Hey Everyone! Slacker-Mc-Slacker pants checking in. Ha, Kidding. Things have been crazy lately and I can’t seem to keep up with ANYTHING! We have had like 3 or 4 Christmas dinners at this point and we have one left with my family in a week or so. There’s basically been a tornado of Candy, wrapping paper, Christmas cookies and unfolded clean laundry getting wrinkly in laundry baskets buzzing around me for the last 3 weeks. The laundry situation escalated quickly, and I definitely need help.
Anyways, BABY FOOD! I started making baby food when K was a babe, but once he started stage 2 or 3’s I stopped, I wasn’t very confident in making yummy combinations. With K, we did a form of BLW, so he started actual solids pretty early. I’ll do BLW the same way with J, but I’ll definitely try a little harder to keep making purees this time around. Right now we are still making our way through stage 1 foods, which are pureed until they’re smooth and they are all low allergy fruits and veggies.
I have a few reasons for making my own baby food. (In no particular order)
My grocery store has an awful selection of organic jarred options.
I’ve said it before, and I’m certain you’ll hear it again, I LOVE making food from scratch. I truly enjoy it and I find it SO satisfying!
IT IS EASY. For everyone in the back. IT IS EASY.
I can tailor his food to what he likes. For a while there, he was not happy with sweet potatoes, so I started adding some of my carrots, which he loves, then the next day less carrots, until he eventually was eating straight sweet potatoes without batting a cute little eye.
The very FEW options I can find at my store are grossly over priced. I’m going to break it down for you for a few of the veggies I make, and for some of the, the difference is substantial! (Yes, I’m crazy)
THIS IS BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT- I know what’s in my child’s food. 100%.
There have been many times that I have purchased jarred baby food for him, so, don’t go thinking I’m over here pointing fingers at people for not making their own baby food. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When things have been chaotic, I’ve bought baby food. When I’ve been lazy, I’ve bought baby food. When I have 0 desire to mess with a butternut squash, I’ve bought baby food. 😉 What I’m saying, is there is definitely back up jarred baby food in my pantry.
Disclaimer- I am not a physician, dietitian, member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I’m just a semi-crunchy Momma and this post is simply informative about what works for my family. Please do your research and discuss any of your intentions with your child’s pediatrician. 😊
When I shop for produce, I chose organic when it’s available and if our budget allows. Lucky for me, J doesn’t eat very much. I also choose organic for him because a few of the stage 1 baby foods are on the current dirty dozen list. When I started researching all of this, I was really overwhelmed with the amount of information out there on this topic. And people like to argue about the organic vs conventional topic, so I’m not even going to drop any articles, go ask Ms. Google and fall down the same worm hole I did. Basically the dirty dozen lists the top 12 fruits and vegetables that when tested, contained the highest pesticide loads. My family has chosen to choose organic when possible, and to also use a homemade fruit and veggie wash. There is an ungodly number of recipes on Pinterest. I basically use vinegar and lemon juice.
I have a baby bullet that someone got us as a baby shower gift, and while it has super cute little baby food containers and a cute little container for freezing purees, I’m not fond of the actual blender. I strongly prefer my Ninja for the blending capabilities. The only downfall of my Ninja, is it is so loud! I definitely can’t use the Ninja while the baby is asleep. HAHAHAHA- who am I kidding, my baby doesn’t sleep. Jokes on Jokes on Jokes.
I’ve been steaming all of our baby food so far. I bought a cheapy old school metal steamer basket from BB&B. They had a pretty silicone steamer basket, but I have this legitimate worry that one of these days, similar to teflon, the powers that be are going to tell us to stop heating up silicone. I might be crazy, or I might be right. We shall see.
Anyways, I steam it all. Easy Peasy. But, a quick search on Pinterest will show you that there are so many variations! You can roast potatoes or cook carrots in water, add cinnamon to the apples once baby gets a bit older. There is so much you can do! I’m all about making it easy, so I’ve done them all exactly the same way.
The price breakdown on peas isn’t much. It was only a $0.02 difference per ounce. One thing I was surprised by, was the first bag of frozen peas I picked up, had sugar in the ingredient list. Sugar!! So, keep an eye out for that.
2 packages frozen peas
water to steam
The price breakdown on carrots a bit more! For my homemade puree it was about $0.05 an ounce, and jarred baby food is about $0.32 an ounce. A 2 pound bag of organic carrots is usually about $2 around here.
2 lb bag of organic carrots, peeled and washed. Chopped into 1 inch pieces.
water to steam
Organic sweet potatoes ended at about $0.08 an ounce, jarred was about $0.32 and ounce.
2 medium organic sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
water to steam
I didn’t do the price break down on green beans, I keep forgetting to measure it out!
1.5lbs of fresh green beans, washed with ends trimmed
water to steam
We just started fruit, so I thought I’d share apples too! Gala, MacIntosh and Braeburn all work great. My purees were about $0.07 per ounce, jarred are $0.32. I got lucky and scored organic apples for $0.99/lb. Obviously, apple prices are going to go up, but even at 4x the price I paid, homemade is still cheaper.
5 organic apples
water to steam
FOR ALL ABOVE, THIS IS WHAT I DID:
Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add veggies or fruit, cover, and steam until tender, until the sides of a spoon easily cut the cubes.
Place fruit/veggies and breast milk or water in a blender or food processor and puree until creamy.
Once the puree has cooled, I spoon it into ice trays, freeze for like 4 hours, then put them in a freezer bag. VOILA. 😊
Please let me know if you have questions or comments! I’ll definitely share my methods with fruits and the fun combos we come up with soon. Happy 2019 everyone, I hope your year ends up exactly as you hope and I wish you all luck with your word/goals/resolutions!
🦖 B 🦖