Saturday, February 23, 2013

Making Baby Food

My son has only been on solid foods a few weeks; but it didn't take long at all for me to realize how expensive baby food is! For the organic brands (Earth's Best, Plum Organics, Ella's Kitchen, Happy Baby), prices are mostly between $1-2 for a ~4 oz jar or pouch. That's $4-8 per pound! I'll keep a few premade servings of baby food on-hand for "just in case", but with those prices, I think I'm going to be making most of my own baby food.

The "recipe" for starting baby foods is easy, so obviously I won't be posting recipes about this simple of a concept:
  1. Steam vegetable or fruit
  2. Mash or puree

Even easier for things like banana and avocado:
  1. Mash

I have found some premade things are cheaper to buy the non-baby-food version:

About $0.25 / oz

About $0.15 / oz

About $0.15 / oz

About $0.10 / oz

I also like to venture "outside the box". I've fed my son things that aren't commonly found as premade jarred baby food, such as avocado, parsnips, turnips, and coconut milk.
Note: Do not give babies honey, it can be contaminated with botulism!


We haven't really started with meats yet, that will have to be a later post. Meats are a great early food for baby, in Canada they are even recommending meat for baby's first food! But pureed meat skeeves me out, so we haven't done much with it yet.

You may be wondering "where's the rice cereal?", we decided to skip it. (We started with avocado for his very first food.) There's no real reason to give rice cereal, other than tradition. In recent years, the trend has been away from using rice cereal.

From Frank Greer M.D., who is on American Academy of Pediatrics's Committee on Nutrition:
"Complementary foods introduced to infants should be based on their nutrient requirements and the nutrient density of foods, not on traditional practices that have no scientific basis." "Newer thinking is that the emphasis for complementary foods should be on naturally nutrient-rich foods. This includes protein and fiber, along with vitamins A, C, D, and E and the B vitamins." "Rice cereal is a less than perfect choice for the first complementary food given to infants."
Stay tuned, as we venture into more complex meals I'll be posting recipes I've made for my son!

In the meantime, here are some good resources:

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