18 Nov 2013 DIY: Baby food chef
by Brittany Gilbert
One of the easiest ways I know to save money when you have a baby is to make your own baby food. I was intimidated at first but knew it was something I wanted to try. I like to eat fresh foods, so I thought my baby might like it, too.
I found two extremely helpful resources for me in this journey. The first is the Baby Bullet, a food processor designed specifically for making baby food. They are available online and in stores like Walmart. Now, you certainly don’t have to have the Baby Bullet to succeed. I know tons of moms who have used a regular blender and/or a food processor. However, I am extremely happy with my purchase. It came with the blender and extra containers to attach as well as store the food. There was even a cookbook, which was so helpful in the beginning when I didn’t know how much water to add or which veggies and fruits to steam or even how. I am no Betty Crocker. My skills are very limited in the kitchen, so if I can do it, anyone can.
The second resource is the website wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com. I can’t explain how big of a blessing this site was for me. You’ll have to see for yourself all of the wonderful tips and resources it has to offer. It breaks down by age what your baby can and should not be eating. There are creative recipes that even break down the nutrients found in the foods you’re using.
The first food we started with was avocado. We started at around 6 months because he was finally starting to show interest in food. Avocado is an excellent first food, too, because it is so rich in nutrients. It is also extremely easy to make in to a baby food. I didn’t know how to cut an avocado or what to do once it was open. Another excellent resource that I used a few times was YouTube. I searched for a video to cut open an avocado (I’m telling you, it doesn’t take a chef to make baby food). Once I did, I scooped out the good stuff and from there was able to blend it to make it the perfect consistency for my baby. In the beginning, I tried to blend breast milk with whatever it could go with to make it more appealing to my son.
The great thing about making your own baby food is you can make it in bulk and freeze it. I bought several ice cube trays and would spend a few hours on the weekend preparing a variety of foods and would freeze them. Once they are frozen, you pop the cubes in a Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer till you are ready to use them. Different foods have different storage times for the refrigerator, so make sure you look in to the storage times if you are keeping them in the fridge. To be safe, it’s just easier to store them in the freezer and thaw when you need them. The ice cube size works perfectly because it’s easy to store and also because each ice cube is one ounce, so it’s easy to know how much baby is getting (one ounce is usually one serving size).
Of course, if you’re on a budget, making your own baby food is the smart way to go. One sweet potato would make 14 servings. One peach would make 10. Fruits and veggies go a long way in baby food making.
One sweet potato could cost you $0.99 or less at the grocery store. If you yield 14 servings from one potato, that’s a cost per serving of $0.07. At some retail stores, a two pack of 3.5-ounce packages costs $1.59. Multiply that by two to get to 14 ounces, and you get a cost per serving of $0.22. Seems small, but it can add up pretty fast over the course of several months and a variety of different fruits, vegetables and meats.