For six weeks now, I’ve been making baby food at home for my 10 month old. I love it and I hate it all together. The process can be very overwhelming at times. It is also very rewarding. Here are my thoughts:
- Preparing the food makes a huge mess in my kitchen. Depending on how many fruits or vegetables I’m making, I use: one pot for steaming, a cutting board, bowls, knives, spoons and forks. And if you are introducing a new food, you have to keep the new food separate from everything else. So, all new cooking items are needed or everything needs to be clean in case of an allergy. Plus, transferring the food from the food processor to the small storage container is messy, so the countertops gets trashed. My hands are always sticky. I hate cleaning up afterwards which usually means that I have to empty the dishwasher. Ugh.
- I’m starting to hate the Baby Bullet. I loved it at first. I think I have been using it too much and overloading it, so it takes longer to puree the food. I have moved on to our KitchenAide blender. It’s much faster.
- Talking about speed, the whole process takes longer then you think. I can spend a whole afternoon making food. Some foods take over 30 minutes just to cook. Then it has to cool. Not to mention the time it takes to peel and cut up the food and to get it into the steamer.
- If I procrastinate, the produce I buy every week can spoil. I just pulled out some squishy peaches from the fridge. Fail.
- Meal planning for the little guy. I usually grab whatever produce I see and I know he likes and can eat. But I don’t feel like I’m planning his meals well enough for his benefit.
- THE PRICE! I’ve been doing the math and it can be down to the ¼ of the cost of store bought baby food. You can’t beat that, especially for a penny pincher like myself.
- I know exactly what my guy is eating. I know he’s not getting anything extra (like bug parts to the amount that the FDA allows). It is the healthiest for him.
- Aside from the above, I really like cooking, being in the kitchen and the opportunity to be creative (example: using old margarine containers to store food).
- The sense of accomplishment and feeling good that I’m doing the best for my baby… blah, blah, blah.
- I love my son and will do anything for him!
These are the thoughts that are going through my head as I cut and peel carrots for my little guy. My husband has come home to me hunched over the counter, swearing at the food processor. But then he’s seen me show off the stash of baby food in the freezer!
Here are a couple of tips to make the process go a little faster and might keep you sane:
- Plan to make baby food before or after meal times. You don’t want to be in the middle of cooking dinner and baby food, especially if your spouse is in the kitchen. It gets too crowded and messy. I like to do it on Sunday afternoons.
- Steam all of the fruits and veggies the night before. Put them in plastic bags and store in the fridge over night. Puree and collect in small storage containers the next day. That way you are making half the mess one day, half the mess the next day.
- Buy organic, frozen fruits and veggies. If you procrastinate like I do, you won’t have food spoiling. Always check the ingredients before you buy, especially for bug parts.
- Make sure you steam the food thoroughly. If it isn’t cooked all the way, it’s harder to puree. Then you end up hunched over your counter cursing. You can puree with a food processor, blender or any of the "baby food processors."
- Always have extra small storage containers ready. You will make more than you think. I’ve gotten eight 2 oz servings from one sweet potato. I’ve been caught with half my body inside the Tupperware cabinet searching for containers. Baby Bullet comes with cute 2oz containers. You can find some at all the big baby stores. I’ve saved the store bought baby food containers and reused them. Gladware makes smaller containers, too.
- Always consult your doctor if you have questions about what to feed your baby. My doctor has the best advice!
All in all, I will keep on making food for my baby. It’s become part of our weekly routine. For the most part, I enjoy it. Although, I buy some store bought baby food in case I get lazy or there is a zombie apocalypse.