Even before Adam was born I was pondering what to feed him. I swore I was going to breast feed but that didn’t work out. I also swore I was going to make my own food – that I am happy to say is working out wonderfully.
I’m not a nutritionist, or an expert in the field. If you look at my caboose you’ll come to the correct conclusions that I don’t often think about what I put in my mouth. This is something I have to change because I have to lead by example for Adam. I have spent a little bit of time researching things. I went to the experts, my family doctor, my Mom and my Grandmom. It also helps that I have a relative who is a midwife. I’ve come up with a plan that has personally surprised me and is working very well for us.
We are on a 3 day feeding schedule. Adam gets the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 3 days in a row. This allows us to watch for allergic reactions and it allows us to easily rule out what if anything caused issues. This did come in handy because Adam actually developed hives and a rash after eating carrots. We knew exactly what caused it, stopped feeding it to him. Had a solid food free day and then picked up on the next food. The rash cleared up and all was well. We’ll bring it up at the next doctors appointment and we’ll try reintroducing it in a few weeks.
We’ve also started on all the “gross” veggies. We’re focusing on things like carrots, peas, beans etc before we start introducing the sweet flavoured foods. Advice that I was given and I agree with is if you start with a banana or sweet food than baby is going to expect all the food to be sweet like that and you might have a harder time introducing the other veggies.
I started to make baby food a week before we introduced it. My Mom had purchased a stick blender similar to this last year for a recipe and only used it once so I don’t think she missed it when I took it out of her pantry to “store” it at my house for her.
I cook the food either by boiling or steaming it depending on the food. The apple puree I made I didn’t have to do anything with the food.
The stick blender came with a blending/storage cup and that is all I have been using for preparation. There are things out on the market like the Baby Bullet, which to be honest caught my attention when I first saw it. However when I thought about how much money it is – $99.95 + shipping and handling, it didn’t make sense to drop money on it. The stick blender does the same thing and it cost about $25. I know the Baby Bullet has a smiley face on it but pull out a marker and draw a happy face on your blender. The Baby Bullet also has storage containers that come with it. It’s convenient for freezing and storage. I have a cheap solution for that too.
Ice Cube Trays! I purchased 6 at the dollar store for a grand total of $3.75 plus tax. Here I’ve already puree Peas and am prepping them to go into the freezer. Once they have hardened I empty the ice-cube trays into a labeled freezer bag and they are ready when you are ready to feed the baby. Right now a serving consists of two cubes which with these trays are about 8 teaspoons give or take a little bit. The quantity the baby is eating is not as important as the discovery and enjoyment of learning about new foods, flavours and textures.
Cooking the food is really easy too. You pull however many cubes you need and put them in the microwave for 15 seconds a cube. It doesn’t take long so if baby is fussy you can have food going into their mouth quickly.
The one thing that blew me away was the difference between home-made food and jarred food. I did buy a few to see what they were like and it’s not a bad thing to have on hand incase ou don’t have time to make food or there is an emergency. I tasted all the food as I made it. Carrots tasted like carrots, peas tasted like peas, green beans tasted like green beans and potatoes tasted a little starchy however all the home-made stuff ended up being things that I would personally eat. The first jar of food I opened was green beans. The photo to the left is my home-made green beans next to the jarred baby food green beans. I’ll tell you right now they tasted as good as they look. That says a lot. It was disgusting actually, it tasted bitter and nothing like green beans. The difference in colour between the fresh and the jarred things really made me think not only about feeding Adam but what I also put into my mouth. Both type of food only have 2 ingredients – green beans and water.
The last thing that didn’t really surprise me but is good to know is the cost of making baby food. A jar of baby food costs 50 cents here. Right now we get 3 servings of food out of a jar so it works out to about 17 cents per meal. All the food is the same price unless you get organic food which costs more. To compare I bought a 1kg bag of frozen peas for $2.49. I steamed the entire bag and puree it all. I ended up with 30.5 servings out of that bag. That works out to 8 cents per feeding. That is over a 50% difference in price and the quality difference is apparent by the photo.
This is working really well for us and Adam is enjoying food more than I could imagine. It’s been so easy and a seamless transition. Introducing solids shouldn’t be this much fun!