Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Homemade Baby Food: How to Get Started


When I had my daughter, I made the decision to make my own baby food. It seemed like it was going to be a complicated process, but after a bit of trial and error I found that making baby food is really quite simple. Making your own baby food is also a great way to save money.
My son just turned six months and I am beginning to introduce solid foods. As I go along the process, I will be sharing my recipes with you. If you are contemplating making your own baby food, I hope that you will find this helpful.
Materials Needed:
  • 2-3 Ice Cube Trays
  • Food Processor or Food Mill
  • Ziploc Bags or Freezer Safe Storage Containers
That is it, those are all the materials that you need to get started. Most of you probably have most if not all of these things in your home already. There are more expensive sets out there like the Baby Bullet Complete Baby Care System, but I have found the basics work just fine.
The dollar store usually carries ice cube trays. A food mill, like the Boon Mush Manual Baby Food Processor costs around $20 or your can opt for a mini food processor or a regular food processor for anywhere from $20-$100+. The total cost to get started can be as minimal as $25. You will easily save this much money within the first month of feeding your baby.
How to Make Baby Food:
  1. Steam or Bake fruit/vegetable
  2. Puree in food processor or food mill
  3. Spoon into ice cube trays
  4. Cool and cover with plastic wrap
  5. Place in freezer
  6. Once frozen, pop ice cubes out and put into freezer safe Ziploc bag or storage container (use within 3 months)
  7. Take out cube 24 hours before using and thaw in refrigerator
  8. Warm and serve
These are the basic steps for making any type of baby food. Some fruits and veggies have to be prepared differently (for example bananas and avocados don't need to be cooked and all you have to do is mash them with a fork), but for the most part you can follow these steps each time you make your baby food.
Average Savings:
The amount of money that you will save will vary depending on the type of food that you are making, but I will give you an example of the avocados that I made today.
Cost of Beech-nut Stage 1 2.5 ounce baby food jar = $0.59 (based on price at Fry's)
Cost per ounce = $0.24
Cost of Avocados = $0.25 ea (on sale) x 12 = $3.00
Total Ounces Made = 25
Cost per ounce = $0.12
Based on the cheapest brand of baby food found in the store, you would save $0.12 per ounce. At 6 months babies can eat up to 8 ounces of solid food between 2-3 meals per day (your child may eat significantly less than this to begin with). Based on the savings of $0.12 per ounce in the case of our avocados, you could save up to $0.96 per day.
The goal is to buy fruits in veggies when they are in season and on sale to maximize savings.
Click here for more baby recipes.
*Remember to check with your pediatrician regarding your baby's readiness to begin solid foods and discuss any foods that may have an allergy risk for your child.
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