Saturday, February 18, 2012

Homemade Baby Food: Hey It's Easy!

When I had my daughter 4 years ago I couldn't wait to get her started on solid food, there's just something exciting about teaching a baby how to love food and how to eat. Plus, I love the messy face afterwards, it's just too fun not to photograph. Back when I had my daughter it was before the "Make Your Own" craze started. I didn't even really think it was something I could do and so I bought jar after jar of organic baby food (at $.80 to $1.00 per jar! YIKES) and had fun trying all sorts of different foods with her. I did try to make my own once with peas and it did not go well and when I tried to feed the chunky looking goop that came from my attempt she was not having it! So we stuck to the jarred foods and never looked back.

Once I started couponing and actively trying to save money for my family I did a lot of research on homemade baby foods and I was determined to make my own the second time around hoping to never have to shell out that $1.00 per jar again! I asked for a Magic Bullet for Christmas last year and never even pulled it out of the box til recently when Mason started solids, who knew how awesome that little blender is?! I love it! I also bought a little tray of 6 baby food containers that are BPA free and can be used in the microwave & freezer.

So making your own, its SO easy! I mean, seriously, SO SO SO easy... and CHEAP! How did I not do this with my daughter?! So lets make some homemade pea puree.

You'll need a bag of frozen organic peas and a steamer pan (if you don't have one just add a small layer of water into the bottom of a pot and it will work fine.) I found this awesome vintage Revere Ware steamer pot at my local Value Village for only 6 bucks! Check out the Completeds for this pot on Ebay, if I ever want to sell it, I'll be able to turn my $6 into about $25-$40! Always buy copper bottom Revere Ware when you see it for under $10, that stuff is HOT!

 Here's where it gets really tough - fill steamer pot with about 1 inch of water, pour in frozen peas, turn on stove. Whew! I really want the peas to be soft so I steam them about 7 min on high. That makes them so soft that baby can have a little finger food to play and learn with while you are pureeing.

Get those pinchers goin Buddy!
 Once your peas are steamed, its time to puree. One thing I didn't know when I got my Magic Bullet is that the plastic containers are not BPA free, boo! If you want to shell out some bucks you can get the BPA free Baby Bullet they have available (or register for one) and you can puree while your peas are hot. Me, I didn't want to buy another blender so I just wait for my peas to completely cool.

Once they are cool you can add them to your blender. I also add about 1-2 tbsp. of the water from the bottom of the steamer, since it's pea flavored. :) Then blend away. I have found that if you are making an entire bag of peas or other veggies that its easiest to blend in 2-3 batches. Once it's blended and very smooth (you can add a little more water if it's really thick or not pureeing well.) just plop them into your little baby food containers!

These are about the size of a 1st foods jar. 1 bag of peas will fill all 6 containers + a small meal for Mason!

Pop the lids on and stick them in the freezer! I love my little tray because I can just grab a little container, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and serve!

That is one happy, messy face! He LOVES peas!

Here's my cost for 6 baby meals: $1.67!! That's $.27 per jar a whopping $.53+ savings per meal for my little guy! My Fred Meyer has frozen peas, green beans, carrots, and butternut squash. I also have done fresh sweet potatoes, one large potato cost me about $.90 and made 5 meals as well! Now thats Fabule$$ly Frugal if I ever did say! If you grow your own veggies it's an even better rate at free!

Here's another easy recipe: Fresh Avocado, I never knew about this one, it is one of the best first foods for your baby. Its loaded with nutrients and good fats that are good for baby's brain development. And they are even easier to make! Cut open avocado, scoop into a bowl, use a fork and a little bit of water and smoosh and stir. DONE! They don't need to be cooked, easy peasy and tasty too!

There are all kinds of websites out there with recipes for homemade babyfood. I just searched for baby food recipes and got a ton of hits. I can even make my own brown rice cereal and oatmeal with that cool little machine I have. It's so much fun and I feel good about feeding my baby the freshest most nutrient packed food I can! Grow Baby Grow!

What a cute little 7 month old he is!

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