Thursday, July 19, 2012

Three Reasons to Make Your Own Baby Food

By Heather C.

Photo Via Creative Commons
There are at least a dozen ways to provide food and nutrition to your baby before their first birthday. There’s breastfeeding and formula, typically done exclusively at least until four months with many moms choosing to wait until six months now.

Then there’s a variety of solid food options from buying jars of food (choosing a brand of food), to Baby Led Weaning, to making your own homemade purees. I've even examined a less common option, premastication, here before.

And while there is nothing wrong with any of those options, today I’m going to tell you why I choose to make my own baby food.

  1. I know exactly what is in it… There have been far too many recalls on baby food in my opinion. When pregnant with my oldest, there was a massive recall of baby food jars because parents had found a foreign substance mixed in that was later identified as rat poison. WHAT??!?!?
  2. I can make it the consistency and flavor of my preference… Let’s face it, plain ole carrots or green beans are pretty boring but mix them with some corn or squash and you've created a new flavor to keep your baby interested. We love getting creative with our purees making baby versions of our favorite meals: pureed chicken parm, cheese and broccoli rice, etc. We can wean our babies into eating chunkier foods by selecting different options on our food processor. We can even add breastmilk instead of water to change the consistency as well if we choose.
  3. It saves money. And is EASY… I remember being out at the mall with a friend. Lily was just 8 months old. My friend’s daughter was 5 weeks older than her. We sat in the food court. I pulled out a Take N Toss brand container of sweet potatoes and a spoon and started feeding Lily. My friend grabbed a jar of green beans and did the same. As we chatted, I was surprised that she didn't make her own food as she loved to cook and was always preparing huge intricate meals for her family.

A Sample of Our Baby Food
I don’t cook anything but prepping, cutting, steaming, and pureeing food for my girls is relaxing. I enjoyed it with Lily and I’m enjoying it even more for the twins. Lily even enjoys helping me get food ready for her sisters. Once made, we spoon the food into ice cube trays to freeze. Once frozen, we pop out the cubes and store them in freezer Ziploc bags labeled with the type and date. It is that simple. They are the perfect portions to grab a cube or two (or mix and match).  We typically only spent one Sunday a month making everything we needed.

Our first attempt at making our own food was with sweet potatoes. We bought one large sweet potato for $0.78. It then made 13 portions of sweet potatoes for Lily. We compared to the jars of sweet potatoes sold at our local store. One jar (which was about 2 portions) cost $0.59.

Like all decisions, how you feed your baby is up to you. But if you are interested in going the route of purees, I’d encourage you to give making your own a shot.

Heather C. owns and writes for the blog Our Magical Chaos. She uses the lessons her kids teach her to take each day at a time and embrace the twists life throws at her. Being a parent is what she knows best. Our Magical Chaos features stories, product reviews, and tips for parents just trying to make it through. You can like Our Magical Chaos on Facebook or follow Heather on Twitter. Heather is also a freelance writer and runner. She specializes in parenting girls, all things twins, and before staying home with her girls, she worked nearly a decade in retail banking. 

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While you are here, you might also enjoy these posts:

Premastication: What's The Big Deal Anyway?

The Skinny on My Petite Babies

Tips for Parents With Food-Picky Kids


  1. My almost-9-month-old has never liked purees, or anything I offer her on a spoon. I was wasting money offering her store-bought purees she mostly turned her nose up at.

    So I just began offering her tiny (very tiny!) bites of whatever we are eating. I spread a couple small pieces of pasta, veggies, smashed beans, etc. on her high chair tray and she enjoys the challenge of trying to pick things up (and I help ensure at least some of the food makes it into her mouth). So while I don't make my own purees, we do "make" our own baby food. Like you, I like knowing that my daughter is getting a taste for what we actually eat and not just what is sold in the baby food aisle.

    I do rely a lot on the Gerber finger foods, too, like the Puffs and the yogurt melts.

  2. I am hoping to make more food for my little guy. He is #3 and I never really did it for the older two. So far I've just done a mashed up banana, but now that we have made it through the stage 1 stuff and he hasn't had any allergic reactions I'm excited to give him homemade things. Thanks for sharing!


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