Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cheaper greener tip for today- baby food

Maybe this subject doesn't apply to everyone, but let's talk baby food anyways. Ideally, I would love to make all my own baby food, but in reality, I don't always have time. I've found a few shortcuts that are quick and easy and MUCH cheaper than store bought baby food. (Although we still splurge on a few jars of the Earth's Best variety each month).

When I have time to make up a batch of baby food, here are the steps that I take:
1. peel, cut up veggies/fruit
2. steam
3. puree with hand blender or food processor
4. let cool, then freeze in ice cube trays
5. pop out frozen food cubes and put in freezer bag

Fruit/Veggies to try with the frozen cube method (you can do combinations for older babies):
sweet potato
carrots
butternut squash
summer squash
white potato
peas
turnip
pumpkin
pears
peaches
apples
mango

If your purees are too thick, add expressed breastmilk, formula, or a little bit of water
If your putees are too thin, add a little bit of baby cereal just before serving

There are also some foods that you can mash without cooking, which saves time and energy- ripe banana and avocado are two that come to mind.

When you really don't have time to make baby food, here are some options that are cheaper than the little jars (especially if you choose organic).
*Save money by buying applesauce and whole milk yogurt in full-sized containers instead of little baby-sized ones.
*Instead of buying the puffs with added flavors and preservatives, try puffed rice as a first finger food for your baby (you can get a big box of it for a couple of dollars).
*In the frozen food section of your supermarket, you can find already pureed winter squash and sometimes pumpkin or sweet potato as well.

****Always consult your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby****

A great website to check out for more info on making your own baby food: Wholesome Baby Food

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Sounds a lot like what we do in our house. Gerber and Earth's Best are mainly for vacations or last resort.

One other shortcut, although not organic, is to steam/puree a bag of frozen veggies. I often freeze them in old Gerber plastic containers, then pop them into a bowl to reheat.

With coupons, we've been able to get bags of frozen veggies for anywhere from free to 25 cents per bag in the past few weeks.