Friday, February 27, 2009

Ice, Ice, Baby: The Stress Free Way To Homemade Baby Food

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!

6 comments:

mattatouille said...

this is big news! you're starting again? I know you will have one of the most popular food blogs in the city... :) (plus my girlfriend loves you and has been reading your blog for years...oh no...did I give her away?)

mattatouille said...

oh btw, i saw that 35mm F2.0 on the amazon thing on the left. I can't wait for the new 35mm F1.8. it's supposedly much sharper than the older 35mm prime. FYI.

and i need a fast aperture prime, like now. you were using a 50mm at Hop Li, right?

Daily Gluttony said...

Hi Matt!

Aww, it's so good to know I have fans! :) Oooh, didn't know the 35mm was going to be available in a f1.8. You're right, I did have a 50mm on my Nikon at Hop Li. I've had my eye on 35mm and 85mm prime lenses for awhile but unfortunately have to wait until the income stream is steady again! I also want a fixed aperture zoom one of these days. Gah, photography's such an expensive hobby!

Lilcee said...

this is such a great post. Like you I have Chinese family members telling me what I can and can't do in regards to anything baby. My head is spinning just thinking about it.

This is definitely something simple I would consider. I too started freaking out and considered purchasing the baby food machine at Williams Sonoma but my husband thinks it's a waste of money.

Daily Gluttony said...

Lilcee,

Use a fork, or if need be, a blender. Save the $$$ on the Williams Sonoma baby food machine to buy cute clothes for baby! :)

Jacqueline said...

Hi Daily Gluttony, I am a new fan to your blog after discovering it on another blogger's "blogroll."

I have been thinking a lot about your baby food post because I love going to the Farmer's Market and wish to "preserve" some of the pureed fruits/veggies like this (I don't have a baby).

Could you share your tips on: defrosting the cube, why the food cubes do not get freezer burn, and how long you are storing the food cubes before using them.

Thanks and keep it up! Your Anisette post was so funny and tempting that it made me want to go to brunch there right away!

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