Thursday, August 9, 2012
Gourmet Baby Food - The Best money saver you will be glad you tried
Pictures via Pinterest
When I became a mom for the first time 4 years ago, I was amazed at how expensive it was to start out with your first kid. I am sure you all relate to that. Food and formula expecially. I was determined to save money. Since I was only able to nurse a couple of months, I had to spend the rest of that first year buying formula. EXPENSIVE. Even using the generic brands. So I told myself I would make my own baby food. Why not? Its so easy and I can make a little here and there, and even eventually when age allowed, puree whatever it was we had for dinner that night. So wonderful. Now on baby number 3, I have gotten even more creative with my own baby food, after reading up on my own research.
Before I start, I am doing this post from a different computer and forgot all about my photos on my computer, so I used what I found from Pinterest. Thanks.
Here are a few things you want to think about when you start your wonderful tasty journey to money saving.
-use fresh, frozen or organic produce. Sprouts has great prices on their produce, Bountiful Baskets is a GREAT way to get a variety of fresh produce for real cheap. Walmart price matches, Target price matches to Albertsons, Walmart and Sprouts, BUT YOU HAVE TO BRING IN THE ADD.
if you decide to use canned food, you will have let nutrients. But it is still just fine to get your baby started, or if you need a quick fix. Make sure your vegitables are unsalted and your fruits are in water NOT Syrup. Rinse the food before processing.
-use Filtered water, or Nursery water that is found in Grocery stores in the baby section to add to your food when pureeing it
-Wait three feedings when introducing new foods so you can see if there are any allergies
-You dont' necessarily have to use bland food. If you are nursing your baby, they are already customed to the flavors through breast milk so go ahead and add a little garlic, or a tad of onion, paprika, butter, or a little salt to flavor the vegis. They will enjoy their greens believe me.
-frozen food will last up to 3 months, so label your food properly. 2-3 days in the fridge.
Tools you will find useful:
Blender, food processor. I have a magic bullet I have had and loved since they day they aired the info-mercial. ITs fast and has a great little cup. They make a "Baby Bullet" version, especially made for making baby food. It comes with storage containers,and freezing trays.
Icecube trays or breast milk storage bags. On average, each icecube is about 1 0z. The first stage of baby food is 2-3 oz. So 3 cubes of food for your beginning baby. The breast milk storage bags are great for freezing and they are ready for labeling. Easy to thaw in a bowl of warm water.
Freezer bags for your seperate foods, beans, peas, carrots, peaches etc...
Now are you ready for some great foods that you probably never realized that your new baby could eat right off the bat?
Avacado...yep. Its easy to make just mash with a fork. It has the good fats the help your baby develope.
Broccoli, Mandarine Oranges, Lentils, LEafy greens like spinach, blueberries and meat etc...
Basic Tips to preparing food:
Prepare food that is washed. Steam in a pot on the stove, a steamer, or microwave. Use filtered water. Pour food in a large bowl once cooked, to cool before blending. For first beginner foods, especially, make sure it is blended completely. Food should have the consistancy of apple sauce. Not too thick, but not too thin. Blend completely adding filtered water as needed. Pour food into icecube trays or breast mild storage bags to freeze. after they are mostly frozen, then transfer them to a freezer bag that is labeled clearly with the date. Food will last 2-3 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Make sure all the air is out of the bag each time you open it.
you have your basics for first foods. Remember don't combine foods til you know they are not allergic. Then "cocktail" it up.
Mixed vegis. beans, corn, peas, carrots and sweet potatoes, 1 tsp butter, pinch of garlic powder, water. blend.
Sweet Potatoes and Pears and water
Mashed red potatoes, corn, beans, a little butter, pinch of garlic, rosemary water.
Sweet Potatoes, Spinach and Chicken, a little butter, water blend
Dried Prunes, water
Blueberries, bananas, rolled oats (cooked)
Apples and Carrots. (cookd the apples if boiling water) water
mandarine oranges. These are really runny so they are great to add in cereals like a juice
salmon, green beans and rice (cooked), water, garlic, butter
pasta and meatballs with a little marinara sauce, water
Rice cereal: Cooked rice mixed with formual, blend really well
Yogurt Bites: Your favorite flavourd yogurt, put into sandwich baggie, cut a corner at the tip, then pour little dabbles the size of a dime on a tray. Freeze. Put into baggies. These are great little snacks for at home and cheaper than buying the yogurt bites at the store.
if you need more food ideas, walk the baby food section and write down what the store brands are doing. once allergies are determined then prepare food as you want. the more flavours and varieties they are exposed to garaunteed the better eater your toddler will be. Start good eating habits now. YOu won't regret it. PUree the dinner you had at the restaurant! PUree anything you would eat, Leaving out Honey, Corn Syrup (botulism issues) and dairy products til your Dr recommends its ok.
Enjoy your new venture. I still can't believe how expensive it can be if you constantly bought baby food. This is a great healter, easier, more cost effective way to make your baby happy.