Baby/New Mom

Homemade Baby Food vs. Conventional (Premade) Baby Food

October 24, 2012
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Commercially made or pre-made baby food is now available in a variety of forms: pouch, powder, and the traditional jar. With all of these options still comes a cost that is often more than if you were to prepare the same foods fresh. Parents considering both options must ask themselves whether they would rather pay more for convenience or save money by preparing baby food themselves.

I made the decision early on that I would prepare my daughter’s food rather than purchase it pre-made for several reasons. My decision was based on the fact that I wanted to know exactly where it came from and that it was USDA organic. I also didn’t want to feed my baby anything processed or from plastic packaging (most options are now packaged in plastic pouches).

Yet, there are benefits of buying pre-made food as well:
-Can purchase and feed baby nutritious fruits and vegetables that may not be in season
-No time spent baking, steaming, mashing, and/or blending the food
-Occasional coupons available making it less expensive to buy pre-made
-No investment needed in storage containers and food processors
-Longer shelf-life (when unopened)
-Does not require refrigeration (when unopened)

If you opt to make your own food, here are a few helpful hints:
*Purchase a food mill- This OXO Food mill is made of stainless steel so food does not come in contact with plastic:

*Because you will be preparing the entire fruit or vegetable you will need to store the additional quantity for future use in the refrigerator and/or freezer. For this reason, it is important to have freezer safe jars. I personally use Wean Green jars and would recommend them for storing your baby’s food. The body of these jars are made of glass and are free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, and plasticizers. The tempered glass can withstand extreme temperature changes making it perfect for storing in the freezer and heating up.

*Purchase fresh, organic fruits and vegetables (in season for a lower cost) and thoroughly wash, peel, and pit before baking, steaming, pureeing.

*To prepare meats, remove the skin and trim any fat before baking. Next grind up the meat in a food mill with a little liquid or chop in small pieces of older babies.

*Use either breastmilk or formula if necessary in order to achieve proper consistency for baby.

First Foods for Baby:

Sweet Potatoes
– Poke top of sweet potato with fork, then bake at 350 for about 1 hour. Can be mashed to proper consistency with fork. Let cool for a few minutes and then place in Wean Green jar and  refrigerate for up to a couple of days or freeze.

Butternut Squash
– Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, and bake at 350 for about 1 to 1.5 hours based on size. Let cool, then scoop out the squash from around skin, mash with fork, and place in Wean Green jar. Will keep refrigerated for a couple of days or freeze for longer.

– Slice avocado in half. Scoop out avocado from around skin and mash with fork to desired consistency. Add breastmilk or formula if needed. Serve immediately- does not keep well in refrigerator once mashed. If you would like to save the other half of the avocado leave the pit in the center.

– Peel skin from around banana and mash fruit with fork. Add breastmilk or formula if needed. Serve to baby immediately- does not keep well in refrigerator.

– Grind in food mill and then cook according to package directions. Store in Wean Green jar for up to a couple of days in refrigerator or freeze.

Butternut squash I prepared for my daughter:

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