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Monday, May 24, 2010

homemade baby food

big sister who likes to eat watermelon in the back yard = happy little brother who sneaks it while mom isn't looking :)

i make my kids' baby food when they start eating solids. it isn't difficult in the slightest, but it is certainly more time consuming than pulling it off the shelf and dumping it in your cart.
so is it worth it? here are a few numbers that will prove just how worth it it is:
  • with my $200 a month food budget (+$40 for longer term storage/bulk items) i have $7/day to feed my family. a very cheap 4 oz jar of baby food costs $0.42. my 7 month old could easily cost me $2.52/day to feed. ahhh!!! imagine when he's pushing a year. i once calculated that my daughter would be costing me $4/day in baby food at her peak if i bought it.
  • my baby food jar equivalents: i can make 4 0z of carrots for $0.10, 4 oz of peas, green beans or sweet potatoes for $0.22, 4 oz acorn squash for $0.26 and that isn't even with sale prices. during peach season when peaches are on sale for $0.50/lb you can make peaches for pennies.
  • it's really easy to mash a banana yourself with a fork. why buy it in a tiny cute bottle? my buddy happily downs a banana every day for breakfast.
  • oatmeal cereal: $1.50 for a box of oatmeal cereal? just put some oats through your blender.
stuff i don't make:
  • applesauce: there is nothing magical about baby applesauce. it's just apples. and why make your own? wal-mart brand unsweetened applesauce is $1.86 for 50 oz. that's $0.15 for your 1 jar equivalent.
  • rice cereal: i don't have a grinder and i can't "iron fortify" it at home so this is the one true baby food item i buy.

so how do you do it? it's easy - i just use as my home base and go from there. i feel like a baby chef when i whip up a little dessert for my little man to follow his peas (applesauce + sweet potatoes + cinnamon + rice cereal = dessert!) - it's so fun and he loves it! use their recipes and freeze in ice cube trays. each cube is 1+ ounce. cover with saran wrap and then put the cubes into big freezer bags when frozen solid. and don't forget to reuse your freezer bags!

and here's my funny little squash face. this was the the mad face he made if we didn't get the squash in his mouth fast enough!!

i also make my own baby wipes... but that isn't a food recipe! i swear by them. want my recipe? email me at!


Anonymous said...

I love this.

p.s. I went running with Carolyn Andrus (Trejo) yesterday (she's up here with us as her hub is doing an internship with Barney) and she was saying how much she loves the Wilkensens. I guess Aaron would know her.

Kim said...

I love making my own baby food too and I always feel like I'm getting a steal using the large jar of natural applesauce. =) I must ask though how you budget only $200/month for your groceries? I'd love if you could post about how you break down your food inventory/recipes every month to stay within budget. I have a family of five and we'll be needing to downsize our food budget very soon...I'm not sure where to start. BTW I LOVE your blog!!

Amanda said...

I made baby food too. I can only think that it's better without the nasty preservatives plus so much cheaper and not too hard. I can't wait to learn about the baby wipes...I'll be emailing you in a minute here!

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!