Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of homemade foods in your home:
I always recommend preparing homemade baby food as it has many advantages. There is a common misconception of the time it takes and storage challenges but in reality, making, preparing and freezing homemade baby food is simpler than you may think. By feeding your family meals adjusted to your baby’s or toddler’s age, you will be on your way to raising a healthy, adventurous eater. It can be tempting to buy jarred baby food, but homemade is just as easy, and a lot more beneficial. Read on as I share the 5 benefits of homemade baby food.
When you cook your own food, you know exactly what’s in it and where all the ingredients came from, especially when those ingredients are organic. Given our innate desire to provide our babies with the best, it makes sense that we want the highest quality for them. Organic, homemade foods contain no unpronounceable additives, hidden sugars, or stabilizers. If we buy produce at its peak freshness, we can guarantee very little loss of nutrients. What you’ll quickly come to realize is that once you have a heightened awareness of what you’re making, you’re more likely to start eating healthier yourself. This might begin with snacking on the ingredients while you’re cooking your little ones food. As you load up your shopping cart with broccoli, quinoa, and fresh ginger to make dinner, you’ll buy extra for yourself. The process is complete when the entire family is eating the same great meal, you might just have a small portion that is slightly mush for baby!
Have you tried the average jarred baby food? Doesn’t exactly excite the senses. A jar of baby food, even if organic, is likely to have been in that jar for quite a while by the time you see it. A times a jar from the store is what will have to work, but you can go a lot farther making it on your own, and add more taste. Making your own food is good for the baby and good for the budget. It’s the best tasting, most affordable option we’ve got.
Cooking your own baby food isn’t hard at all. Sure, it can be a little scary wondering how that first reaction to food will go and stressful knowing that you’re the one responsible for what (and if) your child eats. The actual mixing, matching, and cooking, creates a sense of comfort in your kitchen.
Here are some easy steps making your own baby food:
- Find some recipe inspiration if needed or food combos below
- Cook each item thoroughly. (No medium rare here!) Steaming is always easiest.
- Toss the ingredients in a blender and add liquid. (Water or a small amount of regular coconut milk.)
- Blend, blend, blend. Start with a very smooth, thin consistency and work your way up to thicker, more textured purées as your baby grows.
There’s really not much more to it than that. With a bit of patience, you’ll become a pro in no time. You can pour servings into a small, glass container and grab one at a time for each meal. You can also freeze in a silicone mold and set out the day of use. This was a life-saving action for me! Warm up slowly with coconut milk or olive oil – doesn’t need to be hot by any means. I would set the food out for about an hour so it was room temperature by meal time.
Time is the second most important thing in your life right now, and of course, there is never enough of it. Laundry to do, diapers to change. Add cooking to the mix, and it might feel as if there’s no room in your schedule. Making baby food is relatively quick and easy compared to most other kitchen undertakings. Just start by steaming a few organic apples or sweet potatoes and turn on the blender. Yes, one ingredient, one pot or steamer, one blender or food processor and you can begin. Most veggies only take 5-10 minutes to steam!
With a little planning, you can prepare an entire week’s worth of baby meals in about an hour. Once you get the hang of cooking your own baby food and setting a plan, you’ll find it doesn’t take a big chunk of your time. Some of this is just getting used to the process, and you’ll be glad you did, because you don’t have to quickly grab something less than healthy or stress to make a meal when it’s ready and waiting for you.
I won’t get too technical here, we all know one sweet potato can make several meals and 1 jar of baby food can range $1-2.99 per jar. Head to the frozen, organic section and grab several bags of veggies to steam and toss in the blender. You will save wonders and make better meals for baby. Of course, fresh veggies are always better!
If you are looking for some inspiration for what foods to put together for a hearty and tasty meal, the Big Book of Organic Baby Food created a wonderful chart for us: