Adventures in Homemade Baby Food

Oh yes…I am turning into that mom.

After surviving toddlerhood with two of the pickiest eaters to ever walk this earth, I am determined to do things differently with Bean. I don’t have any moral objections to jarred baby food per se, other than that it tastes like three day-old socks and smells about the same, too. If I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole, why was I so surprised that my boys wouldn’t either? Can we say “Giant Learning Curve?”

When G-Man was a baby, he hated most baby foods so much, he would rather go hungry in the evenings and hold out until morning for his oatmeal. I am embarrassed to admit that my kids’ diet in their first five years of life was a nutritional wasteland. We became so desperate, we convinced the boys that Kindergarten was the magic, mandatory milestone at which Mom was no longer allowed to make them separate meals. They were gullible, thank goodness.

When I kicked around the idea of homemade baby food for Bean, I knew it would be fresher and healthier for her, but I was more concerned that the process was going to be a bigger pain in the ass than it was worth. Misgivings aside, I’ve been holding out a sliver of hope that, by giving my girl food that tastes good from the start, we will avoid some of the toddler food wars later.

The only way to see if I was up to the homemade baby food challenge was just to dive right in. Last night, I steamed some sweet potatoes, then pureed them with a little bit of water  until the consistency was appropriate for toothless Bean:

Once the potato puree was just right, I portioned it out into individual servings, and froze them for later use:

When all was said and done, the process only took me about fifteen minutes, and I ended up with a week’s worth of food. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. In fact, once I finished, I stared around my kitchen in mild disbelief at how ridiculously easy it was. Want to know the best part? For the cost of one jar of commercial baby food, I cranked out about 12 servings of the homemade stuff; my budget, which is already on life-support, heartily approved.

So, yeah, homemade baby food is a fresher and healthier alternative to the jarred stuff. If my brain wasn’t already sleep-deprived and apathetic, I could probably go into a philosophical diatribe about how the jarred stuff only promotes our culture of convenience foods at the expense of our health. But, really? Making Bean’s food was a piece of cake, cheap, and if I play my cards right, may help her develop eating habits that don’t drive her father and I insane.

If you’re considering homemade baby food, I say go for it. The internet has plenty of resources and ideas, so go forth and Google chicka. If anything, it’s a handy excuse to treat your kid like a science project, which is always good, cheap entertainment if you ask me.

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