When my daughter started eating solids, I made her a promise. I would not feed her any baby food that I would not also eat myself. After opening and tasting 2 jars, I realized we had a problem. The consistency and the flavor the jarred baby food was just all wrong to me. So, I decided to make my her baby food myself.
Besides having better flavor, I quickly realized that making baby food also had other benefits. It created much less waste than purchasing and throwing away all of those baby food jars, which made it an earth friendly option. It also was significantly less expensive. For example, one 2.5 oz jar of Gerber peas will cost about $.70 or $.28/oz. I was able to purchase a small bag of frozen peas on sale for about $1.00 and from that bag made 20 ounces of baby food. That’s only $.05/oz for home made pureed peas. Making the peas instead of purchasing them was a $.23/oz savings!
I will admit, however, that as a new mom it wasn’t always easy to find time to make baby food. One trick I found helpful was making it in bulk and freezing which made the task quite manageable.
How to make baby food
It is hard to give a specific recipe for making baby food because it is actually very simple. The only trick is that every fruit and vegetable will have a different cook time. Basically, you take fresh fruits and vegetables, steam or bake them, and then blend them into a puree. Some will puree beautifully and others need a little bit of water to get them to a good consistency for baby. I own a Beaba Cook, which steams and purees all in a few easy steps, however a sauce pan and a blender will give you the same result.
How to store baby food
After you have cooked and pureed your fruits and vegetables, you can take a regular old ice cube tray and pour the puree into the tray cubes. Freeze for a couple hours and then remove the frozen baby food cubes and place them in resealable freezer storage bags. Label them with the date and the type of puree. I always used up the frozen baby food within a month to insure it stays fresh. Each cube is roughly 1 oz of food.
When you are ready to use the food, just place some frozen cubes in a bowl and heat until room temperature of slightly warmed. You can also let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
I also loved using 4 oz round gladware containers. They were the perfect size and make taking food on the go very convenient. And don’t worry all of you conscientious moms, gladware is now bpa free!
Who says baby food need to be boring? Once you get the hang of making your own baby food, you can start to have a little fun with it. Here were some of my daughter’s favorite flavors:
pureed peas with mint leaves
pureed baked apples with raisins
pureed sweet potatoes with a dash of cinnamon
Although it may take a little extra time, making your own baby food is a great choice if you are trying to be kinder to the earth. I creates significantly less waste, just think about all the glass jars you won’t be purchasing and throwing away. And I bet your baby will enjoy the fresh flavors and vibrant colors!