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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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  • And just like that, our babe is three. And while in the scheme of things, three years is a blink, it feels like our life before you was a lifetime ago sweet boy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We celebrated today with all of your favorite things- LEGO building, swimming, trucks, cake baking, sweet potatoes and sausages, Grandpa and a whole lot of frosting 🤪. Needless to say, while much more low key than birthdays’ past, I’d say today was just as special. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In honor of birthday número tres, Asher helped me whip up this Paleo Tres Leches cake from @sunkissedkitch. I’ll admit, I went the easy route on the frosting and just sprang for some @simplemills vanilla, because sometimes it’s nice to have ready-to-go and delicious at the same time. And it was clearly a hit, because this kid downed three pieces 🍰. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Check out more cake eating and a walk down memory lane from birthdays and party themes past in my stories today. 
Happy 3rd Birthday Asher man! We love you! .
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Today for snack I created a little dipping station for our cauliflower florets using the following:
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1. Guacamole ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. @kitehillfoods unsweetened yogurt with a swirl of honey ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. @motherraw italian dressing
4. Hummus ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. @gothamgreens vegan pesto
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For more fun ways to serve  cauliflower throughout your day, head on over to the following mamas’ feeds to see how they love to dish it up to their families as well:
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@mamaknows_nutrition
@thenaturalnurturer
@heather.happykidskitchen
@mamamakesfood
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Next month we will be featuring a different veggie, so stay tuned!
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#eatyourcolors #eatyourveggies #healthykids #eattherainbow 
#healthyfamily #naturalliving #cleaneatingfamily  #motherhoodinspired #thismamaloves #toddlerfood #lifewithlittles #cutelittleinspo  #naturalmama #learningthroughplay #kidsfoodideas #playtolearn #kidsinthekitchen #kidsfood #nutritiontips #kidssnacks #healthykidsfood #kidsfoodblogger
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Thank you, Asher, for reminding me that even when life seems to rain on my parade, to not lose sight of my goals. Thank you for reminding me of focusing in on what’s right in front of me. And thank you for providing me so many moments of sheer joy these past few days by allowing me to be a part of yours. I want to bottle up every part of this trip and not only remember it, but strive to live each day as if “it’s a day at the beach”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Swimsuit: @kortnijeane .
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#joyfulmamas #celebrate_childhood #celebrateeveryday #littlebitsof_life #parentingblogger  #learningthroughplay #makeitcount #lifecloseup #lifewithlittles #cutelittleinspo #bethegood #littlefamiliesofig #the_sweet_life_unscripted #our_everyday_moments #let_there_be_delight #makeitblissful #theheartcaptured #countitalljoy #sensoryplay #consciousparenting
  • 🍯 GIVEAWAY 🍯 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It’s pretty much a given that our child takes a good tumble at least once a day. Which is why as his mom, I knew it would be important to bring one of our go-to “owie” fixers with on our trip. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Did you know that Manuka honey 🍯 contains potent and effective properties that when applied can actually mend and nourish our skin. Not only that but it serves to create a moist, low pH environment conducive to healing as well as protects against infection. This all natural wonder is a staple in our “medicine” cabinet, and as a mom, I appreciate that it’s the real deal when it comes to both its ingredients and supporting healing. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve partnered with @firsthoneynz, to give away some of their high quality,  Medical Grade 12+ Manuka honey first aid products to support you and your family. Their ointment and honey-infused bandaids are a huge hit in our home, and I love that whenever we have a tumble Asher now asks for a hug and some honey to make it all better. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Head on over to their page to learn how to enter, and be sure to check out their site and register for their newsletter as well as in this latest edition I’m sharing a list of all of my favorites for a “Mother Nature” inspired first aid kit. {Scroll for a sneak peek.}
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Whipped up this little airplane themed snack during nap today in hopes of kicking off our afternoon packing marathon on a high note🤞🏻. I’ll admit, it’s not the most beautiful food-themed aircraft I’ve ever seen (not that I’ve seen many 🤷🏼‍♀️), but it’ll get the job done. It’s slim pickins’ around here grocery wise right now, so I got creative with what we had on hand. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Celery, @traderjoes raw almond butter and an apricot in front for the base. Cucumber and yellow carrots for the wings and tail. And @lovegrown Power O’s topped it off for the windows. And of course, no flight is complete without some banana and @kitehillfoods yogurt clouds. .
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#toddleractivities #totschool #totschooling #preschoolathome #learningwithmommy #playbasedlearning #learningthroughplay #littleoneslearn #earlylearning101 #wonderandawekids #activitiesforkids #activitiesfortoddlers #mydayswithkids #tagfromtheheart #craftymama #creativechildhood #kidssnacks #toddlerfood #creativesnack #eattherainbow #homeschoolblog #eatyourveggies
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That said, while we can't avoid all the germs and tumbles of childhood, we can do our best to prepare our children so that they feel safe and comfortable under a clinician's care when these things do arise. Today on the blog I am sharing in a variety of ways you can work to prepare your child for a positive experience at the doctor. Strategies, for instance, like using books and engaging in pretend play, ahead of time, are ones that have proven beneficial for Asher time and again before heading to not only his pediatrician, but dentist, chiro and beyond. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In addition, I am also sharing all of the deets on this new handheld exam kit called TytoHome we just got our hands on. Using this device and corresponding @tytocare app on your phone, one can actually perform guided medical exams with a clinician anytime, anywhere. Seriously all, we met with a practitioner from the comfort of our couch. Talk about making a "visit" to the doctor no big deal! Learn more details about the device, it's features and where you can buy one in my post.
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#motherhoodinspired #mommydiaries #makeitblissful #let_there_be_delight #honestlyparents #memoirsofmotherhood #motherhoodlens #momitforward #uniteinmotherhood #preschoolathome #healthykids #totschooling #learningthroughplay #motherandson #homeschoolmom #teachermom #earlychildhoodeducation #playbasedlearning

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