You heard making baby food is easy and good for the baby. Learn the benefits of preparing your own baby food and why you should make your own baby food recipes.
This past week, I’ve channeled my inner chef and started pureeing food for my twin boys’ first solids. Jarred foods are convenient, but I tend to use them sparingly such as for travel. Instead, I prefer to steam and blend my babies’ food.
Half the time it’s because I actually enjoy and get a kick out of planning and preparing your own baby food. But I’d also like to highlight why making your own baby food can be a rewarding experience.
The benefits of preparing your own baby food:
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#1: Your baby eats fresh food.
You know your baby is eating fresh food when it has a short expiration date! Need proof? Whip up fresh peas and note its vibrant green color.
#2: You have a wider variety of food to choose from.
Pluot puree? Sure. I love how I can choose from anything I can buy from the market or grocery.
#3: The food is more nutritious.
Since fresh food isn’t as processed as jarred, home made food retains more nutrients. There are also no added preservatives. Start your baby off with healthy food.
What you pay in time and effort will save you in your wallet. Start up costs include:
- storage containers (I like Oxo’s containers)
- a blender or food processor
- a steamer (I just use a pot and fit a colander and a cover on top of it).
#5: Your baby eats seasonal food.
If you shop at the farmers market, you know to grab peaches now because you won’t see them come fall. Your baby will associate summer with those flavors while anticipating apples for the fall.
#6: You’re offering food the rest of the family would eat.
Don’t create a divide between baby food and rest-of-the-family food. Instead, making your own means feeding your baby what you’re already eating.
#7: You save time by batch-cooking and freezing baby food.
Now, instead of grabbing a jar from the pantry, you can grab a container from the freezer.
#8: Less picky-eating in the future.
A wider variety of tastes means your child will come to expect different foods instead of the same ones. Jarred food tends to taste the same. After all, the companies are aiming for consistency with their product. But when you puree your own apples, you can offer Fiji to Granny Smith to Golden Delicious.
Convinced? Here is a list of the first foods I plan to or have introduced to the twins this summer season:
- Sweet potatoes and yams
And below are some tips to help you along the process of making your own baby food:
- Make food in batches. Don’t just steam one peach; steam four. Better yet, prepare two or three batches of fruits and vegetables at a time. You’ll have less hassle with having to pull out the blender many times.
- Buy ripe fruits. They’re easier to peel and taste sweeter.
- Use a pot and colander instead of a steamer. Don’t have a steamer? Use a large pot and a similarly-sized metal colander that fits inside it. Place the pot’s cover on top of the colander and cover the whole thing with a kitchen cloth.
- Start with one ounce servings. Your baby will likely not eat a whole lot the first few times. Rather than wasting a good two ounce portion, keep your servings to one ounce each.
- Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. The food will have the most nutrients since they’re at their peak season and likely ripened on the plant.
- Edit: Use ice trays instead of baby containers. Don’t want to spend the extra money on baby containers? Use ice trays. Betsy thankfully reminded me that in the comments below. With my first son, I used ice trays to freeze baby food, especially since one cube tended to equal one ounce.
Get more tips about baby food and eating habits:
- How to Prepare Homemade Baby Food
- How to Raise Kids Who Want to Eat Healthy
- 10 Frugal Tips for Moms that Actually Save You Money
- How to Respond when Friends Criticize Your Parenting
- The Number One Job of a Parent
What are your biggest challenges with preparing your own baby food? What are the biggest benefits?
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