Healthy Baby Food on a Budget!

You know those adorable little glass jars of Gerber baby food?  Or the squeezie things that are so popular now?  Okay, I’ve never gotten into the squeezie things–my kids are proof because any attempt to give them one results in a giant mess.  But, though they be convenient, they are not economical.  Today I’m going to share with you the things I do to feed my babies on a budget.

My philosophy for feeding kids stems from my opinion that it is easy, but gets progressively harder the older they get.  Breastfeeding a small baby?  0 out of 10 on the complexity scale.  Nothing to do but whip your shirt up.  Sometimes the other things that you may have to do while feeding your baby complicate matters, particularly if you have other kids, but that’s not what we’re talking about today.  Around 6-7 months old Sweet Baby starts wanting to eat more people-food and graduates to a 2 or 3 on the complexity scale.  Incidentally, that is exactly where Eva is right now.

Here is a comprehensive and exhaustive  list of what you need to make your baby food at home.

A food processor.

That’s it.  Don’t have a food processor?  A good blender will probably do the trick.  Don’t have a blender?  There’s this really novel invention called a fork.  It’s revolutionizing the baby food-mashing business 😉  The main idea is that you need to be able to get the food mashed to at least an applesauce like texture.

Okay, so here we go.

Unsweetened applesauce is my favorite food staple to have on hand for a baby.  No prep needed.

The other things I like to buy are bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green beans, apples, green peas, pears, and peaches.  I buy those things either canned or fresh, depending on what is in the store and on sale.  I took pictures of the process I went through with canned peas to make Eva’s food just a couple days ago, just to share.

Basically, I started with one can of peas.  I was not happy to see that this can of peas had sugar in it–somehow I forgot to check the ingredients list, and dared to assume that canned peas would be plain, canned peas.  Never again.  Anyways, I poured most of the liquid off, and dumped the majority of the can into the food processor.

If you have a larger food processor, you’ll be able to complete this step in one go, but I had to divvy my peas up into two portions.

Whiz it up for about a minute, or until it reaches the texture that is appropriate for your child.

Add a little salt if it’s really and truly awful, stir it up and split it into small portions.  I have a few small tupperwares that I use, as well as a few of the gerber jars. 

One can of peas made enough pureed peas for Eva to eat peas at least 10 times.  I probably actually need to freeze some of these and save for later.

That is it.  See how easy it is?  I repeat that process with anything I want to feed her.  When she gets a little bit bigger (read: has any teeth) I’ll start using more of what we’re eating at each meal.

I also have several of these nifty little devices.  You can find them on Amazon here.

munchkinIf you have a teething child in your life, you should just go get one right now.  It’s a mesh feeder that allows a teething child to snack on fresh fruit without your constant worrying that she will manage to gnaw off a choking hazard.  Eva loves this!  I put peeled slices of cold apple, pear, carrot, or celery into it, and she uses it as a dual teether/snack. (I was not paid by anybody to say this–it is just an awesome product)

That’s how I do it, you guys.  It is so much more economical to just buy normal food and do the processing yourself.  Plus, you can be certain of what is in it.  (At least, if you remember to stop the crazy shopping-with-three-kids train long enough to read the label on the can).  And that’s baby food on a budget!

What are your favorite ways to feed your babies on a budget?