Reason #1 for homemade baby food: Cost.
A jar of organic baby food is about a dollar at best. Sometimes it goes on sale and you can use coupons to bring the cost down to maybe 70 cents per jar. I can instead buy a pound of organic carrots for $0.98 from Walmart (I wish I could afford Earth Fare all the time, but right now money is tight, so off to Wally World we go.). That pound of carrots can make at least 3 jars of baby food, bringing the price down to $0.33 per jar. That's a savings of $0.37 per jar working from the sale/coupon price. If that's all she ate, two jars a day for a week, I've saved $5.18 for the week. When you're working with a budget, those five bucks can be used for a lot of other stuff, like more food to make for the baby.
Reason #2 for homemade baby food: Control of ingredients.
Now, the Earth's Best Organic baby food is pretty good about keeping the baby food pure. It's rare that a jar of that stuff has added preservatives or fillers or anything else but the food. And it's organic. If you feed your baby non-organic food, you are exposing them to the pesticides and herbicides that were used to grow the plants. And non-organic meat, if that's what you feed to your child, transfers those antibiotics, hormones, and all that other nasty junk to your baby. So, if you make your own organic baby food, you know exactly what's going in that precious baby of yours.
Reason #3 for homemade baby food: Make what your baby likes.
Here's another way to control what your baby gets. If you know your baby likes carrots, you can use carrots with a myriad other vegetables in different combinations to introduce new tastes. Carrots and zucchini were a big part of last night's cooking. I know she likes those two veggies a lot, but instead of just mixing them together only (same old, same old), I mixed carrots with potatoes, zucchini with potatoes, carrots with celery, etc.
Reason #4 for homemade baby food: It's easy! Here's how:
All you really need is a pot, stove, and blender. That's what I use. Last night, after chopping up all my veggies, I got a few pots of water boiling, each with a different veggie. Let them come to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft (some veggies take longer than others). Transfer to a blender, puree, and BAM! You're done! So easy. Transfer to jars, label with food and ate, and pop those suckers in the fridge or freezer.
So, each week, that's what I do. Make a batch of homemade baby food for Adelaide. And each night, if we're having some veggies that I know she likes, or maybe hasn't tried yet, I set aside some for her before I add salt and too many spices and puree them up on the spot. That way she eats what we eat, when she can. Don't forget the pasta, couscous, and fruit, either. She eats pretty much whatever we do.
Do you make your own baby food? Any tips or favorite combinations?