Prunes, apples, citric acid, and ascorbic acid. Those were the ingredients listed on my baby’s brand name food that I had purchased at my grocery store. I wasn’t thinking much about it, after all buying baby food at the store is convenient and that’s just what you do. Where else would you get baby food? However one extremely rainy, lazy day my child was screaming for food and I had run out of both milk and puree (mum of the year award to me).
I scrambled though my pantry looking desperately for puree (screaming baby in tow) and found nothing… nothing at all. Then I scrambled for plan B, a banana! I peeled it and mashed it up into a smooth paste in record time, grabbed a spoon and fed it to my hungry daughter. When she tasted it a strange thing happened, I saw satisfaction. She ate so much food that I was a little surprised after all, she doesn’t eat the other purees like this. Then it dawned on me that my child actually LIKED this food. Then I began to think… what about blueberries, green beans, broccoli and apples? Maybe she would like those homemade too, and she did she loved them! My husband came home to find our kitchen in total disarray… but I was having so much fun.
Apparently, I am not the only parent who wants a better food for my child, type in homemade baby food into a search engine and you will get millions of recipes. While it may be more work (and more mess) here are a number of reasons why you should be making your own baby food:
1. Quality control
Let’s take a quick look at the process of how to make baby puree in a factory. First the produce is grown on a farm, in an unknown location under (hopefully) great conditions. During its growth it was most likely sprayed with SOME kind of pesticide, numerous times. Once full grown the produce was picked, packaged and flown over to the baby food plant wherever that may be... there it is washed (hopefully well), steamed, pressed, blended with preservatives and packaged into adorable tiny jars with a perfect baby image on it. Gross. Now compare that process with the process of making your own, homemade food. You go to the store and hand select quality ingredients (regular, organic or perhaps you have a garden), you take it home, thoroughly wash it, prep and cook it. Once it’s been cooked you blend it and either serve or store it. No preservatives needed.
2. It actually tastes delicious
After I gave my daughter homemade fresh banana puree I did some experimenting. I went back to the store and bought a jar of apples, bananas, green beans and a broccoli and apple puree. I also made a homemade version of each. Then I sat down with my beautiful, hungry daughter and tested the ones she liked best. First was breakfast, the jarred banana puree. She ate it, it was good but not like the fresh banana…she devoured it, actually grabbing the spoon to quickly feed herself and crying when it was gone! Lunch time came and it was green bean time, first I tried the jar. This batch did not go over well, she hated it and spit it out. Interestingly she did not spit out the fresh, while I could tell she didn’t enjoy it as much as the banana she accepted it and ate the rest like a champ. I was very proud. The same happened for the last two foods apples and broccoli/apple. I even got brave and tried the apples myself, and just for the record I seriously don’t recommend the jarred baby food.
And the best reason to make your own baby puree…
3. It’s CHEAPER!
I can honestly say I don’t even buy baby food anymore. Whatever you have purchased at the store for yourself (pineapple, watermelon, berries, green beans, potatoes etc..) you can turn into baby puree with the tools you already own in your kitchen! The bottom line is we know as adults that fresh is better and I think that, with a little research and practice you’ll see that you too can make your own fresh and delicious baby purees.