From hot peppers to carrots – a new mom’s new garden plan.

As the weather warms and nature springs back to life, my mind wanders to my vegetable garden and what I might want to plant when the threat of frost has passed.  This year is a little bit different because I have my infant son to think about.  As a new mom, I decided I wanted to make what my son eats when he was ready to start solid foods.  After some research in online forums and blogs, I found that there would be a pretty significant cost savings over store-bought baby foods, minimal waste as I wouldn’t be throwing empty food containers in the recycling bin, plus, by making his food I would know exactly what would be going in his mouth and body.

In continuing my research, I found that some moms used appliances specifically made for baby-sized portions while others used the steamer and food processing equipment that they already owned.  I decided to use the appliances that I already owned as my kitchen cabinet space is limited, plus if I kept the batches of food being made in full-sized equipment comparatively small, my risk of spoilage would be equally as small. The full-sized equipment strategy also meant less of a time investment on my part as I could process larger batches of food than the baby-sized equipment allowed.

Now that I’m a few weeks into the process, I am very happy with my decision to make baby food for my son. It is easier and faster than I thought it would be. A batch of food takes maybe an hour to process from chopping to steaming to pureeing to freezing, depending on what the food is as some are much quicker. Added pluses are that freezing the puree in ice cube trays gives me portions that easily pop out for bulk storage in large freezer bags. The puree cubes are very easy to combine for custom blends of fruits or vegetables.

Knowing my son’s affinity for carrots, parsnips, and green beans, these are a must for my garden this year, which means a little less of the eggplant, cabbage, and hot peppers we’ve planted in the last few years. That’s alright though because by the time tomatoes and cucumbers are ready, which are favorites of Mom and Dad, he’ll be able to snack on those right along with us.