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Having a 5-month-old, we still try to stay true to our desire for better control and function of life. This resulted in a 4+ hour baby food making marathon! Breaking down the cost to do it ourselves versus buying from a grocery store made the decision a no-brainer. Look for a cost breakdown later in the post. The decision to make our own baby food allowed us to control how much sugar was added (ZERO!). Chris and I were able to control what spices and flavor profiles were used. We also decided which organic or non-GMO fruits and vegetables were used.
Although we have the pleasure of living relatively close to the Beech-Nut baby food manufacturer. The company recently expanded its products to include all natural options. Although Beech-Nut is a local company, we decided it was better to make our own baby food.
Preparing for a bay food making marathon
We ordered jam jars in two different sizes. The smaller, 1.5 oz, jars for early foods such as apples and butternut squash.
The larger, 4 oz, jars we used for combination foods such as zucchini and apples.
Aside from the apples, all vegetables grown in our garden with seeds purchased through Baker Creek.
The easiest way to make baby food
Making baby food is the easiest and most rewarding activity. Whether using fresh or previously frozen fruits and vegetables, the process is the same. Place fruits and vegetables into a pot, fill with water until almost completely covered. Turn the stovetop on to a medium temperature and let everything cook until is it soft and easily mash-able. Green beans won’t become soft, they still need boiling until cooked thoroughly.
When cooked, transfer to a blender (I prefer to use our Nutri Ninja). Blend until smooth with no chunks left behind. From there, bottle everything up and freeze for future use.
After a few tries, I have found that a small funnel makes getting the pureed food into the jars easier. A turkey baster is the absolute best option if you have one available. Not only does it keep the mess to a minimum, but it makes the jarring process quicker.
How much do you really save on baby food?
Breaking down the cost made this a must-do rather than a can-do. For this session, I used half a bag of apples that equated to approximately $11.75. I used one butternut squash ($0.13/plant), one zucchini ($0.14/plant), one bag of green beans ($0.07/plant), and one large bag of kale ($0.01/plant). The jars were $0.54 each for the 1.5 oz jars and $0.57 each for the 4 oz jars. We bought both sets of jars in bulk and spent approximately $171 on 220 jars. Once calculated, the 80 jars of baby food cost approximately $59.08.
To purchase the same amount of natural baby food from a manufacturer such as Beech-Nut, would equal approximately $112.47. We saved $53.39!!!
By investing time and purchasing supplies, we are able to provide whole foods free from pesticides and GMOs. This also gave our older children the experience of tending to a garden that provides for our whole family.
How cool is that?! Let us know if you have dived into similar activities! We would love to hear what your experiences were. We always love to share and learn!