Easy Homemade Baby Food
By Virginia Ginsburg
If you have a baby, you have probably noticed that you are constantly heading out to the store to buy more supplies. Whether you're buying diapers, wipes or food, it seems like the tiniest people make us buy more than we ever did before!
Of course, many people enjoy shopping, and even do it for pleasure, but few of those people include grocery shopping in that category. That's why many new parents look for ways to avoid stocking their pantry with those tiny little jars of baby food; opting instead for healthy, affordable and yummy homemade baby food.
The top three reasons to make your own baby food (other than not having to run out to the store again!) are:
1. It is more affordable
A jar of (non-organic) peas, sweet potatoes or carrots will cost at least $0.20 per ounce, while purchasing fresh or frozen organic ingredients and preparing them yourself will cost less than $0.04 per ounce. Also, many of the foods available on the baby food aisle (e.g. applesauce) are exactly the same as those sold on the canned food aisle, but can be twice the price.
2. It is healthier for your baby
Although it is very surprising, some of the most trusted brands of baby food are not as healthy as we would expect them to be. In addition to the natural ingredients shown on their label, manufacturers may add thickening agents such as flours and chemically modified starches. These fillers can reduce the nutrient level of the food by up to 50%.
3. It takes less of a toll on the environment
For every bottle, jar or package of prepared baby food that you buy, you are adding to the Earth's trash burden. Even glass jars, which can be easily recycled, still take fossil-fuel energy to create, sterilize and label. Then there is the cost of transporting the goods to the supermarket. While you may not be able to give up disposable diapers, giving up packaged baby food is a low-stress way to be green.
Whatever your reasons for making your own baby food, it is really easy! In fact, I never even considered buying prepared foods because it just seemed easier to take things that I already had in my freezer, refrigerator and pantry, and convert them into yummy and good-for-you foods that my baby devoured.
Here are three simple (and I mean really, really simple!) baby food recipes. Actually, calling them recipes might be an overstatement, but I'll do it anyway!
1. Smashed peas
Step 1: Take a bag of frozen peas out of the freezer
Step 2: Measure out about 1 cup into a microwaveable bowl
Step 3: Place the bowl in the microwave and cook until defrosted
Step 4: Place the defrosted peas in your blender, add a little bit of water, and blend
Step 5: Feed the peas to your baby; store the extra in the refrigerator or freeze for later
2. Extra Special Cereal
Step 1: Following the directions on the box, make about 1 cup of Cream of Wheat
Step 2: Take a 16 oz tub of sour cream or plain yogurt out of the refrigerator
Step 3: Take 2 4 oz containers of applesauce out of the pantry
Step 4: Mix everything together and feed it to your baby; store the extra in the refrigerator or freeze for later
3. Yummy Yams
Step 1: Clean one yam or sweet potato thoroughly and put it in the microwave to cook
Step 2: Once fully cooked, smash the yam with a fork or put it in the blender
Step 3: Feed the yam to your baby; store the extra in the refrigerator or freeze for later
Virginia Ginsburg writes about sustainable products, green living, and her quest for a socially-conscious lifestyle. She is founder of Green Baby Gifts (http://www.greenbabygiftsonline.com), which offers beautifully-wrapped baby gifts made of bamboo fiber and packaged in completely recycled and recyclable packaging.