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How to Make Homemade Baby Food Purées

Want to start making your own baby food purées? It’s not as hard as you think. 

Want to make your own homemade baby food purees? It's not as hard as you think.

Starting solids has been quite an adventure. As a first-time mom, there’s a lot of information to consider and several different methods of feeding. After a great deal of research and taking a class on starting solids and homemade baby food I felt ready, but my baby had other ideas.

We started offering solids at six months, but she just was not interested. Throughout the next three months, we continued to offer, but there was still no interest. Right around when she turned nine months, she started to show some interest so we started making our own purées.

Homemade baby food supplies


As we all know, there’s many ways to skin a cat. Everyone has different ideas about how to introduce solids. I tried a few different methods before deciding that purées were the best way for all of us. I purchased a Beaba Babycook and started with simple purées of a single fruit or vegetable.

When buying the fruits and vegetables, I mostly try to adhere to the “clean fifteen/dirty dozen” rules. Once you can eliminate any foods that may cause an allergic reaction in your child, then comes the fun part! You can start making purée mixes with many fruits and vegetables. Recipes are easy to find online and there are even baby food cookbooks. Or you can create your own!

puree&pour

Once you get the hang of making your own food, it’s easy! I use the Babycook machine, but purées can be made in a blender as well. What I love about the Babycook is that it is an all-in-one machine. It steam cooks and purées your food. To start, chop up your food into chunks and set it to steam cook on the desired setting. After it has finished, dump your steamed food into the blender part of the machine and purée to your preference.

After I make a batch of food, I pour it into a silicone ice tray and freeze for an hour or two. After each portion is frozen, pop them out of the ice tray and store in freezer bags until you are ready to feed them to your little one. I like to label mine with the contents and when I made them so I know how old they are.

When you get ready to prepare them, you can either re-steam a cube in the Babycook machine or throw them in the microwave for ten seconds at a time. One cube is about one portion for my little eater, but if your baby likes more you can always heat up another one. If your baby likes to eat out of pouches like mine does, then you can buy reusable pouches and put in your own baby food. My daughter likes them because she can squeeze them herself.

Homemade baby food storage

Homemade purées can be fun and give you the peace of mind of knowing what your child is eating. I occasionally give my child store bought food when I need a break or we are out and about, but for the most part, we know the source of her foods.

Do you make your own baby food? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

Make Your Own Unpaper Towels

One of the latest green crazes I have noticed around the internet is unpaper towels. Unpaper towels are exactly like paper towels except they are made out of fabric. The fabric used to make them is up to you. Most of the unpaper towels I have seen have a cotton or flannel top layer and a terry cloth bottom layer. The tutorial that I have put together is a nice blend of other tutorials that I have found. The greatest part is that they are easy to make, even for  a beginning sewer.

Unpaper Towels

Since I am all about saving money and going green, I thought this would be a great first project for my recently refurbished sewing machine. I will say that I am not a great sewer, but I enjoy making items for our home and my family.

I did not want to spend a lot of money on this project, so for my fabric selections I found 1 ¼ yard of cotton fabric on sale for the top layer of the unpaper towels and repurposed old towels and hand towels for the bottom, absorbent layer. To attach the unpaper towels to one another, you can either use snaps or hook and loop (velcro). Given that I have never done any projects with snaps, I went with hook and loop.

Materials (makes 10 unpaper towels):

  • Around 1 yard of cotton, flannel, or your choice of fabric
  • Around 1 yard of terry cloth fabric (I used 1 old towel and 2 old hand towels to get 10)
  • 4 velcro pieces for each unpaper towel – 2 for each side
  • 1 spool of thread in the color of your choice
  • Scissors

IMG_4709

  1. To start, cut 12’ x 12’ squares of both your fabric for the top layer and your fabric for the bottom layer.
  2. Next, sew the top layer fabric right side down and terry cloth together leaving a small opening that will allow you flip it inside out.IMG_4713
  3. Trim all the excess fabric around the edges and flip it inside out. Make sure you poke all the corners through and do a top stitch all around.IMG_4710
  4. To make sure that the two layers don’t separate when you wash them make a squiggle line stitch through the center of the unpaper towel.IMG_4711
  5. Sew on two pieces of velcro hoop side on the edge of the top piece of fabric. On the same unpaper towel, sew two pieces of velcro loop side to the terry cloth side. The velcro holds the unpaper towels together when they are on a paper towel holder.

Put all the unpaper towels together and you are done! If I were a more careful sewer, I would probably pin the fabric together and iron them at some point. Since this is just for our house, I didn’t worry about that too much. These turned out wonderfully, and I even made a kitchen wet bag to hold them after they get dirty. Unpaper towels have been a great addition to our kitchen.

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Cloth Diapering On the Go

clothonthegoAfter figuring out all of the logistics of how to cloth diaper at home, I suddenly realized that at some point we would need to leave our house. This thought left me with the question: how do you cloth diaper when you are away from home? Luckily, I saved up this question for the cloth diaper class that my husband and I took. Much to our relief, we learned that there are options for cloth diapering on the go.

Most of our outings consist of going to baby classes, the grocery store, or on a walk. None of these events take more than a few hours. Cloth diapering in these situations is fairly easy provided you keep the correct supplies on hand.

Babies are unpredictable and so are their diaper outputs. Make sure you have all your cloth diapering supplies with you. You definitely do not want to be caught off-guard while you are out and about without enough inserts or shells because, believe me; it is not fun when you are. My rule of thumb with baby supplies is to always bring more than what you think you will actually need. Since we primarily use all-in-two diapers, for a typical outing of a few hours I usually bring two extra shells and about five or six inserts and maybe an all-in-one just in case we encounter too many messes.


The most important item for cloth diapering while on the go is a zippered wet bag. Most wet bags have the same waterproof lining as some cloth diapers. Once your baby needs a diaper change, you can toss the dirty diaper or insert into your wet bag, zip it up, and go. There are many sizes of wet bags available. Our wet bag holds between seven and nine diapers which is usually a full day’s worth of diapering. This is more than enough room for a few hours worth of errands. When you get home, you can just dump your wet bag and its contents into your diaper pail and wash as usual.

Once you get the hang of cloth diapering on the go it becomes easy. I thought this aspect of cloth diapering would be a deal-breaker if we were not able to figure out how to successfully cloth diaper while out, but it turned out to be fairly simple.

Do you cloth diaper, any tips for cloth diapering away from home? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

 

Why Our Family Decided to Go Green

1147023642705Everyone’s green journey starts somewhere. Many people say that their life changes in college. Well, mine actually did change. I studied abroad my junior year and was completely surprised by the eco-friendly culture of my host country. I became more conscious of recycling which I had never done before. We would always joke while studying abroad that we received more information on recycling than anything else. Taking care of the earth is deeply engrained in the culture. My life changed again exactly a year ago when I found out I was pregnant. Sparing all the gory details, pregnancy did not suit me physically and I was left with many sensitivities. Using harsh chemical cleaners was out of the question, so I started searching for alternatives for cleaning products. Thanks to the internet, my search did not take long and I found countless ideas for making my own laundry soap and household cleaners that used relatively mild ingredients.

I started making my own laundry soap using one cup of Borax, one cup of washing soda, and one bar of Fels-Naptha soap. You can make a liquid or powder detergent. After a few washes it was clear that this recipe was less harsh on our clothing and I didn’t have to worry about the sensitivities that plagued me with using other detergents. For household cleaning, I mainly use a mix vinegar and blue Dawn dish soap diluted with water. This mixture works well and cleans almost every surface of our house. For more uses for vinegar, this is a great resource. A paste of Borax and water is a wonderful abrasive cleaner

homemade laundry soapIn my last article, I chronicled the beginning of our family’s decision to cloth diaper. Since then, we have successfully cloth diapered for over a month now. When our baby was born, we started to consider cloth diapering mostly for the money savings. Not only are we saving money, but also we don’t have to worry about the harsh substances in disposable diapers on our baby’s bottom thus less diaper rash. We have also dabbled into cloth wipes as well as a way to save money and better control what touches our baby’s skin.


We are not perfect at always doing what is green, but we try where we can and that is what is important. Every little bit that we all do to help makes a difference in our own lives and our environment.

What started you on your journey to go green? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

 

A Journey into Cloth Diapering

We decided to dive in…to the world of cloth diapering, that is.  My husband and I decided this after our newborn gift stash of disposable diapers from our baby showers was gone and I went out to buy our first pack of diapers.  After paying 40 dollars for a bit more than 200 diapers, I knew something needed to change.

We have been flooded with all the questions in our heads: How will we ever learn the lingo, the types of diapers, and how to make this work for an average middle class family?  Not to mention questions from family members and friends: You have to touch poop?!  (Spoiler alert: You have to touch poop with disposables on occasion, too!) Isn’t your washing machine going to be gross with all the waste in there?  (Another spoiler alert: With a newborn, almost every outfit gets poopy and is thrown in the washer anyway).

As a disclaimer: I am a newbie, a first timer.  I do not claim to have any expertise on the subject other than being an active participant.  My husband and I mulled over the idea of cloth diapering for months.  After meeting several parents who have chosen this route and taking a class, we decided to try this out for ourselves.


We took a class at a local store, Green Bambino, when our daughter was about two months old.  The class was a couple hours long and they went over all the different types of cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and how to care for your cloth diapers.  After taking this class, we decided to start with what seemed to be the easiest (and cheapest) route: prefolds and covers.  Prefolds look a bit like kitchen rags and can be folded up like an old-fashioned cloth diaper and closed together with a Snappi, or they can be folded into thirds and put inside a cover.

diaper illustration

When it came time to make our resolutions for the New Year, my husband and I decided that fully diving into cloth diapering should be our number one goal for many reasons.

  1. The most obvious reason – cloth diapering is better for the environment.  Yes, you are using water and energy to clean and dry them, but the impact is minimal compared to a landfill of dirty diapers.  Also, you can line dry your diapers if you want to cut down the impact of using a dryer.
  2. We want to save as much money as we can and disposables end up costing thousands of dollars for the two years plus that you will end up using them.
  3. They are cute and can make a mundane task, such as changing diapers, entertaining.  (Entertainment is key for the stay-at-home mom!)
  4. There are so many options.  All-in-ones, all-in-twos, prefolds, flats, pockets, and so on.  There is a diaper for every occasion!

After the start of the New Year, we went to The Changing Table to set up our diaper trial.  We were able to pick out the types of diapers that we wanted to try out to see if we like them.  I gravitated towards mostly all-in-twos because I figured I could get the most all-day use out of them since as long as the waste doesn’t hit the shell, you can snap out the inserts and replace with a new one.  We, of course, decided that we needed to try more than one type of diaper so we were loaded up with a combination of all-in-ones, all-in-twos, pockets, nappies, prefolds, and covers.

We are now on Day 3 of our trial and have officially gone more than 48 hours in cloth without so much as touching a disposable.  I am looking forward to our future in cloth.

Are you interesting in cloth diapering or have you already started? We would love to hear your thoughts and tips, just share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.