For parents, especially new parents, there's probably no topic more debated than how and what to feed your child. Your mom is asking why you haven't fed your three month old solids yet. Your child's pediatrician is concerned that you'll be spoiling your child by continuing to nurse him or her past a certain age. Your granola-hippy lactation consultant acts as if you're poisoning your baby if you have your husband give him a bottle of formula when you want to take the night off and go out with the girls. Your old-fashioned Chinese aunties are telling you about what foods are going to throw you and your child off balance, which ones are too heating and which ones are too cooling. All these opinions, as well as your own, soon become a cloud of confusion as to what's really right the right way to feed your baby. I know, it's happened to me in more ways than one. Now, I'm no expert by any means, but now that my child is almost nine months old, I have a much clearer head than I did about feeding than I did when he was a newborn. When it comes to feeding my baby boy, there are only two things that I insist on using: lots of love and common sense.
Take the time before our little dude started solid foods, for example. My husband and I wanted to give him freshly made baby food, but were afraid that we wouldn't always have the time because of our busy schedules. I got stressed out as I imagined a counter full of food mills, sieves, blenders and food processors splattered with pureed peas and carrots. Jars of commercially-made baby food just seemed like a more convenient option, but we wanted to try and give him the least processed foods possible. There was also the pressure from well-meaning family members that fresh was better. After some reading though, we found out that making your own baby food is as simple as a fork and an ice cube tray! All you have to do is steam your kid's favorite fruit or veggie (unless it's bananas or avocado where you wouldn't even need to do so!), mash with a fork to the desired consistency, and scoop into an ice cube tray to freeze into individual serving-sized baby food cubes. Oh and don't forget to add the love. Duh!
OK so check this out: we bought a bag of frozen organic butternut squash for $2.19 which filled up this ice cube tray and made 14 servings. A jar of Earth's Best Organic Butternut Squash baby food costs about $0.82 and is only about 2-3 servings. That's $0.16 per serving making your own food vs. an average of $0.34 going the jarred route. Makes total sense considering the economy we're in, right? Plus it's super easy and healthier too!
Now that's not to say that we don't have some of the packaged stuff at home too. Sometimes we're out of freshly made food and sometimes we're too busy or in too much of a rush to even thaw a food cube. In those cases, the jarred stuff is a total life saver.
Again, though, there is no right or wrong. Just do what makes sense for your family, do it with lots of love, and baby will grow happy and healthy!