For Grace’s first month of eating solids she ate Gerber Organic 1st foods. I read on a few blogs and on babycenter.com that sampling store bought food in the beginning allows you to determine what your baby likes vs. can’t stand and what foods are safe/allergy free before making a huge batch of something you may not end up using. This made perfect sense to me so that’s what we did. For my first adventure in baby food making I puréed avocado, sweet potatoes, peas, apples, bananas, carrots and yellow squash. I used ice trays to freeze the food after it was puréed and once frozen I emptied the ice trays into labeled freezer bags. This is both a space saver and allows me to easily identify which food is which and how long I have before it expires. According to the BB book, you have roughly one month to use any puréed, frozen food because unlike processed baby food, there aren’t any preservatives.
I decided to do a little math because I was curious as to how much money we would save by going the homemade food route. I purchased the organic fruits and veggies at a market and it cost $24 for everything. With the amount of food I purchased I was able to make 28 days worth of baby food. It would have cost $55 to purchase the same amount based off what I was spending when we used store bought baby food the first month. That’s more than 50% savings, people! Bonus: all organic and locally grown. :)
Here are a few other pieces of info I found to be helpful:
* Refrigerated baby food needs to be eaten within 3 days
* Frozen food needs to be thawed and eaten within 30 days
* Be sure to use plastic feeding bibs when feeding solids because the food WILL stain your cloth bibs. This may sound like common sense but I didn’t even think about it until I took a stack of adorable bibs out of the dryer covered in stains. Boo ;(
* When boiling vegetables, add just enough of the liquid used to make a smooth purée. This adds the vitamins and nutrients that may have been lost during boiling back into the recipe.
* A great way to add flavor to the more bland purées is to add a pinch of cinnamon, limejuice or lemon juice.
* And lastly, combo purées are a great way to get your baby to eat all different types of fruits and veggies – even ones that they may not have liked initially. For example, Grace was not a big fan of peas or avocado at first but once I mixed them with sweet potatoes and carrots she gobbled them up!
I found a bunch of great combo purées and other helpful info in, Top 100 Baby Purées. Great reference guide, I highly recommend buying it if you plan to make your own baby food!
First year NO-NO list
In other news – did you all know that today is “National Wife Appreciate Day”?! I never knew this day existed but Georgia did so she woke up with Gracie this morning and let me sleep-in until 11AM while she entertained baby, cleaned the kitchen and did laundry. I seriously have the best wife EVER! Love you, lady.