When my daughter first started eating solid food at six months old, she ate homemade baby food that I lovingly prepared for her. Now that she is an older toddler, she eats other foods. However, to fill in any nutritional gaps as she grew from an infant into a toddler, I continued feeding her from the stockpile of homemade baby food in my freezer. One of the foods that I made for her at the end of last summer was apples with zucchini. The apples I picked from my apple tree, and the zucchini came from the home garden of a friend.
Although high in natural sugars, apples are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate. I also left the apple skin intact because the skin of apples helps protect against cancer more and provides more nutrients than the rest of the apple. Zucchini is low in saturated fat and sodium and very low in cholesterol. Although also fairly high in natural sugars, zucchini is a good source of protein, vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, and copper and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. I also left the skin intact because the dark green color indicates higher levels of healthful nutrients.
To make the apple and zucchini food, start by washing both foods. Core and slice the apples, and slice the zucchini. Do not remove the skins. Put the slices in a microwave safe bowl with a little extra water for cooking. Cook the food in the microwave for ten to twenty minutes or until the apples are tender. Check on the progress ever few minutes, and stir as necessary to prevent the top layer from drying out.
After allowing the cooked mixture to cool slightly, spoon the apples and zucchini into a baby food processor or blender. Add extra water for younger babies to form a thinner puree. Make the blend thicker with some chunks for older babies. Then spoon the blended baby food into ice cube trays for easier freezing. (Ignore the purple on my ice cube trays. I popped out some beet baby food cubes and immediately spooned in the apple and zucchini mixture.) Once the cubes are frozen, transfer the baby food into freezer bags for easier storage. As your baby needs food, simply thaw a few cubes in the refrigerator.
Do your kiddos like apples and zucchini? Did you make your own baby food?
Washing Apples in the Sink © 2013 Heather Johnson
Slicing Up the Zucchini © 2013 Heather Johnson
Raw Apple and Zucchini Slices © 2013 Heather Johnson
Cooked Apple and Zucchini Slices © 2013 Heather Johnson
Apple and Zucchini Baby Food Cubes © 2013 Heather Johnson