When C was old enough to start expanding his culinary horizons (about two months ago), S and I decided we’d make as much of his food as possible ourselves. This way we could control everything he was taking in and (we assumed) save a little money too. So far, so good.
His first meal was butternut squash, and since then he’s sampled carrots, sweet potatoes (he hasn’t turned orange yet), peas, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, corn, apples, pears, bananas, blueberries, mangoes, and his recent favorite, Chicken Tomato Casserole. I think he may have a more sophisticated palate than many ten-year olds. We try to do organic as much as possible, which isn’t terribly difficult – most of it comes from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and even Marc’s. Just cut it, steam it, blend it, and pop it into some nifty freezer trays from Beaba. Makes a bit more mess than just opening a jar, but not by much. It takes a bit of effort (maybe 1/2 hour?), but we know it’s 100% pure food. Even the organic version of a common baby food contains gelatin, choline bitartate, ascorbic acid, and tuna oil – there may not be anything wrong with adding vitamins and other nutrients, but we prefer that his carrots contain… carrots. And an occasional dog hair that seem to end up everywhere.
As far as the price breakdown goes, we average about $0.40 – $0.50 per serving, and have been as low as about a quarter per. Compare that to an average price of $0.80 for a regular jar, or upwards of $1.25 for the organic stuff, and I’d say we’re making out pretty well. Which is especially good since the kid eats like a horse. He definitely got daddy’s appetite. On the flip side, he is always moving and he’s consistently on the low end of the weight chart, so he also appears to have gotten daddy’s metabolism. Could be worse.
All in all, we’re pretty satisfied with how things have gone. It’s saving us money, it’s probably healthier because it’s one ingredient and they’re fresh, not canned, and we can expose him to a much wider variety of foods – I’ve never seen jars of asparagus or mango, though I may not be looking hard enough. I’m still new to the baby thing.