Monday, April 25, 2011

Mommy Monday: Baby Food Bonanza!

This past Saturday, A took the girls outside to enjoy the beautiful SPRING weather while I got to partake in a baby food-making bonanza! It was actually a really nice break and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Pictured above are almost 2 trays of green bean/carrot blend, 10 cubes of apple and 1 tray & 2 cubes of Anjou pear. To make this, I used:

1 16 oz. bag frozen organic green beans ($1.69 @ Trader Joe’s) = $1.69
~1.5 lbs organic carrots (3 lb. bag/~$3 @ Dominick’s – I think?) = $1.50
4 organic Anjou pears ($0.69 each @ Trader Joe’s) = $2.76
2 organic Braeburn apples (12/$4.99 @ Costco) = $0.83

Typically, I use 2 cubes/meal with some rice cereal/baby oatmeal for added vitamins/texture. So, for 24 meals/servings, I spent $6.78 or about $0.28/serving. The best I can recall seeing jars of organic baby food sell for is about $0.67/jar with a sale and coupon. For 24 jars at that price, you’d spend $16.08. That’s almost $10 savings! Wow. I’ve never taken the time to do all the math on this and didn't realize it saved that much!

To make all of the baby food in the picture took a little over an hour, but I also unloaded the dishwasher and dish rack and washed another dish rack full of dishes while fruits/veggies were steaming. In other words, I also got other things done in this time. The hour-ish of steaming/pureeing should last me at least through the week, but most likely longer. I already have a couple of trays of sweet potato in the freezer, so I’m not expecting to NEED to make anymore for another 2 weeks. Though I still might make a little once some room clears up in our seemingly ever-shrinking freezer - just to add some more variety to C's diet. :)

I know that some people have concerns about steaming/boiling most foods to get them soft enough to puree since a lot of the vitamins are then boiled/steamed out of the veggies/fruit in the process. To try to counteract this, I save the water in the bottom of the pot and use it as I puree. If you start with fruits, which often don’t need added water in the pureeing process, you can save the water in the bottom of the pot and add it to the veggies later, which usually DO need water added. I do add a little more water to the pot before steaming the veggies just to be sure there is enough and it hasn't all evaporated by the time I'm done steaming. Since all of the food is most likely going in the same little tummy anyway, you get most of the vitamins added back in. I think. I am no scientist, mind you. ;)

I also tend to keep the recipes pretty simple so that I can combine them in different ways at mealtime. Except for green beans since they don't like them.

C tried green beans for the first time last week and it was quite hilarious. She kept making this horrible face and giving A and I this sad/confused look like, "What are you making me eat?" I feel bad getting so much pleasure out of her misery, but it's just so funny! :) So I tried mixing it with carrot this time - something she likes - hoping it would help and I think it did. She's only eaten it once so far, but had a much easier time.

Next time: banana, spinach and avocado?

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