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Why make your own baby food?

Any grocery store worth it’s salt will offer a dozen different brands of baby food.  You can get organic brands for just a little more money even at generic grocery stores, and they come in zillions of different flavors and packages.  So why make your own?

  • Save cash.  This was one of my big motivators for making my own baby food.  You might think, hey, a $1.29 jar of baby food, that’s not so bad.  But it adds up fast.  My daughter has been known to put away 8 or more jars of baby food in one day.  At $1.29 a jar, that’s $10.32 a day, or $72.24 a week.  I usually spend less than half that on ingredients for food that will last her over 2 weeks.
  • Know exactly what’s in it.  Personally, I just find baby food out of the jar a little unsettling.  I can see the ingredient list- I know what they say is in there.  Even if it says there’s no preservatives, chemicals, dyes, or factory worker’s hair, I just feel better seeing the whole foods go into my blender with my own eyes.
  • Offer more interesting food.  The baby food at your local grocery store is pretty dull.  You’ll see ingredients like apples, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, chicken, turkey, oats, and rice… and those are all great.  I’m just saying that none of them have amaranth, quinoa, bulger, dragonfruit, starfruit, kiwi, bok choy, kale, or purple cauliflower.
  • Offer fresher food.  The fruit in that apple-banana-blueberry blend you just picked up was probably harvested several weeks ago.  It was pureed, then packaged, then sat in a warehouse, then traveled in a truck for a few days, and has been sitting on the shelf at your grocery store for who knows how long.  And chances are they’ve added something to preserve the food during this process.  Sure, it’s safe to eat.  But would you want to?  I know I wouldn’t.
  • Offer more flavorful food.  Babies are perfectly able to eat- and enjoy- a variety of herbs and spices.  Anyone who has taste-tested a jar of baby food knows that the vast majority of it is pretty bland.  And if you expose your kids to interesting flavors early in life, they’re that much more likely to enjoy a variety of foods later in life, instead of being that annoying kid that refuses to eat anything but white bread and chicken nuggets.
  • It’s not as hard or time consuming as you might think.  Sure… you can get totally carried away and make all kinds of gourmet madness for your baby (like I often do) but you don’t have to.  But many of my staple recipes (and Isabella’s favorites) take just minutes to prepare and jar.  Making your own baby food can take as much or as little time as you want.
  • It’s fun.
Why do you make your own baby food?  If you’ve thought about it but haven’t tried it yet, what’s stopping you?
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