MAKE YOUR OWN (HOMEMADE) BABY FOOD
Making your own (homemade) baby food is really quite simple, and rewarding! You don’t need any fancy tools or even lots of time. Just spend a few minutes to make a big batch of food that you can store in your freezer and use for weeks.
THE BENEFITS OF MAKING YOUR OWN (HOMEMADE) BABY FOOD
I think one of the best things about making your own (homemade) baby food is that you know exactly what your baby is eating. Some jars of baby food have ingredients on their labels that won’t have in your fresh batch of food. If you are serving your baby butternut squash, you know the ingredients are butternut squash and water and that’s it! It is also a great way to feed your baby more organic foods (without paying extra for jars of pre-made organic baby food).
Another huge benefit is the taste quality of the foods you are making. My biggest complaint of jarred baby food that you buy at the store is how watered down and bland the food is. If you compare homemade sweet potatoes to store bought sweet potatoes by giving them a taste test, you will be able to quickly recognize the difference in flavor. By making your own baby food, you are keeping foods more concentrated and full of flavor, which will be helpful as your baby grows into those picky-eater toddler stages. Your baby will be used to more flavor (like what mom and dad eat) and like a bigger variety of foods.
Variety is a great benefit to making homemade baby food. Since the baby food you make is frozen in ice cube trays (approximately 1 oz/cube), you can have a four ounce meal with many different combinations of foods. And, if you have a lot of different types of food in your freezer, you can keep meals constantly changing. Additionally, it is easy to experiment with mixing foods for even more variety (try avocado and banana!). Baby won’t get sick of the same old food and will probably look forward to what the next meal will bring! If you do this with jarred baby food, you have to open several jars of food and use them up completely right away so they don’t go bad. (Be sure when experimenting with food combinations and providing variety for meals that you have already introduced the food as the only new food for at least three days to make sure there are no food allergies.)
Price is of course a benefit. You can buy fresh produce, cook and puree it into several dozen ounces for just a few bucks. Jarred baby food at the store is not very costly, but it can add up when you baby is consuming a few jars of it per day. And when you compare it with the quality of food you are getting, making your own food is hands down a better value.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BABY FOOD
Each food that you prepare for your baby has an ideal way to be prepared. Some foods are better to steam, while others are to bake or boil. My favorite web site for knowing the best way to cook baby’s food is www.wholesomebabyfood.com. They also have a great chart that breaks down what foods are appropriate at what ages.
Here is a basic rundown of how you make your own baby food:
- Clean the food
- Cook the food to soften it
- Puree the food with a food processor or blender
- Add water to the puree to make it thinner or add rice cereal to the puree to make it thicker
- Once desired consistancy is reached, fill ice cube trays (each cube is approximately 1 ounce) with the food
- Freeze the food
- Once frozen, put the food in storage bags labeled with the food and date made