She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.
Your initial investment for homemade baby food should be very small. You will need:
8 ice cube trays
Freezer Quality storage containers or Freezer bags.
A Blender (if you do not have one, it is not absolutely essential)
If you start with fruits:
The easiest one to make at home is applesauce. You can purchase a huge economy size jar of Unsweetened organic applesauce and simply open the jar, pour it into the ice cube trays, cover with foil and freeze. If you want to get crazy and make your own applesauce you can actually make your own from scratch, but for the money it is probably just as effective to buy a huge jar. We did go buy organic when we could. But it is not absolutely necessary.
Bananas are just as easy. When they get a tad bit ripe, fork mash them if you do not have a blender and put them in the ice cube trays. Whenever we had bananas going soft I would just mix up a batch in the blender and put it in trays. If you are concerned about the color (it will look a little brown) you can add a drop or two of lemon juice….but I would not do this unlessbaby is older and has had citris. You do not want to introduce two foods at once.
If you want to start with veggies, pumpkin is the absolute easiest. Go to the aisle where you buy canned pumpkin (what you buy to make pumpkin pie). Check the label. Some of it is 100% pureed pumpkin. This is what you need. Do not get any with added spices. Buy the biggest can. Open it and put it into ice cube trays. Wrap it in foil and freeze. Other very easy ones are: Sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, green beans, peas.
In a day or two when it is hard frozen, you pop the cubes out and place them in the freezer baggies.
I used to keep one Tupperware container in my freezer that had all veggie cubes and one that had all fruit cubes, then each day I would go through and grab what I needed. I usually just thawed them in the microwave. Mix them well and test the temperature with your finger. If the food is too thick (maybe it will be at first) you can mix it with a touch of water or breast milk or formula.
As baby gets older you will use 3-4 cubes per meal, but at first you may just use one cube per meal.
These are highly portable. I just had a few little containers. I put the frozen cube in there and if we went out someplace it would melt, or I could add a little hot water and melt it quicker if needed, then mix in cereal to get the perfect consistency.
Apple sauce, bananas, avocado and pumpkin are the simplest to make and if you do nothing else, that will still save you money.
If you want to go a step more, All the fruits and vegetables can be prepared for her by simply cooking them until softened (retain all the water that you use to mix in to make it soft and runny). The water will have a lot of vitamins in it after the veggies have been cooked in there. Once they are soft, run them through a blender. Keep adding in the water that you used to cook them until it is a soft, baby food consistency. Once it is nice and soft, pour it into the ice cube trays. Freeze. Ppop it out a few days later and wash your trays to use again.
I did a big batch of something about once a week. Then the next week I would do a different batch.
Check the library for a book called: Super Baby Food. In there it gives great details about how long to cook each vegetable, and how much water you will need to add. I just used it as a spring board to get started, then referred to it occasionally when I was trying a new food.
If you decide you want to try to make your own cereal at home, it is easy too.
To make about a two cup batch of baby cereal, once she is ready for adding protein:
1/3 cup whole dry grains (brown rice, millet, oatmeal, barley, etc)
2 Tbs dried legumes (lentil, dries split peas, etc)
Put those in the blender (DRY) and grind it to a powder. It will make about 1/2 cup of powder. When you are ready to cook the cereal, you stir that into two cups of boiling water. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes (double that if you include soy beans). Whisk it frequently while cooking. You can just store this in the fridge for two or three days or freeze it. Be sure you freeze it in small portions. This recipe came from the Super Baby Food Book. She has all kinds of great recipes to make nutritious foods from scratch for babies.
Once she gets older and is ready to try meats, your regular blender will probably struggle with that. We have a really nice blender (called a Vita Mix). I did not have one when I had David, so I would cook up several chicken breasts with just water (no seasoning). Then I would take a fresh pear from the grocery and put it in the blender with a piece or two of chicken, adding enough water to make it smooth. (She will be old enough by this age to eat raw pear that is mushy) I would freeze that and use it rather than the baby food meats. Those smell yucky anyway, and the homemade chicken smelled quite appetizing. Since I did not have a strong blender, I would take it to a friend’s house who had one and grind up a bunch at one time, then freeze enough to last several weeks. You could use a food processor as well.
You can also add formula or breast milk or baby juice to any food to get it to the correct consistency.
Finally, we also freeze David’s milk in ice cubes (even now because he must use Goat’s Milk and does not use it up very quickly). So if you have milk in the fridge and you know you are leaving for a few days, you can freeze it to make it last longer, and use the cubes when you need fresh milk but do not have any. These will work fine in making your homemade mashed potatoes or for baking.