Making Baby Food

I promise not all our NaBloPoMo posts are going to just be quick photos and videos, but I will say those are so much easier right now! I have a lot I would like to share and get out of my head, but most days my brain is mush.

Noah and I making some baby food not long after arriving home from Ethiopia
Noah and I making some baby food not long after arriving home from Ethiopia

I decided to make all the boys baby food even before we brought them home. I just couldn’t stand the thought of all those little glass jars, plus I figured it would save us money. I honestly have not kept good records of what we have spent so I cannot do an accurate cost analysis. I would like to think it has saved us money. We did buy jarred food once for a picnic and thought the consistency was weird. The boys ate it just the same though.

Why making our baby food works for me:

1. I love to cook and it is one of the ways I love to show the men in my life my love. I only had Matt to feed for 7 years, it is nice to have two new men to feed!
2. I do not like packaging, I couldn’t deal with throwing away/recycling all those jars and containers.
3. I like to eat organic, local, and seasonally, much easier to do if I just go to the farmers’ market and make the food.

I received a good book recommendation from a friend, “Super Baby Food.” I purchased a used copy for cheap and I love it. While the author can annoy me at times, she really likes the term super and she seems super proud of herself, I still love the book. It has lots of tips, recipes, and information on all sorts of veggies and fruits. She also has recipes for the toddler years, it is nice to have something that lasts beyond the baby years. I am going to try some of her cracker recipes soon and will share if it is worth it. I don’t do everything she suggests, in fact I haven’t even read the entire book. I got it right before we left and have been busy with the boys since we returned home, so I always just turn to exactly what I need.

Ezra enjoying something yummy
Ezra enjoying something yummy

I cook most of our baby food in my solar oven, but she gives you cooking directions for each food at least three ways, microwave, steamer, and oven. I use her food cube method to make large batches and freeze so I am not constantly making food. We go through a lot of food around here!

I would like to address a couple of the bad reviews on amazon, because I always read the bad ones before making a decision.

1. She promotes a vegan menu for babies. She does not, she does promote a vegetarian menu for babies, which was fine with me, because I was only planning on introducing meat once they were eating what we were eating and since we don’t eat meat often this was a good approach for me.

2. She introduces allergy foods too early, yep sometimes she does, but she does have a short chapter dedicated to allergies and does encourage you to talk with your pediatrician first.

3. One reviewer thought she was not breast feeding friendly based on the food serving suggestions. She is not against breast feeding and suggests you serve your baby the amount of food they can eat. She does say to feed them their meals with bottles and give them snacks. I decided to feed the meals and bottles at least an hour apart and thus did not have to feed snacks. She also states the amount of breast feeding/formula drinking they should be doing and if it drops when you push solids to cut back on the foods so they get enough breast milk/formula. My boys drank 30 – 36 ounces a formula a day until about 10.5 months when they naturally started wanting less bottles.

Noah eating avocado
Noah eating avocado

I feel with any book or recommendation with child rearing you look at it with an open mind, discuss with your pediatrician, and then decide what works for your child. Not every single suggestion will work for every single child/family. I understand making baby food will not work for every family, but for ours it did, and if you think it will work for yours, I highly recommend it. You get to avoid all those little glass jars and no preservatives.

Now for a typical daily menu at our house at 11 months old:

Wake-up – 8 oz Bottle
Breakfast – Whole Banana and 1/3 cup of prepared steel cut oats (each)
Wake-up from nap – 8 oz Bottle
Lunch – 1/2 cup of yogurt, 1/4 cup of fruit (apples/pears/peaches), and iron fortified baby cereal to thicken (each)
Wake-up from nap – 8 oz Bottle
Dinner – They snack on something while we eat, sometimes crackers or cheerios, but sometimes it is what we are eating. For their actual dinner they eat about 1/2 to 3/4 of a veggies (sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash) about 1/4 lentils and sometimes I sneak a green veggie in there!

Now that that we have transitioned from formula to whole milk, I will start giving them snacks because the milk doesn’t seem to hold them over as long. Since we don’t eat a lot of meat I will ask the doctor about iron supplements next week at our 1 year appointment. That’s it in a nutshell. Please feel free to ask questions!

2 Replies to “Making Baby Food”

  1. I too made all of Ashleys baby food and loved it. I would spend a couple hours usually 1 day a month and do like you said, freeze it in cubes. It was perfect, I knew what she was getting and it did save on money. I did buy some jared stuff for traveling purposes, becasue it held longer when we knew we werent going to be close to a refridgerator. Congratulations and good luck with the rest of it.

  2. We made all of Sammys food from day one as well (other than oatmeal, which obviously we only cooked.) He ate/eats sweet potatoes, white potatoes (he likes these better because he ate them the entire time in ETH), carrots, peas, applesauce, peaches, rice.
    He likes everything better heavily seasoned. HATES things plain. He does eat commercial yogert. Now that he’s a “big boy” he likes things not blended but either chunky or whole (pears, apples) and sandwiches, along with frittata (egg, potato, veggies.) He has had sausage in the frittata 2x but doesn’t seem to like the texture.
    NOW, we just give him what we are eating, and G does almost everything from scratch (other than pasta — he hasn’t made that yet.)
    Other than saving money and waste, I didn’t want to give Sam prepared food because I don’t give him anything that I wouldn’t eat myself. Seriously, if I don’t eat it or like the taste, it doesn’t go in my child. I think this is partially because he likes to “feed” me and I want to eat what I want to eat.
    I think the variety and texture is good for him and will make him a better/ more diverse eater as a toddler and preschooler.

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