Baby food is expensive. Especially if you buy organic.  Sure you can shop the sales, but even on sale, most organic baby foods are around $1/2.5oz jar*.  With that in mind, and knowing that Baby Spork will be starting solids sometime in the middle of winter (when nothing is in season), I have started the task of making baby food.

First off…

Why did no one tell me it was this easy?!

Seriously.  This is ridiculously easy.  It’s harder to pack the baby into the car, drive to the store, buy food, and bring it back home than it is to make your own infant-friendly puree.

We started with a quick trip to a local farm stand and picked up a butternut squash and a sugar pumpkin to experiment with.  Total cost = $2.50 (plus the gas, but I was going for apples anyway).  Next up, I needed a way to cook it that required as little attention as possible.  I turned to my trusty slow cooker.  With a quick dicing, the squash went in and I ignored it for a while.  Once it was mush, I gave it a fast blast with the immersion blender, poured it into trays, and stuck it in the freezer.  At the end of the day, with about 45 minutes of actual work, I had 24oz of fresh, local, cheap baby food!

Ready to make your own?  Here’s how you do it.

What you do:

Chop up your fruit/veggie of choice.  I used one large butternut squash, chopped into small chunks.

Add the chopped fruit/veggie to your slow cooker and put a layer of water on the bottom (I added 1 1/2 cups in my 7 quart cooker, use less for wetter fruits like pears).

Cook on low 4-6 hours, or until fruit/veggie smushes easily.

Puree using your preferred method (I used a stick blender).

Freeze in small portions (I used these 1oz freezer trays gifted to us by a friend).

Once frozen, place in baggies and store in the freezer until needed.

Pro Tips:

  • Be sure to label your bag with both the type of food and the date.  Various frozen purees look very similar.
  • To use, thaw overnight in the fridge and then warm up prior to feeding (like you would with frozen breastmilk).
  • These will last in the freezer 3-6 months according to the internet. Feed before 3 months for max freshness.

*A search on Amazon gave me an approximate average price of $0.46/ounce of Stage 1 organic baby food.