How to Make Homemade Blender Baby Food

I’ve got four babies and have been making baby food for what seems like a decade.  Ok, so it’s only been for about seven years, and with chucks of non-baby food time in there.  Regardless, with four babies, we’ve had a TON of splattered sweet potatoes and mashed bananas smeared on the high chair! (And spit in mom’s hair, spewed across the table, and crusted on the wall.)  Over the years I’ve had a lot of friends ask how to make their own homemade baby food so I thought I would share my technique.  


How to make Homemade Baby Food (the easy way):

How to make baby food at home? Use a blender and a couple of easy steps!

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How to make homemade baby food.  In a blender! SO easy.
Baby food starts with the basics.  Whether you’re starting with fruits, veggies, or a combination of foods, homemade baby food is easy.  Many recipes call for a food processor  but I’ve never used one.  I use my second-favorite kitchen appliance (can you guess what my first favorite appliance is? I’ve got four kids who don’t like to sleep all night…). 


To make baby food, I always use my plain old blender.  It’s always handy on the kitchen counter for making smoothies so it’s in easy reach for baby food making.  

Boil the vegetable.  I made sweet potatoes recently.  If you boil first, the skins will peel right off (saving time and steps by avoiding the vegetable peeler).  Before boiling, cut the potatoes into chunks for quicker cooking.  You’ll want to cook until soft.  You’ll know when they are done by sticking a fork into the potatoes.  Drain the veggies but save the liquid.  That’s where some of the nutrients went when cooking, so you’ll want baby to get them too!
Make homemade baby food in a blender.  SO easy and good for baby!

Next, toss the cooked vegetables into the blender.  Our in a little of the water you saved from boiling.  Blend a little, stir, and blend some more.  Depending on the stage of food your baby is eating, you can add more water or less water for a thicker or thinner consistency.  You’ll want to ensure all of the chunks of food are blended and the consistency is smooth, so use a spoon to scrape the edges of the blender.  Other liquids you can add to the baby food are pumped breast milk, formula, water, vegetable stock (watch the salt content on stocks!)

Serve a little to baby and store the rest for later!


How to store baby food in the freezer:

Next, pour/scoop the baby food into ice cube trays.  I love using water bottle ice cube trays because they stack really well in the freezer.  Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the ice cube tray and pop it into the freezer.  Once frozen, pull it out and run a little warm water over the back of the ice cube tray.  Pop the frozen baby food cubes out and dump into a large gallon sized plastic bag.  Keep these in the freezer and pull out one or two at a time for future meals.  Baby will love it!

Storing homemade baby food in the freezer

Homemade Baby Food Recipe Ideas

Start with the basics like peas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and acorn squash or fruits like bananas, apples, pears, and peaches.  The possibilities are really endless with homemade baby food. I’ve even blended meats or parts of our dinner to make baby’s dinner. Have fun blending!
 Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for foods.  

Visual Motor Integration Developmental Milestones

If you’ve followed along with us here at The OT Toolbox, then you know that I love to pull my background as an occupational therapist into posts.  The crafts and activities that we do are more than just fun and cute.  There are important skills that a child develops through play.  Visual Motor Integration is a skill needed for many functional tasks like handwriting and pencil use, scissor use clothing management, and many more tasks. 
 
How does Visual Motor Integration develop in kids?  We put together this list of  developmental milestones  for a general idea of development and so parents can tell when a problem might be present.  
 
It is important to note that every child is different and every child develops differently.  These milestones are organized by developmental stages.  Be sure to contact your pediatrician for medical advice. If occupational therapy is needed to assist with delays in visual motor integration, an assessment from a licensed occupational therapist is necessary to determine individual needs and treatment.
What is Visual Motor Integration?  This blog has a lot of information on visual motor integration developmental milestones and activities for kids.

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What is visual motor integration?

 
Visual motor integration is often times presented a Hand eye coordination.  It is the ability to use your hands and eyes together in a coordinated manner.  


However, visual motor integration has some difference: The visual perceptual skills that are necessary for the visual component of visual motor skills play a major part in perceiving and interpreting visual information. This level of visual processing is necessary for copying forms and identifying inconsistencies in written work. It plays a part in letter reversals and letter formation.  


In eye-hand coordination specifically, the eyes and hands work together to move the pencil, catch a ball, thread beads on a pipe cleaner, or other tasks that require the eyes and hands to fluently coordinate in actions. The eyes and hands begin working together at a very young age and continue to develop in efficiency as a child grows.  
 


Developmental Milestones for Visual Motor Integration 

{These are general guidelines of development}


ONE MONTH:
     Tracking a rattle while lying on back                                    
     Tracking a rattle to the side                
   
TWO MONTHS:
     Infant regards their own hands
     Tracks a ball side to side as it rolls across a table left to right and right to left.
     Tracks a rattle while lying on back side to side
   
THREE MONTHS:
     Extends hands to reach for a rattle/toy while lying on back
   
FOUR MONTHS:
     Reaches to midline for a rattle/toy while lying on back
     While lying on back, the infant touches both hands together.


SIX MONTHS:
     Brings hands together to grasp a block/toy while sitting supported on an adult’s lap
     Extends arm to reach up for a toy while laying on back
   
SEVEN MONTHS:
     Transfers a block/toy from one hand to the other while sitting supported on an adult’s lap.
     Touches a cereal piece with index finger
     Bangs a toy on a table surface while sitting supported on an adult’s lap


NINE MONTHS:
     Claps hands together


TEN MONTHS:
     Removes loose pegs from a Peg Board



ELEVEN MONTHS:
     Removes socks
     Releases a cereal bit onto table surface
     Places blocks
into a cup



TWELVE MONTHS:
     Turns pages in a board book
     Imitates stirring a spoon in a cup


THIRTEEN MONTHS:
     Imitates tapping a spoon on a cup
     Begins to places large puzzle pieces in a beginner puzzle



FOURTEEN MONTHS:
     Scribbles on paper


SIXTEEN MONTHS:
     Imitates building a tower of 2-3 blocks



NINETEEN-TWENTY MONTHS:
     Builds a block tower, stacking 4-5 blocks



TWENTY THREE-TWENTY FOUR MONTHS:
     Imitates copying vertical lines


TWENTY FIVE-TWENTY SIX MONTHS:
     Removes a screw top lid on a bottle
     Stacks 8 blocks

     Begins to snip with scissors


TWENTY SEVEN-TWENTY EIGHT MONTHS:
     Imitates horizontal strokes with a marker
     Strings 2 Beads

     Imitates folding a piece of paper (bending the paper and making a crease, not aligning the edges)


TWENTY NINE MONTHS:
     Imitates building a train with blocks
     Strings 3-4 Beads

     Stacks 10 blocks



THIRTY ONE MONTHS:
     Builds a “bridge” with three blocks



THIRTY THREE MONTHS:
     Copies a circle


THRITY FIVE MONTHS:
     Builds a “wall” with four blocks



THIRTY SEVEN MONTHS:
     Cuts a paper in half with scissors


FOURTY MONTHS:
     Lace 2-3 holes with string on Lacing Shapes

     Copies a cross


FOURTY TWO MONTHS:
     Cuts within 1/2 inch of a strait line.
     Traces a horizontal line


FIFTY MONTHS:
     Copies a square
     Cuts a circle within 1/2 inch of the line
     Build “steps” with blocks



FIFTY FOUR MONTHS:
     Connects two dots to make a horizontal line.
     Cuts a square within 1/2 inch of the line
     Builds a “pyramid” with blocks



FIFTY FIVE MONTHS:
     Folds a piece of paper in half with the edges parallel
     Colors within lines


Activities to help develop visual motor integration: