Jun 11 2009

Trying baby food

food1

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This week, we introduced solid foods to Johnny. Originally, I was planning to wait until he was a full six months old, but for various reasons we determined he (and we) were ready to start him with solids about two weeks before the six-month mark.

This is fun! It’s such a hoot to see his face as he mushes food around his mouth and then opens it like an expectant baby bird. It took us four tries to find a booster seat that we liked and so far we’re thrilled with this portable seat from Fisher-Price.

I made homemade rice cereal by grinding brown rice in my blender and then following the recipe at Wholesome Baby Food.

Easy-peasy. I have enough rice powder to last awhile, and the leftovers of the first batch of rice cereal are hanging out in the fridge or freezer.

We’ll also introduce barley and oats in a similar manner.

Today, I gave him some organic unsweetened applesauce. It’s not the baby version — it’s the kind adults eat and this is perfectly fine for Johnny, as the contents are simply apples and water. If we weren’t moving next week, I’d portion some of it into an ice cube tray for freezing. Since we’re leaving though, I’ll just make sure Shane and I eat a decent amount of applesauce this week so it won’t spoil.

The jar was about $2 for 25 ounces, or $0.08 per ounce.

In the baby food aisle, I might be able to get four to eight ounces for $2. I’m not sure if it would be organic.

When local apples are abundant and cheap later this season, I might buy a bunch and make my own applesauce in the crockpot.

I plan to make all of Johnny’s food since it isn’t hard at all, it’s much cheaper and I will know exactly what’s in his food. Plus, I’m confident that homemade baby food tastes much better than jarred. I suspect that homemade baby food will make the transition to regular table food a little easier.

What’s more, making his food will make it easier for me to prepare healthier meals for myself and my husband. We don’t eat as many fruits and veggies as we should.

If I’m already steaming some veggies for Johnny, I can puree and portion out some for him, and Shane and I can eat the rest.

Do/did you make your own baby food?



14 Responses to “Trying baby food”

  1. So glad you posted this! I LOVE making my own baby food. It truly is minimal effort for maximum reward. Although I don’t use all organic products, I find it very fulfilling to know exactly what’s going into my baby’s system, and I’m proud to know that I made it. Plus, the variety is endless when you make your own. We avoided fruits for the first coupole months to give baby a taste for veggies, and his favorite has been eggplant and spinach mixed together. Who would have guessed that?!? One piece of advice: it’s easy to look a few months into the future and prepare quite a bit of baby food for the freezer all at once. My 10-month old abruptly started resisting being spoon fed one day last week. I can still mix up a bit of oatmeal and give it to him, but we had to make a fast change to finger food. I’m afraid the one bag of food cubes I have in the freezer is going to be subtly mixed into soups, sauces and stews because baby just won’t eat purees now.
    I also like that you can MYO baby food with as much or as little equipment as you want. I had a steamer and food processor before baby was born, and those two have been absolutely wonderful for making baby’s food. But, if you needed to, you could get by with the stovetop and a potato masher.

  2. Oh, and Johnny is absolutely ADORABLE. I love the pics!

  3. When my oldest was a baby, I was still working, so I bought baby food out of convenience.

    I became a stay-at-home mom when my twins were born, and with THREE in diapers, making my own baby food became a necessity!

    Making our own baby food really wasn’t hard – and it saved a TON of money! I used the recipes off of the same website that you used – it’s great! I stored babyfood in little Rubbermaid containers that I already had and one of my mom’s friends gave me a bunch of little Gladware containers she wasn’t using. I did purchase the little baby food cube storage things… but hated it… they were too small, easy to break, and didn’t stack all that well in the freezer.

    I continued to buy unsweetened applesauce in the big jars… I found that the time savings was more important to me than the money savings when it came to serving apples. I focused on making baby food with other fruits, vegetables, and chicken. Sometimes I still bought jarred baby food (on sale) for those times when we were traveling and it wasn’t convenient to bring food that needed refrigeration/heating.

    The homemade baby food is WAY better! And my boys loved it! Plus it reintroduced us to vegetables we forgot we like (sweet pototoes – YUM!).

    Congrats on making your own baby food! It’s so worth it!

    ~ Christina

    P.S. Your little boy is ADORABLE!

  4. We have the same booster for Caylee, I love it.

    Anyway… I made a bunch of baby food when Caylee first started eating solid foods, Then she stopped eating them. I still have a bunch in my freezer, this post reminded me that I need to get them out and see if she’ll eat them yet. We store them in baby food jars. I put out a request on freecycle for used empty cans. you might want to try that if you want something to store them in.

    those pics of Johnny are adorable!!!

  5. We’re planning to make our own baby food once our baby’s here and can’t wait to do so! We have a blender with a “puree” setting and lots of storage containers. I’m hoping to just blend up whatever we’re having for our meals dinner (a portion of it) for our daughter. We’ll see how it goes!

  6. He is so big now!! He is too cute.

    I plan on making baby food too when the time comes. :)

  7. Those photos are priceless. Your baby is sooo cute. :)
    You’re right about making your own baby food. We’d never know what goes inside those jars in the market. Making it at home is possibly safer, at least you know the ingredients are organic.

  8. Absolutely! In fact, we just feed him whatever we’re eating. I had a baby food grinder that we used for the first few months of solids, grinding whatever we were eating into mush for him. Now we just cut stuff up in little pieces and put it on his tray. We wanted to get him in the habit of eating the same meals as us, right from the start. So far, so good!

  9. Have you ever come across an Annabel Karmel book? She has great baby food recipes.
    http://www.annabelkarmel.com/communityintro/club/annabel_karmel_biography

  10. My mom would puree whatever she and my dad were eating, like Frugal Babe does. She says my brother and I both loved it!

  11. Hi. I’ve never made baby food, no children yet, but I have a tip for making applesauce. Try using a pressure cooker instead of your crockpot. Cut up the apples leaving the skin on and only cutting around the middle of the core (and any worm holes, but this probably wouldn’t be an issue with store bought apples). Then pressure cook them with a little bit of water. After they are cooked, run them through what I believe is called a potato ricer. A metal container with holes in the bottom and a tilted blade that mashes the food against the bottom. My mom made huge batches of applesauce when I was a kid using these, and it was great. And the juice from the bottom of the pressure cooker was just heavenly as well.

    This makes awesome applesauce with very little waste. Just the cores from the apples and the cooked down peel left from mashing the apples, after it has all the good stuff cooked out of it.

    Just be warned, the applesauce made from this is so good that you may never want to eat the storebought jarred stuff again.

  12. My baby will be 7 in a two weeks, but we used exclusively homemade babyfood not out of convenience but out of her pickiness, she would not eat store bought (I was given a LOT and ended up donating it after trying three different kinds)

    We skipped rice due to Pediatrician recomendations (she went straight to Oats because of constipation issues) and I powdered oats and added formula (since we were unable to breastfeed) and she started off eating real foods early as we had many formula allergies, now she eats ANYTHING we put before her except scalloped potatoes…I think the homemade versions helped tremendously as they are already used to the flavors of your cooking, We followed the recommendations out of Super Baby food by Ruth Yaron

  13. I make most of my own food, although I will buy some prepackaged if we’re traveling (or something I don’t care to make, like prunes). If I am buying prepackaged, I check to make sure the ingredients are JUST the food and water and maybe absorbic or citric acid.

    I’ve enjoyed making her food and it’s so simple and inexpensive. I know she’s eating real, pure foods and that makes me happy.

  14. Yes! We did for all 4 kids.
    Mostly it was just mushing up whatever we were eating.
    I preferred to start my babies on foods like avocados, bananas, and other veggies.
    Grains can be rough to digest for babies, so don’t lean to heavily on them.
    Adorable photos.
    Some babies are ready much sooner for baby food, and some like to wait, so don’t listen to those silly rules. ;)
    Good luck with moving!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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