keep in rotation when I need some intense support. In addition to a diverse probiotic blend, it also contains an Ayurvedic herbal blend with herbs like turmeric, ginger, etc. *Fermented Ashwagandha: I don’t know what I would do without this little herb as a busy mama. It supports a healthy response to stress and cortisol levels in addition to energy and focus. 👌🏻👏🏻
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So now I’m curious, if you could build a tower out of some of your favorite supplements, what would you use? #ancientnutrition
  • 🌱Asparagus Painting 🌱
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I know I always say vegetables make the best paint brushes. But asparagus may be top dog when it comes to mimicking the real deal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We practiced some letter tracing today with this vegetable, and I let Asher pick out some all natural paint from the refrigerator to use for dipping.
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His choices today: Organic Maple Syrup 🍁, @tessemaes BBQ Sauce and @sirkensingtons Chipotle Mayo. Quite the array 🤷🏼‍♀️. He dipped, traced a few letters, and then basically just went to town using his asparagus as a spoon to indulge in all of his “paint” selections 😂. Kinda figured that may be the case- and I was 100% okay with it as each time he snagged some sauce he also put that asparagus in his mouth and even ventured to try a bite. Plus it made for a great sensory experience as he was covered in it all by the end. .
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#toddleractivities #totschool #totschooling #preschoolathome #learningwithmommy #playbasedlearning #learningthroughplay #littleoneslearn #earlylearning101 #wonderandawekids #activitiesforkids #activitiesfortoddlers #mydayswithkids #tagfromtheheart #craftymama #creativechildhood #kidssnacks #toddlerfood #eattherainbow #iteachbilinguals #bilingualkids #homeschoolblog #kidsactivitiesblog #earlyliteracy #sensoryplay #sensoryactivity
  • D is for Dates. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
(Or as we call them in our “casa” - Dátiles.)
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We love dates over here and they are darn close to being called a staple in our home. We love wrapping them in bacon for mealtime. Stuffing them with nuts, nut butters or vegan cheese for snacks. And we love adding them into smoothies and treats if we are looking for a pop of natural sweetness. This fruit is chalked full of potassium and fiber and rich in antioxidants, and thus, I think it deserved to receive a day of recognition 😉. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This morning Asher helped me pit our dates and combine them with other ingredients like avocado, hemp seeds, coconut and cacao powder to create this “No-Bake Chocolate Avocado Bites” recipe from my incredibly talented amiga @thenaturalnurturer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
After we created our balls, I asked Asher what he would like to roll them in. I told him he could choose three things, and I would choose three so we had a variety of different tastes. Asher chose to roll his in food-dyed sprinkles, cinnamon, and coconut. I chose walnuts, hemp hearts and beet powder for mine. And yes, in case you are wondering, they taste as heavenly as they look.
  • 📖 My Story: Part #2 📖 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Life seemingly went back to normal as I knew it after my health scare my junior year. (See Part #1). I was ready to move forward and enter into my college years and into my first career as an elementary school teacher. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Through that time I would notice on and off that when I ate certain foods they seemed to “run right through me”. And that my gut maybe wasn’t “pleased” with my choices. But, let’s be honest, it tasted good, and I wasn’t really gaining any extra weight, so it couldn’t have been that bad right?
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Flash forward a few years into teaching, I came down with what appeared to be hives all over my chest, neck and face. The doctors thought I was having an allergic reaction and prescribed me steroids to calm it down. After a few days, it hadn’t gotten any better. In fact, it was getting worse. Which is when they decided to do a strep test and realized I had been misdiagnosed and actually had a case of scarlet fever, which is caused by the same bacteria as strep throat. Thus, after being on a steroid for several days, I was now put on an antibiotic protocol as well. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Needless to say at the time, I had no idea about how I could use probiotics, diet or supplements to support me through this. I just thought once I finished my course of meds I’d be good as new. However, what I learned the hard way was that after years of not caring for my gut the way I should, and after countless rounds of antibiotics in high school and now, my gut, and in turn, my body had finally reached their tipping point. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
To be continued...
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Outfit: @fabletics Use the link in my profile to snag it or check out their other options to best match your shape and style. #myfabletics #moveinfabletics
  • Popsicles. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sticky fingers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sweaty hair. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
No pants. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This is what most days entail right now, and we are soaking it all in. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I spent some time this morning refreshing a blog post I wrote last summer about this time entitled “9 Front Porch Activities for Toddlers”. While we love getting out and about and exploring our community this time of year, we also love hanging right outside our own front door. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The post highlights different learning, sensory and family activities with minimal prep you can do alongside your little one on those day’s you just feel like laying low. And, while they are geared toward toddlers, all are still things that are certainly appropriate for preschool and even early elementary as well. {Link in profile}. .
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#creativekids #toddleractivities #kidsactivitiesblog #kidsart #summeractivities #preschoolactivities #totschool #preschoolathome #teachermom #homeschoolingideas #naturalmama #unschooling #wildandfreechildren #freerangekids #raisingragamuffins #learningthroughplay #the_sweet_life_unscripted #themagicineveryday #alldaykids #let_there_be_delight #lifewithlittles #healthykids #homeschoolblog #celebrate_childhood
  • My two favorite refreshers during hot summer days:

1. Watermelon and cucumber water to hydrate 🥒 🍉 
2. Essential Oil “Cool Down” spray to sooth my skin 💦 
Here’s the recipe:
5 drops Peppermint
5 drops Lavender 
3 drops Eucalyptus

Add to a 2oz spray bottle. Fill the remainder with half unscented witch hazel and half distilled water. Shake er’ up, and it’s ready to go!
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Spray Inspo: @byoilydesign .
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#oilymama #naturalmom #chemicalfreehome 
#ecofriendlyhome #holisticliving #parentingblog #healthylivingblogger #mombloggers #momblog #holistickids #healthykids #nontoxicliving #healthblog #healthbloggers #healthyfamilies #oilyfamilies #oilyfamily #plantpowered #nontoxichome #cleanbeauty #diybeautyproducts

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