Baby Food Options

As Ms. Kaz and I begin to consider maybe thinking about possibly having another child, maybe, it might be time to revisit baby foods. 

The Contra Costa Times (via the San Jose Mercury News) tackles two options beyond the traditional grocery store bought, big brand, jarred baby foods.

In the first article, they discuss the new trend of providing babies with “gourmet” baby foods. The companies claim their foods are fresher and therefore better tasting and better for your baby. I remember our daughter liking vegetarian vichyssoise a lot. That’s pretty gourmet, right?

The second article deals with an less expensive option, although one which requires the parents have some spare time – making your own baby food. The article offers some important safety tips, some tips on food choices, some time saving tips, and even a recipe. We dabbled in these dark arts making our own baby food when our daughter was, well, a baby. It was a short-lived experiment.

Anyone had success with making your own baby foods? If we have another kid, and if we try making our own again, you can be sure I’ll be documenting our successes and failures here…

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9 Responses to Baby Food Options

  1. dear wife says:

    We plan on doing a combo of making our own and baby led solid introduction, most likely. This is sort of the give the child what you are eating idea and I am still looking into it. My friend with twins had great success with making her own, so I figure if she can with two I can with one. Here is an article on baby led introduction, it is interesting stuff:
    http://www.borstvoeding.com/voedselintroductie/vast_voedsel/rapley_guidelines.html

    [Kaz: Thanks for the link! I've never heard of this before, but it sounds like what we were trying to do with our daughter, in some respects. This method introduces the solids a lot earlier than we attempted, though. Of course, we're first-time parents who worry too much and were probably a bit too protective...]

  2. Terry says:

    you’ll be feeding the second kid steak, errrr steak-flavord Tofu at about 2 months… the second kid is a lot different and you could probably have another blog called “I love Snaps”

    Anyway, yes we dabbled in the dark arts of mushed banana, mushed banana (No, wait… that’s wiggles). Of Sweet Potatoes, squash and couple of other colorful vegetables. There were some vegetables that we had to do organic since the petsicides that we as grown-up can handle were more prevelant. Carrots seemed to be one that sticks out.

    I think the biggest problem for us was time. It was so much easier to buy jars of food and with the second kid, the local grocery store had some inexpensive organic baby food. Just a question: will the cost of buying the food outweigh the time that it takes to make and package your own food?

  3. T. Carter says:

    We made food for Celeste, no problems. We bought the food grinder and strainer attachments for the KitchenAid mixer and would just steam up a bunch of stuff fresh from the farmers market on the weekend, grind it up and freeze everything in icecube trays. Store the icecubes of greenbeans, squash, whatever in a plastic bag in the freezer and just melt it down when it was time for dinner. Thus far, we’ve been doing the same with Quinn, but we are a little more pressed for time/attention. As Celeste got older and started eating more than mush, I found the same trick of freezing icecubes of food worked very well with risotto. One book that helped was Mommy Made (and Daddy Too)

  4. Ivory says:

    I make a selection of different foods from what we are preparing for our regular meals. The key here is to have a good food mill ($15 from Babies R’ Us). It takes me just a few minutes and it saves a lot of money. If I spend a couple of hours just on making food, I can make a months worth. I focus on things I can’t buy as baby food – in-season fruits (for example) and veggies that aren’t sold as mush (broccoli, zuccini). I also use ice cube trays and transfer to zip lock bages to make things easier to store. I also prep finger foods this way – chopped veggies mostly – frozen into ice cube blocks and then thawed as needed. We still use the jarred stuff for distance travel since you don’t need to refrigerate it. I really don’t want to have a picky kid and so far our daughter has been pretty open about trying the new things we give her.

    [Kaz: Very early on, our daughter would try anything. Now, somedays she'll try, other days we have to persuade her to try something new, and other (rare) days, we need to fight with her to eat something we know she likes.]

  5. Tessa says:

    Serendipity!

    I was at a postnatal thingie this week and the topic was food. A lady showed us a funny thing that looked a little like a pacifier, but instead of a nipple there was a mesh bag (how easily we’re replaced!) that you put solids into (which baby thereby chomp on and after a while suck in the nutrients, becomiing their own chomping puree-er).

    Sounds more complicated than it is (a mesh bag on the end of a pacifier) but apparently it’s great for things that can’t be puree-ed, like watermelon, guava, honeydew, etc.), but I hear it works.

    [Kaz: Cool! Thanks for the info. I'll have to see if I can track down a link for this!]

  6. Bob says:

    I made baby food for both of our daughters and had a blast doing so. My wife was in charge of the nursing, so I was in charge of the solids.

    Mostly it was just a matter of cooking/steaming, pureeing then putting it into ice-cube trays for freezing. Sometimes, I’d only need to utilize a food mill in place of the food processor. If I made enough ahead of time (i.e., had enough freezer space), I’d only need to prepare some every two weeks. We’re a fairly crunchy vegetarian family, too, so most everything was organic and simple whole foods. I used the Super Baby Food book as sort of a beginner’s guide, but ultimately I just sort of did everything by trial and error. It was definitely something I got into and miss now that it’s gone.

  7. kat says:

    We used the Super Baby Food book for both boys. We found:
    A) We ate healthier because we were making it for the baby. Four teaspoons of yams for him, 1/2 a cup for each of us.
    B) Our firstborn learned to cook babyfood with us when he was just 20 months old. I’d make the food, let it cool, and he would help run the blender to make food for the baby. He would also help put chopped tofu in with blended fruits to thicken it, and would help add water to potatoes to thin them out.
    C) You can store all the food in ice cube trays you can recycle. Between using only breastmilk and making our own food, we think we saved at least $5,000 that first year.

    [Kaz: money is a powerful motivator! And I certainly know, and Halloween emphasizes it, that I could be eating healthier!]

  8. Amy says:

    We started solids with the Baby – led intro to solids like the first comment suggested. This means that we don’t have to make any food specifically for our baby. She eats the same food as us, the only thing that has changed about my cooking(other than it is now healthier) is that i cut my vegies into sticks rather than diced. Baby is almost 8mo and has tried over 30 different foods. Don’t stress out about starting solids. Most babies are curious and want to explore anyway. If you see meal times as a great time for the baby to learn and explore rather than them “needing” to eat then it’s far less stressful on everyone. As long as your baby is healthy, alert and putting on weight, then just go with the flow.

  9. Matilda says:

    Hi Moms

    I’m doing a piece on what Moms hate most about jarred baby food.

    Tell us what you hate most. Follow this link to post your comment:
    http://www.cafemom.com/group/hatejarredbabyfood

    Or show us what you hate most. Follow this link to upload your video of what you hate about jarred baby food to our You Tube site:

    http://youtube.com/group/hatejarredbabyfood

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