Why I make my own Babyfood

A little over a week ago I went on a trip to visit my parents.
While traveling I opted to 1… use disposable diapers 🙂 but also 2… decided I’d buy “jar” baby food, while away.
After all, taking frozen bags of baby food I had made seemed like to much work…

At home I have only been feeding Owen home made baby food. I think before this trip he had maybe 2 jars of store bought baby food… and that was because my husband was caring for him and opted for a more “quick feed” option 🙂 – you know men, haha… they are all about convenience!

I purchased Owen organic baby food while traveling.
Earths Best and a brand called SPROUT.
With it being organic I thought for sure he would handle it fine and have no problems.

Well…
while at my parents…
Owen not only slept horribly… part of that I am sure is to blame on him not being in his element… but he slept so bad it began to pop a question in my mind of… “was his tummy upset??”

On top of him not sleeping well (and by ‘not well‘ – I mean he woke up twice at night! – he hasnt done this since he was a newborn), he also had terrible diaper issues… 2-3 poops a day, and for him, this was not the norm. At home he would only go once a day, or every other day.

I also noticed he had a lot of gas during the day… which was not normal for him either.

When we got back home (after a 4 day trip), I immediately put him back on the home made baby food I had prepared for him in our freezer. Within 2 days he was completely back to normal! He started sleeping through the night again, and his bathroom diaper duties became regular.

Now maybe it was a fluke. Maybe he was experiencing something else?
But I find it really interesting how he had all these changes, after that one change in his diet.

This past week I prepared another 2 month supply of baby food for him.
Foods such as Green Beans, Mango/Pear, Mango/Apple, & Carrots.
This was added to our already collection of Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, Peaches and Peaches/blueberry.

I dont want to feed him any more jar food unless I absolutely have to.

I dont think jar food is “bad“… but I think making it ourselves is so much better for our babies… and I think its worth the extra work.

IMG_2570It not only introduces our babies to different textures…
I mean really, haven’t you noticed that jar baby food has all the same texture? smooth?? puree your own food, its never the same.

Also, its fresh… and not processed.

You know exactly what is going into your babies food. I buy it and I cook it.

You can choose to buy organic or not. You can choose what blends to make.

You can season it if you’d like… Although I dont think its wise to put much seasoning 🙂 but will admit to adding some brown sugar to an apple batch I made for Owen once, heehee. He didnt complain!

I dont think its cheaper? maybe it is… I havent kept track honestly of what Ive spent on fresh fruit and veggies… but I dont think the cost would be any greater than those little jars that cost .50 – $1.00 each. I got peaches a few months ago for .65 cent a pound… lets just say owen has an abundance of peach babyfood…

So where to start.

Its not hard!

A blog I love that has the most beautiful pictures of baby food on the web 🙂 has a great video and post about why she opted to make her own food as well. Its a must read!

Also a site I use CONSTANTLY to find out how to cook certain foods for a baby, and difference recipes… is the

Wholesome Homemade Baby Food Site.

The tools that I use to make the foods are:

1) Ice cube trays. I got mine from the Dollar TREE $1 for two trays. I have I believe 6 trays, maybe 8? So that cost me a total of $4. I have yet to have a problem using these. Some say silicone works best when making baby food.. because its easier to get the cubes out. A little trick though.. when you are ready to get the food out, just run hot water under the bottom of the ice cube tray for a few seconds, this will loose them just enough to get them out without any trouble at all.

2) A blender. I use a hand held one I got for our wedding 8 years ago. Its just like THIS ONE. It works great. Im sure you could use the MAGIC BULLET 🙂 or any food processor.

3) I have small spatulas I use as well to scoop the food out and spread it over the trays well. I got a set of 3 adorable ones, that are super small, dish washer safe, for $1 at the DOLLAR TREE 🙂 : They work perfectly.

4) Freezer bags

5) A large 13×9 inch glass baking pan (I use this to cook the foods)

6) A large pot to boil stuff in

7) A strainer

8) and a morning to prep things 😉

Oh and of course

A FREEZER

It sounds like a lot to take on.. but honestly I can make an entire 2 month supply in less than a day.

IMG_2561

I store it all in a spare freezer we have.. which is nice. Freezer bags full of baby food take up a lot of space… so it has been handy to have extra room for this.

When its time to feed Owen (he eats 3 times a day now!), I just go out to the freezer, grab 2-3 cubes, defrost them for about 1 minute, and we are good to go. I find that fruits are super runny after you defrost them, so I will sometimes add organic rice cereal to them, to help thicken it up a bit (he doesnt like runny food).

Also with certain foods you can just smash them fresh.

I feed Owen fresh banana, mango and even rice. He has learned to chew well and can eat some stuff straight.
Hes also tried baked potato fresh and the other day I made home made-chicken noodle soup, he had that with me. It wasnt to salty or seasoned, so I had no worries he’d be able to digest it just fine.

Be sure to ask your Dr’s what foods are safe for your babies. Also you are the mom (or dad).. so use your best judgement when choosing foods as well. With my boys Ive never had to many fears with allergies, so that puts me at ease a lot of times… but I also try to steer clear of certain foods.. such as things with egg or peanut. So far neither of our boys have had any food allergies, but you just never know. So those specific foods I will try to wait giving him when hes over age 1.

I hope this helps some 🙂
Be sure to use those links above.
That WHOLE SOME BABY FOOD site is amazing.
You can find so much great information on it.

Feel free to ask any questions if you want 🙂

ALSO! as far as taking food OUT when I go places…

I use DOLLAR TREE tupperware. They have the most adorable baby food containers in the baby section of the store. Its the perfect size to put one cube (two max) for baby to eat on the go. They come in animal patterns, with a baby spoon as well. A pack of two, and one spoon is $1… you really cant beat that! I have 2 sets, so 6 containers total. This has been plenty for us.

*To those curious: The thing Owen is chewing on in the above photo, is a MUM MUM. I found them at Babies R Us. Owen LOVES THEM. They dissolve super fast, arent to messy 🙂 a great alternative to teething biscuits (that to me, make a royal mess and scare me because they are so hard). I would encourage parents to keep a close watch on baby while they eat a MUM MUM tho, as with any food theres always risk of them biting off to much. Owen naws and drools like crazy when he has one, but im never to far just incase he gets “happy” eating it. You can also break it into tiny lil pieces if you want too. Oh and I tasted it, it taste kinda like a big rice crispy treat, wasnt half bad!

*Final Note: I think baby food is one of those things you have to decide when baby is ready to have. Our Dr. said to start Owen at 4 months! I didnt think this was a good starting time… Owen seemed way to young. So we waited til 5, and tried it then but he still didnt seem to want it. Closer to 6 mo. is when he really began to show interest in food. He’d reach for what we ate… would get fussy any time we ate, even if he had just had a bottle. He wanted to try it! So I knew when he started doing these things It was time to let him have some 🙂 and hes done great ever since. Owen does still get 5 bottles or so a day, 6 if he gets up at 11 to eat.

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About dreawood

32 Yr old Mom to 4 boys. Married to a former Cop who now Pastors a Evangelical church in SC. Professional Photographer and random blogger @ www.dreawood.com
This entry was posted in babyfood, Owen. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Why I make my own Babyfood

  1. Alison P. says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing the links – I can’t wait to check them out! I make all homemade baby food, too! It is cheaper and very easy. And you know exactly what is in it – no preservatives or added ingredients. Plus, it is fresh and yummy! I add butter to some vegetables and cinnamon to apples and pears. Now that it’s fall, you should try sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Yum! I used a baby cookbook called La Petit Appetit cookbook, which I really liked. Excellent post. 🙂

  2. Renee says:

    I’m too lazy for making baby food and too creep out to buy baby jar food (let face it I never puree my peas and having them brown, they were always green bright green LOL plus I tasted some, yuck nothing like real food)

    I usually give mash up table food, what ever we have for supper baby will have it too!

    But Good job Drea for making all this food for your little one!

  3. Dreawood says:

    I would do the mashed up thing too, but I just dont feel comfortable giving Owen all of what we eat, just yet. I like seasonings and I just dont know how he’d do with all that. He eats some table food but I like being able to have his fresh veggies and fruit too. Incase we dont eat any 🙂

    Oh and Ali, I did do sweet potatoe and butternut squash. The potato is one of his favs! the squash was hard for me to make for some reason tho and he didnt care for it as much.

    • Renee says:

      @Dreawood, For us because I breastfeed all our little one have the taste of what I season my food with trough my milk so they had lots of curried mama’s milk LOL So I do feel corfortable with that but that is just me!

  4. Joy says:

    I gave Celia jarred baby food for a week or so when we first really started trying to get her weight up. I have just found that she doesn’t like baby foot at all anymore. At this point, I am just giving her mashed food. I found that it was very worth taking the time to make her food. I took a few hours on a weekend and would last a month or two. I cooked frozen bags of veggies and fruit and pureed. It was WAYYYYY cheaper than bought baby food.

  5. Sarah says:

    Thanks for sharing the links. I want to make Carsyn’s food for him.

    Dustyn loved those Mum Mums. Walmart sells them too. He ate them a lot!

  6. Jessie says:

    We do the mash thing too – did it with all 3. I am such a lazy mama.

    • Dreawood says:

      @Jessie, lol nah you all arent lazy 🙂 you just do things differently than I do, that just means, which is totally ok! 😀 your babies look well taken care of, healthy and happy, so you arent lazy… really can any mom be lazy with 3 little ones LOL

  7. Brynna says:

    I don’t buy baby food either…like you, I’d much rather make it. (may not be cheaper- I’ve never kept track either- but certainly healthier!) We really just skip “baby food” all together and just go straight to table foods. But we don’t really start solids until 8-9 months, so at that point they’re usually able to pick it up themselves and mash it up in their mouths and swallow, and I’m comfortable knowing for sure they’re ready for it. Plus it’s soooo easy to just toss a little bit of what we’re eating in front of them instead of having to prepare something separately. I’m DEFINITELY too lazy in that aspect. LOL

  8. Laura says:

    I totally did baby food jars with both my kids. They did fine with it, but after the fact, I think it might have been nice to try making my own. I do remember it being super expensive.

    • Dreawood says:

      @Laura, Hi Laura, i used jar food for my 1st two as well. They were fine too. I think what happened with Owen was his body was use to the home made food, so when i switched him his body just didnt agree with the change. I do think home made is better in the fact its preservative free… but at the same time I do not think babies fed jar food are going to be harmed in some way. It to me just makes sense to make my own.. and its worth the effort in my opinion.

      But I def am not against jar foods 🙂
      But ill avoid them if possible to ensure Owen doesnt get an upset stomach again.

      • Laura says:

        @Dreawood, that’s amazing… and after reading your description, I think it would have been fun to try, amongst all of the other benefits of course. And on a side note, Owen is so cute! He looks so sweet and healthy 🙂 Thanks for being brave to share what you’ve shared these past weeks with your experiences 🙂 Also, I’m always curious to know too, what healthier things people do for their older kids. I have a 5 and 3 year old, and would love to try to get some healthier options in for them… we aren’t super unhealthy of course, but I get this feeling that I could be doing something better for them too.

      • Dreawood says:

        @Laura, I think we all feel like we could live healthier lives.. Im there. I will be the 1st to admit I like going to Wendys to eat dinner lol. Im a huge fan of wendys… but I know its not the healthiest place to eat… although with baked potatoe and salad options, I dont think its the worse by any means.. I think its important to just live a balanced life.. we cant be perfect eaters 🙂 just like we cant be perfect mothers. But we sure can try! 🙂

  9. Kathryn says:

    I always wanted to do that, but never got around to it w/ my second child. If we ever have anymore kids I’m definitely going to do this!

  10. Kendra says:

    How long does baby food last in the freezer? Probably not a year, huh? I was thinking of getting a head start on the baby food now before the baby is even born. Probably not a good idea?

    • Drea says:

      @Kendra, it should last 3-4 months? maybe longer, but i prob wouldnt let it sit more than 6 mo, it prob wont go bad, but it get freezer burn taste im sure.
      id maybe make some a month before starting baby?

  11. Jobina says:

    You had mentioned that you were out visiting someone when this happened. Did you make your formula with their tap water? Sometimes differences in tap water can affect digestive systems esp. in little ones.
    That aside…with each of my kids I’ve done a bit of my own baby food and a bit of jarred. I also have a table food grinder and I sometimes use that to just grind up what we’re eating for supper. The beginning food stage is so fun!

    • Drea says:

      @Jobina, you know what.. i did use tab water.. where as at home i boil my water.. so that may of been it. also at home i have city water, at my parents they have well water.

      that didnt even cross my mind! but that would make sense too!

  12. Jenn says:

    Making your own is MUCH cheaper (or so I’ve read). If you think about it, you can get a pound of peaches on sale for $0.65–that makes a LOT of peach food for baby. Far more than one or two jars at the same price (or higher price). My son started eating baby food at 3 months ha! He was so ready for it. My daughter was at 4 months I think. But my son also refused baby food and went to all table food at 7 months, so…! He’s always been a BIG eater. Supper tonight…he ate 1.5 regular sized tacos!!! He’s THREE! I’m hoping I’ll have the energy to make our next baby’s food just to save us money. It really isn’t that hard (I’ve made purees to sneak into food so my kids get enough veggies)-you just have to committ to doing it and set aside a morning every couple weeks to do it.

    • Dreawood says:

      @Jenn, Yea I think every baby is different. Some eat earlier, some eat later. Owen was ready and eats A LOT of food lol… but he still drinks plenty of his formula too, so I have no doubt hes getting everything he needs.
      All my boys can out eat me at times 🙂 they are forever hungry. We will be broke once they are teens 🙂

    • Jenn says:

      Okay, I tried to reply to your comment, but it wouldn’t let me. Anyway, after supper last night, my husband said “Son, I’m going to have to get a 3rd job just to feed you before long!” I’m a little scared about what the teenage years are going to bring with 2 boys (if this next one is anything like his brother)!!! 🙂

  13. thanks for linking my site (& for the sweet words!)– We had same tummy issues while traveling & using plum organics. Opposite problem though–constipation. Took a head of broccoli to fix it! 😉 Have you tried flip diapers? I will be doing a blog post on them soon. Fabulous alternative to CDs while traveling. I use the g-diaper biodegradable inserts. Way better than stinky sposies!

  14. Tasha says:

    I’ve never made food for my girls but I’m going to give it a try this time around. I’m also gonna try breastfeeding again (wish me luck!). Both of my girls LOVED Mum-Mums. They don’t taste half bad. I found that if I was wanting something sweet, I’d munch on one and that would usually do the trick.

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  16. Tara says:

    my little guy is almost 8 months and eating 3 meals a day now too. i use Wean Cubes for storing food in the fridge/freezer and also do the ice cube trays/ziploc bags. it is so easy! and i love knowing what’s going in his food. i use my homemade applesauce to sweeten or to add some flavour. one of my son’s faves is squash.

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