Sometimes, things can seem to good too be true. But they're not. And that means you can jump and do a heel-kick because you just hit the mother-load.
You are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about, yes?
Let me explain. You see, Stuart and I weren't exactly planning on getting pregnant when we did. We, as with most young couples, were worried about the cost of having and caring for a child when we felt like there wasn't much wiggle room to stretch the finances further. But as always, the Lord provides in wonderful and providential ways, and we have adjusted very easily to having the wee-one. That being said, we still have to work at keeping our expenses to a minimum. A few of the ways that we have found to keep our costs down significantly are breast feeding, cloth diapers, and….
(Drum roll please.)
Homemade baby food.
Now, this isn't anythin' new. Women have been making their own baby food for a million years! Okay, maybe not that long, but it's been a long time. In fact, it wasn't until recently that commercial baby food was even available. Now, it takes up a whole aisle at the grocery store! And it's expensive. Very expensive. Even though .79 cents doesn't seem like a lot for a jar…when you consider that the baby may get up to eating 3 or 4 or even more per day, that can really add up!
So instead of taking on this expense, Stuart and I decided to make our own. It didn't take much research to figure out how to make it: you puree the food.
How's that for easy. Too good to be true!
With minimal effort, we were able to make enough baby food to get Georgia through her mushy-food stage, plus some! We used vegetables from our garden last year and gleaned fruit from trees around our valley. In fact, all in all, we didn't spend a dime on any of the food. After we gathered and harvested, we cooked the food slightly to soften it, peeled it (if necessary), and then pureed it in a food processor. A blender would work well too!
Here's a list of some of the goodies we found work well:
1. Zucchini: Steam slightly, add a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Puree.
2. Carrots: Steam slightly, add a drizzle of olive oil. Puree.
3. Peaches: Peel and heat slightly to soften. Puree.
4. Pears: Heat slightly to soften. Puree.
5. Apples: Peel and heat slightly to soften. Puree.
6. Plums: Heat slightly to soften. Puree.
7. Green beans: Steam, add a drizzle of olive oil. Puree.
8. Apricots: Heat slightly to soften. Puree.
This list is not exhaustive, by any means. Supplement various other fruits or veggies into your list and see what your wee-one prefers. Of course, any combination of the above work well, too. G-Dog loves carrots and pears together. Or, you can mix some frozen with some fresh (ie: pears and bananas or avocado).
After you have pureed the food, spread it in ice cube trays and freeze. Once the food is frozen, pop the ‘food cubes' out and store in a freezer bag. That way, when baby is hungry, you can just grab out a perfect sized portion out of the bag! So easy! (Side note: I heat the frozen food cube up in a pan on the stove. I just don't like the idea of using a microwave…)
Here's another tip: instead of buying ‘Stage 2' or ‘Stage 3' pre-packaged foods, with labels like ‘Chicken Dinner', make your own! Here's an example: I made beef stew the other night. After it cooled down, I put it into my handy-dandy little miniature food processor and pureed it. Bam! Stage 3 food. This way, Georgia is eating the nutritious whole foods that we are eating – which means I know exactly what is going into her little tummy and how exactly it was prepared. And that makes me happy. Just make sure you don't use foods that are too spicy!
Having a babe doesn't need to be rocket science. And it doesn't need to be crazy expensive either. Striving to keep things simple and easy helps eliminate the stress of it all.
Simple and easy. Like free food.
Can't argue with that!
Any tips for others out there?