Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cute Little Pumpkin

Call me a sucker for tradition and making holidays extra special, but since Halloween is in just a few days, I wanted to make my son food that "went with" the holiday.  My family's tradition is to enjoy a  piping hot bowl of my mama's famous chili before trick-or-treating (sorry, that is a family secret, so that recipe will unfortunately not be making a debut on this blog).  Obviously Bunkey can't have a bowl of chili, but I thought pumpkin would be more than appropriate!

Pumpkin is a fabulous choice for a first food for baby!  Like sweet potatoes, they're loaded with Vitamin A and beta carotene, which are thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.  Oh yeah, and they might help with aging as well.  Perhaps I should eat some pumpkin along with my son?!

Preparing pumpkin for baby is similar to preparing sweet potatoes.  Baking retains the most nutrients, but keep in mind that as soon as you cut into your pumpkin, it needs to be cooked, else a nasty mold will begin growing.  And mold, of course, is not recommended for baby's diet!

That said, and even though I told myself I would be cooking all my baby's food myself (with the exception of cereal) it's been a busy week.  And I needed a break.  So I decided I would take the easy road just this once, and used canned pumpkin puree.  Easy peasy.  Faster, easier, and less mess than baking my own and pureeing and making a mess of the kitchen I just spent hours scouring!  Of course, I wanted to absolutely ensure that the canned stuff would be ok.  So after a phone call to my mama and studying the can of pumpkin in my pantry, I still read up on pumpkin from my go-to site, Momtastic.  This is what they say:  
"You may use canned pumpkin for baby food. Ensure that you purchase canned pure pumpkin and NOT "Pumpkin Pie" mix. The Pumpkin Pie mix contains sugars, starches and other additives."
So, I bring you Halloween food for baby....pumpkin! 

Step 1:  Open can
Step 2:  Divide into individual servings
Step 3:  Refrigerate
Was it worth it?  Well, for starters, I couldn't find jarred pumpkin in the babyfood section of my grocery.  But, at $2.27 per can, it came out to $0.32 for each of the seven servings a can provided.  And that is still a good-sized savings compared to the average of $0.47 per one-serving jar of babyfood at the store!

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