How to Make Your Own Baby Food and Save a Fortune!


Baby in a highchair, mom in front with a small spoon and a jar of baby food. It looks like something right out of a parenting magazine, and it's a scene that is played out several times a day in the majority of homes with small babies. Unfortunately, it's also a powerful marketing image that can cost a family a great deal of money in the long run.

The Convenience Factor

Most parents would say the main reason for using commercial jarred baby food is the convenience aspect. After all, with the busy lifestyle many of us have today, no one has time to specially prepare a meal for each member of the family. It doesn't have to be a special event to create your own baby food, however. Baby can usually eat what the rest of the family is eating with very little special preparation.

Good Nutrition

Everyone worries about proper nutrition for growing babies. Iron, calcium, and vitamin D - all of these things are legitimate concerns in children's nutrition. However, fortified and processed foods aren't necessarily better than whole foods. Homemade baby food, created from fresh ingredients, offers your child superior nutrition as well as encourages a taste for simple, unprocessed foods - a taste that will possibly prevent obesity-related problems later in life. It's not necessary to offer commercial baby foods in order to have a healthy child.

Economics

Why pay more for an inferior product? Beginning baby food often runs between forty and seventy cents for two ounces. It's entirely possible to purchase half a pound of produce for the same amount, and baby will reap the benefits of eating fresh, nutritious food. Buying produce in bulk can result in even more savings, and even frozen produce is preferable to what you find in the jars.

Getting Started

It's important to know when baby is actually ready for solids. Introducing solids too early can lead to an increased likelihood of food intolerances and food allergies. Most medical associations agree that starting solids around six months of age is ideal, and many people find delaying solids for allergy-prone babies is even better. Signs of readiness for solids include:

  • Increased nursing for more than a few days, which is unrelated to illness or teething, or, if baby is fed artificial baby milk, consuming more than 32 ounces daily.

  • Ability to sit up unsupported.

  • Absence of the tongue-thrust reflex. This life-saving reflex causes babies to push foreign objects (in this case, solid foods) out of their mouths to avoid choking.

  • Ability to pick foods up and place in mouth independently (or development of the pincer grasp).

What About Allergies?

Experts recommend introducing new foods between three days and a week apart. This helps parents and caregivers identify signs of a food allergy or intolerance. Common signs of food allergy/intolerance are:

  • Increased bloating and gassiness, painful discomfort.

  • Sandpaper-like raised rash on face, often where the offending food made contact with skin.

  • Runny nose and watery eyes.

  • Diarrhea or mucous in the stools. Blood in the stool can also be an indicator of a food allergy, usually dairy or soy.

  • Red rash around anus, or an unusual diaper rash.

  • Vomiting or increased spit up with discomfort.

Ideally, it is best to introduce foods that are less likely to produce an allergic reaction in baby. Avoiding foods such as egg whites, certain nuts such as peanuts, cow's milk, corn, wheat, and some berries such as strawberries is recommended, as they are more likely to cause reactions. Instead, start with foods that are easier on baby's system. Some good ideas include:

  • Apples

  • Bananas

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Carrots

  • Squash

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Asparagus

  • Oats

  • Barley

  • Brown rice

Tools of the Trade

Fancy equipment isn't necessary to make healthy food for your baby. Things that might be helpful include a blender, a food mill, a steamer basket and ice cube trays if you want to freeze small portions. Most people have blenders already in their kitchens, and a food mill (or baby grinder) isn't necessary if you have a good blender or food processor. Steamer baskets can be found in most grocery stores for only a few dollars, and fit easily into saucepans. Many beginner foods require nothing more than a small pan and a fork.

Sequencing

Many doctors recommend starting your baby on rice cereal first. Many parents find, however, that fruits go over better for beginning eaters. It is a myth that babies will prefer sweet things if they are given fruits first - nature's first food, breast milk, is naturally sweet, and that is what baby is accustomed to. Banana is a wonderful first food, as its creamy consistency is similar to mother's milk. After introducing banana, try another fruit or vegetable. Continue adding fruits and vegetables until baby has a wide variety of tastes. Then consider adding whole grains in the form of cereal. Many whole grains have naturally occurring iron, so there is no need to supplement baby's iron unless there is a medical indication for doing so. Brown rice, oats, and barley are all good choices. Next, introduce a meat or poultry such as beef or chicken.

If you are a vegetarian, introduce another protein source such as tofu or lentils. As time goes on, introduce a combination of tastes, such as cereal mixed with applesauce or peas and carrots. This is also a great time to introduce finger foods, especially if baby has teeth. As baby learns to self-feed, you can move away from making purees and offer small baby-sized portions of the family meal.

Getting Started

Bananas make an ideal food for a baby starting solids. To serve, let bananas ripen well (the more ripe, the better - brown spots are desirable), cut into small chunks and mash with a fork. Pears are an excellent source of fiber and can be cooked like apples: peel and cut into chunks. Place in small saucepan and just cover with water. Cook until tender. These can then be mashed with a fork, run through a food mill, processed in a blender or food processor. They can also be offered as finger food if they are cut into small enough chunks. Carrots, another popular first food, should be scraped with a vegetable peeler, sliced and steamed or boiled until soft. Process in blender or food mill. Carrots can be a choking hazard for children, so do use caution if offering as a finger food.

Sweet potatoes are extremely easy to make, and one potato can last a long time if frozen after cooking. Place sweet potato in a microwave for about eight minutes, remove and let cool. Open up and serve right out of the peel - the potato is very soft and needs no further processing. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of B6.

Winter squash such as acorn or butternut makes an excellent first food. Cut squash in half and clean. Place in one half inch of water in a baking pan and bake at three hundred and fifty degrees for half an hour. Use a spoon to scoop out squash and feed directly to baby.

Avocadoes are an extremely nutrient dense food and offers important vitamins and minerals such as iron and potassium. Cut avocado in half around the pit, grab each half and give it a twist. Scoop out meat and mash or dice.

Making cereal for baby is very easy. Take a cup of the whole grain if your choice such as brown rice, oats, or barley and process in the blender until the desired consistency is reached, usually about two minutes for very young babies. Store in an airtight container. To cook, mix with liquid of your choice and heat over medium heat on stove until thick.

Enjoyment

Enjoy this fun stage in baby's development, and rest assured that baby is getting superior nutrition and developing good eating habits which will last a lifetime!


More Resources


07/24/2024
Baby banks support almost 12,000 Welsh babies and children
Almost 12,000 babies and children in poverty across Wales have been supported by a baby bank in the last year.


more info


07/23/2024
Opinion | The Attacks on Kamala Harris for Not Having Kids Will Backfire
Being a parent doesn’t make you a better politician.


more info


07/23/2024
Ryan Reynolds Just Casually Revealed The Name Of His And Blake Lively’s Fourth Child, 17 Months After Announcing Their Birth
After their close friend Taylor Swift announced the name of Blake and Ryan’s third child back in 2020, Ryan took it upon himself to reveal their fourth’s.


more info


07/23/2024
Ryan Reynolds reveals unique name of his and Blake Lively's fourth...
The "Deadpool & Wolverine" star, 47, made the sweet announcement during the movie’s premiere at the Lincoln Center in New York City on Monday.


more info


07/23/2024
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds finally reveal unusual name of 4th baby
The couple welcomed their fourth child in February 2023


more info


07/22/2024
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' secret baby name revealed!
Ryan Reynolds revealed the name of his child with wife Blake Lively - 16 months after they welcomed their fourth baby.


more info


07/22/2024
'It's quite special': Five mums on giving their baby their surname
Even when parents don't share a surname, largely children are given their father's name. Five mothers share why passing on their name was important.


more info


07/22/2024
‘All My Children’ actor Esta TerBlanche dies at 51
The actor portrayed Gillian Andrassy from 1997 to 2001, returning in 2011.


more info


07/22/2024
Jessie James Decker talks about reducing her 'Playboy melons' after...
The "Just Feed Me" author first showed off her "new boobies" in 2021 –– after she and her husband, Eric Decker, said they were done having kids.


more info


07/22/2024
Christine Lampard's children Patricia and Freddie have the curliest hair in new photos
The Lorraine star has been enjoyed a summer break with husband Frank Lampard


more info


07/20/2024
Why Americans Aren’t Having Babies
The costs and rising expectations of parenthood are making young people think hard about having any children at all.


more info


07/20/2024
‘Children should be taught to meditate. It can help with bullying and self-esteem’
Nineties pop sensation Raageshwari was at the peak of her singing-acting career in 2000 when Bell’s Palsy left half her face paralysed and her voice s.


more info


07/20/2024
Father 'shoots dead his wife and four children under the age of 10'
Brandon Allan Kendrick, 32, allegedly murdered his wife Kelse Kendrick, 24, their son Kaleb, 6, and Kynli, 2, and their cousins Colton, 8, and Haley Daniels, 6, at their Alabama home.


more info


07/20/2024
Labour makes working-class children key to schools reform
Minister pledges more sports and drama in curriculum review as row deepens over two-child benefit cap


more info


07/20/2024
10 Celebrity Couples & Exes Who Have Instagram Pages for Their Babies & Toddlers
These celebrity babies are giving 'A Star Is Born' a whole new meaning.


more info


07/20/2024
Celebrity Babies of 2024: See Which Stars Gave Birth This Year
Sienna Miller and more celebrities have welcomed babies in 2024


more info


07/20/2024
Katie Price openly discusses her kids’ 'nepo baby' status
Katie Price acknowledged beforehand that her children are nepo babies before anyone would call them out.According to Daily Mail, the 46-year-old media personality appeared on Hits Radio Breakfast...


more info


07/20/2024
Husband discovered horror scene of wife, mother, two kids fatally...


more info


07/20/2024
Katie Price admits that her children are 'definitely nepo babies'
Katie Price admitted that her children are 'definitely nepo babies' whilst promoting her seventh autobiography This Is Me on Hits Radio Breakfast Show on Friday.


more info


07/19/2024
Kerry always wanted to be a mum. Being a single grazier didn't stop her from having IVF babies
It was Kerry O'Sullivan's goal to run the family's 36,000-hectare cattle property, but her other dream was to be a mum. She watched on as her close friends became mothers, but at 35 she still hadn't met the right person.


more info


07/19/2024
Soccer Star Neymar Welcomes Baby No. 3 Less Than 9 Months After Daughter With Bruna Biancardi
Soccer star Neymar privately welcomed his third child, a baby girl named Helena, seven months after his public split with Bruna Biancardi.


more info


07/19/2024
Patrick and Brittany Mahomes reveal sex of baby No. 3 with fun...


more info


07/19/2024
Pregnant Brittany Mahomes and Patrick Mahomes Reveal Sex of Baby No. 3
Brittany and Patrick Mahomes—who are already parents to kids Sterling, 3, and Bronze, 19 months—revealed the sex of their third baby.


more info


07/19/2024
Brittney Griner, wife Cherelle welcome first child with baby boy:...
Brittney Griner is now a mom.


more info


07/19/2024
Sonny Bill Williams welcomes surprise fifth baby with wife Alana


more info



More Babies & Toddler Information:

Related Articles


How to Pick the Best Name for Your Baby
Expectant parents spend hours preparing the nursery, poring over pregnancy and delivery books and going to childbirth classes. Yet surprisingly, many decide their child's given name within a matter of minutes, often spending more time selecting the right car seat or stroller.
Dressing A Toddler, Whomever She Is Today
Some things we take for granted. Like getting dressed.
What Does that New Baby Really Need?
What your baby needs and may not need.There are so many gadget out on the market, so many cute little out fits, so many baby thing that we think we need, so many we don't need.
Keeping Your New Baby Safe
After all the baby furniture is purchased, you'll have to start thinking of baby safety supplies. Once your baby becomes mobile (and that's in a few short months), battening down the hatches is extremely important.
Most Important Decision of a Lifetime - What to Name Your Baby
Most people don't know the meaning of their name, but most names do have meanings. You should at least find out the meanings of your favorite choices before giving one of them to your child.
Five Reasons For Preparing Your Own Baby Food
Are you unsure whether you should make your own baby food at home or just buy it from the store? If so, then take a look at these five good reasons for doing it yourself - they may help you make up your mind..
Potty Training Your Child: The Five Potty Training Methods
There are many different ways to potty train your toddler. At last count, I had found 35 different books for parents on potty training and I own most of those books.
The Top 10 Fun Things for Parents and Toddlers to Play With
1. Give your child a spray bottle of water and watch them spray every possible thing outside of the house!2.
Baby Carriers - Choosing the Right Pouch, Ring Sling, or Carrier for You
With so many options out there for baby carriers it is hard to choose the right one for your needs. Listed are all the different types of carriers with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Robeez Shoes - A Baby Shower Gift That Moms Will Thank You For
Robeez shoes help your baby put their best foot forwardIf you have a new baby in your life one of the most fashionable and functional products available for your child are Robeez shoes. This terrific line of children's shoes, created in 1994, has become a popular item for moms and the perfect baby shower gift for moms-to-be.
Unique and Unusual Baby Names
Today one of the biggest trends in naming is choosing a unique name. Those of us who grew up in the 70's and 80's undoubtedly knew multiple Jennifers, Amys, Michaels and Johns, and many parents want their child to have a more unusual name.
Better Health and Happiness for Your Baby
The design of your home has an amazing affect on the health and well being of your baby. If it is in harmony with nature, it will have a positive influence on young children.
Teething Symptoms and How to Treat Them
Teething is what your baby experiences when her first set of teeth begins to appear.Some babies will go through this event without a problem.
Baby Shower Games For Your Special Baby Shower
So you're holding a baby shower? Then you will need baby shower games to keep the guests entertained. While the baby shower is a good time to pamper the mom-to-be and make her feel very special there are also a number of guests that need to be kept happy for the duration of the event.
Baby Shower Themes For Your Special Baby Shower
Do you want to provide a baby shower that is great fun for guests, inviting and welcoming and also really relaxing for the mom-to-be? Read on about selecting and delivering a baby shower theme with confidence.The big question is should your baby shower have a theme at all? And this is really up to you as the host and to the mom-to-be.