Baby On A Budget: Making Your Own Baby Purees
Baby on a Budget is a series of posts that I'll be doing to share all the ways we've managed to save money while bringing up our baby. When I read the stats about how much money new parents supposedly spend getting ready for a baby and caring for a baby in its first years, I cringe! I can certainly see how it happens though.... These posts are meant to help you stay away from that awfully high number!!
One of the things that I've highly enjoyed doing in the last few months is cooking for my baby. This might be comical for those of you that know me as I'm not a great cook, but I love knowing exactly what my kid is eating and saving a whole bunch of money while doing it! It's also nice to have a stockpile of baby food in my freezer and not have to be too concerned about running out as making the purees is as easy as pie (though, even with my limited cooking experience, I doubt making a pie is all that simple...)!
I use a simple ice cube method that seems to be fairly popular around the blogosphere. You can find trays specifically made for freezing purees but in my experience, ice cube trays work just as well. So far, I have frozen avocado, sweet potato, carrots and pea soup into cubes. I simply mash up (with a fork or food processor) the vegetables, spoon them into the ice cube trays and once frozen, put them into air tight containers until ready to be eaten. Then I microwave a cube or two and it's ready to go!
Most of the food I've frozen so far has taken no effort with the exception of the carrots. When we eat sweet potatoes for dinner I make an extra one and freeze it- no food processor needed. My husband made pea soup one weekend and while he was freezing some for his own lunches, I filled up a couple of ice cube trays. When avocados are ripe they can easily be mashed with a fork and spooned into trays; I don't even add citrus or anything and haven't had much of an issue with browning. I did cook the carrots specifically for the baby and while it did take a bit of time for them to boil and soften up, it's not as though I had to stand and watch them the entire time. I used the food processor to mash the carrots up but it was worth all the effort and mess as carrots are one of my son's favourite foods currently.
We go through one or two of these cubes a day. My son eats cereal for breakfast, yogourt and applesauce for lunch and one or two of these cubes either on their own or mixed with cereal for supper. He is still nursing and eats a variety of finger foods as well. These finger foods consist of whatever fruit we have in the house as well as cheerios, arrowroot cookies, goldfish, crackers and toast. So far he has enjoyed apples, cantaloupes, watermelon, pineapple and kiwi.