Sunday, January 31, 2010

Toddler food cubes

Most baby food books talk about food cubes and I was skeptical at first. The time saving factor and variety of foods available at each meal totally convinced me. Now I have two freezer shelves full of food cubes all the time. I know exactly what cubes to throw in to make them eat if they are fussy. I make lots of food cubes - vegetables (carrots to hearts of palm) fruits (apples to guava) chicken, turkey and lamb.

My secret tool here is the pressure cooker. It allows for cooking with minimal loss of nutrients. If you use a container to put the vegetables in, instead of directly in the cooker, you don't need to add any additional liquid to the vegetables - the water in the bottom of the cooker will suffice for the steam to build.

Vegetables cook for anywhere from 15 minutes (broccoli, cauliflower) to half an hour (butternut squash, cabbage) and then get mashed with a potato masher. When the twins were younger, I would puree them in a food processor but they can handle more texture now. I let fruits ripen as much as it is safe to and then either mash them with a potato masher or grate/puree in a food processor.

Meats get fine chopped and go into the slow cooker and the cooking liquid is vedge from Bolthouse Farms. Afterwards I fork mash them till my hand hurts! Fish is poached in a little stock or tomato broth or vedge and fork mashed.

The final step is spooning them into ice cube trays and popping them into the freezer for 24 hours. For thawing vegetables and meats I just use the microwave. For fruits I take the cubes out the night before and thaw them in the refrigerator.

1 comment:

  1. I use this method, as well, but a little different. I have a mini ice cream scoop like you use for making cookies--just fill the baller and place food on a cookie sheet. You can fit about 60 on a cookie sheet and it seems a little faster than filling the trays. Clean up is easier, too, if I put waxed paper on the cookie sheet.