When my first child was born, my husband and I were both working full-time jobs and had more than sufficient income to live off of, so I never really gave much thought to how much money I was spending on baby food. Just before she had her 1st birthday, I had a break down and couldn’t stand the idea of not being a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I had a few long discussions about it, and finally decided it could be done, but things would not be as easy financially as they had been.
When my second child came along, it was a little more harsh to see what the cost of diapering, feeding, etc. a baby really was. We adapted where we could, getting deals on diapers, breastfeeding for as long as possible (I had only made it 4 months with my daughter due to work). When it was time to introduce foods to my son, I could finally see how expensive it was to feed him healthy foods. I decided to give making my own babyfood a try.
The first thing I did was go to the library, where I could do some research and see just exactly I was getting into, all for free. I have a tendency to get all these great ideas, buy all the stuff to make them happen and then forget about them in a month (you don’t even want to see my sewing room). I got a copy of ‘Blender Baby Food‘ and that was all I needed to get started. I love that this book offers some great recipes for foods that actually have some taste, but they also tell you how to make the simplest things; like how many apples need how much water and how long to stew them for. I stored the batches in quart ziploc bags and tossed them in the freezer, flat on their sides. Then, to make them into servable portions, I would take them out after about 2 hours, when they had partially frozen and used the side of a book to make dents, like a 6-pack. Every morning (if I remembered) I would take out his 3 meals to thaw for the day. If I forgot, I would just thaw one in the microwave.
After about a month of this, when I finally had to return my overdue library book, I decided that this was something I could easily handle. I decided to buy myself some supplies to make life just a little easier:
I found ‘Blender Baby Food’ used through Amazon and spent about $7 on it. It came in great condition.
I also decided to splurge and buy some containers for freezing and storing. Green Sprouts Freezer Cubes are the ones I chose, mostly for their cost. I bought 2 sets, which cost about $15 (with coupons) and has SO been worth the money. You can also use the Ziploc method, or many people use ice cube trays.
I have not felt the need, at all, to spend any more money than this on equipment. My stove and my 10 year old blender have been more than sufficient in getting the job done and to think people spend $100+ on steamer/blenders made just for babyfood seems an unnecessary waste to me.
Our favorite recipes right now are the Shepherd’s Pie and the Chicken with Brown Rice and Peas. I would have never thought of putting onions or curry in my baby’s food at this age, but in small amounts, it’s helping to introduce him to what the food WE eat tastes like, hopefully making him less picky in the future. And if you hate the way jarred meat baby food tastes, you are in for a treat, because this stuff is tasty and smells like a home-cooked meal.
If you have any questions about making your own baby food at home, feel free to ask. I’m not an expert, but I’m happy to share my advice and thoughts with you. -Kelly