Since I now have a child, I think I am turning into the “food police” (not that I wasn’t already). Because I am “in the know” of what is in our food and water supply, I am very vigilant on taking steps to reduce my child’s exposure to toxins. One of those steps is feeding her organic food and using filtered water.
Organic baby food costs approximately 89¢ – 99¢ and up, for a 4 oz. jar. Not a big deal, I thought. When items are priced under a buck, we are more apt to let go of our dollars. However, it adds up quickly. Especially as the quantity goes up as she increases her intake. Babies grow quickly! And when you look at what you get in one jar of baby food for the money, it’s not much. So I started making my own.
When making baby food, you don’t have to cook the fruit and overcook the veggies. That means more of the the vitamins, minerals and enzymes stay intact. And if you are using organic food, you know there are no chemicals, pesticides or GM (genetically modified) ingredients. You’ll notice homemade baby food is brightly colored whereas the jarred food looks dull in comparison. It’s dull in color because it is pasteurized and overcooked.
How To Make Your Own Baby Food
There are plenty of “make your own baby food” kits and products, but really, all you need is a blender, ice trays, and maybe some small containers (or baby food jars) for refrigerated leftovers. Keep it simple. First, I start with vegetables, either frozen or fresh, and steamed them with a little bit of water. From there, puree them with some, if not all, of the water in a blender (I found that the food processor leaves it too course). Then pour the mixture into ice cube trays, freeze them, and then store them in labeled freezer containers or bags. I also purée fresh and frozen fruit and cooked lentils. As your baby gets a little older to eat more complex foods, you can purée healthy meals that you are eating.
You’ll be amazed at how much money you will save by making your own baby food. For example, let’s compare a jar of organic lentil dinner to homemade. Again, it costs 89¢ – 99¢ for one 4 oz. jar. I went and purchased organic dried lentils in bulk for $3.99 per pound and there are about three cups of dried lentils in one pound. One cup of dry lentils yields 24 oz. when cooked. That’s equal to SIX jars of baby food! So in a nutshell, you can pay $3.99 and BUY 4 jars of baby food (16 oz), OR for the same price you could buy one pound of dried lentils which makes 18 jars of baby food (72 oz.). So, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that over 300% more for your money? Granted, lentils are an extreme example since they are sold dried and expand when cooked. But even with fruit and vegetables, you will still get much more for your money when compared to jarred food.
Here are some foods that I have made myself:
- green beans
- sweat potatoes
- mango (a little more time consuming)
It Tastes Better
I made it a rule not to feed my baby anything that I wouldn’t eat. What I mean by that is, if it doesn’t taste good, I’m not feeding it to her. I’m speaking of healthy food, of course. My baby eats everything I feed her, because I feed her good tasting veggies, fruit and meals. It’s important to start feeding children a variety of fruit and vegetables when they are babies so they develop a taste for them that will carry into their older years.
Now Go Do It
As always, start simple. Go buy some frozen cut up fruit or vegetables. Steam the veggies as I explained above, and/or thaw the fruit. Blend them, freeze them and you’re done. You can venture into preparing fresh fruit and veggies and more complex food once you feel comfortable. Good luck and good job! Here’s to you for putting your baby first!