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Baby Food Face-Off!! Homemade Baby Food | A break down of the cost benefits

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posted: 02/25/12

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
Homemade Baby Food | A break down of the cost benefits
Homemade Baby Food | www.wineandglue.com | A break down of the cost benefits
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{Okay. I should start this post with a disclaimer. I did not make a single ounce of baby food for Gavin. I had one child. A much smaller house, that, frankly, I never cleaned, and I did not make him a single ounce of baby food. Being a new mom was all the challenge I needed at that time in my life. Why on earth would I make baby food when they came in convenient and adorable little jars?? (On a side note, this is a great blog post about how stressful being the mom of one can be.)

My second disclaimer is for working moms. I can just imagine some of the amazing moms I know who work full time jobs and take care of their beautiful children rolling their eyes and saying, “Bite me, Lisa.” This is not a post to convince you to make your own baby food. I’m not going to shove my granola ways in your face and talk to you all about the nutritional value, the environmental factors, and blah blah blah. I’m going pure economical on you. With this caveat:  If it’s at all too stressful, don’t do it. I’m just obsessed with making baby food and had to share. Let the pureeing commence!!}

This small package of 5 ounces of stage one sweet potatoes cost $1. On sale. The sweet potato itself cost $0.65. (To be fair, it was also on sale.)  I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Its not all that difficult to make either. You bake the sweet potato and then you just toss it in your food processor.

Turn it on.

And watch it run around your food processor like a terrified little hamster, remaining completely whole. Seriously, Lisa?

Ok. Let’s try this again.

Once you’ve chopped it up, it should go better.

There we go. For an older kiddo, this would actually be fine. And really, you wouldn’t have needed the food processor at all. But Quinn’s a peanut still, and we need to thin it out a little. So I’ve been adding breast milk.

Lots of baby food recipes use water to thin out the baby food, and if you steam the veggies, you could just use the cooking water for that. For this batch of sweet potatos, I used about 3 ounces of breast milk.

There we go. That will be much better for little Q Bear.

Okay, let’s see how much we got out of that sweet potato.

A little over 15 ounces!! Not bad! (If you are wondering, I did zero out the scale after putting the glass measuring cup on.)  And if I had thinned it out as much as the store bought food was, I would have gotten even more.

Next I pop it in some ice trays.

I got passed down these trays made especially for making baby food, and they are pretty awesome, but you could use just any old trays. Though these ones are pretty nice because they have lids.

Once they are frozen, I toss them in a ziploc bag and label them.

Then I throw that bag in an even bigger bag.

I kind of went nuts making different veggies.

I can’t wait to get started on the fruit!

Okay, so what’s the breakdown? Because we know the home made baby food won.

Isn’t that awesome? It’s SO much cheaper!

And fair enough, sweet potatoes are easy. It’s when you get into the chunkier stuff and the combos of food, like chicken and veggies, that it’s hard to know how to do it. But there are some really great resources out there. Like The Everything Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book. I have also found this website to be really helpful for the recipes and the recommendations of when to start what foods.

And just look how happy little Q is eating her butternut squash!

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Six Sisters says

    Nice job!! Thanks. We loved having you join us at “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We hope you’ll be back next week! -The Sisters

  2. Melissa Swenson says

    I’m pregnant with baby #3 & I’m totally making my own baby food this time around. With #2 I would just mash up whatever veggie/fruit we were having with a fork & thinned it with breast milk or water and it worked great. However, I’ve been looking for an easy way to do it in bulk so that I don’t have to do each meal individually. Thank you! Great info & I love those trays!

  3. Jenny says

    Thanks so much for this post!! I am a first-time mom to a wonderful little boy, who is now 6 months old. Because of my crazy work schedule, I decided to quit my job to stay at home with my sweet boy. I’m looking for ways to save money since we are a single income family now. Your post just convinced me that it’s worth it to make baby food at home!

    By the way, your disclaimers are great. They are, quite honestly, the reason I chose to read your post over some other bloggers’ posts on the same topic. :)

  4. Charyl says

    Thank you for your first disclaimer! I am so glad to see that there are other mothers out there going through the same thing. It is such a comfort to know I am not alone! My son is 5 months and I can’t wait to make his food next month!

  5. Josalyn says

    my babies have also loved spinach. One of my favorite things about making my own baby food is that my kids aren’t as picky eaters! I didn’t do it with my first one either. With your first one you are just trying to figure out who you are as a mom. That takes a lot of time! No need to feel guilty. :)

  6. Amy says

    What about the actual cost of the food processor and ice cube trays?? Not everyone owns a food processor and most people use their current ice cube trays for ice
    I went through the cost analysis and, factoring in the 2-4 months my girls would need to eat purées, I found it much more economical to buy purees.

    • Lisa Longley says

      You make a GREAT point, Amy. I’m totally doing the cost calculations with the assumption that you already have a food processor. However, I’m also an advocate for owning a food processor because I use mine all the time. :) That said, I think that a lot of homemade purees (especially beans, carrots, and other food that gets really soft when cooked/steamed) could be pureed with a blender, which many people already have.

    • Stephanie says

      I find the blender I already own ($20 and have had it since college) works the best, even better than my Cuisinart food processor.

  7. Lauren says

    Nice tutorial! My daughter is 5 weeks old and so I’m excited to be collecting ideas for when I start making some baby food from our garden. :)

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oooo, from the garden is even better Lauren!

  8. Jackie says

    That’s some serious savings. Thanks for sharing the word about it!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thanks Jackie

  9. Hope Burkhart says

    I never thought to add breast milk to my homemade baby food, so clever!

  10. Brandi hash says

    Once put in freezer how long is it good for?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I would say about a month or two. It really depends on how well you seal it in it’s container and if it is a deep freezer or the freezer of your refrigerator. If you want a good very safe guide, I would google how long you can store frozen breast milk and go by those standards. For me personally, I would do about a month or two at a time.

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