We all know home cooked meals made from scratch are the best, right? They are healthier, cheaper, and taste better. Same holds true for your little munchkins – no, especially for little ones! Homemade baby food is not hard to make and it is definitely much, much cheaper.
On the left is $7.50 worth of store bought baby food. On the right $7.00 worth of homemade baby food. In both photos there are carrots, mangoes, blueberry applesauce, green beans, and peas.
Each baggie holds the equivalent of 8 baby food jars or $24 dollars for all six bags if I had bought the same amount of food in jars. That’s a savings of about $17. Quite a difference!
Just like a good home cooked meal, it does take some time to make baby food. If you plan ahead you can usually make something while you are cooking dinner for your family. I usually just carve out some time on a Saturday to make several batches. Here’s what I did last Saturday. I first peeled a 2 pound bag of carrots, sliced them and put them on the stove to steam. While they were steaming I peeled and sliced apples and put them in a pot to boil with blueberries for blueberry applesauce. While both the apples and carrots were cooking I peeled three mangoes, cut them up into chunks, and pureed them in my food processor. The mango puree was placed in ice cube trays. By then the apples were soft. I took them off the heat to cool before pureeing and placing it in ice cube trays. As you can guess, the carrots were done steaming by this time and I pureed them after they cooled. It took about 40 minutes from start to finish to create enough carrots, mangoes, and blueberry applesauce to last little Hershey for at least three weeks.
When making homemade baby food do not add any sugar or salt. It may taste bland to us but to babies who have only ever had milk the natural goodness of fruit and vegetables is a treat.
I typically start my babies on food at about 7 months. I like to nurse them exclusively for as long as possible. I introduce a new food twice a week. I usually start with rice or oatmeal cereal (which I do buy) and then progress through the colors of the rainbow. White (applesauce, pears, bananas), yellow/orange (peaches, yams, butternut squash, mangoes), green (peas, green beans), purple (blueberries, plums), brown (meat – chicken, pork, beef).
One of the very best websites I’ve found for homemade baby food ideas is NurtureBaby. You can browse the recipes by age or food groups. The photography is also very appealing. 😀
Have you ever made your own baby food? Did you realize there was such a savings involved?