Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saving Money When You Have a Baby--Home Made Baby Food

Having a baby is one of life's greatest blessings, but, let's be honest, it can also get expensive! With everything baby needs (or you think he needs!) it's very easy to spend your hard-earned money on that one little person in your house :) However, I believe that there are ways to SAVE money when you have a baby in your house! And, one way is to make your own Homemade Baby Food

Making homemade baby food is easy, and doesn't take much time! In fact, in the amount of time it would take you to get your baby in his carseat (along with the diaper bag, toys, and any other items you need), drive to the store, find what you need, check-out, drive home, and carry everything inside, you could have already made a month's worth of baby food! And, since the majority of it is probably items you keep on hand anyway (i.e. Apples, bananas, carrots) the savings are HUGE!

 I usually make Apples, Pears, Bananas, Carrots, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans for Gunnar. Recently he has started eating meat, so yesterday I made a week's worth of chicken as well. I will post some of the recipes here. (Feel free to add seasonings if you like! You know what you're baby likes best!)

Apples (makes about 2 weeks worth)
6 or 7 Gala or Red delicious apples

Simply peel and quarter the apples and cut into large chunks
Place the apples in a pot of boiling water, and turn the heat down to Med-Low heat
Cover and let cook for approx. 30 minutes
Pour the apples (and water) into the blender. Blend until it's at a desired consistency for your Little One.

To Freeze:
Pour the apple mix into clean ice cube trays, then cover with saran wrap and freeze overnight.

To Thaw:
Once the apples are frozen, simply remove from the ice cube trays and place in gallon size freezer bags. Then, when you're baby wants apples, simply grab a couple "cubes" and microwave for approx. 45-50 seconds. Stir well and taste to make sure there are no hot spots. (Each cube is 1 oz).

*You can also make homemade applesauce. After the apples are done cooking, simply drain the water from the pot and then mash the apples with a spoon until it has the consistency of applesauce. Store in the refrigerator in a container.

Bananas (3-5days worth)
3 Bananas
Water (optional)

Bananas are the EASIEST baby food to make, because you really don't even have to do anything to them! Because bananas are so soft they are the perfect food for babies to simply gum. Take a banana, cut it in half, and then using a spoon slice tiny pieces for your baby. If this is the first time you're baby has had "solids" like this, stay close and make sure to give them tiny bites!

Another option is to freeze them like we did the Apples. Place the bananas in the blender, add water (or breastmilk or formula) and blend to desired consistency. Pour into the ice cube trays, cover with Saran Wrap, and freeze overnight.

Carrots (2 weeks worth)
5 or 6 Carrots

Peel and dice the carrots
Boil in a pot of water for 10-15 minutes
Blend and then freeze
Mash carrots with a spoon until thick and creamy and refrigerate.

Squash (3 weeks worth)
1 Butternut Squash

Peel the squash and cut into large chunks.
Place the Squash in a pot of boiling water, and cook on low for 45 minutes
Place squash and water in the blender and blend until desired consistency
Pour into ice cube trays, cover with saran wrap, and freeze
Thaw 1 or 2 cubes at a time in a microwave safe bowl for 50 seconds

Chicken (2 week's worth)
 4 chicken breasts

Cook the chicken in a pot of boiling water until the chicken is completely cooked (no pink spots) Approx. 1 hour

Let cool.

When chicken has cooled, shred it into bite size pieces, then place it in the blender
Add 1/4 cup water (or the chicken broth)*
Blend until desired consistency
Follow previous instructions on Freezing.

*Using the chicken broth ensure that your baby gets more nutrients from the chicken, but it will also give it an even stronger chicken taste. I recommend using water at first until your baby is a little older and use to the taste of meat.

And, there you have it!! In about an hour you were able to make enough fruit, vegetables, and meat to feed your baby for a couple weeks! Doing it this way also saved you money AND time! 

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