Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Homemade Baby Food?

I have forayed into the world of homemade baby food.  I'm not one of those "crunchy" moms.  Yes, I breastfeed, and yes I babywear, but that's about as "crunchy" as I get.  I don't even like to cook.  So why homemade baby food?  The answer is simple.  It's easy and it's cheap.  Probably not what you wanted to hear right?  Sure, I want the best for my baby.  But do I really think Gerber is that bad?  No.  I fed my oldest Gerber.  He survived.  I've seen and heard people talk about preservatives and added sugar in baby food.  Well, the food I gave my son had two ingredients: carrots (or whatever I was feeding him) and water.  That's it.  I thought about making baby food for my son, but I was also working at the time and decided I wanted to spend my weekends actually playing with him instead of making him food.  Things are a lot different this time around.  For one, I'm home with my daughter all day every day.  If I spend a couple hours on a weekend making baby food, it's a welcome break.  And it gives my husband and son time to play with her.  Also, we're on a strict budget.  Losing half your income is not easy.  It's something we chose, but it's still not easy.  If I can save our family some money by making her foods, then I'm going to do it!

Because the AAP has researched and now suggests that you do not feed baby solid foods until 6 months of age, I'm waiting to start baby C on solids for another month.  (See:  But, I decided this weekend to dive into the making of baby food because we went to the Apple Orchard!  How fun is that?  We brought home 20 pounds of apples!  And let me tell you, 20 lbs of apples is a whole lotta apples!  We made an apple crisp.  By we, I mean my husband...I don't like to cook remember?  Then we decided to make applesauce.  I made a batch for the big people in our family (with brown sugar!), and a batch for the baby (just apples and water-sorry baby!).  I just realized writing this that I might be a crock pot hoarder, because we have three, but it came in really handy when making the two separate batches of applesauce!

For the big-people applesauce, I followed the recipe from The Pioneer Woman, but I used a crock pot instead.  I peeled and cored ten apples, cut them into slices, threw them in the crock pot with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a cup of water, 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, and a teaspoon of cinnamon.  Six hours later with the help of a slotted spoon, I had the most delicious applesauce.

For the baby applesauce, I double checked Wholesome Baby Food first , just to make sure I knew what I was doing, and I threw five apples in the crock pot (peeled and cored) with a 1/2 cup of water and let it sit on low for about six hours as well.  When it was done, I didn't even need to puree it, I just let it cool for a bit and put it into ice cube trays to freeze in 1 oz portions.  Once frozen, I placed the cubes into a freezer bag, ready for baby when she's a bit older.  For the record, the baby applesauce version was just as good as the big-people version, so if you're watching your sugar intake I can recommend the sugar-free recipe in good faith :)

How about you?  Anyone make their own baby food?  The Wholesome Baby Food site is a great resource and I highly recommend you check it out.

Homemade Applesauce-Family, Love, & Fairy Tales Blog
Photo: Malus "Gala" by Steschke CC-by-sa-2.0-de 

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