DIY: Baby Food

Hello Readers!  Most likely, you no longer have any infants or babies in your household.  But you may know someone expecting a child or you may be planning to have another one.  Regardless, most of us know how expensive it can be to have a baby.  And one cost is baby food.  Even if you purchase the cheapest baby food available, the expense of it can be staggering and scary.  So, one way to cut back on that cost a little is to make your own baby food.

Believe it or not, this is not a difficult nor a very time consuming task to perform.  During our son Sean’s first year, I made almost all of his food.  It wasn’t until he was eating solid foods that I started purchasing items like fruit cups with no sugar added or feeding him our meals.  But before that, I would often make one or two options during the week, which took a total of thirty minutes each on average.  One of my close friends used to spend one Sunday afternoon a month creating all of her baby food and storing it in the freezer until it was needed.  And she often worked 45 hours per week while attending nursing school and having another child (a couple years older).  So, there really isn’t an excuse to not make baby food, and it will save you quite a bit of money over time.  Let me break it down.

For me, I often chose items that we, too, would eat in our household.  Green Beans, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, and Peas were always favorites that could easily be made into baby food.  I always washed the produce well before dicing it into more manageable pieces and steaming it in my electronic steamer.  When it was done, I would often blend it in my blender and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.  And then I would measure out our son’s food, roughly 1/3 to 1/2 cup per meal, and serve it up each day.  With  a pound of any option I could typically get about four to seven meals for my son, depending on his age.  With each pound averaging $1.75 in cost, that’s between 25 and 32 cents per serving.  Even at its cheapest price we ever found (a jar of carrots at 40 cents, nonorganic), store bought baby food is still more expensive.  Granted, it may not seem like much difference in cost, but it can add up when you figure that 8 cents per day, 56 cents per week, can equal $29.12 in a year.  It isn’t a lot, but it is money that can be better spent.

Now, I suppose I did get lucky with our son Sean.  At about seven months, we started working on tiny diced steamed food for him, which he was able to handle well.  We steadily increased the size of the food, adding in protein sources like chicken and egg.  And at one year, we were ecstatic that he was already on a primarily solid food diet.  At this stage, we serve him our own meals in small dices or pieces that he can pick up with his hands.  And we are blessed with a coordinated baby that manages to feed himself without a huge mess.

But there were steps we had to take to get to this point.  And it all started with our baby food.  Now, when making your own baby food there are a few requirements you need for the process.  A means to steam is first and foremost.  And a means to blend or process is second.  That’s it.

You can go out and buy a baby food making kit if you want, but it’s expensive and there are more affordable options.  Even a cheap baby food making kit can cost around $60.  An electronic food steamer can cost as little as $20, and an expensive one can be found on sale for that little during big sales like those on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or other holiday sales.  I personally have a Hamilton Beach digital 5.5 quart food steamer with two tiered baskets and a rice bowl that currently sells on Amazon for $40.  Luckily, I got mine as a gift. Even at $40, however, this is a versatile and great tool to keep in your family as it can be used to steam all of your food and not just the baby food.  So this is a fantastic investment to make.

The next tool you need is a means to blend or process your baby food when it’s done in the steamer.  You can use your food processor or your blender for this.  Just be sure to add water slowly to create a more consistent food and always follow safety practices like you would with any hot food in the blender or processor.  I preferred my blender to my food processor, but I’m just that way.  I’m not a huge fan of the food processor although I do understand its impact on the kitchen.  Still, my blender is a Black & Decker one with the glass pitcher that my husband bought me for about $25 worked wonderfully for this as well as for my smoothies and other blending needs.

So, chances are you already have the supplies you need to make baby food in your own home, or you can easily pick up any needed ones during all the sales.  Or you can even ask for them during the holidays and score a deal that way.  And if you’re unsure about how to make baby food, I found the Wholesome Homemade Baby Food website to be an absolute must for me!  I often turned to it and always used it for my recipes.  And, on top of saving you a ton of money on buying food, making your own baby food guarantees you know exactly what your baby is consuming rather than relying on baby food companies to be honest about their contents.  I highly recommend checking out this website and making baby food on your own today!

I hope this will help you feel more sure about making baby food and the benefits it can provide for you and your pocketbook.

Until next time,

-BBM

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