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.
What are your tips for adjusting your baby to get used to more “texture” in food? My 13 month old is really picky about texture. She didn’t start food (besides my milk) until 9 months. Her favorites: sweet potatoes, regular potato, apple, chicken and sweet potato, and seasonal baby food. I wasn’t able to take time to make her some homemade baby food when she first got interested (long story), but now I’m trying to get her to eat anything besides the stuff from the jar! She will take sweet potatoes. I just bake them and mash them up with a fork. She really likes them. I think she’ll turn into a sweet potato soon! 🙂 She also doesn’t want anything unless it comes from the jar or off your plate. So sometimes if I want her to try something, I just put it on my plate first and hand her a bite. I should start making enough food to freeze but she is SO picky about the temp right now, and I’m not really wanting to microwave or get her use to it being warm/hot. So I try to warm it up in hot water by placing container in a bowl of the water. Any thing else I could be trying??
Hi Mary, I want to direct you to this post: http://www.yourkidstable.com/2012/09/how-to-transition-your-baby-or-toddler.html I think it will answer most of your questions, if not let me know!
I love making homemade baby food! I know what is going into the food, I can adjust texture/thickness as needed, and it is cheaper! At 65-99 cents a jar, store bought food can be expensive! I use seasonal and frozen fruits and veggies. It may take a bit of time to prepare enough food items, but in the end you have a happier baby! My son is much more adventurous with eating than his older sister(who ate jarred food). Fresh fruits and veggies hold more flavor(and can be seasoned), and for us, the transition into pick up foods was a breeze. Thanks for the post Alisha! 🙂 Emilie