Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why I Stopped Making Homemade Baby Food

Or at least stopped making homemade baby food daily.

Before my second kid was born, I had all of these ideas of what I would do differently the second time around. One of these ideas, along with nursing baby number two the entire first year as recommended, was that baby number two would never ever consume food from jars. Oh no, homemade baby food was much more superior, being more pure, and less expensive. I am working half the hours I worked when baby number one was, well a baby, and I felt I could manage it. I have a mini-food processor and a Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker - which is awesome BTW - and that was all I needed.

At first I was enthusiastic. And most of the food tasted pretty good. And then, while in theory, making baby food wasn't hard; all I had to do was zap the food in the microwave, dump in the mini food processor and whiz, the task just became one more mundane task.

The idea was that I would make extra ahead of time so that I didn't have to make food every day. That sounded good in theory. In practice I would make baby food on my "days off" which still required me to do one hour of work remotely from home in the morning, run errands and take kids to playgroups.

Life is about priorities. I could have given up the playgroups in exchange for feeding Paul homemade baby food, but I decided Fiona appreciated the playgroups more than Paul appreciated the homemade baby food and therefore, playgroups became my priority.

Maybe making my own homemade baby food saved us a few dollars here and there, but I felt like I was burning the candle at both ends. There were busy mornings where I would have to get breakfast ready for Fiona and myself, nurse Paul, do my remote work from home, and then realized I still had to chop, peel, steam and whiz food for Paul, and feed Paul, before running the kids to playgroup. Sometimes I just wanted to grab a jar of food for him. And that is what I started doing, and the world has not stopped spinning. I will still make homemade baby food occasionally, but only when I feel like it, and he eats a lot of finger food now such as Cheerios and sliced bananas, but I buy mostly baby food in the jar and I'm fine with that.

One thing I still do and highly recommend, is that I usually don't buy baby applesauce. The "natural" or "unsweetened" applesauce is the same thing. Just check the labels to be sure there are no more than three ingredients: apples, water, and ascorbic acid. Ideally the ascorbic acid shouldn't be there, but I checked a jar of Gerber baby applesauce and even that has ascorbic acid so it's OK for your baby. I have a very difficult time finding applesauce that only contains apples and water. Buying unsweetened applesauce in a bigger jar saves a little money over buying baby applesauce, but is no less convenient.

Sometimes us Moms compare ourselves to other Moms, maybe the Moms who make their own baby food and maybe we feel a little inadequate, but maybe those Moms have different priorities, and that's not necessarily good or bad, just different.

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