Make your own or buy it?

Most days I ask myself, “What would a good parent do?”. It’s an appropriate question for almost every aspect of my life.

Sometimes the answer is, “make your own organic baby food”. Yes, that is exactly what a good parent would do. Or is it?

Let me break it down for you.

This is organic, locally grown spinach from my friend Mariann’s farm. Cost: about $2

This is the spinach after I cooked it and ground it in the food mill.

Organic baby food. $.73

It costs a lot more money (and time) to make organic baby food than to buy it. The spinach from Mariann’s farm is local, so that’s a huge plus, but it’s still a lot more expensive.

What would a good parent do?

6 thoughts on “Make your own or buy it?

  1. Brooke Howell

    that is VERY interesting!!! I was going to try and do my own food but that makes me wonder!!! Maybe if I can do it with my own veggies from my own garden it would pay off, but not if I am buying everything… Thanks for the insight!

  2. Mel Post author

    I should have mentioned that when Anders started eating food I picked tons of stuff from our garden. He ate nothing but beets, kale and carrot (plus rice cereal) for awhile. I think that’s the way to go. However, Finn started eating food at the end of winter, so pickings were slim in the garden..and will be until mid-late summer.

  3. Mel Post author

    There were several comment about this post on my Facebook page:

    I would love to say that I make all of Henry’s meals but let’s be practical here. One it’s not always an option when we are on the go, and two it’s not always cost effective. I carry my food grinder with me and try to give him something fresh if I can. But if I can’t I will give him jarred organic baby food. I wouldn’t beat yourself up for not making homemade food each meal. I think you’re a great mom!

  4. Mel Post author

    Another one:

    I would make a lot of Sal’s food at once, then freeze portion sizes in an a tray made for freezing breast milk. Then just pop them out and defrost when ready to eat. If I ever got in a bind, there is always avos, bananas, and apple sauce (no prep).I was able to give him organic without going broke on expensive organic baby food.

  5. Mel Post author

    One more:
    It actaully is very cost effective. I would make a a couple months worth at one time and pour it into ice cube trays. Once they were frozen I’d pop them out and put them into freezer bags. It was so easy to defrost 1 or 2 cubes when it was time to eat. I did it more for the $ savings than the healthy eating…I actually just used veggies from the … Read Morefrozen section..Lol! I also would throw our dinner table leftovers in the blender (chicken, broccoli, rice, spaghetti….). Hey, whatever works for you 🙂 There are even babyfood recipes on-line.

    I always had jarred food on hand for when we were on the go, but Man!, those little jars are expensive!

  6. Chris

    No fair comparing spinach with peas and brown rice.

    What’s the cost of the same amount of baby food made from a big bag of organic frozen peas and a jar of organic dry brown rice from the hippie health food store’s bulk food section? It’s got to be less than $0.73.

    Consider that spinach might not be the best example for your dilemma. We do three things that we think are cheaper and better than baby food:

    1. Buy things that make sense and are easy to do in bulk, like yams; blueberries (pick your own locally in summer, freeze, then blend and refreeze as needed); and lentils (buy dry in bulk, cook, blend, freeze). Cook and mash/blend, then put in ice cube trays. You can make tons of cubes, then pop them into a ziploc bag in the freezer. Pull out a couple of different cubes, microwave, and serve. Yum. Price: probably less than the jars, and you know exactly what’s in it.

    2. In our town (Eugene, OR), apples and pears are free for the taking on street/yard/park/cemetery apple trees in the fall. Take as many as you can stand, cut out the bad/wormy parts for the compost pile, and make and jar your own applesauce. One afternoon of work can yield a couple dozen pint jars of organic applesauce, which will get you through your baby’s applesauce needs. Price: pretty much free.

    3. Give your baby the food you’re eating. We started ours at six months with home-made “baby food” but soon supplemented with tiny bites of whatever we were having for dinner. My eight-month-old and I split a piece of spinach lasagna for dinner last night. She loved it. Once they get teeth, they can eat almost anything. Price: the same as what you’re paying to feed yourself.

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