Surprisingly, I have really enjoyed making baby food for Jude. It doesn't take nearly as long as I thought it would since I found the information about using the slow cooker to cook the food. I just put it n and forget about it for three hours (4-5 for beans). The only things I do not make in the slow cooker are chicken, fish, sweet potatoes, and avocados (which do not require cooking). I probably spend an hour or two every couple of weeks on this. My poor little GE immersion blender is sure getting a work out. I noticed yesterday that the rubber covering over the "low" setting button is getting a tear in it.
An added benefit: I LOVE knowing where the food came from. I love knowing that the foods do not have preservatives or food coloring. I love knowing that I will never have to worry about recalls because glass was found in a batch of carrots at the factory.
I've learned one important thing while making Jude's baby food: If you are using the plastic Gerber cube containers that a friend (2 friends - thanks Cathy D. & Sarak R!) gave you, make sure that ALL of the safety seal remnants are off the container or you will have lightning in your microwave! There is aluminum under that plastic!
I've also learned that it is helpful to keep separate columns in the freezer to separate the veggies, fruits, beans, and meats.
Also, that pureed chicken is really gross and messy. But this revelation helped me come to the idea of mixing the meats with a veggie or the avocado because if it looked yucky to me, why would I expect my kid to eat it. It took a few days of false starts for Jude to come into liking the fish, but he gobbled the chicken all up on the first try because I mixed it with the carrots. The fish goes a lot better when I mix it with the avocado.
So, while I look forward to the day when the boy is eating chunked up bits of food that we eat rather than pureed, I will keep on until he's there. He's eating Cheerios, so we're marching in the right direction!
(This was taken BEFORE I figured that bit out about keeping the stuff sorted, and back when the only thing he was eating was sweet potato, avocado, and green peas. Since then we've added green beans, yellow squash, broccoli, apples, pears, peaches, black beans, navy beans, talapia, and chicken. He still will NOT touch zucchini.)