Is It *better* To Make Your Own Baby Food?

Lounge By JaeRodriguez Updated 2 Sep 2010 , 1:55am by JaeRodriguez

JaeRodriguez Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 4:01pm
post #1 of 22

Hi everyone! I am a month and a half from starting solids for my second baby. I used jarred baby food with my first and I am thinking about trying to make my own. A few questions I have-

Is it cheaper to make your own food?
Does anyone have a chart of some sort with the different foods I can make?
Do you freeze and just take what you need?
Do you use canned veggies, frozen veggies? Or do you use all fresh, and why?


I'm really wondering if it's more expensive then buying jars with coupons, unless freezing comes into play. I think those are all of my questions, if not I'll be back! ;] Thank you!

21 replies
adonisthegreek1 Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 5:33pm
post #2 of 22

I had a really good book years ago, but I can't remember the name of it. You can look on Amazon. When I made baby food it was not as much about the cost and more about getting exactly what I wanted. You can freeze in portion size containers. It is very easy and convenient. I used only fresh vegetables and organic meats.

DefyGravity Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 5:49pm
post #3 of 22

We made food for our twins, just because we couldn't justify spending so much more on jarred baby food.

We got a lot of our recipes in a few different places just by using Google, but their absolute favorite was Baby Guacamole. I used an equal number of avocados and bananas, plus a little lemon juice to preserve color. They couldn't get enough of it, and the ingredients are soft enough to where I could leave it a little lumpier as they started to learn how to chew pieces.

We bought small jars at the grocery store, made large batches, and then froze what wouldn't get used in the next couple of days.

Good luck!

Unlimited Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 7:31pm
post #4 of 22

Oh my... kudos to you if you can keep up with that! I believe it would be easier to make what you can from meals that you are already preparing especially for between the infant and toddler years like using a baby food grinder for spaghetti and casseroles. How old will your baby be in a month and a half when you'll be starting with some solids?

With my first, I didn't plan to introduce foods until she was 5 or 6 months old, but that didn't work out because she was grabbing for any food that she'd see a lot sooner than that! I couldn't deprive her from what she was definitely screaming for! Before too long, she was eating 80 jars of baby food per week not including all of the yogurt, pudding, or Gerber meat sticks! It was so embarrassing at the grocery store... the cashier would say "How sweet, you must be buying this much for twins." (Nope!)

My second only ate 40 jars per week (which was a relief). To this day, the oldest still loves her food... she won't turn anything down even if she isn't hungry, but she's lucky she carries it well and it doesn't show on her (unlike me!).

DefyGravity Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 8:17pm
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited

Oh my... kudos to you if you can keep up with that! I believe it would be easier to make what you can from meals that you are already preparing especially for between the infant and toddler years like using a baby food grinder for spaghetti and casseroles. How old will your baby be in a month and a half when you'll be starting with some solids?

With my first, I didn't plan to introduce foods until she was 5 or 6 months old, but that didn't work out because she was grabbing for any food that she'd see a lot sooner than that! I couldn't deprive her from what she was definitely screaming for! Before too long, she was eating 80 jars of baby food per week not including all of the yogurt, pudding, or Gerber meat sticks! It was so embarrassing at the grocery store... the cashier would say "How sweet, you must be buying this much for twins." (Nope!)

My second only ate 40 jars per week (which was a relief). To this day, the oldest still loves her food... she won't turn anything down even if she isn't hungry, but she's lucky she carries it well and it doesn't show on her (unlike me!).




Our girls loved the Gerber meat sticks, too. We discovered that chicken or turkey hot dogs are SO much cheaper, and it's the exact same thing. Now they're 2 1/2 and it's still one of their favorite things to eat!

Texas_Rose Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 9:36pm
post #6 of 22

I made my own baby food for both of my kids. It's cheaper and a lot of the time it's healthier...read the ingredients on some of the baby food jars, especially the ones that are a mix of meat and veggies, or the ones that are supposed to be spaghetti dinner or mac and cheese, or something like that...unless they've improved a lot since I had kids, it's a lot of goo thickened with starch. There's a book called "Feed me, I'm yours," that's a good starting point for making your own baby food.

You'll need a blender or food processor, a strainer, ice cube trays, and freezer bags. Cook the food until soft, then puree with the blender, adding some of the cooking liquid, strain if it has any kind of skins or fibers, then spoon it into ice cube trays. Freeze them solid, pop them out of the trays and store in freezer bags. Make sure you write on the bags what's in each one.

I always used fresh fruit and veggies...it doesn't take much to make a good amount of baby food. My only execption to that was prunes. Sophie was on soy formula and she was always constipated, so I cooked prunes and froze the strained puree into cubes so that I could add one to her cereal each morning.

Unlimited Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 10:19pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefyGravity

Our girls loved the Gerber meat sticks, too. We discovered that chicken or turkey hot dogs are SO much cheaper, and it's the exact same thing. Now they're 2 1/2 and it's still one of their favorite things to eat!




Oh yeah! She ate Vienna sausages too!

Also, I had her tested for food allergies, because she had ear infections every other month. She was highly allergic to Gerber bananas but not fresh, cheddar cheese but not American, and slightly allergic to green beans and a few other foods that we could give to her only once every five days or so. It was strange trying to keep track of her menu when she was little, but she outgrew all of the allergies when the shape of the inner ear changed sometime after her ear tubes (bobbins) fell out.

milkmaid42 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 12:43am
post #8 of 22

I am years away from feeding babies now. But I am a firm believer in making home made baby food. I raised my own beef, chicken, turkey and lamb, plus I had a large vegetable and garden and fruit trees. So I had the means to control what went into my four sons' food.
Like Texas_Rose, I would cook the meats, vegs, etc and puree in my blender. I did make one difference though. In the desire to avoid modified food starch, I added fresh bananas to almost everything. It really helped it slide down! I would take part of an afternoon to prepare many different entrees and sides then portion them out in freezer cubes and end up with bags of labeled and dated individual servings. It was an easy matter to quickly assemble nutritious salt-free, additive-free foods and was easy on the budget besides.
While not many have the access to home-raised, I do feel it is within reason to purchase and still save a considerable amount of money. The satisfaction is great, and the good nutrition is nothing to sneeze at either. Just my opinion, though.

leily Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 1:25am
post #9 of 22

to those that freeze, how long does the food stay good? I'm still 4-5 months away from starting solids with my baby, but i would like to make more homemade food for him than i did for our daughter. I was just wondering how soon i could start making it to kind of create a "stock" of things in the freezer.

I do have a deep freezer that it would all be kept in.

Also, thanks for the book recommendation texas_rose

xstitcher Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:12am
post #10 of 22

I made my own baby food for my 2 oldest as well using fresh organic veggies and fruits. I've also used a baby grinder and blended up what we were eating as well for them but that was what I mostly did for my last 2 children (unless it was really spicy Indian food, lol).

I also purchased some of the glad ware/ziploc containers that were 4 oz each which were for me easy to store and grab from the freezer. I usually made fresh food every couple of weeks and I could then re-use the containers as well.

I looked on-line leily and according to baby center's website fruits and veggies can stay good for 6-8 months but meats are only good for a month or two.

Here's the link to that article:
http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-make-your-own-baby-food_1401482.bc?page=1

I think there are also some recipes on that link as well but failing that I do know that their are several sites on line that you can get recipes from as well.

tmac670 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:55am
post #11 of 22

I made baby food for 3 of my 4 kids-- I pretty much made baby food out of the food that we ate- I just pulled some out before I seasoned it heavily. The I put it in ice trays and froze it, then into ziplock bags.

IMO it helped my kids with not being picky eaters, since there was no real transition from jarred baby food to the food I cooked everyday.

lecrn Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:26pm
post #12 of 22

I actually did a little of both (bought some & made some). It's very easy to make your own if you have time. Try using the Wilton brownie bite pan (silicone) to freeze the food in. It's very easy to pop out the food once frozen. I steamed most of the fruits & veggies. I just bought what was fresh and in season. Butternut squash was my son's favorite.
Here's a website that I've used a lot. It's got lots of great info like recipes, what to freeze, how long to freeze, ect:

http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/stage1_homemade_baby_food_recipes.htm

BTW, some of the baby foods are completely useless. Buying the all natural (no sugar) applesauce in the large jars is so much cheaper. I also bought the all natural plain yogurt instead of the "baby food" yogurt.

kristanashley Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 1:57am
post #13 of 22

I used jars and boxed cereals. There's a huge variety out now and you can get organic baby food if you care about that. My husband is army, so I shopped at the commissary with coupons, and it wasn't bad. So much easier to just open a can, rather than making the food, washing dishes, freezing and thawing, wondering about how long it keeps, and all of the space taken up in your freezer. As she got older, if we were eating something soft anyways (mashed potatoes, bananas, peas, avocado, etc) I would just mash it up and give it to her. She is now 2 and she has always been healthy and she's not a picky eater at all.

Ursula40 Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 3:35am
post #14 of 22

I had to make my own, because we were living in Korea at that time and I could read either the ingredients or how to prepare the babyfood. I cooked small amounts of different veggies separately, meats as well and froze them in ice cube trays, then ziplocked labelled. I would then pull out a cube of veggie, a cube of starch (spaghetti, rice or potato) and a meat/fish. I tried to avoid repeating the same order of foods at mealtimes, so she would have a large diversity of foods to try. I did not use salt, but did use fresh herbs to season and taste when cooking. My daughter refused bottled babyfood when we were on trips, so I had to teach hotel chefs how to make baby food, but my daughter has grown to love good food, never ordered from the children's menu and has always been willing to try new foods, really shocked some mothers, whose children had a very limited diet which theey would willingly eat. Fresh fruits were squashed bananas, puried apples and pears, joghurts and frsh cheese (also made my own) Once off the bottle, she did not like to drink milk, that is why I had to start making cheee and joghurts

cakecraft Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 12:58pm
post #15 of 22

I have two boys, and neither has ever eaten jarred baby food. It never made sense to me...the food I was preparing for myself and my hubby seemed healthier and easier. Like some others have said, I would just take their portions of food out before we spiced/seasoned, whiz it up in the food processor and voila. I never froze stuff, as they always ate some of whatever meal we were preparing.

Some of their faves were pureed carrots, sweet potato and peas. Also, mashed avacado, banana and all kinds of pureed fruits and berries. We used silken tofu to add to fruit etc. as well.

I breastfed both, and one of the breastfeeding experts advocates feeding babies from your own plate! It's all about developing a natural relationship with food, and feeding them the best foods available to you.

My friend who is a dietitian always says it's your job as a parent to provide healthy choices, it's the childs job to decide from that what and how much to eat.....many parents subscribe to the "finish your plate" (or bottle!) mentality and that teaches the child to ignore their own body's hungry/full cues.

My best advice is relax, do what works for your family, follow your child's lead and enjoy this milestone!

ccordes Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 1:18pm
post #16 of 22

We used jarred baby food with our oldest and I made my own with our youngest and it is definitely cheaper to make it yourself! Plus, it tastes so much better. A jar of peas isn't going to taste nearly as good as pureeing peas you cooked fresh or frozen from a bag. Neither of my kids are very picky eaters, so I can't say that choosing one way over the other will help with that. I think that that is more just making sure you give your kids a variety of different foods to try instead of the same things over and over.

mcaulir Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 1:38am
post #17 of 22

My little one was a ridiculously picky eater right from the start. I started off cooking and freezing etc, and she wouldn't have a bar of it.

Jar foods were the only thing she would eat for a while, even though I really didn't want to use them. She's 17 months now, and eating more 'real' food, which I'm very happy about. Jars are very convenient when you're out and about.

pajnpis Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:30pm
post #18 of 22

I don't give my kids jar food and prefer feeding them fresh fruits. They just eat whatever the family's eating. I don't find it as a problem and I believed that jar food doesn't taste as good as the real thing. I start introducing food+fruits when they're 5-6 months and their doctor's okay with it. my youngest...going to be 1 soon, is eatting whatever the family's eating and he's not picky at all...goes for my 3 daughters too.

JaeRodriguez Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:19pm
post #19 of 22

I am so sorry guys, I didn't get any updates on this thread, I figured it disappeared into the never read section! icon_razz.gif

Thank y'all so much, I am going to read through responses, and btw- He will be 6 months in a month and a half. I am just starting rice cereal now so we will see how it goes!

JaeRodriguez Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:29pm
post #20 of 22

Thanks for the links and the different advice and opinions!

I think I will try it and see how it goes! The rice cereal was a bust yesterday, we will see how it goes today! icon_razz.gif

leily Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:51pm
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaeRodriguez

Thanks for the links and the different advice and opinions!

I think I will try it and see how it goes! The rice cereal was a bust yesterday, we will see how it goes today! icon_razz.gif




don't give up, it took me a few weeks to get my daughter to start eating the cereal (i tried every couple of days to see if she was interested in it)

JaeRodriguez Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 1:55am
post #22 of 22

I'm not, it's bringing back memories of my first son screaming his head off when I first tried cereal! I was so upset looking back I just laugh at myself but I was just like "what am I doing wrong?!" When he just wasn't ready! icon_razz.gif The second one is SO much easier! :]

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