As mentioned in a previous post, we have made the plunge to solid food! Okay, that does not sound super exciting for peeps who don't have kids, I know. But it's a big deal. In theory, solid food takes longer to digest so babies eating solid food should start sleeping in longer stretches. Not the case for my dear daughter yet, but I remain hopefully optimistic. Plus, you get all those cute pictures of sweet potato puree all over eyelashes, hands and dining room walls. Ay.
Since starting Baby C on solid foods a month or so ago, I have become the Ina Garten of baby food making. I keep things fresh, organic and simple. And I add lots of creme fraiche. Kidding. But that might not be so bad...
For wee ones just starting out on solid food, there are a few rules you should follow. Purees are the only way to go. No additions (like oils), no spices yet, no chunks (for risks of choking). And you should introduce different food gradually. Since you have no idea what your baby might be allergic to, allow 3-5 days before introducing a new food. When there's been no adverse reaction, like rashes or, ehem, diarrhea, you're free to add that fruit or veggie to the list of acceptable foods! Hooray!
But why am I making my own baby food? Is that a lot of work? It's a touch more work than picking up a few jars of food at the store, but here's why I do it:
1) It's cheaper - as you probably know, in my other blogger life, I write about financial literacy and how to save money. So I'm sure you're not exactly shocked that I make my own food to save a little bit of money. Let me break it down for you: a jar of quality baby food runs about 50 cents a jar. That probably sounds pretty cheap, but depending on how much your little cherub eats, you could go through two or three jars a day, meaning about $7-$10 a week, $30-$40 a month...you get the idea. It adds up. With about 10-20 minutes a week and about half the price, you can make your own baby food. Super bonus if you grow your own fruits and veggies!
2) You are in complete control over what your baby eats - when you purchase baby food at the store, you're not exactly sure what's in it (hint: if there's anything you can't pronounce in the ingredient list, don't get it). While the same could be said about purchasing your produce, making your own baby food is a great excuse to head to your local farmers' market! Support local farmers, buy high quality produce and maybe even get a few tips from them!
3) It's fun - or at least, it's getting there. I'll admit, steaming and pureeing fruits and vegetables isn't most people's idea of a good time. But the older Baby C gets, the more we can start experimenting with different spices, tastes and textures. I'm looking forward to expanding her palette and watching her enjoy new flavors. Fingers crossed she won't be a picky eater...
Under my "Feed Me" tab, I've posted some great websites that I use frequently - check them out!
Anyone out there make their own baby food? Why do you do it?