No, I’m Not Making Baby Food. Yes, I’m OK With That.

If you’ve been following along with my baby journey, you probably know by now I’m a researchaholic. Comes with being a journalist I guess.

Baby food has been no exception. When it was time for Jane to start solids, I scoured the Internet, consulted my go-to baby manual Baby 411 and reviewed all the information from our pediatrician.

Most of the advice was pretty straight forward: Start with rice cereal. Move onto purees. Slowly introduce one item at a time (fruits, veggies, proteins.) Add textures and variety as baby grows. Seemed easy enough.

I’m kind of a “natural minded” momma (yes, we’re still cloth diapering) so I decided we’d go for organic baby foods only. When I found a good sale on Earth’s Best at Publix, I stocked up on the little jars. Then I found a good sale on Plum Organics brand at Target and stocked up. Then… I went sort of crazy trying to find sales on as many varieties as possible. It became an obsession. lol. The end result is a cupboard that is literally overflowing. Like, can’t shut the door overflowing. If it’s an organic baby food pouch, we have it. (Has this happened to anyone else?)

Just one of many different varieties of Plum Stage 2 baby food pouches. (Image Credit: Drugstore.com)

Just one of many different varieties of Plum Stage 2 baby food pouches. (Image Credit: Drugstore.com)

Then it happened. I talked to a close girlfriend with a baby only a few months older than mine. She mentioned how she was making all of her own baby food: how she just loves picking out each new item to whip up into a puree for baby.

A Baby Breeza baby food maker. (Image Credit: BabyBreeza.com)

A Baby Breeza baby food maker. (Image Credit: BabyBreeza.com)her Baby Breeza, just loves picking out each new produce item for baby to try.

I felt sort of… guilty. I never really even entertained the idea of making my own baby food… at all. Suddenly though, after talking to my pal, it felt like I should be doing it too. Plus, making my own baby food seemed like the sort of thing all “natural minded” mommas do.

I went online. A quick Google ninja search turned up all kinds of stories on why you should make your own baby food, how it’s cheaper, more nutritious for baby, and generally a sign of better parenting.

Ugh.

I started researching baby food makers on Amazon. After days of mulling the options, I finally logged online one afternoon to buy one. It never happened.

I just don’t have time or the will to make baby food. I barely have enough time to make and freeze healthy meals for the week for myself. I’m supposed to spend hours chopping and pureeing and mashing? I’d much rather be playing with baby. Jane really seems to like the store bought varieties too. So, why change up a good thing?

Maybe it’s self-justification but I came up with a list counterpoints, a list of all the reasons to choose store bought over homemade. Maybe it will make other store-bought mommas feel better. Here it is:

1. It’s convenient. I can buy all kinds of varieties and expose baby to various tastes and textures without having to search for all manner of obscure fruits and veggies in the store. It’s not always so easy to find peaches or mangos in the dead of winter, amiright? And seriously, pureeing a turkey?

2. It’s not necessarily more expensive. If I have to spend $100 + on a fancy baby food maker or food processor, suddenly the extra expense of buying pouches and jars doesn’t seem so bad.

3. USDA Certified Organic. If you’re buying food with this seal, you know it’s been held to a certain inspection standard and will likely have less pesticide/chemical residue than conventional baby foods, or items you get in the produce aisle.

4. Less waste. The pouches and jars can generally last for one or two days in the fridge after being opened. On the other hand, if you’re making and freezing your own baby food, you might have a harder time gauging how much to thaw at a time. I’ve since surveyed some close friends with babies doing this and they’ve admitted yes, a lot can go to waste if baby has an off eating day.

So, that’s it. One caveat though. I do think it’s really important for all parents to read the labels of what they buy carefully to make sure they’re feeding what they think is best to their baby. Sometimes labeling can be pretty misleading.

Earth's Best Chicken & Brown Rice (Image Credit: EarthsBest.com)

Earth’s Best Chicken & Brown Rice (Image Credit: EarthsBest.com)

A jar of Earth’s Best Chicken & Brown Rice Dinner for example, actually contains the following: Water, Organic Butternut Squash, Organic Ground Chicken, Organic Corn, Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice.

I’ve also noticed many of the fruit and veggie combo jar/pouches have fruit listed first in the ingredients. I’m sure this isn’t an accident. Fruits are going to have higher sugar concentrations naturally, so if there’s more of them instead of veggies, baby will probably gobble it up. What baby likes, momma buys.

So how do you feel about the baby food debate? Did you make your own baby food? Go with store bought? Why or why not? Share your experiences here!

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4 thoughts on “No, I’m Not Making Baby Food. Yes, I’m OK With That.

  1. I ended up doing a little of both! I bought a $15 baby food processor from Walmart. It doesn’t take me too long to whip him up some fruits. He hated the veggies I made! Lol. He did eat them better if I mixed momma milk in with it instead of water. Daycare gives him store bought, so I only give him food at night and on the weekends. He really loves the meat baby food for some reason. I haven’t tried making any homemade of that yet. I had the experience with the waste. If I bought this huge vegetable and he didn’t like it… Well… :/ He is getting big enough now that he is taking tiny bites of our food! Growing too fast!

  2. i make my own food, so if i had a bb i would like to help out

    seth wrightington

    ps. sometimes its hard to believe southern women can do anything anyway..

    Sent from my iPad

  3. I have 11 month old boy girl twins and I do both, I think it is all up to the baby though. My son will eat every veggie out there but my daughter will gag if I ever try to give her veggies, so I tried giving them some “real” veggies pureed, my son HATED it but my daughter loved it. The jars or pouches of food are much more convenient and less wasteful…I would just stick with what you know, and what baby loves. You are doing a good job, thanks for the read, it was rather interesting! 🙂

  4. This is interesting, I do a little of both, there isn’t time to be puritanical about things. If we are out and about, sachets are incredibly useful being portable, light and leakproof. They also have the advantage that I can expose my baby to ingredients I’m not too keen on (lentils), or recipes that I don’t cook very often (salmon risotto) but when we are home I quite enjoy tweaking our meals so that the baby can eat them too. In the winter it might be stew, or hotpot, or baked potato chopped up with cheese on. In the summer grilled veggies for her to suck on, rice and soup, grilled chicken thighs, just simple stuff. It’s meant that we eat more healthily as I’ve stopped using salt and she gets used to what we have. Like you I can’t be doing with making extra meals and pureeing so I just adapt what I’m doing already. All mama’s are just doing our best!

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