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My husband and I had our first child while he was (and is) still in school. We chose to make our own baby food. This was no small task, given that I work full time and he goes to school full time. But it was worth it!
I bought frozen veggies at my grocer when they were on sale at 10 for 10, or on sale fresh. I steamed them, which keeps most of the nutrients. I'd put the vegetables in a food processor or blender with a little cooking liquid and puree. (When he was very young and first being introduced to solids, I would then put through a strainer as well.) I adjusted the puree texture as my baby got older and had more teeth. I would freeze portions in ice cube trays.
I never used salt (it can ruin a baby's kidneys) or sugar, but after about 8 months I began using many of the herbs and spices that we use regularly in our home. As my son got older, I was able to introduce many more types of fruits and vegetables to him using this method than what is available in traditional store-bought baby food. As a result, my son eats many more types of fruits and vegetables than many children his age!
I also saved the jars from the few times I did buy baby food and began to use them to freeze portions for travel. Doing this saved us a great deal of money, and my son is healthier for having a wide variety of foods given to him.
I encourage any thrifty parent to purchase, borrow, or check out the book "Super Baby Food" as it gives many wonderful tips on frugal and healthy feeding for babies and young children.
Source: Super Baby Food (Ruth Yaron)
By Sarah from E. Lansing, MI
When making homemade baby food, I use our own homegrown veggies. I then cook the veggies a little till soft and puree it in the blender. Then I portion out servings in ice cube trays. Freeze till solid and pop into freezer bags for later use. Then all I have to do is put out the portion I need for a couple of days in a container in the fridge. A lot less work and cheaper than buying baby food.
Source: Book "What to Expect the First Year".
By morbetomommy from Topeka, KS
Making your own baby food is super easy, not to mention thrifty, and nutritious, too! I found a handheld drink mixer left over from my husband's "powershake" days. I use this to blend whatever I have cooked for the rest of the family at mealtimes. I haven't found anything that can't be blended this way, although some things need a little water added! The handheld mixer is much easier to clean than a food processor or regular blender/mixer, and the preparation time is about 1 minute!
This page contains homemade baby food recipes. Making your own baby food can be a rewarding experience for you and your baby. Not only can you save money by doing so, you can also control the ingredients, including using only organic fruits and vegetables.
Salt and sugar are never needed when making baby food. Omit these items, preferably at all times, in your baby's everyday meals! Other spices such as cinnamon, garlic powder, pepper etc. may be introduced as early as 7 months with your pediatricians consult
Keep in mind that dairy in baked goods is generally fine for baby (drinking milk before 1 year old is not).
Honey, even in baked goods, is not appropriate for children under 12 months old!
Some pediatricians will say that it is OK to use one whole egg in a baked good recipe for an infant over 8 months old who has no history or nor has shown any propensity to food allergies.
By JodiT from Aurora, CO
Since vegetables are in abundance right now, it's a great time to prepare homecooked food for your little ones. Prepare and cook whatever vegetables you have available, keeping in mind that additives are best not added to baby food. When cooking is done, puree the vegetables and pour them into ice cube trays. Freeze. Remove the veggie cubes and store them in sealed bags in the freezer. When preparing lunch or dinner for your little one, all you need to do is pop out a cube or two and heat it up. The bonus for you is knowing what went into the food as well as the savings at the grocery store.
Save many dollars and feed your baby healthy food. When my children where babies I did not purchase baby food. Take the same food you prepare for your family, after it is cooked run it thru the blender.
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I have some Gerber baby food plastic containers. Should they be reused for home-made baby food?
By MS Ashley
The few times I bought Gerber baby foods I reused those containers, especially because it helped with the portioning of the homemade baby food. But keep in mind, the lids do not seal, I wouldn't keep the food for too long.
I would not. Rubbermaid, Tupoerware and other companies make small containers that seal completely and are freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe. They are inexpensive, too.