Today's guest post is brought to you by Ali Hooper of Henry's Treehouse. Since 99.5% of our days are currently made up of baby food, this is a topic of extreme importance to my family. We're still buying Gerber foods for the little princess right now, simply because I think I'll be admitted to a psychiatric hospital if I attempted to make her food on top of handling everything else, but it is something that I do want to move away from once things calm down a bit. Thank you, Ali, for this wonderful intro to baby food making!
Make your own baby food - It's good for the baby and the wallet.
It is a small miracle that I am a nutritionally-conscience mom. No lie, I ate McDonald's (or something equally artery-clogging) nearly everyday of my pregnancy. Yet the minute that precious little boy entered my world, my desire for greasy french fries fell a far second to my son's nutrition.
So in terms of his baby food, I knew that I wanted to serve him foods that I controlled – foods made with my hands, in my kitchen. This has not only benefited my growing boy, but also my wallet. Not to mention, making baby food is simple, easy, cheap, and good for the environment.
Here is how I get the most bang for my buck:
- Basically, I consider the fruits and vegetables that we typically eat and buy those for my son. That way if he does not like something then I am not wasting food because my husband and I will eat it. Pureed "baby" food is great in smoothies and baking! You can "hide" pureed veggies in baked goods making your cookies yummy and wholesome.
- Make sure to buy frozen or fresh, not canned, because frozen and fresh produce is often more nutritious. I buy all produce from Aldi's or Sam's Club. If buying organic is your priority, that is awesome, but I have found Whole Foods to be too expensive for my budget. Occasionally I can find organic produce at Aldi's and Sam's, but not consistently. If you live in year-round warm weather, buy your produce from a Farmer's Market. I do that in the summer months, and the produce is cheap and often organic (and locally grown, allowing us to give back to our community).
- Choose a storage method (pureed baby food can be frozen, and I recommend this because you can make a ton at once and save it for later). I splurged on ice cube trays with lids (I found these at Bed, Bath & Beyond for under $5, and I used a 20% off coupon that I received in the mail). That might seem expensive, but the trays last for months, and you will use them over and over again. Some people use Ziplocs, which is fine, but most people throw the bag away after each use which can be wasteful.
About the author: Ali Hooper is a full-time mom and wife who is in love with her boys (hubby, baby, puppy). She is a licensed School Counselor with a profound interest in the current trends and research relating to a child's health and success. You can find her discussing and processing those issues that affect her life as a mother, educator, and mental health professional at Henry's Treehouse.