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making baby food

October 9, 2007

I’ve been making baby food this week, so I thought I would blog a bit about how and why I do it.  

There are a lot of reasons I love making my own baby food. The biggest motivator is that it is CHEAP! I make a few things each week, and I buy whatever is on sale. This week I bought green beans, pears, and plums.

  • 2 lbs. green beans @ .78/lb.  gave me 6  1/2-cup servings for $1.56
  • 3 lbs. pears @ .84/lb. made 8 servings for $2.52
  • the best deal of the day, 3.6 lbs. plums @ .50/lb, made 14 servings for $1.80

In all, I spent $5.88 on the equivalent of 28 jars of baby food. Had I bought premade food, that would have cost around $20.

Another big reason I make my own baby food is that I control what goes in it. A jar of Gerber peaches, for example, contains peaches, white grape juice, and citric acid. My peaches contain peaches. Nothing more. That is more comforting than ever given the recent surge of recalled products in the news. And because the food isn’t overly processed, it tastes a lot more like the food it comes from. Anyone who has ever tasted baby food bananas knows that they don’t taste anything like a banana.

Making baby food also opens my eyes to a lot more food possibilities than what you see on the shelf at Wal-Mart. Most Gerber babies don’t get to experience broccoli, asparagus, or what could possibly be God’s perfect baby food – avocados. They are loaded with good fats and vitamins, they are easy to mash, don’t require cooking, and their mild flavor makes them especially palatable for little mouths.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t much. It takes about 2 hours each week. A few weeks before the baby is ready for solid foods I start stocking the freezer. I add a few new things each week, and before long, I have a great variety of foods. For the foods that need to be cooked first (everything except bananas and avocados) I just wash them, cut them into big chunks and steam them until they are soft in a large pot with a steamer basket. If the skins need to be removed, I do it after they are cooked. Then I blend it until it is smooth and put it into containers. If you have a good blender, most of the foods don’t need to be strained. Some people freeze the food in ice cube trays and store it in bags. Personally I prefer to use the half-cup size Gladware containers. They are fairly inexpensive, resealable, and much more portable than the ice cubes.

Please don’t interpret this post as a commentary on the evils of store-bought baby food. I know that making baby food isn’t for everyone, and I don’t think anyone is less of a parent for buying premade food. It is a perfectly decent alternative. I’m writing this because I really enjoy making baby food, and I think more people would do it if they realized how easy and rewarding it can be.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. kermooch permalink
    October 9, 2007 11:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing that. It sounds easy enough (and cheaper). I have never made my own baby food, but have thought about several times. Maybe with this one I’ll finally give it a go!

  2. scrabblenut permalink*
    October 10, 2007 10:02 am

    I hope you do! I have a lot of other tips and tricks I’d be happy to share with you when the time comes.

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