I have been making Parks' baby food for about 2 months now. I started giving him rice cereal at 5 months and then started introducing fruits and veggies at about 6 months. My reasons for making it myself are:
- It is cost effective. Buying regular, organic produce and making your own purees is much cheaper than buying commercial baby food.
- You have complete control over what your baby eats. I really like this aspect of making your own baby food. You can also be way more adventerous and introduce many flavors to your baby that commercial baby food can't. You can also make meals more nutritious and tasty.
- It's fun! I just enjoy it. There is some satisfaction in making the food from scratch.
My overall philsophy on baby food is probably a little....unique. While I completely belive in healthy, nutritious eating...I also believe that food should taste good. I do not believe in giving a baby unseasoned, bland vegetables and expecting him to eat it. I certainly wouldn't eat it, so why should I expect my baby to eat them up cheerfully? Before you think I put red pepper flakes and paprika in my baby's green beans, let me tell you what I mean.
For Parks' breakfast I make oatmeal cereal with some formula and 1/2 tsp. of brown sugar. I tasted the oatmeal cereal mixed with water and it was horrible! No one should be expected to eat plain gruel. So I doctor it up a little bit with brown sugar. I know that some people will think this is horrible and I am giving my child cavities and a propensity towards obesity. I respectfully disagree. I think that sugar and salt, like all things, are fine in moderation. Just because I season his food does not mean I will be giving him Little Debbie cakes for snacks as a toddler.
When I make his veggies, I put a *little* bit of salt in them. He has never refused any food I have given him so far. He has gobbled down: carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, butternut squash, green beans, peas, avocado, nectarines, bananas, peaches and plums. He is a wonderful eater and has been healthy as a whistle at all his checkups, praise the Lord!
If you are curious about making your own baby food, this is what I do:
Step 1: Cook and puree the food. I buy fresh produce (organic if I can) and then I usually steam or bake the vegetable or produce until very soft. Then I puree it in my little Beaba Babycook. Now that I have done this for 2 months, my only complaint about the Beaba is its size. When you make your food from scratch, the best and most efficient way to do it is in BIG batches. As you can see, the Beaba isn't that big. It is very convenient, but sometimes I end up pulling out my big food processer to make a big batch.
Step 2: Freeze the food in ice cube trays. This is the best way to store your food in individual portions. When Parks was first starting out, I would give him 1 cube per meal. Now, he eats 2 cubes per meal.
Step 3: Store the cubes in labeled plastic freezer bags. Then take one or two out at each mealtime and thaw on the counter or you can pop them in the microwave for a few seconds. Voila! You're done.