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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Make Your Own Baby Food

Making your own baby food can be cheaper and healthier than store bought. When making my son's baby food I prefer to buy organic produce. Which is why in the sentence above I put "can be cheaper". Since organic baby food is historically more expensive, the price of the baby food may actually equal out to the price of store bought baby food or in some instances, it may even be more. Now, I bet no one has told you that before. But, its true. Just because you make your own baby food doesn't always mean its cheaper, most of the time yes but not always. For example, I just bought a small container of organic spinach from Publix (I live in the South) and it was $3.99. When all I was all done with making his greens it did not even fill one ice cube tray, which equals out to about maybe give feedings of two cubes per feeding. If you catch Publix's BOGO on Earth's Best than my homemade baby food is way more expensive. However, I have not found any baby food company that sells organic spinach. 

The reason behind me making my son's first baby foods is simple. Babies have not developed system like us adults, so all these extra pesticides can be potentially harmful to their little bodies. There is a new study out there (of course there is right?) about how they are linking pesticides to ADHD and other mental disorders in children. Do I know much about it? No? But, it's out there and they doing more research on it. I also don't like how baby food companies put extra sodium into the food. They are sweet babies for crying out loud. Why all the extra crap? I get it that its a preservative but still. Just because I think feeding my son organic baby food DOES NOT mean that I never feed either of my kids junk because I do. My toddler gets the famous Donut Friday if he is good all week and he gets prepackaged snacks and so on. And, Austin has gotten canned baby food before, I do believe everything in moderation. 

Now onto my tips and tricks of the easiest way to make your own baby food. I promise it is easy. So, if this is your first time or you are trying to see if it will work for your lifestyle. The answer is yes. You don't need any of those expensive baby food cookers, do they make the process easier? Maybe yes and maybe no. Depends on the person. 

- Steamer.
-Wooden Spoon.

All you do is, buy whatever produce it is that you want your baby to consume. Wash it really well. Pop it into the steamer. Steam it for about 20-30 minutes depending on what it is. Scrape out the food with a spoon into the blender (I find the wooden spoons easier since they don't transfer the heat and are 100% BPA free) and then puree and/or liquefy the food. 

Now, I prefer the larger steamer over those baby food cookers because the steamer/blender combo can handle larger quantities. I find that the baby food cookers take me three times as long because they are smaller and can only hold a little bit of produce at a time. The baby food cookers do have the steamer and puree all in the same appliance which makes that part easier. However for me, when I make baby food, I go big or go home. I make large batches. 

Next, you can either freeze the food or go ahead and have fresh food for the week. If prefer to freeze the food (you normally do this when you are making big batches), pour the baby food into ice cube trays and throw them in the freezer for about 24 hours. After the baby food is frozen you can pop out the cubes and separate the fruits from the vegetables into their own separate freezer safe baggies and put them back into the freezer. When you are ready to feed your baby, take out however many cubes you want, let them thaw and maybe do a quick zap in the microwave before you feed the food to your baby. Remember to make sure the food isn't too hot or too cold for the baby. 

If you prefer to keep the food fresh and not freeze it, I have found that this Infantino Squeeze Station works great. It simplifies the process and doesn't take up much room in your refrigerator. It really doesn't get any easier than this.  These pouches are not reusable so that does stink and adds another cost into the mix but they are very very easy. They even sell screw on spoon caps to make feeding on the go easy. 

Another food pouch option is the Little Green Pouch.  What is awesome about these pouches are that they are reusable and big. Whenever I am on the go and know I need to feed A while I am out, I will put a couple of frozen cubes into a Little Green Pouch, seal it up and throw it in my diaper bag. By the time he is ready to eat has been thawed out and ready to consume. 

And there you have it. The whys and hows behind my organic baby food making experience. Please feel free to ask me any questions. 

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