Homemade Baby Food 101 For the Modern Mom – Part I

In the tradition of all old things becoming new again, today at Simple Kids we will discuss making homemade baby food – just like our grandmothers did - but with a fresh spin designed for the modern mom.

Today, unlike our grandmothers’ time, we have a plethora of choices in our supermarkets – everything from the conventional, shelf-stable variety to the expensive, gourmet, “boutique” brands. These foods have revolutionized the way we feed our children and there is certainly nothing wrong with them. However, after having my first child, I made the decision to feed my baby the same fresh, wholesome ingredients I fed the rest of my family. Little did I know at the time how simple and convenient homemade baby food would be.

I am certainly not alone in the decision to make homemade baby food; it is making a big come back these days!

It appeals to modern-day moms for a variety of reasons:

It’s better for your baby.

Homemade baby food allows you to introduce fresh, seasonal, healthy, and tasty foods to your little ones - providing them with the best start in life…no fillers, no preservatives. Because you control the ingredients, you can introduce little one’s taste buds a vast array of flavors and textures that you might not find in the conventional brands. The more fruits and vegetables you introduce to your baby at a young age, the more likely they will eat (and enjoy!) them later.

It’s better for your wallet.

Homemade baby food saves a range of 50-80% off the cost of store-bought food. This can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars saved over the course of a year. This savings creates margin in your budget to easily justify buying more organic ingredients, if you so choose.

It’s better for the planet.

Because it is prepared and stored in reusable containers, homemade baby food creates substantially less waste. Parents can additionally incorporate organic and/or local ingredients, which also benefit the environment.

Now that you see the benefits of making homemade baby food, stay tuned for Wednesday’s post when I share with you some simple techniques to demonstrate how quick and easy it can be!

Comments

  1. Can’t wait! My little girl is five months old and I’m hoping she’s ready to try some solids pretty soon. I’d been planning on making my own but after sweet potatoes and steamed carrots I’m a little lost. Can I add herbs and spices so she gets used to more grown-up flavors?

    • Christen says:

      Hi Megan –

      Yes, you can absolutely add spices to your little one’s food! I would start off without spices, but slowly venture into some mild herbs and spices – like thyme, basil, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, etc… and go from there based on your baby’s liking. I have many baby food recipes with spices included, starting with these: http://www.nurturebaby.com/6-9-months/. As your baby grows and need larger portions, you can feed her the “One Pot Wonders”: http://www.nurturebaby.com/one-pot-wonders/

      Good luck and let me know how it goes!

      Christen

  2. Christen,

    This is an excellent post — can’t wait to read the rest. Home made baby food is something that I’ve always valued, but one I quickly run out of ideas. I’m really looking forward to this series and will link it to my website for my readers at ModernFamilia!

    Angelica @ Modern Familia

  3. My now 2 year old has graduated from pureed baby food, but when he was a baby i made all of it myself. It’s wonderful, so much easier than you’d imagine and introduces them so such a wider variety of flavours than you can get in the jars. Plus have you ever tasted that stuff in jars? I wouldn’t want to eat it, so I wouldn’t feed it to him… I admit I’m a bit of a foodie.

    When he was a little older my husband laughed at my when I would lightly puree our curry dinner or other such food you wouldn’t imagine a baby eating, my son LOVED it!

    I can honestly say we’ve never had any problems with him being a picky eater, as of yet.
    .-= Satakieli´s last blog ..Fragile =-.

  4. I made homemade baby food for our third child and it was the best! I simply took what the family was eating and pureed it for her. Now that she is almost two, she eats a wide-variety of real foods. I also recommend The Healthy Baby Meal Planner : Mom-Tested, Child-Approved Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler by Annabel Karmel as a great guide to feeding your baby. It is full of recipes for all ages and even a planner on how to introduce new foods.

    • Christen says:

      I have always been a fan of the Annabel Karmel books; she is a great resource. I have not read that particular book, however. I have a newborn son (2 months old) and will soon be re-entering the world of homemade baby food after several years of making it for my three-year-old daughter. Looking forward to checking that book out!

  5. I like to make my baby’s food too. But what do you do when you go travelling? We are heading to NM from NC for 2 weeks. We are staying in hotels and don’t have any family there. Any suggestions?

    • Christen says:

      Traveling with homemade baby food is tricky, at least in my experience. You can try to pack several bags of cubed food in a tightly sealed cooler and transfer them to a hotel room freezer if one’s available. However, you want to be sure that the food does not slightly thaw and re-freeze again. That creates a perfect breeding ground for bacterial growth…not something you want to give your baby.

      If I were going to be gone more than a few days, I would ere on the side of caution and bring shelf-stable back up. And addition to that, you can always bring “shelf-stable” fresh foods – like avocados and bananas. Just mash and serve. :)

    • Depending on the age of your baby, this might be a good time to introduce some new foods, in addition to the portable suggestions like avocado, mango, and banana. Are they ready to eat what you eat? Order pasta or rice and mash it up? What about peas?
      .-= Cheryl Arkison´s last blog ..Best intentions =-.

  6. I fully understand that it comes across as rather snobby, but I always asked the question, “Why wouldn’t you make your own baby bood?” Instead of “Why not?” It is easy, cheaper than pacakged, and you control the quality of the food. And for how long (usually less than 4 months on purees in my house) it isn’t a big deal.

    Besides, it gets us, as families, thinking about cooking at home and we all know that is a good thing, regardless of the age of the eater in question.
    .-= Cheryl Arkison´s last blog ..Best intentions =-.

    • “It is easy, cheaper than pacakged, and you control the quality of the food. And for how long (usually less than 4 months on purees in my house) it isn’t a big deal.”

      That is a really good point, Cheryl. It isn’t that long of a time frame, so why not? :-)

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