I know this is going to be a tough sell, many are skeptical, but making your own baby food has some real benefits, namely, increasing your future toddlers food variety. It does require more time than twisting open the lid of a jar, but it’s not that bad, and you can use everything you already own to make it. There is no need to buy one of those baby food systems with all of the “special” containers and blenders. Oh, and did I mention, it can be very cheap!
Let me say right off the bat that jarred baby food is completely safe and nutritious for your baby. However, homemade baby food has much more flavor and texture than its counterpart, which may help lay the ground work for more adventurous eating. Even as an adult, it actually isn’t bad to eat, in fact, a lot of it is really good. Most importantly, the peas taste like peas and the bananas taste like bananas. I don’t think you can say the same thing about jarred baby food, some of it tastes so bad and offers little resemblance to the actual food. Also, the texture changes very little from one jar of baby food to the next. With homemade baby food, the exposure to more textures means your baby will be feeling more comfortable with a wider variety of textures, and they will have more skills to handle different textures as table foods are introduced.
You can easily start making the food thicker by blending it less so it is thicker and has more texture as you are moving towards table foods. This also gives you the opportunity to have your baby eat what the rest of the family is eating. For example, last night for dinner I used a can of salmon in the pasta we were having. I just pulled a little out and mashed it (it is so soft already) into the sweet potatoes I made and froze over a month ago. Isaac loved it and it was almost effortless. Once your baby is eating a bigger variety of foods, whatever you prepared for the rest of the family can go right into your blender, food processor, or magic bullet. I will get more into the actual mechanics of making your own baby food in a future post, but wanted to get you thinking. Click here and here for some other sources on making your own baby food, if you can’t wait.
|Frozen pear and nectarine cubes I pulled from the freezer.|
If you are a control freak like me, you will also like knowing exactly where your baby’s food is coming from, how it’s made, and exactly what is in it. Think about it, you are picking out the carrots, green beans, or chicken yourself. You know if it is fresh, if it smells good. You also have the option to go organic, if you want, at a much more affordable price.
Try to keep in mind that making baby food doesn’t have to be an all or nothing kind of thing. You can still buy the baby food for when you’re traveling or for daycare, and maybe make the homemade stuff for dinners and weekends. You can do as little or as much as you like, even mixing jarred with homemade.
What do you think, do the benefits outweigh the extra time needed to make the food? Share your thoughts.