Congratulations! You have a one year old. You also have a couple cases of left over baby food that he or she wasn’t eating last week and definitely won’t eat now. I mean they can have the goodness of solid food. You may find yourself in a position where you don’t have friends with babies and a while bunch of baby food you don’t want to waste. Here are some ways to use up that baby food.
Instead of waiting for bananas to soften for banana bread use the already pureed banana baby food. You can also use other baby food fruits as a pie filling. Using a jar or baby food corn works great for adding a little moisture into corn bread
You can dump the leftover baby fruit into a bowl and freeze it. Then eat it with some whipped cram as a frozen treat. You can take the runnier fruits and make them into fruit popsicles.
You can add vegetables in disguise in soups and chili by stirring a jar of baby food vegetables into the mix. The same can be said of baby food meats. It’s a fast way to add meat to a chili or soup without the thawing and cutting. it also ensures the meat is easily chewed by your younger family members.
If you have a sick child and are worried that they need to eat something ( or your trying to avoid dry heaving) consider using baby food. It’s broken down enough to get some nutrients into your child’s system and if they do end up throwing up, at least they have something to throw up.
Cereals can be mixed with other hot cereals or add-ons such as peanut butter or jelly. Rice cereal is a good base for a rice pudding. You may also find you like baby oatmeal better than regular oatmeal. It pours smoothly, and if stirred well, can have less lumps. Baby cereals are also a good way to add texture to soups or chili.
Baby food can add up really quickly. I mean, really quickly! If you have chosen to feed your baby purees (as opposed to, say, doing the baby-led weaning approach), and you have a hungry kind of fellow, you will discover that you will go through baby food incredibly quickly. If you are willing to put in a little extra time in order to save a few bucks, you can make your own pureed baby food for much cheaper than you can buy in the stores!
For instance, I can find organic bananas in my city for about $0.79 a pound. There are about 3 bananas in a pound, making them about 5.3 oz each. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say after peeling them, each banana weighs a little over 4oz—the same size as a typical jar of baby food. This means once you’ve mashed the bananas, you end up with about 3 jar’s worth of baby food, for a whopping $0.79 total!
In contrast, a 4oz jar of organic banana baby puree at the same store I bought the organic bananas at costs $1.29! So for $0.79 and maybe ten minutes of work at home, you get the same amount of baby food that would cost $3.87 at the store! You might point out that if you make your own baby food, you also need to have containers to store the food in, and utensils to mash or blend the food with, all of which cost money—though if you already have a blender, this cost goes down. Small mason jars or even ice cube trays, which many people already have on hand, can be used to store freshly prepared baby food in as well. You also have the freedom to make up combinations of baby food that don’t even exist in stores! Is your child like mine and likes to mash his beef into his applesauce? Now you make a beef-and-applesauce puree that your child will love, even if you want to barf while making it! Homemade baby food is a little time consuming, but can end up saving quite a bit of money versus buying jarred baby food in the long run.
Making baby food can be a great way to save money, if you are prepared to put the planning and effort into it. It allows you to make food in bulk or for your baby to try new foods that are on hand. It is particularly effective if you already eat a healthy and balanced diet. Your grocery list will only need a few tweaks. Here are a few other things to consider while making baby food.
Do you have all the right tools to make baby food? Surprisingly, most of the things you need to make baby food are already in your kitchen. Sauce glassware, baby spoons, bowls, and a strainer. The one thing that I didn’t have to make baby food was a baby food grinder, but my blender worked fine when set for puree. This doesn’t always work with cereals though. For things like oatmeal or rice a food processor would have worked better.
Make sure that the foods you plan to give your little one are age appropriate to them. Start out with your cereals and move on to sweet potatoes. Study up in books or on the internet what fruits and vegetables are appropriate at your child’s eating level. You will also want to decide if you will use formula or breast milk in you baby food. Will you want to use organic foods? What foods can help you make a balanced meal for your little one? Above all make sure new foods are introduced one at a time and watch for allergic reactions.
Now that you have made this wonderful food for your child, brace yourself for the spitting. Making your own baby food does come with the risk of feeling rejection when you tot doesn’t like your new recipe. Remember that it’s not personal. It has more to do with a new taste or texture for your little one to adjust to than mommy’s new recipe.
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