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Recalls on food items, even baby food, seem to be happening with increasing frequency. It can be scary to see a report on the news, and realize that the item being recalled is in the pantry. It’s even worse if the item in question was just fed to the baby. One way to feel more secure about the safety of baby food is to make it at home.
Making homemade baby food is not only a way to be more positive of the safety of baby food, but can also help the baby become familiar with the foods that are common within their home. Commercial baby food exposes babies to foods selected by strangers, whereas making baby food at home allows the parent to serve the foods that the rest of the family eats.
Stacia Cox, teacher at Spencer County Elementary School, made baby
food for both of her children.
“I decided to make my own baby food because I think it is fresher and healthier than jar processed baby food,” said Cox. “I know what is in the food. I don’t have to worry about recalls.”
Marcie Helm of Elk Creek started making baby food when her 5-year-old was a baby, and has recently started making it again for her second son.
“I decided to make my own baby food because I felt that my son would be able to have fresher foods which would be more nutritious and not have any preservatives or additives in it” said Helm. “I also wanted to be able to feed him organic food and thought this would make it more affordable.”
Cox noted that making her own baby food proved to be cheaper than store bought.
Cox pointed out that because she made her baby food from foods she normally served her family, that her children were already familiar with those foods.
“The texture of homemade baby food is like real food that we eat so the transition from baby food to solids is easier,” said Cox. “I made baby food for both my children and lots of people say to me ‘I can’t believe your kids eat that.’ ”
Cox and Helm used different sources for learning about making their own baby food. Helm found recipes in the book “Super Baby Food” by Ruth Yaron, while Cox found information at the Wholesome Baby Food website.
“I bought grains in bulk and would use my mother’s Vitamix to grind them into a powder-like substance,” said Helm. The Vitamix is a high powered blender. “As for the vegetables, I would cook most of them and then puree them.”
“I made everything from fruits to teething cookies,” said Cox. “ I tried to mostly use fresh produce but when I couldn’t get my hands on something I would use frozen. I never used anything canned.”
Cox explained that making her own baby food was easy. All she had to do was steam or roast the foods, and then put it in the blender. Cox and Helm agreed that bananas and avocados were the easiest to make since they did not need to be cooked and only had to be mashed up.
Cox kept any food that she was using within 24 hours in the refrigerator and then froze the rest in ice cube trays. According to Helm, the baby food can be removed from the freezer and heated up to serve to the baby.
“The whole thing is so easy.” said Helm.