Today let’s talk about a topic that I find to be a hard decision for most mothers and that is either making your own baby food or buying it from the store.
The reason this is a hard decision is because of all of the factors that have to go into it. Even though in a perfect world many of us would love to make our own baby food and it be the easiest thing to do. But sadly we don’t live in a perfect world and many of us have limited time to be able to prepare baby food.
Before we get into that let’s get into the benefits of making your own baby food.
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Benefits of Making Your Own Baby Food
It is truly a wonderful thing to make your own baby food. You get to decide everything that your baby will be eating. And you get to do what just a few generations ago or so would actually have had to do. Before all of the advances in technology.
Know What Your Baby Eats
Unlike buying from the store, you get to know with exact detail what goes into your baby’s food. Every amount, every fruit or veggie, everything. This means that you don’t have to worry about preservatives that are put into your baby’s food.
You also get to use products that you see fit to feed your child and can rule out all GMO products as well as those with harsh chemicals like pesticides. Basically, if you feel that you want your baby to eat only certified organic produces then that’s what you can make at home and know that they are only eating certified organic food.
Make Your Own Recipes
With making food from home you get to try out different recipes that your baby might like more than just going with the already mixed baby food. This way you can avoid foods that your baby might be allergic to along with mixing together their favorite food. You can even mix certain foods together that give your baby more nutrients that are well rounded instead of just a select few.
Creating or using different recipes can also get picky eaters to eat what they don’t like by mixing it together with other foods that may cover up the taste or texture of that food. It also helps with children who get tired of the same things and wants a new taste or texture. Always eating the same thing can get boring to anyone.
When it comes to making meals at home for you or your family it has been cheaper than buying out. Making baby food at home is no different. Buying fresh fruits and veggies is much cheaper to puree than buying the already pureed baby food.
A 4oz jar of baby food at Target is between $0.69 – $1.39. When you can make a 4oz jar of baby food at home for as low as 10 cents depending on what you are making. Yes, you do have to make more than one jar at a time, but you get a few jars saved up for the next feedings to come.
Say you are making just sweet potato. Depending on the size of the potato it is usually around $1 per sweet potato. That one sweet potato can make 3-4 4oz jars. That right is pretty cheap per jar compared to the same 4oz sweet potato jar at a store is around $1.
So Why Doesn’t Everyone Make Their Own Baby Food?
With all of the benefits that making your own baby food has, it just isn’t as easy to do all the time. The biggest problem is how much time it takes to do when most parents are very limited with their time.
When making baby food you have to prepare all of the products that you will be using. For some veggies, you need to steam them or even bake them in the oven. Either way, you need to soften all of the hard food so that when you puree them it won’t be chunky.
Steaming and baking food takes up a good amount of time.
Once you have spent the time to prepare to make your baby food you actually have to puree it. Now you have to spend the time to get the right consistency in a blender. While it is blending you have to add water or a liquid to thin out the puree.
After making the baby food you need to portion out each serving into containers and store them correctly.
Many times this becomes too time-consuming for working parents or even stay-at-home parents.
The Need to Use a Blender
So you really wouldn’t think that using a blender would be a reason some parents don’t make their own baby food. But if you think about parents that live in small apartments or when the kitchen is really close to where a child would be sleeping it makes more sense.
Having to use a blender can be pretty loud and when the only time you have to make food is when your baby is sleeping it can be difficult. Mainly because you don’t want to wake a sleeping baby from any naps.
I personally have used a regular blender at the beginning until we bought a Baby Bullet and now I prefer that. To me, it is just easier to portion the right amount of food with it and the containers have dates on them to know when they go wrong.
Storing your freshly made baby food can be a hassle if you don’t have much storage space, to begin with. The main reason is that you have to make more baby food at a time instead of a single serving. This causes problems for those that live in those small apartments or just don’t have storage space for a lot of baby food.
Some parents hate doing the dishes and some don’t even have a dishwasher to help them. And when you make your own baby food you have a lot of dishes to wash plus the jars that you will have to wash after feeding your baby unless you choose a different way to store your baby food.
Now, this is a pretty big one because when you make baby food you have to do it in a bit of a batch, but you can’t make too big of a batch. This being that the expiration on home-made baby food is much sooner than on your store-bought baby food. That is because they put in preservatives and/or pressure can their food.
Pressure canning can actually be done at home as well, but it takes a lot more equipment to use and more time to do. (I personally have pressure canned things like jams many years ago, but canning takes a lot of time and requires too many pots and pans to be able to do it very easy with a baby.)
Now for freezing baby food, it can be kept up to 3 months while keeping its nutrients, but up to 6 months before it truly should be eaten or thrown out. Refrigerating baby food should only be kept up to 48 hours. Whereas jar baby food is kept a lot longer and does not need to be in your fridge or freezer.
Ease of Feeding
Some people actually prefer feeding their kids from the squeeze pouches instead of using a jar. This can be a bit quicker to get on to the spoons and when the child gets older they can eat it right out of the pouch.
There is also a newer invention where it is a spoon that twists on to squeeze pouches and makes feed really quick because it just goes straight onto the spoon with little effort.
It looks like this one and you can get these here.
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