Oh Baby! Make Your Own Baby Food

When you are a new parent, people love to give you advice on everything from how to dress your baby to what to feed them.  When it came to feeding, getting through the well-intentioned advice from family and friends was a challenge… ”Your son isn’t sleeping through the night?  But he’s already 6 weeks old!  Just give him rice cereal in a bottle before bedtime and he’ll sleep just fine…that worked for MY kids 45 years ago!”   Ack!  Thankfully my husband trusted my nutrition training and we tuned out the nonsense.

Some of my most joyous memories are from the experience feeding my boys’ during their first year of life.  To be honest, we probably would have gone the jarred baby food route without giving it much thought.  We had such busy schedules..who had time to make baby food?

We just thought jars were much more convenient for us.  To give credit where credit is due…one day my mom fondly recalled how she fed my 2 older brothers and me using  a baby food grinder that she would bring to the table and add to it whatever the family was eating, grind it up, and feed us straight from there.

I decided to try to find the grinder she was talking about…sure enough, I stumbled upon a variety of grinders.  One was electric and one was a manual hand grinder.  I bought both.  When the packages arrived, I was just as excited as a kid opening a present.

It could not have been more convenient.  We prepared our food with little to no salt and individually seasoned it for ourselves if we wanted.  Did I still use baby food from jars once in a while?  Of course.  I wasn’t motivated to do this because of the concern for what went into jarred baby food or the freshness of those products.

It was the fact that I was able to introduce some delightful flavors that they never would have experienced if we had been limited to the jars and the joy of having the boys eat the family meal (think honeydew melon and fresh salmon, er, not necessarily together though).  After we had our second baby, it was fun for the oldest to help turn the handle and ‘make’ his brother’s dinner.

If you are interested but think making your own baby food is just for Martha Stewart-esque moms, believe me-nothing could be farther from the truth.  Just go for it!

By Louise Goldberg, RD, CSP, LD, CNSC

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