Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homemade Baby Food: DON'T BUY!

Ok, some people may have a problem with the title but let me assure you, I am not condemning anyone who buys baby food because I certainly did and probably will be forced to in the future! Life happens and sometimes you just need it now!

Having said that, I really think buying baby food is a waste of money. You are paying for someone else to smush up things that you could do easily yourself. Here is my plan for doing it and remember that I work a full time job and have another child to deal with so it is possible to do this and be busy and on a budget. (It really helped our budget!)

1. Cook what you normally cook. 

I try and cook most meals at home anymore for two reasons: Its healthier and cheaper! Since I do this anyway, I normally can just make enough for my baby to eat as well but of course I do not want him having much salt so I have to be careful how I season or I wait to season until I have taken out his food.

EXAMPLE: last night my family had hot dogs, cauliflower and green beans. Both the veggies were frozen. I cooked them as I always do based on the package directions (cook in water, bring to a boil) and then before I added salt, pepper and a little butter I took out a half cup of each and threw it in the blender. Viola' ! Baby food!

2. Use your freezer

I have a chest freezer but even if you just have the above the fridge kind, its no biggie. Sometimes you will need some go-to food for your baby and not have the time/energy to make it right then. This is why I use my freezer! I do not do what some mothers do and spend an entire Saturday each month cooking because Saturday is taken up by baseball games and soccer practice but I do spend a little time every so often making extra when I am already cooking to puree and freeze.

EXAMPLE: Last week I cooked sweet potatoes as part of dinner for my hubby, DSS and myself. I threw the rest of the sweet potatoes that I had into the oven (made 3 for us and threw in 3 extra) to cook with the ones we would eat. After dinner as I I peeled them (the skin falls right off after baking) and threw them in the food processor, process and then poured the contents into ice cube trays. Then you just wrap the ice cube tray in plastic wrap of some kind and freeze. I sometimes take the cubes out and put them in freezer bags so that I can use the ice cube tray for different kinds of baby food but only if I need the tray. Works great and is very easy! One sweet potatoes costs next to nothing compared to a jar of sweet potato baby food!

I do not make that much in advance because I figure fresher is better but I always have a little extra just in case. Also, if I buy too much of something and I know it will go bad before we eat it, I use it for baby food.


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