By: Ebony Scott Dear Diary, Believe it or not, the highlight of my day comes at about 5 a.m. when I step into the kitchen to prepare breakfast for my twenty-two month old son. I fire up the stove and enjoy the quiet time and the surge of creative energy I get from cooking. I enjoy these moments, in part, because it’s a rare bit of alone time in my often-hectic day, but more so because for me, the act of cooking for others has always been a manifestation of love and relaxation. When I found out that I was pregnant, I was excited about cooking for another person, no matter how small. This was before it registered that I’d actually need to feed that little person three times a day! One of the first things I did in preparation for my upcoming cooking assignment was research information about breastfeeding and infant and toddler nutrition. I searched online and asked questions in person to my OBGYN, future pediatrician and even a nutritionist. My health insurance plan even offered a total wellness program for free. When the time finally came to actually feed my son something other than breast milk, I felt knowledgeable, empowered and ready to tie on an apron. I exclusively breastfed my son for the first six months and then introduced nutrient rich vegetables, like sweet potatoes and peas, as opposed to traditional cereals and fruits. Research has shown that rice cereal contains enzymes that can be tough for tiny tummies to digest, and frankly, it’s not the most nutrient rich food on the market. Fruits are also a great first foods, but I wanted to get in a few veggies to prepare him for more savory options down the road. As a single working mom, it was additionally important to me to have a system that would provide healthy homemade food in a timely manner. So, I purchased a baby food maker that steamed and pureed food, which I later stored in ice cube trays. Can you make a tasty meal without it? Absolutely, for me it was all about convenience. My son’s first meal was this very easy sweet potato puree. I later I introduced a few fancier versions after making sure he didn’t suffer from food allergies. It is highly recommended that you introduce new foods one at a time for a few days in a row to ensure your child tolerates it. I started with something sweet and savory! Once you whip up this recipe, you’ll see that making baby food is easy peasy. Basic Sweet Potato Puree Ingredients: 3 Medium Organic Sweet Potatoes ½ Cup of Breast Milk or Formula) Instructions: Begin by thoroughly washing the potatoes. If baking, use a fork or toothpick to poke holes on each side of the potato. Wrap in foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes (until soft). Once fully cooked, remove the potatoes from the oven and scoop the filling ( being careful not to add any skin) into a food processor or bowl if you’ll be using a manual potato masher. Add a small amount of milk or formula at a time and pulse process, or mash, until your potatoes are a very creamy consistency free from lumps. Don’t add the milk all at once to avoid having too much liquid in your final product. If steaming, use a potato peeler to remove the skin. Cut potatoes into small pieces and follow instructions above. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Puree Follow the same instructions as above but add a pinch of cinnamon and ginger to your potatoes before pureeing. This is an awesome way to introduce your baby to spices after they have tried plain potatoes once or twice separately. So often parents forget that babies all over the world are introduced to the wonderful world of spices early on! Babies are people too and have taste buds just like us! No one likes bland food. Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Puree Follow your basic sweet potato puree recipe, and add roasted butternut squash along with cinnamon and ginger. Be careful not to incorporate the squash until your baby has tried the squash on it’s own to ensure there is no allergy to the food. Hey DFTM Fam–What first food are you feeding your little one? What are your favorite baby food recipes? Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.