Monday, September 21, 2015

Making baby food.

I make my own baby food.

But before I begin on my baby food tirade, I want to say this: While I have my own reasons for making my own baby food, I'm not going to tell you that you should do it, too. Some people act as though you might as well feed your child poison as give them jarred baby food. You know, like with formula. What kind of a monster would give her child formula, I ask you?!

(Oh, yeah. Me.)

Anyway, moving right along. I don't care if you feed your baby carrots from a jar.

But can I take a moment to commiserate with my sisters (and maybe some brothers too) out there who are making their own baby food?

Whenever someone encourages you to make your own baby food--whether in person or in some book you read, if you're like me and read way too many books that make you feel guilty as a parent--they always talk about how "it's so easy!"

I mean, all you do is cook up some veggies, fruit, or meat, and toss it in the blender. What could possibly be easier? Why wouldn't you do such a simple thing that could give your child such wonderful benefits in both nutrition and taste?

Well, I've been sold on the nutrition and taste thing (obviously, since I continue to soldier on), but I would like some credit for the time and effort I put into this gig, thankyouverymuch. 

I mean, okay. Is it hard? No. You don't have to be a cook or anything. Do you know how to cut vegetables and boil water? Then you can make baby food.

But it feels awfully time consuming. If you're making anything that has to be peeled (carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, apples, etc.), then you have to spend all that time peeling. And then you have to cook it, which can sometimes take forever to get it to a puree-able state.

Oh, and by the way, people seem to have an awful lot of opinions about how to make your own baby food. All fruits and veggies must be steamed in order to retain the most nutritional value! (Really? I can't just boil it? It's not enough that I'm making the darn stuff from scratch, I also have to cook it in the perfect way?) Some people say to cook it into oblivion, while others say you should cook it to the same doneness you would for an adult, otherwise the child is losing out on all the wonderful flavor.

Plus, you have to be careful about which foods you give your baby. Some people will tell you that you can just take whatever food you're eating for dinner and whiz it in a blender. Wa-la! Perfect for baby!

BUT! You have to make sure it has no salt in it. (Of course, you should really eat less salt anyway, so while you're at it, you might as well cut all the salt out of your diet. Major lifestyle change? No biggie!) And no honey. And no nuts. And no citrus. And no egg whites!

Hey, here's an idea! Why not just make baby puree for the whole family? Easy peasy! And homemade baby food is just so darn delicious, anyway!


Anyway, I guess I don't mind making baby food too much, but one of the worst things about it is that you always think your batch is going to last longer than it does. It feels like you have just cooked up the world's biggest batch of carrots, and then it yields a woefully small amount of puree. Before you know it, your child has gobbled it all up and it's back to the drawing board.

You know, some days I actually kind of enjoy making baby food, which is probably one of the reasons I keep doing it. It's fun to try new things and see how they turn out as a puree. And there's a real satisfaction in knowing that I make all the solid foods my child eats and I know exactly what goes into them.

But most days, it's a chore.

This is why I don't judge people for buying baby food in jars.

That stuff is starting to look pretty good, man.


  1. I applaud you! (I used the jars.)

  2. I always boiled the foods because after I pureed them I had to add a whole bunch of water anyway to get the right consistency. So I would just use the water they were boiled in... And whalah, no nutrition waste! I always made huge batches too, and froze them. It was too much work to do it every day.

  3. WIC gave us tons of baby food jars, so that was what I tried to feed Summer. But as soon as she tried more solid food, she hated the purees! I wound up getting lots of jars of carrot and sweet potato and sneaking them into pasta sauce, smoothies, muffins, etc. I used up the last of those jars just a few months ago! I miss them.