So, your baby is ready for *real* food… CONGRATULATIONS! This is a huge milestone for both you and baby, so take a second to give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far. You’re doing awesome! That being said, we know all too well about how hard it can be tracking down foods that your baby likes and getting them interested in trying new things. Some kids take to solid foods with no problems, while others require years of patience and coaxing them to try even single bites of new food. Having been on both sides of that coin, we’ve mastered a few tricks that can make this process easier, whether your kids love trying new things or dread it.
Make Your Own Baby Food!
We truly believe that making our kids food from the same ingredients we made our dinners with is why we are blessed with 3 (mostly) non-picky eaters. While I’d love to say I did it all for their health and well being, (which is a great reason to make your own baby food!) I cannot tell a lie- it was also about the savings. $$$
In an article written by Julia Scott for Intuit Mint Life, she breaks down a detailed cost comparison between homemade & store bought baby food- both organic & non-organic. While the prices may have changed since the article was published in 2012, the basic math remains the same. Homemade = money saved! Julia wrote, “A 4-ounce jar of Gerber organic baby food costs $1.39 at my local grocer, no matter the flavor. If my daughter eats two ounces at each meal, the per-serving cost is $.69.” To compare- “A one pound bag of organic carrots costs $1.29 per pound at my local grocer. Two carrots, or $.37 of the bag, cook down to three servings of food. That means it costs me $.12 per serving.”
Now if saving money isn’t enough to sell you- let's talk about convenience! Having Chicken and Rice with a side of carrots tonight? Perfect! Throw some in a blender (or food processor) and make it into baby food! No more preparing one meal for the adults & another for the baby. Do it all in one step AND enjoy the added bonus that your baby is well on their way to being a well rounded eater. In my eyes, that's a total win/win!
As far as “recipes” go- a good rule to remember is that Simple is always better. Things like seasonings and more advanced non-blendable foods will come later- for now, it’s all about creating a texture that’s both safe and enjoyable for your baby. This article we found by YummyToddlerFood.com has some great tips and simple recipes to get your wheels turning on some foods that you and your baby will BOTH love!
SAVE YOUR SANITY- Just clean up when they’re done.
Babies (and kids in general) are messy. That’s just a fact. They’re in that amazing stage of life where they are learning so much about the world around them, but they REALLY haven’t mastered those fine motor skills yet. I promise, it will get better, but some days you will clean their highchair ten times and still find a splatter of roasted squash puree that you missed the next morning. Other days they wake up and have suddenly mastered the spoon and your whole life just got easier! The important thing to remember is: the messy stage will (probably...hopefully) pass but it is such an important part in their development. Not only are they learning independence, but they are figuring out their bodies in a way only babies can- through just living! So keep some cleaning wipes on hand and stock up on Bibs, because your little one has some serious eating (and LEARNING) to do!
Good Luck, Mama! You’ve got this.- A & C