The wonderful chef, TV star, cookbook author and mama, Nikki Dinki, is back to share some baby food tips with us!
I’m a chef who loves her veggies—you will always find veggies as the entrée portion of my plate. In fact, my cookbook is titled Meat On The Side, and it’s all about vegetable-focused cooking.
However I didn’t always love my veggies. I didn’t even like my veggies. This might sound like an exaggeration, but I actually didn’t even eat a single veggie until I was 20 years old. Fittingly, I spent most of my life infamously known as “Picky Nikki”, a name my sister still teases me with.
So when it came to my daughter, Ivy, I wanted to make her own food as nutritious as possible, and at the same time empower her to hopefully never be called “Picky Ivy.”
In order to do this, I knew making my own baby food would be a step in the right direction. But with time flying faster than ever I didn’t want making my own baby food to be something that took over my life.
So after some thought and experimentation, I devised my Baby Cubes system.
Baby Cubes works like this: I freeze 1 ounce portions of different pureed fruits and veggies, such as broccoli, apples, or carrots. I also freeze 1 ounce portions of other healthy grains and proteins like oats, quinoa, edamame or ground chicken. Then when it’s time for Ivy to eat a nutritious meal, I combine four different cubes to create a perfectly balanced meal.
And because everything is frozen, I can vary the foods that are part of every meal. This means that at the end of the day, Ivy has not just eaten her veggies, but she’s eaten a variety of veggies—which is something I am always preaching as a chef and is key for Baby’s nutrition.
And speaking of Mommy, I have gotten into the habit of “stealing” her cubes to add nutrition and flavor to leftovers or store-bought meals of my own.
They also make for great smoothies! May I recommend combining a cube each of mango, raspberries, spinach and quinoa with a little yogurt? Yum!
Besides providing Ivy with great nutrition I love my Baby Cubes system because it allows you to make baby food only once a month. I do big batches and then freeze it all. Because I’m storing the food in the freezer instead of the fridge I don’t have to worry about the food going bad or the nutritional content slowly depleting as much over time.
And let’s all take a step back and remember that you don’t have to do it all. Seriously, moms need to give themselves a break. You don’t have to feed your baby homemade food at every meal, serving up some Baby Cubes for even just one meal a day is awesome! Or maybe start small by just freezing cubes of fruit to mix into their yogurt.
Whatever you can do is fantastic and another step in the right direction when it comes to helping your baby grow strong and healthy—and not having the word “Picky” attached to his or her name.
You can follow Nikki’s food adventures on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.