I've been dead set on making my own baby food since before I ever got pregnant. It was homemade babyfood and cloth diapering...those were my "musts" as a mom. I realize that not everybody has the time, patience or desire to do either of the following, but if you only knew how easy it was ( and cheap!) you'd probably try it just to see if I'm lying.
Part of my baby food making is out of necessity right now, so I am super glad it was something I wanted to do long before a move to China was in our future. If baby food making isn't your thing, then I'm sorry, this post will most likely bore the life out of you.
So, first things first, we purchased a blender at Carrefour. There were not many to choose from ( nor are the directions in English) so I went with the one that looked the simplest.
Two buttons. Mince and Crush.
I can totally run this machine! Another feature I initially liked were the small cups that you could blend single servings into, but after my first batch, I decided that the full blender was the way to go.
Why make just one serving when you can make a zillion and freeze them?
I bought pears, broccoli and carrots this week.
Here's where living in China makes preparing baby food even more economical. I paid 4.11 RMB (64 cents) for 4 giant carrots, 2.99 RMB (47 cents) for 3 pears and 5.44 RMB (85 cents) for a head of broccoli. I was able to get 20 one ounce servings of carrots, 7 servings of pears, and 10 servings of broccoli from this bounty. The breakdown??
3 cents per serving of carrots
7 cents per serving of pears
9 cents per serving of broccoli
Not bad, right? Compare that to at least $.99 per jar of prepared baby food, and the savings add up quickly.
I thoroughly washed both the carrots and pears, then peeled and rinsed again. I chopped the carrots and sliced the pears into chunks the same way I would if making an apple pie. I have a microwave steamer that I use to steam. I fill a bottom reservoir with water, then I spread out the fruit or vegetables on a steam tray, put on the lid, and nuke for 10 minutes. From there, I pour my steamed food into the blender, add water and blend till smooth.
Easy as wash, peel, chop and steam.
Once blended, I pour into ice cube trays, then let them freeze and set overnight. Once frozen, I pour them into gallon size ziploc bags, labeled with the food type and date they were prepared. They will stay good for up to 2 months, but I am sure we will power through this batch in a matter of a few weeks.
I currently use two ice cubes worth of food to equal one serving, because my ice cube trays here in China are 1/2 ounce each. Apparently ice is not as loved over here, and just finding an ice cube tray was a whole day expedition. When I finally found some that were bigger than the size of a dime, I jumped on them and bought four. I'll have to stock up on American size trays next visit home. I guess ice is no exception--in America, everything truely IS bigger!
So, there you have it.
Making baby food is EASY. It's HEALTHY. And best of all, it's CHEAP!