Day in and day out your baby is slurping back prepackaged, store bought baby food. Your thinking it’s no big deal because it quick, easy and cheap. And the thought of making your own seems like more work than it’s worth.
Well, I’m here to politely inform you, it’s most definitely worth the while.
It really isn’t much work to prepare your own baby food, it’s not very time consuming, and your saving your baby from any potential fillers and preservatives (all the bad stuff!). That in itself makes it worth it!
Plus the money that you’ll be saving puts the cherry on top! Baby food in the store averages about $1 a jar. That’s about $1 per meal. If your feeding your baby three meals a day, that’s upwards of $3 a day.
I’ve visited my local grocery store and determined the prices per 2 oz serving of each of the following produce: apples are $0.16, sweet potatoes are $0.07, bananas are $0.07, pears are $0.26, avocados are $0.10, and yellow squash are $0.12.
The savings are obvious, $3 a day vs. about $0.40 a day. That’s savings of about $78 a month! Over the course of a few months, that’s hundreds of dollars!
When I make my daughters baby food, I can literally make weeks’ worth of food in about 15 minutes. Crazy, right!? I’m going to walk you through how I got started making my own baby food, and what I would consider “all you need to know”.
I just want to start off saying I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, this is just what I have done with my baby. Every baby is different and you should discuss it with your doctor first before jumping in.
When can I start feeding my baby?
This is something I brought up with my doctor, and I also did a ton of reading online (which I recommend you do too), and what I found is everyone has their own opinion. Even from doctor to doctor I found they each recommended something different.
My doctor said that we could start around 4-5 months, but I have read a lot that says starting at 6 months is recommended. My husband and I were excited to start feeding our daughter, and felt she was ready, so we started just after 4 months.
What I would recommend to you is make sure you are comfortable with it first, if you don’t feel ready or don’t think your child is ready, then just wait. There’s no harm in waiting.
What do you need to get started?
When you decide you’re ready, you’re going to need a highchair. If you don’t already have one, we got our Summer Infant Bentwood high chair and absolutely love it. It folds for easy storage and adjusts to different heights and the back actually adjusts to different angles too. It comes with a small tray and a large tray with two layers for easy clean up (very handy!).
I would highly recommend putting your baby in a highchair, they need to be able to sit up, and they make a heck of a mess so prepare yourself!
The next thing you’re going to need is a blender. The first foods your baby eats will be purees, and you want a really good blender that isn’t going to leave chunks that your baby could choke on. We bought the Baby Bullet and really like it. It blends food to a super creamy puree in about 10 seconds! It’s worth every penny!
And when you buy the baby bullet you also get 12 food storage containers and a guide to feeding your baby. This guide is sooo handy! This is what I base everything off of, it gives you piece of mind when feeding your baby, and gives recipes! It’s a really great buy!
A few other things you may want:
Soft tip spoons (I have a few different brands, but my husband and I really like the Boon spoons), some bibs, a veggie steamer and pot for the stovetop.
Now that you’re all set up, there are a few things you need to know: foods not recommended for the first year, and signs your baby is having an allergic reaction.
Like I said before, I’m not a doctor, but I’m literally reading straight out of the baby bullet guide. None of the following foods should be consumed by your child in the first year without consulting a doctor first.
No-No’s for the first year:
- Milk (of any kind)
- Tree nuts
- Shell fish
Again, those foods are NOT recommended in the first year of your child’s life.
The baby bullet guide also lists foods that could be possible allergens. It doesn’t say not to feed your baby these foods, but just be aware and pay attention if you see anything out of the norm (another good reason I love my baby bullet!).
Speaking of out of the norm, the baby bullet guide lists signs of an allergic reaction. Because I feel like these are important things to know, I’ve listed a few below
Signs of an allergic reaction:
- Difficulty breathing
- Face/lip/eye swelling
Sometimes it’s hard to tell with babies if they are having a reaction or not. I would say if your baby is extremely fussy after eating a certain food, their belly could be bothering them. And also watch how often they’re pooping, my daughter got really constipated on pears so we don’t feed her them as often.
Introduce one food at a time
It’s important to note that you should feed your baby the same food for 4-7 days, that will be long enough to tell if she’s going to have a reaction. If you don’t, it’s going to be pretty tough to tell what is causing it.
Now you’re ready to start makin’ food!
In the baby bullet guide they give you a list of foods to start off with (another reason I would recommend it!). Depending on which food you chose will depend on how to prepare it.
For example, with an apple you have to peel and core it first, then steam it until soft and toss it in the baby bullet until its smooth. For softer food like a banana, you don’t need to steam it, just blend it up! It’s so easy!
If it’s too thick when blended, add some water (a little at a time!). When your baby first starts eating food, you want it to be very runny so most foods will need water (or breastmilk/formula) added. As your baby gets older, you can add less and less water.
And that’s pretty much it! Easy, right!? Now if you cut up a few apples, steamed them, blended them, and put them in the freezer, you just made a few weeks’ worth or food! I like to get more than one food on the stove at a time, then your way ahead of the game.
Baby food in a freezer safe container is good in the freezer for up to 3 months. That means you could be three months ahead!
What time of day do you feed your baby?
We fed our daughter her first meal in the evening. You can start with breakfast or lunch too, it’s up to you. Our thoughts were if we feed her in the evening, she would likely stay fuller throughout the night and hopefully stay sleeping!
I am still breastfeeding my daughter, so after each meal at the table, I would feed her some milk. This keeps your milk supply in check, and makes sure your baby is still getting all her nutrients from you (because she’s not getting them all from a banana).
You could also choose to feed her breastmilk/formula before you sit her in her highchair; again, it’s up to you.
Make sure you have your camera ready
They will make some pretty funny faces! I thought it was so fun to see our daughter’s personality come through when she decided what she loved (apple and butternut squash are her faves!) and what she couldn’t stand (peas and avocado!).
I hope you enjoy feeding your baby and are happy knowing it’s all fresh and made with love 🙂 Happy feeding!!
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