Everyday Living March 22nd, 2016

Why I Resist Store-Bought Baby Food

Whether you’re a granola cruncher, an organic enthusiast or simply just like to eat healthy, these quick tips could totally work for you. Or maybe you’ll hate the idea, and that’s OK, too. For me though, prepping and making my baby’s food has been an enjoyable time and money-saving experience.

For a little backstory, I’m a new mom of one cool 7-month old boy. I say he’s cool not only because I’m his mom and I have to, but the kid truly is something amazing. Not long ago I got a Baby Bullet as a shower gift, and I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to use it. New to the mommy club, my mistakes consisted of not knowing what to make, as well as dedicating every Sunday to his meal prep and mine. Through trial and error I quickly got a hold of these workarounds every new mom should know!

Tip #1: Prep

When I first started making Ashton’s food, I would end up making the same fruit or veggie combos all the time. It never dawned on silly ole me to switch things up; staying in-line with foods he had tried before. After two weeks of avocado and banana, the lightbulb went on and it soon became banana and blueberries or prunes, two other foods he’d tried before.

One day while in Target my culinary kiddie skills were taken to new heights when I saw a few Gerber 2nd Foods on sale. At that price point, I couldn’t leave them on the shelf and decided to purchase a few to have as backups. You know, in case I got busy like most moms do.

I then realized … Gerber had some of the most awesome food combos I had seen (e.g. strawberry and banana; sweet potato and turkey), and I thought what if I just wrote down their ingredients, walked a few aisles over and purchased the listed raw goods? What would have cost me $13 for six days worth of Gerber goodness was only $20 and over six weeks worth of homemade food. This trick led me to …

Tip #2: Bulk

Thanks to Amazon and a few donations from other mom friends, I received oversize ice cube trays and started making Ashton’s food in bulk. The combinations I would come up with got more exciting and, dare I admit, were actually really tasty. It’s literally fruit, veggies, yogurt and/or water — what could possibly taste bad about that?

A typical Sunday would now consist of blending, putting the food in trays and freezing. By the next day everything was pretty solid and I would pop the cubes out into freezer bags for easy storage. And on those evenings before Ashton would go to school, I’d defrost a gourmet food cube overnight so it’d be ready by morning. Voila, no morning mess or hassle! Despite becoming a savvy mom, the best part of it all was feeling good about Ashton’s nutrition.

Tip #3: Relax

Due to this new streamlined process, my Sunday calendar opened significantly, allowing for more time at the park instead of in the kitchen.

Now, for those moms who may be reading this and thinking, “Nope, no way. I have no time in my day to do this.” I will say this: Mom life isn’t supposed to be easy. However, if you’re truly concerned about what your baby eats, make time! For others, there is no shame in getting your favorite brand of ready-made food. On a good sale, my cart is filled with those, too. Always do what works best for you and your family.