Baby food is big business, with over half a billion dollars in sales last year. For the companies manufacturing jars of mashed bananas and carrots, this is quite a profitable pursuit.
But why do parents, who could just as easily prepare these simple “dishes”, spend hundreds of dollars a year on jars of baby food?
The answers are varied, and include convenience, lack of food preparation knowledge, and great marketing by Gerber, Beech Nut, and a few smaller players.
A few moms that decided to go the homemade route shared their story:
Jaime Hollock, 32, mother of Micah, 13 months, has been making homemade baby food for her son ever since he started eating solids at 5½ months old.
Before Micah was born, Jaime decided she wanted to make her own food, so she bought two books to educate herself on the subject, giving her confidence.
“I learned this is no different than me cooking for myself”
What you need to know:
If you’re buying baby food to feed junior at home, you’re throwing money away. Especially in the early months of solids, there’s nothing easier than steaming or boiling carrots, zucchini, etc… and pureeing them. You can then store the puree in the freezer for an entire week, using an ice tray to create individual portions that will be used daily.
Chicken? not a problem. boil some water and throw a few drumsticks in a for 45 minutes. When prepared, separate the meat from the bones, and puree.
Fruit? The easiest . Just peel and puree. Bananas are the easiest – just use a fork to create a delicious mushy mass.
By following these first steps you’ll be providing your baby the freshest and tastiest food, without any additional ingredients. (To the manufacturers’ credit, they have removed most of the additives and sugar from baby food in the past few years).
What to do at the supermarket:
Save yourself money and splurge on supermarket baby food for those days where you’ll be on the road or out of the house for a long time.
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