Concerned about nutrition? Choose exactly what baby eats without anything extra.Making your own baby food is easy, cheap and filled with sound nutrition.Lauri Deason, mom of one, said, “If I can do this, anyone can. ANYONE.” Lessen the worry and take matters into your own hands.

How Safe is Your Baby’s Food?

How about safety? Those little jars do not have a “date prepared” stamp. How long has it been shelved? Where is it stored? Oh and do not forget about all those jars piling up in the landfill. The CDC shows 3,999,386 babies were born in 2010. If they each of these babes consume an average of 10 jars a day, that would equate to 14,597,758,900 jars heading for the landfill yearly.

In a July 2007 letter from the U.S. FDA, Earth’s Best brand Apple Peach Barley Wholesome Breakfast baby food “…has been prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health.” Remember this? I don’t either. News flashes and recalls can quickly take a back seat when chasing a wobbly toddler or a teething infant.

Commercial farming practices can leave chemicals behind,even trace levels of lead. The State of California, following a lawsuit, recently tested a number of baby foods. They found the need for warning labels on more than 15 varieties including some labeled as “organic.” Among the names were top baby brand Gerber and Beech-Nut.

How to Make Your Own Baby Food

Don’t know where to begin? “The only thing(s) you need are: a pot, steamer basket, blender, ice cube trays then Ziploc bags to hold the cubes once they’re frozen. Just mark the contents of the individual bags and voila!” Cheralyn Telmanik , mother of 4, goes on to say, “I started with simple fruits & veggies and eventually made batches with rice, pasta & meat combos.” Fruits and veggies are generally a popular and simple place to start.

Where to Find Baby Food Ingredients

baby opening refrigerator

This baby hungry!

Supplies for your new adventure can be acquired at countless venues. Grocery store chains usually carry some produce, though it is shipped in from all over the country. Want to know more about where the food comes from? Nashville’s Farmers Market is a great option. Open every day, they are loaded with fresh, organic produce with tons of variety. Additionally, curbside vendors are common from spring all the way through fall. Purchases made locally give the area economy a small boost. Buyers will leave knowing how long the tomato was on the truck, what pesticide was used and when the next fresh crop will be ready.

Materials are now gathered so it’s time to jump. Put together foods in bulk or blend up a batch of dinner for the little ones. Mash up a tub of strawberries or steam a few carrots. You can even add breast milk for consistency and nourishment. Put the mix in in ice cube trays and freeze or put them in the fridge. Running low on, well, anything? Toss in some leftovers. You don’t have to eye that casserole any longer and lunch is as good as done. Here are a few recipes to get you started making your own green, organic, chemical-free baby food:

Homemade Baby Food Recipes You Can Source Locally in Nashville

Fresh Veggies

  • Rinse veggies in cool water
  • Steam choice vegetable(s) until soft
  • Puree until desired smoothness is reached
  • Add breast milk for nutrition and consistency
  • Freeze, refrigerate or serve immediately

Fresh Fruit

  • Rinse fruit in cool water
  • Remove any seeds that may pose a choking hazard
  • Puree until creamy
  • Add your choice of thickeners (eg. yogurt)
  • Freeze, refrigerate or serve immediately

Spaghetti

  • Prepare marinara or tomato sauce as per usual
  • Puree to remove any large chunks
  • Boil pasta until soft
  • Dice pasta size consistent with feeding stage
  • Add pasta to puree mix
  • Freeze, refrigerate or serve immediately

Mac ‘N Cheese

  • Boil pasta until soft
  • Dice or puree pasta consistent with feeding stage
  • Add shredded cheese while pasta is warm to melt
  • Mix by hand or puree again
  • Freeze, refrigerate or serve immediately

What are some of your favorite recipes? What other ideas do you have? Please, let us know!

By Rachel West