When we think of baby food, the first thing that usually comes to mind is green or orange puree inside a little glass jar. It’s what we see at the grocery store, and what many moms feed there babies.

There is nothing wrong with baby food from a store shelf – but you could make the same food at home, using fresh produce, and save money at the same time.

These little jars of baby food might seem inexpensive at less than one dollar a piece, but that can quickly add up. It is much more affordable to make your baby their food yourself. I know, you’re probably thinking that it will take so much work, but it’s actually really simple if you plan ahead.

The first step is to figure out your baby’s favorite fruits and veggies, and then buy that produce in bulk. You can freeze the food you can’t use in a week’s time and save it for later. Buy in bulk, spend an afternoon making the food, and have enough to last you a month or more. You will see the difference on your grocery bill, and to save even more money you can use fresh fruits and vegetables from your own garden!

The next step is to make the baby food. Cook your fruits and vegetables in whatever method you prefer (bake, steam, boil). Let them cool and then puree them in a blender or food processor with some water until smooth.

Whatever you won’t use in the next few days you can freeze. I like to freeze the food in single serving size portions and an ice-cube tray works great for that. Fill your tray with the food and once it freezes, throw them all in a freezer safe bag, removing to de thaw as needed.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

Butternut Squash

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.
  • Place the squash in a baking tin, face down in about one inch of water.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes.
  • The squash is done when it feels soft. Remove the flesh from the skin and puree.
  • Add water to get it to your desired consistency.

Cantaloupe or Watermelon

  • You don’t need to cook melon – just puree it and serve.

Introduce your baby to different flavors by mixing vegetables together. You can also add more texture by not pureeing the food completely.

There’s another bonus with making your own baby food. It’s good for the environment! There is a lot of packaging that goes into each store-bought baby food, and if you don’t buy it, you don’t have to dispose of it.