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The City Journals

The Rookie Mama: Chop Chop!!!

Jul 06, 2015 10:08AM ● By Michelle Cote
There are many things that come with expecting a child, from nesting instincts to a whole lot of onesies. And boy, is there ever advice, doled out like the unsolicited belly rubs.
But there are rare nuggets of wisdom to be found among these well-meaning recommendations, and the ones I found to be most helpful were not the most sentimental- but the most practical.

When I was expecting my son, my personal favorite was from a good friend and toddler mom: "You should get a Ninja!"

She wasn't advising my husband and me to hire masked men to do backflips through our house, but was instead giving us a great piece of guidance that would lead to saving us a lot of money in the baby food department.

A Ninja is one of many brand names among other wonderful food processor/blender appliances that purees fruits and vegetables beautifully. It is easy to use, and even easier to clean.

I am by no means affiliated with this brand, but I am hard pressed to think of a kitchen appliance that was more beneficial to me when my son was six months to a year old. 

I used it more than my Kitchen-Aid mixer. And that's saying something.

Just as my husband and I like to buy meats in bulk, label and freeze them each month, we found that making baby food in bulk saved us not only money, but very valuable time. 

We also had the added benefit of having full control of was going in the food.

The prep process of making baby food is easy: Steam vegetables or chop fruits (after removing the inedible parts of course), puree, and pour into freezer-safe food containers.

There are two- and four-ounce container packs available for sale, specifically catered to babies' first meals.

Bananas and avocados give an added bonus, because you can skip the steaming and pureeing altogether and just mash them up.

We enjoyed experimenting with mixing fruits and vegetables, from mangos with carrots to sweet potatoes with kale. We pureed boiled chicken, and diced up turkey.

The only baby food we purchased ready-made from store shelves was rice cereal.

There are ways of making your own, but that process is a bit more complicated.

We easily stacked a month's worth of baby food in the freezer in a short amount of time, and in doing so gained back much precious time. More time for books, more time for songs - and you can never have enough silly songs.

So if you can spare a little time to run your steamer, in order to gain much more time back in the long run - Chop Chop! Get yourself a Ninja. Puree today!

— Michelle Cote is an award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist who enjoys cooking, gardening, design, and living room dance-offs with her husband, son, and puppy dog.