Frugal Baby Food

Back in June Mr. NtJS asked me to write a post about frugal baby food. I informed him that I was not an expert and all I really do is just mash bananas and serve. Well, almost three months later I still do not feel like an expert but I would like to share what I have learned about making our own baby food and feeding our baby on a budget.

Like usual, we went against the norm and did not introduce rice cereal first. In fact, I still have not introduced grains yet (daughter is 9 months, started solids @ 4 months). I found no evidence that supported the notion that you have to give cereal's as one of the first foods. In some cases due to allergies it is better to wait.

Instead, I started with bananas. They are the easiest to prepare and one the first foods on all the list to try. It's as easy as keeping a few fresh ones on hand and mashing 1/3 of it at a time with a fork. Since we have an older child we would give her the other 2/3 of the banana with her meal. If you don't have another child to eat the left overs you can cover the cut end with a small piece of plastic wrap and it will keep it from browning.

Since I was trying to feed my daughter healthy, but frugal foods the next logical choices where direct from the garden. Zuchinni, carrots and peas all came straight from our garden. I did purchase sweet potatoes, peaches, apples, and other fruits from local farmers (equaling a good deal for both of us).

I was amazed at how easy and quick it is to make the food! The veggies I would steam while steaming them for us as well. So if we where eating peas I could steam the extra's for the baby. Once they were steamed, I just put them in the food processor or the food mill (our food mill is awesome, by the way). Then I fill ice cube trays with the pureed food. Once it's frozen I move the cubes into marked containers. The fruits I just slice up and give her them in a mesh feeder. That is her favorite way to eat right now. I did make apple sauce which takes more time but if I'm going to put up over 50 quarts for my family what are a few more sugar free ones for the baby?

My baby loves the food. She has yet to find a food she did not like. As for my older daughter, she did not like my homemade baby food. I think that the issue was that I started her on jarred food and then decided to try to make it when she was a little older. My guess is that if I would have done it from the beginning she would not have minded the taste or texture.

Another interesting observation is that our still toothless infant is eating cheerios, while other kids we know, who have been raised on jarred food AND have teeth, are unable to handle solids and gag unless everything is liquefied.

By making my own baby food we have saved a lot of money. We have not made any charts or formula's to calculate how much, but when you look at the high price of jarred food compared to fresh fruits and veggies you will see a huge mark up.

Do any of you make your own baby food? Do you have any tips you could share or stories to tell?


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