Before I had my daughter, I swore up and down that I would have a normal delivery, breastfeed exclusively, only do cloth diapers, wash all her clothes in Dreft detergent all the time, and only make her food myself. These were all things I thought I could control no matter what happened. I learned very quickly, kids always do things on their own terms, no matter how old they are!
Long stories short, I had to have an unplanned C-section, she had to go on formula 3 days after birth, cloth diapers lasted until our move, and her clothes get washed in the same detergent ours do. Reality hit home fast that I was not in control and never really would be. The one thing I was able to hold out on was making her food myself. I will admit that when the pediatrician said we could start her on solids, she did have Gerber pre-made food for about a month. She was taking in small portions, about 2oz at a time, and we were trying to figure out what she liked and didn’t like in addition to the stress of moving.
After everything calmed down, I was able to purchase the items to start making her baby food at home. Once you get in the practice of making your own baby food, it is easy to translate into snacks and foods as they grow. Instead of buying pre-made pouches for on the go snacks when they are in kindergarten, you can customize flavors for them so they are the envy at the lunch table. But that is far into the future for us.
The pouches I made today are apple only, however I have done apple with pear, berries, sweet potato, the possibilities are endless. You can use this system for fruits, vegetables, meats, pastas etc. Based on what you prepare will dictate price per ounce. Thepennyhoarder.com outlines the costs of making your baby food at home very well on their site. This saved me the headache of finding out per ounce information.
I didn’t start making her baby food for the price as much as I did for the content. As I looked at foods on the shelf, I noticed a lot of things had a shelf life of 2 years! To me, that was a little scary. The nutritional value is different as well. For example, Gerber Second Foods – Apple (for unsupported sitters) has 60 calories, 5mg of sodium, 14g carbs, 12g sugar in each serving which is one 4 oz container. Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce is only 52 calories, 0mg of sodium, 12g carbs, and 6g sugar per 4 oz serving. It may not seem like much but when you think of how much of it they are eating overall, it promotes good eating habits.
Making baby food really is easy once you have your set up. You cook the foods, puree (or leave chunky depending on how old your tot is) and put in the pouches, ice cube trays, baggies, however you chose to store it. For her eating stage right now, I use pouches.
I use the Infantino system as it was a relatively inexpensive investment to start with, has the attachable spoons, and not really infant specific. Infantino Squeeze Station cost $20 on Amazon, Target, and Toys R Us. The 50 count 4 oz pouches cost $15-$20. The spoons you attach cost about $3.99 for a two pack with a handy holder to keep them together in the diaper bag.
I decided to get a little food processor instead of getting the infant blenders out there because it is a multi-tool in the kitchen. Nuts, spices, salsas, etc, not just baby specific. I have a Ninja blender I love and decided to stick with them. The Ninja Express Chop Food Chopper costs $20-$35 depending on retailer.
Last night, I peeled and cored my apples, diced them into half in chunks and set them to simmer on the stove in just enough water to cover the apples.
I checked them with a fork, when the tines slide in easily, remove from heat and leave to cool. I put them in a Tupperware container and put them in the fridge to finish today.
Place in the puree method of your choice and blend.
Once pureed to your liking, spoon into the cylinders.
Spoon into the cylinders. Be careful not go above the top notch, don’t go to the purple lip. This will cause your pouch to over flow.
Depress contents in cylinder until it fills pouch and after sliding out, put the lid on it. Be sure to label with date made and contents.
I got 11 pouches with 9 apples.
I strongly recommend working with cooled foods. This is why I put mine in the fridge overnight until I packaged it. If you have to work with hot or warm foods, be sure to put the pouches in the fridge over night to cool them down before putting the freezer. This will reduce the ice crystals and freezer burn making them taste fresh.
Here is my stash. I have quite a few flavors stocked up. I like to go to Costco to get produce and spend one of her nap times making the pouches, that way I’m not making them all the time and have a variety to chose from.
To use, just pull out the day before and put it in the fridge. I pull out 2 new ones for the next day when I get her settled for dinner at night. If you prefer ice cube trays, I recommend getting a food saver system (it is a great money saver for any and all food) as a way to keep them fresh also. The system came with a handy magnet to put on the fridge for when to eat reference.
A lot of this stuff is a no brainer, but I wanted to be sure to include everything from start to finish.
I’m always looking for new food combinations, what kind have you tried? Please leave a comment for combos! Be sure to follow my site so you can stay caught up.
**I am not sponsored by any of these products. Everything used was purchased by me**