This week I have decided to dedicate my blogging to the makings of baby food.
(Yes, Jon you will be bored-that's bad, but there will be pictures-that's good, but you will be bored-that's bad. So no comments)
In preparation for the bloggings of the week I wanted to preface it with some explanations of why I choose to make my own baby food, the simplicity and fun of it, the time and equipment needed, and finally the costs involved.
Why make your own babyfood? There's plenty of jarred foods. There's even organic foods. This is true. This may go back to my odd fascination with not putting anything foreign, weird or possibly harmful into my child (hence the vaccines, but that's a blog for another day). I began reading the jars on foods in the stores, and for the most part they're 'healthy'. But, cornstarch popped up many times. Another thing is that you think you are feeding your child apricots, but if you read it's really "apples, pear concentrate, apricot concentrate". Really all you're giving your baby is applesauce with apricot juice. I just didn't like that much. Plus, we all know what chicken in canned soups is like, so I assume it's the same in the baby jars. It's easier to isolate foods if you make it yourself, rather than in jars. You'll also see in pictures in the next few days the big difference in colors of homemade food vs. jarred food. Peas are just not very green in jars, but they are fresh and green at home. And the biggest reason for making my own food? I'm cheap-Cost! Yes, cost.
Cost of babyfood making: This is my third batch of foods, for almost three month I've been feeding Kian foods. (I started with small batches, or else I wouldn't have made more yet) I estimate I have only spent a bit of $15 for foods for over 4 months of food. Now my math isn't great, but that's between $3-$4 per month. Gerber is like $1.19 for two small fruits or veggie Organic packs (first foods, as you go up stages, price increases). So, if I fed Kian 3 meals per day of jarred foods I would need 21 meals/week, this means the minimum I would need to spend in jars would be roughly 12.50/week. Minimum. For stage one foods, which Kian has already outgrown and eats more than that.
Here's a breakdown:
for this batch I used: 1 1-inch slice of red pepper *whole pepper=$3, so... 25-50 cents?
4 small white potatoes *5lb bag =$2, um...roughly 50 cents, prob less
1 good size organic carrot *99 cents/bag = about 10-20 cents
1/2 bag frozen peas (about 1 1/2- 2 cups) about 35 cents
1/2 bag blueberries (about 2 cups) about $1.50 =these suckers are expensive
1 silver dollar slice of onion, lets guesstimate a nickel-it was from a huge onion
1/3 lb of green beans-fresh produce, 42 cents.
I got 20 breakfasts, 40 dinners, plus green beans I left whole for Kian to chew on, lets say 10 lunches. Approx 70 meals (sometimes he eats more, so maybe a lil less) for a grand total of: $3.52 -using the higher end costs. Amazing isn't it?! I'll add in the $2.50 for freezer bags that have lasted me a long time too, and we're still talking about $6.
Time and equipment needed for making your own babyfood:
Sauce pan to boil foods in
Knife to cut or peel foods
Ice cube trays
This seems hard...is it? Not one bit! (well provided you have basic equipment like a pan and a blender or food processor). I actually find it sort of fun to come up with different combinations so Kian has a variety of foods at all times. I wouldn't want sweet potatoes every night for a week, so why should I feed him that way? There's endless possibilities and combinations.
Actual process: Briefly, you get the freshest food you can (frozen foods are the next best thing because they are flash frozen and it retains more properties than even some of the fresh produce that comes from out of the country) You either boil or roast them to soften, then either mash with a fork, or put in the blender with some water for your desired consistency, then into the ice cube trays to freeze, then into freezer bags to store. Voila!
Pictures and recipes to follow tomorrow!
*Please note I am a coupon whore, I'm a cheap, cheap, penny-pincher, so if you don't' care about money then ignore me. Why I also buy diapers by the case at BJ's (luvs brand even!). If I alternate cloth and disposable I can use that case for 2 months, at $22/case. Compare that to total disposables at *wegmans brand* $9/week. Which would be 72$/2 months. Huggies are at least 11-12$/week. Think of that... Man I am SOOOOO cheap!