Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Baby Food for 3 cents, what!?

I had no idea when I set out to make a list of Nolan's baby food, that it was so inexpensive. I of course knew it was cheaper than buying jarred baby food but I seriously had no idea how much money I was saving by making it my self.
The least expensive food at get this, 3 cents a serving (1 oz) was parsnips! Anything that was bought fresh (not frozen or canned) was clearly cheaper but some fruits and veggies that I wanted were not in season here in Michigan so frozen worked just fine. Now that it is summer and fresh fruits are abundant, we can save even more!
Below are the first 12 foods we tried with Nolan. The total prices per serving are approximates based on what I paid for them that day.
 Foods we tried in order of starting and recipes


1. Sweet Potatoes

        Roasted in the oven for 1 hour until tender. Scrap flesh out of the skin and puree with blender. May need water to thin it out so it is not too thick for baby. Put in ice cube trays and freeze

                One sweet potato will make about 12 servings depending on the size
                Sweet potatoes around here are about $0.89 cents per lbs.

               total:  8 cents a serving


2. Carrots

        Wash, peel, chop into chunks. Steam over water using double boiler or steam basket until very, very tender. Puree until smooth. Put in ice cube trays and freeze

                One bag of large carrots should make 12 servings of food
                Usually cost $1 for the bag which gets you about 4-5 large carrots

              total:  8 cents a serving


3. Parsnips

        Wash, peel, chop into chunks. Steam over water using double boiler or steam basket until very, very tender. Puree until smooth. Put in ice cube trays and freeze

                Two large parsnips should make 12 servings

                Very inexpensive, costing about .40 cents a pound

                total: 3 cents a serving


4. Peas

        I typically use a large bag of frozen peas because they are already shelled. I put the peas in a large pot with enough water to cover and heat on simmer until very tender but still bright green. Puree immediately until very smooth. Put in ice cube trays and freeze

                One large bag of frozen peas shelled (2 pound bag) makes 28 servings

                Costs $1.99 per bag

               total:  7 cents a serving


5. Peaches

        I buy two bags of frozen peaches (1 pound bags). I steam them on the stove with a little water for about 10 minutes until very tender. You could also steam them in the microwave too. Puree until smooth. Put in ice cube trays and freeze
                1 (12 oz) bag frozen peaches makes 12 servings
                Cost per bag $2.74

             total:    22 cents a serving


6. Pumpkin

         Buy can of 100 % pure pumpkin, open can, pour into ice cube trays and freeze! So easy. You could go the more difficult route and but a whole pumpkin, maybe after Halloween when all the pumpkins are cheap this would be a good idea, plus you could toast the seeds, yum!

                1 large can of Libby's 100% pure pumpkin puree makes 24 servings

                Costs $3.00 per can

               total:  12 cents a serving


7. Pears
                Either use fresh pears, frozen peeled pears or canned (no sugar added) pears. For fresh pears, wash and peel the skin for younger babies. Bake in 350’ oven on baking sheet to bring out the sweetness. Roast for 15 minutes or until very soft. Let cool a little, then puree. Put in ice cube trays and freeze
             4 fresh pears (any variety) makes about 16 servings

              total: 16 cents a serving

8. Bananas
        Take very overly ripe bananas. Take out only as much as you want to feed baby at that meal because it will turn brown quickly out of its skin. I usually do half a banana with a meal and wrap the other half in plastic wrap. Mash the banana until smooth (it is easier to mash if it is super ripe). Serve immediately. In my experience banana doesn’t freeze well due to the oxidation (turning brown).
      - Bananas between .35 and .69 cents a pound. I get a few for us each week and a few for Nolan for the next week when they are nice and soft

               2 bananas at $0.52 lbs, 2 bananas costs me $0.46 today which is 4 servings for him
 11 cents a serving  

9. Butternut Squash
                Buy whole butternut squash, wash and peel outer skin. Cut down the middle to expose the seeds (looks like pumpkin seeds). Scoop out the seeds and guts. Roast cut side down on baking sheet at 325’ for about 1 hour. Puree until smooth for younger babies, leave chunkier for older babies.
Put in ice cube trays and freeze

                1 large butternut squash (4 lbs) makes about 24 cubes
                Cost per lbs $0.99

                total: 16 cents a serving

10. Green Beans
                Buy fresh greens beans or frozen. For fresh green beans wash thoroughly and pick through to remove steams. I like frozen green beans because they are already de-stemmed and washed. I put then in a pot of boiling water. Cook until very soft. Drain water off. Green beans have enough water in them and you don’t need to add any. Puree until very smooth (takes longer than most veggies because of the skin).
Put in ice cube trays and freeze
                                1 bag of frozen green beans (32 oz) makes about 24 cubes
Cost per bag $2.19
9 cents a serving

11. Peaches, Bananas, Strawberry Mix
                This is a bag of frozen fruits that has all the fruits cut up already. I placed the fruit in a glass bowl in the microwave, covered and cooked on high for 5 minutes. No water added. I let it cool and poured into ice cube trays and freeze. So easy!
One bag (14 oz) makes about 12 cubes
                                  Cost per bag $ 3.25
                 total: 27 cents a serving


12. Peaches and Mango Mix
                We took one bag of frozen peaches and one bag frozen mango chunks. Heat they up together in a microwave safe glass bowl, cover and cook for 10 minutes on high. I did add a little water, maybe ½ cup, but depending on the fruit you may not need it. Cook additional 5 minutes if not easily mashed with a fork. Then puree till smooth. let it cool and pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
               1 (12 oz) bag frozen unsweetened peaches and 1 (12 oz) bag frozen mango makes 24 cubes
Cost per bag $2.74 each
22 cents a serving
A few more baby food purees:
Berry Mix and Oatmeal: Great for breakfast for baby and it looks beautiful!
Frozen berry mix ( I used, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry and blueberries) steamed in the microwave until very tender. Pureed until smooth. Mix up baby oatmeal and pour into ice cube trays, only fill up about 3/4 of the way. Then spoon berry mix over top and freeze.
Pumpkin, Apple Oatmeal: another great, flavorful breakfast food, and it couldn't be easier!
1 cup of pumpkin puree (I  use canned pumpkin by Libby's) and 1 cup of applesauce (no sugar added please) and 1/2 cup baby oatmeal. Stir together and spoon into ice cube trays. Freeze. So easy, no cooking at all.
Picture not available


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