Open a jar of baby food and stick the spoon in. How hard can it be to feed our kids? That’s what I thought about baby food before having a baby! A young child’s body is pure. My daughter had only had breast milk (EVER) before the topic of food came up. When weighing the choices, I put my thoughts into four major categories.
- Old School jarred baby food
- Organic jarred baby food ($$ cha-ching $$)
- Homemade baby food
- Baby Led Weaning
OK, first of all, I’ll be real with you- I had no idea Baby Led Weaning even existed back in 2010! With baby #2, I read a little about it, but I was confused and I didn’t know anyone personally who had done this. So, in my mind, BLW was just some kooky hippie mom idea when I was making my choice.
Ultimately- I was choosing between buying baby food and making it. Here’s why I ended up making my own:
- Whole foods. If I want to eat a peach, I’m not opening a can of peaches when the real deal is available. I believe that whole food is best. Why would I do any less for my baby? She deserves real, whole foods.
- It costs less! An easy example: A jar of banana baby food is $0.57, organic is $0.73-$0.99. Sounds good, right? Until you do this math: Conventionally grown bananas are $0.69 per pound. Organic bananas are $0.99 per pound. One banana weighs ¼ pound, making it about $0.25. In my experience, a beginning eater can get two servings from one banana. That’s $0.13 per serving… THIRTEEN CENTS PER ORGANIC SERVING, PEOPLE!
- Preservatives. Even the best companies add ascorbic acid. From my research, ascorbic acid does come from natural sources. However, why not just use WHOLE FOOD? I’ve never been to an ascorbic tree and picked any… but I have been to a lemon tree. It keeps the turning-produce from getting brown, and I feel better about the ingredients. When’s the last time you saw a jar that said “Ingredients: Avocado, Lemon Juice”
- Lack of variety. Has anyone actually seen a jar of avocado baby food??? The typical (convenient) grocery store doesn’t always stock what you want your baby to try. I am a really picky eater. (I blame that on a mother with a truly tender heart who never MADE us try new things if we didn’t want to. Well, that and the one time they made my brother eat squash and he threw up at the kitchen table… our parents backed off a little after that fiasco.) So, it is really important to me that my girls try as many different foods as they can while they are young. I want them to be far better eaters than their mother, aaaaaaaand I am doing my best to avoid the puking 5 year old with a mouthful of squash.
- It’s not that hard. After the first couple of batches, I was really surprised how much of a machine I became. In a matter of two hours, I could have a freezer slap full of a wide range of baby food cubes.
- No added expense. If you own a couple of ice cube trays, a fork/potato masher, and a fine sieve/colander thingie- you are set. Sure, a ricer, or food processor, or baby bullet, or ninja-turbo-jujitsu-insanity blender that will heat the food, put it in containers for you, dress you, and kiss you goodnight would make it easier, but it’s not NECESSARY.
- Resources. If you get overwhelmed, there are SO many resources out there available. Thirty seconds on pinterest, google, or a guiding book will have you headed in the right direction. I looked to Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron for so much guidance when I was finding my way making baby food. It answers some of the questions I felt stupid asking. “How do I buy a papaya?” “How do I cook a winter squash?” “When can my baby have…..” It was an AMAZING resource that a fellow mom shared. Thank God for friends!