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creating a garden for baby food?  RSS feed

 
Cassie Langstraat
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Location: Zone 9b
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I came across this blog post over at http://homegrown.org/.

It is called Planning a Baby Food Garden.

I don't have babies but I know people thought my mom was insane when she would blend up whatever her and my dad were eating for dinner and feed that to me when I was a baby. But I am sure as hell glad she did that instead of feed me that disgusting "baby food" that you get in grocery stores.

Anyway, I was curious if anyone had planned out a garden specifically for baby food before, like the woman who wrote this article, and if you have what'd you plant? Or what would you plant in one?

Just for good measure - here is me as a toddler in my mom and dad's garden. I couldn't help but share. Munchin' on veggies from the garden, as every lil kid should





 
Rob Read
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Location: Poplar Hill, Ontario (near London) - Zone 6a
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In our household we are closer to just blending up whatever the adults are eating, though not exclusively. There are all these 'rules' about when babies are 'supposed' to try certain foods. I think there is some value in looking at that stuff for sure, but at the same time, I don't think our ancestors had those lists, and we came out okay...

I would suggest sweet potatoes, carrots, squash. Our babies have liked broccoli (I know!). Things you can get to a squishy consistency with steaming or boiling work well. Apple sauce (or any fruit sauce, or any fruit) is a perennial favourite. If you are blessed to live somewhere that you can grow them, avocado and banana are amazing baby foods.

With our third (at this moment about 10 months old) we find if she's not eating what we've offered, we usually just have to add more apple sauce or bananas. Having dessert at the same time as main course just doesn't seem to be a problem for her!

 
Dave Hunt
Posts: 69
Location: NJ
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With both of my kids I dedicated about a 1/3 of the annual garden to stuff i wanted to grow specifically for them to eat.
For my first I just went thru the baby food section to get ideas of what to grow. When the second was ready to eat I tried to grow a few more types of veggies and a lot more of my fruits were starting to produce as well.
From what I could remember:
Veggies: carrots, peas, beans, kale, Swiss chard, beets, turnips, broccoli, sweet potatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, parsnip, pumpkin.
Fruits: Apple, pear, peach, cherry, blueberry, grape, strawberry, cantaloupe, watermelon, honey dew.
I found that both my kids would eat any combo of the above as long as it had a least one sweet ingredient, ie peas, kale, pear.
We have our third due this summer so I am going to try to go big with the root crops and storage stuff so I will have plenty to feed the baby over the winter.
My goal is to not have to buy any produce from the store to make baby food with. I know it's lofty and probably not obtainable given my northeastern climate but that's what I'm shooting for.
 
Danielle Diver
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when i was pregnant with my daughter (who is now 2) i would daydream about what i would plant in a garden for her... not so much what would go into the kitchen and get processed, but rather, i was planning a wild edibles Baby Garden (maybe a circle, or mandala) where i could plop the baby down in the middle and she could explore, scratch, and eat anything she found. well, truth be told, we live in an apartment in the middle of town, so the reality of this fantasy garden was just that, fantasy, except that it got my brain spinning as to how I can introduce a newish born baby to the joys of nature, and allow them to use their natural learning tools, touch, feel, taste, to explore this new outside dirty beautiful world.

so we often found ourselves volunteering at the community garden not far from our house and from a very early age she learned how to crawl down paths (but not over plants!) pick at the strawberries, but not tear out the leaves or rootballs, munching on dandilion flowers, and even eating snails, crunch! She became quite a skilled gleaner (almost TOO skilled!) and now, at two, can feel confident when i tell her one type of berry is 'bleck' no good and another is 'yuuumm!' very good. she then remembers and moves on ...

raising young kids, babies, really, to respect the limitations of nature, but also allowing them to freely explore, touch, feel, EAT! is such an important tool to helping them become intimate with the world that awaits them.
 
Erika Bailey
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Location: Maine, USA zone 5a
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My niece at two years old came to visit my garden, and I have a huge patch of alpine strawberries--tiny but sweet! She had been living in a crappy apartment with her mom and didn't get out to play enough. When I showed her the strawberries and gave her one to eat, she got this amazed look on her face. She kept smiling and saying, "FLOOR CANDY!" She focused on the patch for almost a half hour, which was the most attention span I have ever seen her exhibit--and she is now 6. It was awesome!
 
Craig Dobbson
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Erika Bailey wrote:My niece at two years old came to visit my garden, and I have a huge patch of alpine strawberries--tiny but sweet! She had been living in a crappy apartment with her mom and didn't get out to play enough. When I showed her the strawberries and gave her one to eat, she got this amazed look on her face. She kept smiling and saying, "FLOOR CANDY!" She focused on the patch for almost a half hour, which was the most attention span I have ever seen her exhibit--and she is now 6. It was awesome!


Both of my kids eat almost exclusively from the garden and surrounding wild places during the growing season. I have taught them what's good and what's not and we have rules about making sure that wild foods are checked (like Halloween candy) by an adult before mass consumption can begin. They will find a patch of blueberries and then ... silence. Peace in a berry patch.

So to the original post: I think you can't go wrong with planting perennial fruit canes, bushes trees and shrubs. Anything that can be made into a jam will keep through the winter to extend your harvest. Also a lot of fruit can be dehydrated and kept for long periods. Fruit chews are good for teething babies too. I plant a pretty diverse annual garden each year as well. My kids pretty much eat it all with a few exceptions for each of them. There's just some things a person doesn't like. Cilantro and arugula are banned from my garden as I'm highly repulsed by their odor. I had good luck with mixing new foods with ones my kids already liked to get them used to the new food. For example, you can add just about anything to mashed potato or rice and a baby will eat it. As the meal goes along just increase the ratio of the new food over the potato until the child is eating just the new food item with maybe a small amount of the potato for consistency.
 
Dawn Hoff
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I didn't have a garden when my kids were babies - but we never went the mush way I fed my kids pretty much what we ate (you should see a baby with no teeth sucking away at Osso Buco) and then were careful not to oversalt or add allergens to the food. They are both more or less omnivores today... I don't know if that is why, but I have been told that giving them autonomy as early on as possible will make them less timid towards new food.

My kids loved: Avokado, Banana, Broccoli, Osso Buco , Potatoes (not sweeet potatoes), soft fruits, boiled carrots, olives (?), pickled garlic (again?),

 
Vida Norris
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Location: Ontario Canada, Zone 5b
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Ah! This is such a great idea! and you are so cute there in the garden Cassie!

I wish I had thought of this when my daughter was younger but she's only 6 so while I don't need a baby food garden per se, I do still need a kid food garden! Last year when we moved I set my daughter up with her own garden since I was inspired reading about how sepp holzer was given a garden when he was a child and well, look at him now! She was hit or miss interested in it, but eventually once the food grew she was pumped, and got really into checking all the plants for things to either eat or bring into the kitchen to cook.
 
All of the world's problems can be solved in a garden - Geoff Lawton. Tiny ad:
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