Making Your Own Babyfood.
I got into this for monetary reasons, mostly, because while $0.80 a jar for the good stuff is cheap by comparison, it isn't cheap compared to the FREE I'm used to (oh, if only it weren't creepy and weird to feed Willow breastmilk forever).
And then I got more into it because the "good stuff" still leaves a lot to be desired. We've been buying Earth's Best, because of the aforementioned sale price, the availability, and the selection. (It may not have a chef behind it like some baby foods, but I think that's insane.) And all these things are good, but some of the ingredients make me go "what?" Turkey vegetable dinner has "mechanically separated turkey" and I don't know what that means and I'm scared to find out. Not to mention the "dinners" in general are scary. I gave Willow harvest squash and turkey country dinner because she likes both of those things, but I should've checked the ingredients because it had apricots and she hates those (because nothing makes a squash and turkey dinner "country" like apricots. What?)
There's more bad news, like how the companies have to cook their ingredients at crazy high temperatures, thus leeching all the nutrients out of them. And I was so inspired (read "cocky") by the beets experiment that I began grinding up basically everything we were eating and offering it up to Willow.
It did not go very well. It's a consistency thing, it seems. While she's happy enough to try not-particularly-mushy snacks when she's just tasting stuff that we're eating, she is less enthused by them when they're offered up as her entire meal, and she gags, and coughs, and generally throws a tantrum. And I just can't bring myself to cook food for us that is mushy enough for Willow.
So! New plan--make Willow her own food, freeze it, and go forth. I found a website that certainly has plenty of information, and if it's a little too preachy for me (dudes, check out the baby-led weaning thing, where you're never supposed to actually feed your child anything), well, I just ignore the things I don't agree with/am annoyed by/think are dumb.
One of the things that is officially dumb is their statement that "making your own babyfood takes less time than you think." Maybe if I thought it would take five hours to make a jar, I would feel that way, but since I'm comparing making my own to the quick pleasures of selecting a jar from the cabinet and opening it, I'm going with it takes a while. A long while. I made four tupperwares of food today--two of carrot, two of apple--and that'll last me not even three days. And it took me all day, because I have a baby. As, I imagine, do most people who are making their own babyfood.
I have also, officially, turned into a hippie. Last night I was steaming some green beans, and they weren't as plentiful as I thought they would be, so I added yogurt to bulk them up a bit. Too runny. So I added tofu. Green beans, plain greek yogurt, and tofu. Blech. Perhaps there is a reason they have babyfood chefs.
On the other hand, check it out:
At the moment, apricots aside, Willow eats everything we offer her. And as you can see, I am already experimenting with recipes, because while Willow may not care about lack of variety and simple foods, I do. (Yes, I recognize that this is my own adult hangup, and that to her the blandest of foods is a flavor explosion--note tofu--but it is my hangup, and I'm the one making the food, therefore there is nothing to be done).
I will try and post recipes that are a little more appetizing than the aforementioned Gross Green beans, but obviously Willow's tastebuds are screwy (oh fine, they're innocent) so I cannot guarantee that any other child will find my food acceptable.
Try squash with pear, avocado and banana and, his current favourite, Lemon sole with carrots peas and potatoes!!! How random is that? I'm amazed at the combinations he's going for. Do you have Annabel Karmel books over there? I'm finding her books really handy. I kind of go off on my own tangents, but it gives you some good ideas!
Also, I think it might be an English/Irish brand, but 'Ella's Kitchen' foods seem really good?
Also, just about to PM you on Ravelry, I need to ask your advice on baby stuff!
I never made baby food. Not once. Isn't that terrible? In my defense, once she could eat real foods she ate really really unique foods. I figured between the organic jarred and the restaurant foods, she'd get enough variety. But since they don't let babies into restaurants out here, I may have to make something. Maybe. I'm not enthusiastic about the idea. But I'm entertained by your efforts.
I haven't seen Ella's Kitchen! I'm totally going to have to jar it from time to time, so I'd be glad to know of a better brand. (So far, I just can't bring myself to use Sprout. Between the chef and the attachment parenting zealotry, I just can't ask my child to swallow it).
And Laura--wha? No babies allowed in restaurants? Hell, I don't even bring the boob shield into restaurants here anymore!
And I am by no means advocating making your own babyfood. Is pain in the ass.
By the time I had my 4th child I stopped with the baby food completely. When my daughter started picking things up with two fingers, around 5 months or so, I would put stuff on her tray that was cut up very small. I didn't ever grind things up. It acts as food and toy at the same time freeing me up to actually be able to eat. Peas, bananas, spaghetti without the sauce. Applesauce was easy because we bought the no sugar kind. Over ripe pears cut into little cubes were a favorite.
Hi! Just had a look and found a website for Ella's Kitchen. I hope they notice I'm doing this and give me a reward!!!! Looks like they do sell them in the US, but don't know how expensive they are there. They're about euro 1.19 each over here.
It looks like you can buy Ella's Kitchen from Amazon for about $12-14 for 7. I might have to try that.
i don't know if you've seen it, but smittenkitchen.com has a small baby food section as the blogger has a now, i believe 8-10 month old. there's a link to smittenkitchen baby on the list on the left. hope it helps!
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