Monday, November 3, 2014

Make Your Own Baby Food (It's Easier Than You Think!)

**The Natural Generation asked me to host a few weeks back, and just in case you missed it, I've posted it here on the blog. Also, to view the original, click here.**

Maybe this is just me, but I don't like to spend money on things I can make myself. So naturally when it came time to feed our daughter baby foods, I looked into making my own. It was so easy and awesome in every way that I can't imagine doing it any other way.

In fact, it was so easy I naturally (and ignorantly) assumed everyone did it that way too. Oh, how very wrong I was! One day, while hanging out with two of my mom friends, we started to discuss this topic and I found that all my friends bought their baby's food. After listening to them complain about how expensive it was I finally ask them why they don't choose to make it. Their response was surprising: "Well," one of my friend said, "isn't it hard?"

Over many months, and after talking to many other people, I found that most people have misconceptions about home made baby food. Let me address these concerns:

"I don't know how to make baby food!"

Making baby food is easier than you think. Here are the steps for making your own baby food:

Fruits that are soft like banana or avocados

Step One: Take peels off.
Step Two: Put food in bowl.
Step Three: Take a fork, and mash it up.

See what I mean? So easy! And bananas are basically the cheapest fruit out there. Also, avocados can usually be found for a good price if you look for deals online.

Fruits that aren't soft like apples or pears

Step One: Cut up fruit (peel or don't peel. I prefer keeping the peels since they are usually the most nutritious part of the fruit.)
Step Two: Add a small layer of water in cooking dish
Step Three: Throw in oven upright at 400 degrees for 35 minutes
Step four: Throw in blender
Skip step two and three and just go straight to step four!

*Feel free to add spices like nutmeg, or cinnamon. 

Still incredibly easy--and might I add delicious too. I started making extra just for myself!


Step One: Cook veggies in microwave (or stove top if you prefer. But for the record, it doesn't make a difference nutritionally. I've done the research but feel free to look for yourself.)
Step Two: Put in blender.

And bah-bam! You're done! You can be extra awesome and mix in some seasonings or just keep it simple and serve it plain. Either way your baby will love it.

"Making baby food is time consuming!"

Not really. I used to spend 4 hours every other month making TONS of baby food. I basically bought every fruit and veggie under the sun, (that didn't cost an arm an a leg) and spent the day blending one thing after the other. Then I would label freezer bags and put them in the freezer. They're good for 60 days so I made 60 days worth at a time. So pick one Saturday or Sunday every other month and make it! Yeah, it's 4 hours of the day but think about the money it saves. Not to mention, in the scheme of time, 4 hours isn't really a lot when it's once every other month.

Also, if you don't have a day you can dedicate to making baby food then you could always wake up 20 minutes early or even before you go to bed and make just enough for the next day.

"Making your own baby food is not as healthy!"

It's actually healthier! Think about it. Baby food has preservatives in it to make it last for a while. Home cooked food will always be healthier than anything that comes from a box or a jar. Plus, when you make your own baby food, you know exactly what's in it.

"Making baby food requires me to have fancy, expensive equipment!"

Yeah I know, you saw those cute Baby Bullets in the store. And guess what? You don't need it! Sure the smallness of it is convenient I'm sure, but you can make your baby food in a plain, old blender. And most people have a blender. Even if you don't, you could always go out and buy one. Our blender was $30 dollars and has lasted us years (and it's a whole heck of a lot cheaper than that Baby Bullet!)

Additionally, I went out and bought 4 ice cube trays (I already had 2) which probably costed me like $20. Ice cube trays give your baby the perfect food portion and you're sure to use the trays for ice in the future.

"Making baby food will make my grocery bill more expensive!"

When I started feeding out daughter baby food my grocery bill was on average about $3 more than usual (read here how we make each grocery trip just $25 a week). That's because all the food I made our daughter was foods my husband and I would eat too. Also, babies really don't eat that much anyway. One peach would probably make our daughter at least two meals. That's pretty impressive considering one jar of baby food costs about .50 cents per jar. If you do the math jarred baby good will cost you about $45-$50 a month. I did the math for the average I spent on my daughter's baby food and it came to about .15 cents per serving. If I did my math correctly, I spent about $18 on her baby food a month. That means I saved at least $27 every month!

So the next time you think about buying your baby some jarred Gerber, first go home and try to make it yourself. You have nothing to lose and really, everything to gain (like some extra money in your wallet!) And maybe you'll find that making your own baby food is a lot more enjoyable than you imagined before.

Best of luck!

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