Ok, making your own baby food may not make you the coolest mom on the block, but it will certainly save you some serious money.
This is why I chose to make my own baby food:
1) It’s cost effective.
One butternut squash from the store costs me approximately $3. I can feed DE on that one squash for 2-4 weeks, depending what I mix it with. By itself, it would last me at least a week.
2) It’s healthy. There are no preservatives and I know exactly what’s going into my baby’s food.
3) It prepares DE to eat what we eat at our house. I add mild spices to his food, so he can gradually adjust to what mommy and daddy eat.
I do not want my child eating solely from the children’s menu (ie: mac and cheese, hot dogs, hamburger, etc). It is our goal to have our child eat nutritious food, in an attempt to avoid childhood obesity. Bring on the sushi!
Initially, I was very nervous about attempting to make my own baby food. What if I did it wrong? Don’t all kids have to eat what is available prepackaged at the supermarket?
I gained confidence by reading The Wholesome Baby Food Guide.
This book outlines how to start feeding your baby and how to freeze your own food.
After reading through it once, I put it away and let my imagination take hold.
At six months, I started DE on butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pears, apples, bananas, and avocado. (each individually) We waited till six months, because we travel a lot and breast feeding was the easiest thing to pack. 🙂
Since he’s older now, I’ve simplified things and feed him anything, but egg, wheat, cow’s milk, citrus, tomatoes, or nuts. (This is my personal choice. You can feed anything, but nuts and cow’s milk after 6 months.) I plan to introduce wheat products and eggs when he’s 9 months old. My pediatrician recommended limiting citrus and tomatoes, because it will cause burning when it comes out at the other end.
Many books will recommend starting with cereal as your first food. This just didn’t make nutritional sense to me. Rice cereal is devoid of anything nutritious and is simply a filler. So we stuck with fruits and vegetables.
I decide what to feed DE now according to what’s on sale at our local grocery store. Since it’s autumn, he’s eating a lot of different types of squash, meat, green beans, and stone fruits. His personal favorites are butternut squash, plums, and pears.
Remember: it takes a baby seven times of trying something, before you can really determine if they dislike it. If your baby seems to not enjoy a certain food, keep trying it for several days in a row. He may just grow to love it.
The only issue I’ve run into with preparing my own baby food is not pureeing or thinning the food enough. I would recommend purchasing/using a really good blender. I tried using a food processor, but my machine wouldn’t puree well enough. I thin DE’s food with filtered water from our faucet, not breastmilk, because breastmilk can take on a soapy taste when it’s repeatedly frozen and reheated.
So here’s an example of how to prepare baby food:
1) Wash the food. Let’s use the example of preparing pears.
2) Prepare it.
With pears you need to remove the skins, core, and cut into quarters.
3) Put the food in a pot with some filtered water at the bottom. Heat and cover till it turns soft.
4) Once soft, turn off the heat and let it cool.
5) Put the cooked pears into a blender with some of the leftover water. Puree.
6) Pour puree into ice cube trays.
7) Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
8) The next day, use a knife to pop out the frozen cubes. Put them in a seal-able gallon bag and return the food to the freezer.
When baby is ready to eat, simply grab a couple of cubes (each cube is approximately 1 oz of food) and put them in a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Stir and serve, ensuring that the food is not too hot for little mouths.
As I mentioned above, this is how I prepare baby food. There are many different ways that you can chose to do this. I’ve found that this method works well in our house and I’m having a lot of fun preparing different food and making concoctions for DE to try.
Have you ever tried chicken, sweet potato, peach, green bean puree before?
DE gives it two thumbs up!