Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Homemade Baby Food - Sweet Potatoes

This morning I am making some baby food for Chloe.  Sweet Potatoes are her favorite right now, with peas a close second. 

How To Make Your Own Baby Food

Normally I will have a lot of produce ready to make and take a couple of hours and make it all at one time.  But, I've been sick and I'm just not all that organized this week.  I just realized this morning that I had some sweet potatoes that I bought Sunday and I don't want to let them sit much longer before I use them. 

Wash & Peel the sweet potatoes
(Now I would love to put those peels in my compost. But I don't have a compost. That's a project for another time.)

Cut the sweet potatoes into pieces, put in a pot, cover with water.
Boil for about 5 minutes.  You don't want to over-cook and lose all the nutrients from the vegetables, just cook them until they are soft enough to puree.

When the potatoes can be easily smooshed (yes, that's the technical term for it), remove pot from heat

Spoon the sweet potatoes into a food processor.  (If you have a really good blender, I've heard that works too. My blender was $20 at Target.  It does not work for baby food). Save the water in the pot.
 Add a few spoonfuls of the water that the sweet potatoes were cooked in to the food processor. 

Blend. Mix. Puree.  Whatever it is that your machine does, do it.  My KitchenAid Food Processor only has 3 options - on, pulse, and off.  Keep mixing until the food is smooth enough for your baby to eat.  As babies get older, you can have a little more texture in the food to get baby used to chewing.  

Ta-Daaaa!  Pure, fresh, nothing added, BABY FOOD.

To Store 
I put some of the food into ice cube trays to freeze, and pop the cubes into a Ziplock Freezer Bag when frozen.  To use, put 2 or 3 cubes in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 30 seconds.  Stir and continue heating just until defrosted - do not feed HOT food to your baby.
I also fill several various to-go containers so that I can grab them on my way out the door.  I save the baby food containers that I do buy (rarely!) just for this reason.  Note: The lids on the little plastic Gerber cups do not seal, so be careful not to just throw them into a bag the way you would if you bought it from the store.  That will be messy.  Not that I've ever done that.  ;)

My favorite: (On the Left) I bought those colorful take-along cups at Babies R Us for just a few dollars, and they DO seal, and are just the right serving size for the baby right now.  I can also use these to put some dry rice cereal in and take with me, and just add water to the cereal when the baby's ready for it. 

Price Comparison
When Chloe first started eating "real" food, I had just started paying attention to the cost of every single thing that I bought.  So I decided to do the math on how much baby food costs compared to fresh fruit & veggies. 

The least expensive baby food in our Vons was Gerber. 
Gerber 1st Foods - Package of 2 - 2.5 oz  for $0.90
$0.18 per oz = $2.88 per pound

Gerber 2nd Foods - Package of 2 - 3.5 oz for $1.00
$0.14 pper oz = $2.24 per pound

Fresh produce - varies, but I always manage to find sales for around $1 per pound, up to $2 per pound.  Peas I get frozen, and I just make sure that I get the kind with "No Salt Added."  When looking at the ingredients, it should only say Peas.  (I made the mistake of buying a big bag once because it was cheaper per ounce, but got it home and realized it had added salt. I did not use that for baby food).

I have only bought one package of baby food in the last month.  I'm saving money, and even though isn't a huge amount, a few cents here & there do add up.

I'm saving a lot of little plastic containers from going to a landfill.

I know exactly where my baby's food is coming from and what is going into it. 

I'm feeding my baby fresh food.  Not processed.  Have you noticed that baby food doesn't expire for a LONG time?  Ew.

I will even eat it.  Well, not for a meal.  But I've never once tried baby food from a jar - it looks and smells disgusting to me.  But the food that I make - that's another story.  It looks yummy.  Bright colors, smells like the vegetables are actually supposed to smell.  And it tastes good.  I figure if I won't eat something that I'm trying to feed my baby, that's a problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment