Tyler Florence Is A Genius

It's no secret I have food issues.  But by God's grace, and with the help of this book, and this book, I am definitely working through them.  One of the things that was a wake up call to me was when Levi started eating solids.  I find myself really concerned that what he is eating hits all the nutrients he needs to grow his little body and develop his little brain.  I started wondering how I could be so concerned about what was fueling him, but not fueling myself. It's time for a whole family food make-over. 

Levi has also had issues with lots of spit up, so we've been through the gamut with formula and food combinations. What works for us is feeding him solids and formula staggered throughout the day. Now that we have the times to eat figured out, I have been trying to focus on what to feed him.

Enter Tyler Florence.  As much as I love food, I don't particularly love cooking, so when he was on the Today show several weeks ago, I hardly paid attention.  Until he said his new book was all about healthfully feeding your kids.

The book is called "Start Fresh: Your Child's Jump Start to Lifelong Healthy Eating." You can see the video of that interview here.

Because I am not that great of a cook and kind of hate doing it (but I'm at least trying), it took me another week or two to actually get around to sitting down and using the book once it arrived. But then yesterday I decided I was going to cook through the book (I've never done that before), and I picked out four recipes to start with.  And boy am I excited about the results!

The book is broken down into five chapters: Getting Started, Stage 1 (4-6 months), Stage 2 (6-8 months), Stage 3 (9-12 months), and Stage 4 (12 months and beyond).  Stage 4 is actually meals created for the entire family that can be blended down when necessary to feed your less developed chewers.

Stage 1: Single Ingredient Purees : : Sweet Potato Puree

  • This one is so easy.  I cut up 2 sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes, steamed them, put them in the blender with a little bit of the water from steaming, and then put it into ice cube trays for freezing.
  • Total cost: $1.58 for 16 ounces of baby food, compared to about $4.50 for the same amount of store bought stage one food. 
  • As you can see, Levi was pretty excited about the sweet potatoes.

From Stage 2: Flavor Combos : : Spinach and Banana Puree 

  • I was not terribly excited about this one, but my friend Sammy is always trying to get me to drink a green monster, so I thought I'd give it a try.
  • Combine 12 ounces of spinach, 2 bananas, 1/4 cup of whole-fat plain yogurt, and 1/4 unfiltered apple juice in a blender.
  • Of course, I didn't do everything as directed... I used frozen spinach, nonfat yogurt I already had, and apple juice I already had.
  • It is delicious!
  • Total cost, just under $2.00 for 16 ounces.

From Stage 2: Flavor Combos : :  Roasted Bananas and Blueberries

  • Arrange 3 unpeeled bananas and 1 pint of blueberries on baking sheet.  Roast at 350 for 20 minutes.  Let cool.  Peel bananas, place everthing in a blender.
  • Roasting the bananas and blueberries gives it a little bit of a different texture and flavor than straight up raw fruits.  I think it was sweeter and a little more like gelatin.  Honestly, I would have ate this whole thing by myself!!
  • Again, I couldn't find fresh blueberries at Target, so I just used frozen ones.
  • Total cost, $3.27 for 16 ounces.  At little more expensive, but still cheaper than store bought!

Tomorrow I am going to try a recipe from Stage 4!

And ironically, this is a Tuesday, so I can share my first recipe for Tasty Tuesday at Beauty and Bedlam!


  1. Love this! I was totally lazy when it came to Emma's baby food and just did store bought. But I'm determined that this time around, I'm going to make most of it myself. It seriously isn't that difficult and it saves so much money! Thanks for getting me excited...now I just have to wait a few months until Colson is ready for baby food! :)

  2. Yay! I am gonna have to check this book out. We made our baby food for the big girls, but I like the idea of the stages and how it seems to guide meal plans and stuff. Very cool!

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this! I had no idea about the book. I'm headed to the bookstore after work!!


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