With my mom being in town, I was brave enough to attempt my first batch of homemade baby food.
(Full disclosure: My mom pretty much made the food. But I did keep throwing veggies in the steamer, so I figure that counts.)
It went so much better than I expected it to go! I tend to be a little on the lazy side about homemade stuff. I’d much rather try the store-bought version of most things, but this was actually easy to do and it made me feel good because it seemed so much healthier for Beaner.
First, I was completely unprepared to start a baby food production line in my kitchen, so we had to go out and invest in a lot of really expensive equipment.
Like this super groovey rubber steamer thingy that we bought at Target for $5.00:
And these ice cube trays that we also bought at Target for $1.00 each:
And these bags of frozen vegetables we bought for $1.19 a bag:
And this one sweet potato we bought for 75 cents:
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t expensive equipment after all. I think we invested a total of $10.00 and that even included the one-time purchase of a steamer thingy and ice cube trays.
The process of making the food was even easier than purchasing the “equipment.” We just threw a veggie into the steamer (for the sweet potato, we just put that into the microwave for 5 minutes, turned it over, and then microwaved it for another 4 minutes)…
The carrots required one extra step of cutting them up into smaller slices before steaming them, but that was just so they steamed a little faster and would puree a little easier.
After steaming, we put the veggies into this small little chopper and pureed them until they were the right consistency. For the carrots, we added a little bit of apple juice to them when we pureed to help smooth them out a little bit.
Once the veggies were pureed, we spooned them into the ice cube trays.
We’d freeze a batch of veggies, and then popped them out and bagged them up with labels on them so I know what I’m feeding Beanie.
And that was it! I think the entire process – including clean up – took about an hour. And we made enough baby food to last for over a month (though most food websites suggest only keeping frozen baby food for up to a month). We packaged up squash, sweet potatoes, green peas, green beans, bananas, pears, and carrots.
The problem I was having with Bean, aside from the fact that he hated jarred baby food, was that at daycare, they can’t keep anything overnight in their fridge that has been opened. So, if they opened something and he only had two bites of it, I had to throw away the entire container. That’s $1.00 a meal, which doesn’t sound like a lot but it really adds up after a couple days. With this food, we invested $3 or $4 dollars in actual veggies and made enough for 30 days of food. If Bean decides one day that he’s not into green peas, then I won’t feel quite so sad about throwing it away.
To serve this food, I just have to take one of the cubes out of the Ziplocks and pop it in the microwave. For daycare, I will put a cube in a little Tupperware cup and it should be thawed by the time Bean’s ready to eat at school.
On a somewhat related note, since Bean has started feeding himself real food, he has gotten used to several of the foods and he will even take them off of a spoon from me now. He ate an entire jar of green bean baby food the other day (before we made the homemade stuff) and a bowl of applesauce. All from a spoon. So, if you’ve got a baby out there that just isn’t getting the food thing – DON’T GIVE UP! Just let them play and get used to the food on their own terms and eventually they might warm up to the whole process.
Bean certainly has.