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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Baby Food

Frugal Kitchens 101

I'm a mother and now a grandmother.  The food industry would have you believe and my gosh they do work hard at it, that babies and toddlers need special food.  In fact and because they are so concerned that parents cannot possibly feed their infants and toddlers properly have come out with a whole line of baby and toddler foods.  I'm sorry but I have never bought into their theories and I'm proud to say our kids did not either.  The biggest problem is these convenience baby food products are extremely expensive.  Not only that they actually taste for lack of a better word, gross.  This week's Frugal Kitchens 101 discusses ways you can save on baby food.

  • milk vs formula -  If at all possible, breast feed.  It's cheap, convenient and meant for human babies.  It is the healthiest choice.  Sometimes breast feeding is not possible so formula may be needed.  Contact the recommended formula manufacturer for a welcome gift as well as ongoing coupons.  Some will even send you a free canister of formula each month.  When baby is ready to move along to milk, go to a 2% milk for the fat content needed for proper brain development.  Whole milk unless recommended is a bit too fatty and skim milk does not have enough fat.
  • make-your-own - Our kids all went from breast feeding to eating from the table without specially prepared commercial baby food.  You don't need special equipment other than a fork to do a bit manual mashing. You can easily make any baby food using a standard blender as well if you want to go a bit finer.  If you really want there are hand-held grinders to use when eating out or away from home. 
  • make ahead -  Homemade prepared babyfood can easily be frozen in individual serving sizes.  Frozen portions travel nicely to be warmed when you get to your destination.  Don't buy special equipment.  An ice cube tray or muffin tins works nicely for portion control. 
  • avoid some foods - This is the time to introduce your baby or toddler to a wide variety of foods.  However, some foods should be avoided.  Beans and cruciforms (eg. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts) are harder to digest and can cause gas so should be avoided.   High fat foods should be avoided as well.   Raw honey should be avoided until age 1 because the immune system cannot is not strong enough to deal with a very slight chance of botulism.  I recommend avoiding any food that has artifical anything in it or anything with HFCS as an ingredient.

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