Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Not Rocket Science

When Phoebe was ready to start solid foods, I made them myself. I even blogged about it! It was a great experience for me. And like most things I did back then, I made it harder than it needed to be. I particularly like the last sentence I threw in that post... "If you devote an hour a day for a week, you can stock your baby with enough food to last two months!"

An hour a day! There's definitely wisdom in that. But when I have a free hour, let me assure you, I am not spending it making lots and lots of baby food. But I am making Nora's baby food, or at least most of it. (I supplement a lot of fruits right now out of convenience.) And it looks a little bit like this:
  • open bag of frozen veggies
  • cook according to directions
  • work on an art project with Phoebe
  • take veggies off the stove and allow to cool
  • clean up art project
  • drag a chair to the counter and help Phoebe get up
  • spoon veggies into food processor
  • let Phoebe push the button as many times as she wants
  • have Phoebe count the spoonfulls as they go into the ice cube tray, and let her tell me which space is the next to be filled
  • freeze

For the majority of Nora's food, I am using frozen vegetables. They are picked at their peak freshness, and are often more nutritionally rich than the produce that you buy in the fresh produce department. And by shopping strategically, I can get them at rock bottom prices. (This is the main reason I've used commercial baby food for fruit; sales haven't been good enough on fresh fruit, and I haven't had coupons for frozen. It ends up being the best cost option.) I recently bought a 2 pound bag of frozen green beans for $1.59 (not a rock bottom price, by the way) at Publix. This is cheaper than fresh (which, on sale, is about $1.29/pound) and far easier to blend. For $1.59, I can buy only one 7-oz stage 2 Gerber brand food (when it's not on sale); for fairness, I can almost buy two at WalMart. Anyway, I made the equivalent of eight packages of baby food. In about ten minutes of work.

Tomorrow, I'll make peas. Somewhere in between the laundry and the art projects and the ballerina twirls and the diaper changes, we'll make baby food. Phoebe will snack on the peas before they're pureed. We might even eat some peas with lunch. And Nora will enjoy some, too. Later this week, I'll get adventurous and turn the six pounds of bought-on-sale-with-a-coupon apples into applesauce for the whole family to enjoy. And it's really not rocket science.

In fact, it's even easier than I thought it was.

Note: if you have only one little angel at home, I would recommend batch-cooking your baby food. I've been browsing a website called Once a Month Mom, and if I can finagle the time... I just might do this for our baby food next month. Here are some sample menus/recipes that she's used.


Mr Lee said...
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Melissa said...

I am DEFINITELY going to make my own baby food. It really makes so much sense to do it. Thanks for sharing your tips. I'm am definitely going to do some homework, like stopping by here, when I have children to make baby food for. Thanks!

Melissa :D

PS: I found your link on Glamorous Life...I love the advice you gave Whitney. It was great!

Carolynn said...

Ahhh those were the days, eh? I will say that our family has taken to making applesauce for the whole house hold. It tastes so much better than the jar. We just made a batch a day ago:) I love the idea about Phoebe pressing the button on the food processor, by the way. I will definitely need to enlist the help of big sister Callahan! I love all your helpful nuggets. I store them away to be used sometime very soon! Miss you!

Allison said...

I started making my own baby food from the beginning, with Eli, too. I must admit that by the time #3 came around, I slacked off a good bit and relied quite heavily on "Gerber."

I also discovered that instead of using ice trays, which I found tedious and messy (maybe I just don't have good aim), I could fill gladware containers with different veggies and then just take out one or two containers at a time, store them in the fridge and feed the baby from those for a few days.