Lah-Lah was about 5 months old when her pediatrician gave us the okay for her to eat baby food. As a mom, that is a HUGE milestone to get really excited about!
Make or buy baby food?
After receiving the doctor’s approval, we went to our local grocery store got a cool convertible high chair, baby bibs, cloth napkins, sippy cups, a package of spoons and forks, and baby food! At first, when we purchased baby food in the first week, it did not appear to be expensive at all! However, over a period of 30 days, we definitely needed to do something quick as this repetitive purchase became a noticeable weekly expense! After talking to my mom about how to make baby food, she said all I needed was vegetables and water! She insisted sweet potato because it’s high in fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C!
Advantages of making baby food at home
- It is really easy
- Super wallet friendly
- Baby approved
- Mommy made
Store brand versus homemade
I worked out baby food math in chart form to show how much it would cost if we were to continue to purchase brand name baby food versus making it ourselves. ** I am using sweet potato for this chart explanation
Brand name baby food:
* Brand name baby food 4oz. tubs were sold in a 2-pack which cost $1.32, each.
|Week||Sets or # tubs||$|
|1||4 sets or 8 tubs||$5.28|
|2||4 sets or 8 tubs||$10.56|
|3||4 sets or 8 tubs||$15.84|
|4||4 sets or 8 tubs||$21.12|
|5||4 sets or 8 tubs||$26.40|
|6||4 sets or 8 tubs||$31.68|
Making baby food at home:
|Quantity of sweet potato being cooked in slow cooker||0.76 each per sweet potato||≈ Number of servings, 4oz baby food tubs|
|1||= $0.76||≈ 4-6|
|2||= $1.52||≈6 – 8|
|3||= $2.28||≈ 8 – 12|
|4||= $3.04||≈12 – 16|
|5||= $3.80||≈16 – 20|
|6||= $4.56||≈20 – 24|
Making baby food at home:
To make baby food, all you need, is a few basic things like a slow cooker, your choice of vegetable, fruit and water…a wooden spoon, and 4oz. food storage containers,also if needed, a food processor to break down food like peas or a blender (that’s okay too). Most often, I will make food that will last anywhere between 6 to 8 days at a time – no more than that. When I first started making baby food, I only purchased sweet potatoes because it was a safe choice for Lah-Lah and then over time, I combined it with another vegetable or two. These are the combinations that I have had much success with it:
- Sweet potato + peas
- Sweet potato + carrots
- Sweet potato + peas +carrots
Here are the steps to making baby food…Really Easy
For this recipe, I chose to make a combination of sweet potato, peas and carrots:
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 carrots
- 2 cups of green peas, (frozen peas are okay too!)
- 3+ cups of water
Pour two cups of peas and one cup of water into processor, then turn it on!! It should look like a bright green paste. Continue to process peas until it has a creamy consistency!
Peel both carrots and sweet potatoes and cut into into cubes
Gather all ingredients into slow cooker, pour 3 cups of water, then stir, set temperature on HIGH and time for 6 hours and top it off with cover…then walk away…for about 1 hour
If baby food looks too dry or loosing too much water, slowly add ½ cup of water, just enough so it doesn’t dry out and stir, then cover top.
As it cooks, the vegetables will become soft enough to mash with a wooden spoon. To break down large pieces. I usually smash large pieces of vegetables against the side of the pot (see pic), this should take a couple of minutes…do this until most of the large pieces are noticeably broken down…then stir, stir, stir! Cover top, let it cook! It’s almost baby food!!!
After cooking for at least a couple of hours with mashing and adding water over time, it will look like thick mashed up vegetable soup. (All the vegetables are easy to break apart without effort at this point). Mash vegetables with wooden spoon, add water if needed, stir one more time. Turn off the cooker, keep the cover on, and let cool down.
Come back when slow cooker is cooled down, return with a blender to create a smoother texture. If consistency is still too thick, slowly add water until you get it to your ideal preference – then stir. Currently, I try to keep a very creamy smooth puree consistency for Lah-Lah, she is still practicing how to chew, while learning how to push food to the back of her throat.
After the you get your desired consistency, and pot cooled down, the only thing left to do is fill food containers. Baby food can be placed in freezer up to 7 days.