So, I thought I would write a post on how I make baby food. It does take time, but it also saves a lot of money! Something I am trying to do better at all the time (as is all of America!) The boys are BIG eaters! And, while I still buy some baby food b/c it is just easy to use in a pinch… I have also started making my own. Now, please know I am home ALL THE TIME. We don’t go ANYWHERE… well, we’ve started going to church, but we never leave. No playdates, just the same ol’ sched day in & day out. So, while you may think I am “supermom” by doing this… I really am just bored & trying to think of ways to entertain myself while being productive.. ha!
This is what I’ve figured out:
Baby food jars: about a $1 for 1-2 jars (1 jar of organic baby food & 2 plastic containers of gerber) – with out coupons (which I have been doing much better about!!! Yay me!)
My boys eat about 4 jars per meal = $2-$4 a meal (this has increased to 5 jars now!)
X 3 meals a day = $6-$12 a day
1 week = $42 – $84
That is a lot of money (yes I know that it will only increase – especially once they are teenages – can you imagine??? i can’t!!)
Soooo, what I do is look for produce on sale, as well as frozen vegetables on sale. If I can do organic, I do. Here is a list that I got from All*You – Walmart Magazine that helps me decipher where to spend my money & where I can cut corners. For more info go to foodnews.org/fulllist.php
The Dirty Dozen (buy organic):
The Clean 15:
Also, starting this June, Chris & I have signed up to do a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Basically, we bought combo share at an organic farm & each week we will be getting a full share (1 & 1/2 paper grocery bag of ripe veggies picked that morning), a dozen eggs (free range chickens/organic), & my favorite – FRESH FLOWERS!!!!! This really only costs us about $30 a week, we are supporting a local farm (think along the lines of Farmer’s Market), & it will last until the end of October! I am seriously excited!!! You should check into it.
Here are some of the foods I puree:
I break it down into 2 categories of fruit & veggies. Since the boys are not *huge* fans of veggies, I will sometimes mix whatever vegetable I do with 1 banana… makes it go down much better!
green beans- frozen
corn – frozen
squash (yellow, zucchini & butternut)
Many times I make these combos:
peas & carrots & banana
green beans & corn & peas & bananas
plums & bananas & peaches
mangoes & avocado
pears & raspberries
Stonyfield Yogurt & strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
This is how I do it:
side note: I will tackle trying to get all this done in two days. I recommend that you NOT try doing it that way. Start off with one thing. Try that. Then, try something else on another day. At the end of a baby food making day, it looks like something horrid happened in my kitchen. But, my freezer is full & I don’t have to think of it again for another 3 days (I kid, I kid…).
#1. I get all my produce together on the counter to admire it & organize it…
# 2. sort it & make my list of what combos I want to make & what order I need to make them in. sometimes I have to put some of the fruit in bags to ripen it up.
I used to make the food in ice cube trays, but my boys eat about 80% of a tray in one meal, so I now use muffin tins.
#3. I start the prep – cut, chop, steam, wash, puree.
The book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld really helped me with all I needed to know about how long to steam what & what veggies & fruits had what kind of nutrients.
Another BIG helper is http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com
#4. I will usually do 2 separate things at once… steam & puree. Some foods are ready to be pureed right away (avocado & banana, to name 2). So, I will get those started. Other things that need to be steamed or boiled are carrots, peas, green beans, plums, pears (sometimes) etc. Whatever, you boil though, use the least amount of water as possible. Then, add that water into the food processor along with veggie. Also, see this note about foods with nitrates in them. I was always so worried, but after reading this was put more at ease…http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/carrot-baby-food.html#nitrates
#5. Mix it up in the food processor. I keep mine out on the counter at all times… it has become one of my most necessary food prep items & so it is always ready!
#6. Spoon into muffin tins & freeze.
Then, after it has frozen a while, I divide it up into 2 different bags… fruits & veggies. That way, it saves room in my freezer & the boys get “surprised” Ha!
Then the fun part… feeding it to the babes…
What’s that Maverick??
Thank you for losing sleep and pureeing all this delicious and healthy foods to nourish my body!!”