Making your own baby food is a lot easier than you might think. It’s also a way to save on the grocery bill and control what’s in the food for some families. My sister — Michelle Whiteman — has first hand experience with making her own meals for her kids. She says it’s something every parent should try.
Michelle lives with her husband and my nephew Aiden and niece Haleigh in Riverview, Florida. I spoke to her through Facetime to talk about her experience with making her own baby food.
“To me it was almost a difference between going out to eat and cooking at home. When your child is that young, you’ll know exactly what’s in it,” Whiteman says. “No preservatives or additives, it gives me peace of mind knowing that you’re giving the best you can to your babies.”
Renee Waggoner is a dietician at Lourdes Hospital. She says it’s a great option if you have the time.
“If you have other children and everyone’s hungry and life is crazy, it might be a little harder,” Waggoner tells us.
She recommends starting with greens. Use vegetables first for about six months. Waggoner says to make sure it’s really smooth and don’t add any butter, salt or sugar.
My sister says freezing food always comes in handy. You’ll have less meal prep time during the week.
“One day a week, I would make all the food at once, freeze them in ice cube trays. You can put the different trays into bags and mark when you made them. Just mix the foods later on.”
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
All you need is a food processor. You can find those at any store that carries kitchen appliances. You will also need a way to steam your food. You can find steaming pots and sets just about anywhere. You will also need some good recipes based on heavily on fresh vegetables.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS?
PRO: You know exactly what you are feeding your baby. You are guaranteed there are only fresh fruits and vegetables – not chemicals or sugars.
CON: It takes more time. You’ll spend most of your time cooking, preparing and storing your baby’s food than you would just buying it from the store.
PRO: It’s more economical. You may be washing your dishes more, but you won’t have a collection of glass or plastic containers in your trash.
CON: It’s less convenient. Prepackaged foods are already measured and ready to serve. You won’t have that luxury if you make it yourself.
PRO: Your baby will get used to eating the same kind food that your family does. It’s just in puree form.
CON: Another issue is storage. Prepackaged food can be kept in your pantry. The stuff you make yourself will have to be kept cool or frozen, so you will have to sacrifice some fridge space.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS?
Most pediatricians will tell you homemade baby food has bigger benefits for your child than processed foods you buy at the store. Here are some of those health benefits.