Near the end of my pregnancy with Lucy I began stock-piling baby food. I had every type of Ge.r.be.r jar stacked in my pantry, and I prided myself on being “ready”… for anything. I had close to a 100 jars, probably.
Now, with Emma… I have 6. They are stowed away in our 72-hour kit along with the food rations for the rest of us. For some reason, that fact that purchased baby food can be stored for long periods of time kind of makes me squirm. (Of course, when I can things that’s totally okay. Yeah. Hypocrite.)
This time, I’m making all of Emma’s baby food. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how easy it is, and how well-received it is by her. I started doing this because of how little she is. I read a few articles that freaked me out about how there are fillers used in many commercially made baby foods. I wanted to make sure that she was getting as much nutrition as possible out of every bite. Also, a few of my SILs made baby food for their babies and had told me a few of the benefits (mainly cost.) So, I tried it. I’m so glad I did.
I get a huge sense of satisfaction from making Emma’s food. I take pride in the fact that I know exactly when it was made, where, and what ingredients were used. I feel creative with her meals, and excited that she gets to try foods earlier than she would if eating jarred baby food. Like, spinach. I have yet to see a jar of baby food at the store with “spinach” as an ingredient. For me this is a big deal. Emma is anemic, so I am glad to be able to give her a wider variety of leafy greens to help boost her iron.
And then there’s the cost factor. When Lucy was a baby, a jar of baby food was about $0.35. Now, it’s closer to $0.65. Yikes. That is $463.80 for 6 months of baby food, assuming your baby eats 4 jars a day. Lucy averaged 6.
I freeze Emma’s food in silicone muffin pans. I have 1 oz. cups, and 3 oz. cups. One pan of the 3 oz. cups makes the equivalent of 9 large jars of purchased food. The batch I just did of peas/spinach cost me $2.58. The same amount would have cost $5.85 had I purchased it pre-made. There is a good amount of money being saved here. Score!
Oh, and the peas I made are not army green. Ew. (I refuse to eat many canned vegetable for this very reason, with the exception being green beans. It’s a texture thing. And a smell thing.)
Bottom line: I love making Emma’s baby food. I feel like she is getting better nutrition from a wider variety of foods than if I had chosen to buy commercially prepared baby food. It has been good for my self-esteem, and my wallet.
Before anyone flames me, I’d better mention that I don’t care if you use store-bought food. I don’t think you care about your children any less, or that you are doing them a disservice. I really just don’t care. As long as you are feeding your child food that isn’t laced with drano, you’re probably just fine.