Making Homemade Baby Food

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by on May 12, 2009

Although I did write a post a while back on this topic, I thought that I should revisit it and give a little more information on why I do it and how easy it is to make your own baby food. Not only does it save me money, but I also have the joy of knowing where my baby’s food is coming from.

I did not make baby food with my first son, because I did not realize how easy it was, but sure wish that I did. I hope you find this information useful and may inspire you to try to make some of your own baby food.

How does it save Money?

On average, baby food jars cost between $.50-$.80 (the bigger the jar, the bigger the cost) each. Depending on the age of your child, he or she may eat 3-6 jars a day-

Average Cost of Jars of Baby Food:
$45-$90/month for smaller jars or
$72-$144/month for larger jars
That is a lot of money, especially when my grocery store budget for the whole family is only $250/month. Yet, if I make baby food out of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season (and usually on sale), or better yet, from my own garden (eventually), I save significantly.

Bananas are a great example, a 4oz jar (1 serving) may cost $.65, but at Fry’s this week, bananas were on sale for $.59 lb.

2 lbs of bananas = $1.18
1 banana per serving (10 bananas total)
=$.11 per serving
How easy is it?
It is actually much more simple than I used to think. In this example, I made applesauce, which is a great baby food, plus the rest of the family enjoys it, too. I pick up apples when they are on sale (I won’t pay over $1 lb). Here’s what I did with 3 lbs of apples:
1) Wash, peel, and core apples.
2) Cut the apples into approximately 1 inch slices and put them into a microwave-safe glass dish.
*Optional= add 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon for flavor
3) Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 10 minutes.
4) Let cool at least 5 minutes before uncovering. (they are done when you can easily pierce them with a fork)
5) Place apples and juice in blender or food processor and puree. Make sure you keep the juices from the apples in the processor to retain all the nutrients from the food.

NOTE: Although you can use any blender or food processor that works for you, I highly recommend the Magic Bullet for processing. I know those infomericals are really a joke- but I have to tell you that I was so impressed with how pureed foods get! We have a food processor that is way too loud and scares the kids, plus it doesn’t get some foods pureed fine enough.
I recently got the magic bullet because of all the reviews I read, AND, because I was able to order it FREE with my amazon gift cards from Swagbucks. I’m so glad I got it!

6) If you want to freeze the baby food for future use, just scoop it into ice cube trays and freeze. Then place in an air tight container once the cubes have formed. (To reheat frozen food cubes, I usually heat each cube for 30-60 seconds on 50% power.)

(These cubes are a bit messy- but my 3 yr old helped me scoop them in today)

The nice part about it is that I can have a stocked freezer with different kinds of baby food, so I have a variety to choose from. I have also tried different types of foods, that I wouldn’t have tried before since they aren’t found in jars (like broccoli and avocado).

Do you make your own baby food? What works for you and what doesn’t?

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  • Tiffany

    I made food for my son when he was a baby out of a total need. Jarred food was fine if we weren’t going to be home but when we were I couldn’t afford all those jars a day. My son’s favorite that I made was sweet potatoes. I don’t eat them but one potato is really cheap and makes enough to feed baby for at least 5 servings. I also used the ice cube tray to freeze them.

  • Mommyof2girlz

    I loved making M here baby food when she was younger. I think it made her a better eater today, unlike her older sis.

    Congrats! I am passing on to you the One Lovely Blog Award. Stop by my blog and pick up your award :)

  • Jackie

    I loved making my own. So much easier and I knew exactly what was in there. I didn’t do it with my older kids and my younger ones seemed to love the foods more than the older ones loved jarred baby food.

    This was one of my favorite resources ~ http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

  • Harper

    My baby is only just starting on baby food this week, so we only have one food: avocado. I mushed up two avocados and spooned it into ice cube trays (after adding a little lime juice to prevent decoloration). I sweeten it a little when I thaw it out to make it more palatable to my boy.

  • Kristi_runwatch

    I’m a big fan of homemade! It’s SO easy – people never believe me when I tell them that it’s ridiculously simple. :)

    I wrote about how I did it here: http://runwatchplaywait.blogspot.com/2008/07/baby-food-101.html

    Harper – I don’t know if you’ll see this, but my kids LOVED avocado. I liked to mix it with a little banana, pear, or applesauce and they would have eaten it until they popped, I think! :)

  • Multi-tasking Mommy

    I love making my own baby food. You know exactly what is going into it and there is something satisfying about feeding your baby something you made rather than store bought.

    I do, however think that some foods are cheaper to do and some aren’t.

    I did the calculations that squash and sweet potatoes actually turned out almost equal in price!

  • Jenny

    interesting…

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  • Charli

    I make my son’s baby food too! He’s always been a big eater and finishes 6-8 jars of baby food everyday (depending on size). I’ve found the cheapest have been the carrots, which I can buy for less than $0.60/lb. I also make apples, sweet potatoes, sweet peas, bananas, pears, mangoes, chicken-vegetable, beef-vegetable, and melon. I make large batches at a time and freeze… $10 in the produce section can usually net me the equivalent of $80 in baby food! Plus, maybe I’m not “watering it down enough”, but my son finds the homemade food way more filling than store-bought baby food.

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