I recently had my first baby and was able to breastfeed with no problem. Five months later, my doctor said it was time to introduce baby food into his diet, so I went to the grocery store and checked out the vast array of all natural and organic baby foods.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I scoured my brain for alternatives to this gold in a glass jar and remembered that my cousin had made her own baby food. It sounded like a daunting task, but it turned out to be one of the easiest things I've ever done.
So why on earth would you make your own baby food instead of buying it? Here's why:
#1 You Know What's in It!
Have you ever read the back of a baby food jar? Surprisingly, even the natural stuff can have additives and added sugar. The difference in color will shock you. After making my own food, I noticed that comparatively, the drab and dull shades of the jarred foods pale next to the bright, vibrant colors of the homemade foods. Oh, and don't get me started about the taste! The baby food I made actually tasted like the fruit or veggie it came from as opposed to the store bought food that, well, was sort of unrecognizable.
#2 Save Money
It is AMAZING how much dough you will save by making your own baby food! Just as a rough estimate, if your child eats three jars of baby food as day, at sixty cents a jar, that is over $50 a month. I paid $40 for three months worth of fresh baby food that only took a few hours to make. (Not to mention, you are helping the environment by not using dozens of jars each week.)
#3 It's So Easy!
Really!! All you do is steam and boil, cool and puree. That's it! I cooked peas, carrots, squash, peaches, bananas, mangoes and zucchini in four hours, now my freezer is full. After you cook everything and let it cool, you pour the baby food into ice cube trays (I suggest buying these at the Dollar Store) Once you freeze them, you can put them into gallon freezer bags and label with a Sharpie (the name of the food and date your stored it). I started by introducing each food one cube at a time in case my son wasn't hungry or didn't like the food.
There are several ways to warm your baby foods:
1) Heat the cubes up in a small pot on the stove until it reaches a warm temperature
2) Just pop one or two cubes in a glass bowl and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time. When the food is warm enough, stir it really well to avoid "hot spots."
3) Put the cubes in a Ziploc bag and run the bag under hot water until the food is warm. Pour into a bowl and serve!
It's easy and healthy, and I feel so good knowing that my little man is getting the best food money can buy!
Heather Green is a Christian mom, freelance writer and the resident blogger for
OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips
and advice about online nursing schools.
This post is part of Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Real Food Wednesday hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Pennywise Platter Thursday hosted by the Nourishing Gourmet.