I wasn’t the “award winning” mom when I had my first. She was a “surprise”. One we of course took really well – but we weren’t necessarily ready for her yet. After I went back to work from my first, I was working crazy long hours, and it was considered an early night when I got home at 10:30pm. The little time I got to spend with her was quality time I didn’t want to spend doing household chores or standing in the kitchen. So when it came time to start Samantha on solids, it was naturally easier for me to order the “Earth’s Best Organic “ little bottles online. After all, jarred baby food is a million if not billion dollar industry, and I had absolutely no guilt about giving it to her.
Fast forward 2 and a half years, and my son, Tyler turned 5 months yesterday. I’m once again faced with the jarred food or make your own food dilemma. Since then, I have dramatically cut back on my hours (getting home now around 7:30, 8pm); and hired help. I have a live-in nanny 5 days a week – we love her because she keeps me sane and keeps my head from exploding. But these days money has definitely been a little bit tighter – so I started google-ing about making your own baby food.
Turns out it’s actually not as scary and daunting as it may seem. Most articles when you read about it talks about how you should make a huge batch and then “freeze” it so you don’t have to worry about making it daily. I love my freezer, but have always been afraid of freezer burns, it not being fresh enough, and have some ill feelings about “leftovers”, so I wasn’t too keen on doing the freezing it thing. But turns out making “fresh baby food” really isn’t that hard, nor does it take THAT much longer then you think it would.
A few things I love about making my own baby food is:
– I know exactly what my child is eating. No preservatives, no chemicals, no nonsense. Comparing a jar of fresh cooked peas to a bottle of jarred peas, the color of the freshly cooked peas was much more vibrant and actually smelled like peas.
– More varieties. I can actually buy fruits and vegetables that are in season – and pick out the best produce for my child. I also expose him to more flavors – such as a touch of garlic or onion in his prepared veggies.
– Much Cheaper. My baby is too young to be exposed to chemicals and pesticides – so I do end up buying only Organic stuff for him – but even the freshly bought organic stuff is cheaper than the prepackaged jarred food. Plus having all the extra veggies in my fridge forces the rest of the family to actually eat the food.
A few things I don’t like about making my own baby food is:
– Time – it does take longer to make. There will be nothing faster than opening your cabinet and taking out a bottle of jarred baby food.
– Convenience – Ultimately, it’s not as convenient. I can’t pop a few jars of baby food in my diaper bag the way I have in the past and forget about it because the stuff I make can actually spoil if it’s not eaten in 1-2 days.
– More varieties – Since we’re still doing the 3 day rule (where you expose your child to only one kind of food for 3 days at a time), we have to have A LOT of varieties for him; so he can experience tons of different flavors. In the dead of winter (like NOW), this can sometimes feel frustrating. Pediatricians tell you to feed your kid the “rainbow” in veggies – but how do we do so sometimes when these rainbows are not really in season?
End result. I’m going to be doing the best I can with making freshly cooked food everyday – but still keep the jarred stuff handy on those days/nights when I really don’t feel like standing in front of the stove.