I loved making homemade baby food for Nicholas, and I’m looking forward to doing the same thing for Katie when she starts eating solids. I find that making my own baby food is easy, cost effective, and gives me the satisfaction that my baby is eating something that I personally prepared for him or her.
But, is it really worth the effort?
I bought one pound of organic sweet potatoes from the farmers market the other day for $1.50. That made 24 ounces of sweet potato baby food–you have to add water to the potatoes to get them to a good baby consistency, hence the 1 pound of potatoes making more than a pound of baby food. My baby food comes in at about $0.06 per ounce. Jarred organic food is $0.30 per ounce, and conventional baby food is $0.28 per ounce. So, you’re getting an 80% discount for making your own food.
Know What Your Baby is Eating
When I bought the sweet potatoes at the farmers market I chatted with the folks selling the produce, heard about their organic farming techniques, and learned that their farm is less than 20 miles from my house. Then I went home and did all of the preparation myself, so I knew everything about what is going into that food. Of course, you don’t always have the luxury of buying food at the farmers market. In fact, Katie is going to start eating in late November, so most of her pureed food is going to come when the farmers markets aren’t even open. But even by buying grocery store fresh or frozen food, at least I know exactly what she is eating, even if I couldn’t meet the people that grew it.
It’s Really Not Hard
When I made the sweet potatoes, I steamed them while I was cooking Curry Sweet Potato Fries. I was already in the kitchen using those ingredients, so it didn’t take much time or effort.
Your Kids Eat What You Eat
I do NOT make separate meals for my children, and I never have. Nicholas has essentially eaten what we’ve eaten since he was 4 months old. Or some variation of what we’re eating. And now at almost 3, he eats just about everything. We sit at the table and talk about our day over dinner nearly every night, and it’s a habit we got in when he was just a baby.
So yes, I think it’s worth the effort. I don’t have anything against jars of baby food and I do buy them. They are great to have around in case you run out of your own food, or to throw in the diaper bag for a meal on the run. But when I can plan for it, I prefer to serve up something homemade.
Here are my homemade baby food recipes so far:
Homemade Baby Food
And I’ll be adding more over the next few months as I stock my freezer for Katie’s introduction to solids.