Monday, June 25, 2012

Store-bought baby food

A couple of weeks ago, we took a short trip to Denver (baby's first flight!). We packed tons of baby gear. The stroller, the carseat, the portable crib. Numerous outfits. Diapers. The breast pump.

The one important item we (purposely) left behind? Baby food. I make my own, and the idea of packing enough homemade baby food to last a weekend sounded like a hassle. Would I carry it on? Check it? Freeze it? Would TSA take issue with it? It is even allowed? I decided to forgo the added stress and buy baby food at the store. Just this once. Target, fortunately, was right across the street from our hotel and had a fairly large assortment of natural, organic baby food on the shelves. I decided on Ella's Kitchen brand partly because it was on sale, and partly because our niece's name is Ella. I think it was something like $1.39 per 3.5-ounce pouch, which I didn't think was that bad considering it doesn't contain any additives and/or junk. We tried two flavors -- carrot/apple/parsnip and broccoli/peas/pear. Both were a hit! Baby totally chowed down.

The food was a hit with me, too, because it was so darn convenient (oh, and it tasted delicious -- yes, I tried it). I actually went to Target after we got home and bought several more packets (I had coupons, and it was still on sale). I told myself I was going to save it for subsequent travel, but we wound up using it all within a week! And then I bought another brand (Happy Baby) at New Seasons Market. And another (Peter Rabbit Organics) at Whole Foods. We loved every brand and every flavor, and everything we tried was paleo by default (note: there are plenty of non-paleo choices, too, so be sure to read labels!)! I could very easily become addicted to the convenience of it all. "Just this once" turned into, "hmmmm, maybe I will give up oh homemade?" I mean, making baby food is SO easy (and a lot cheaper than $1.39 per serving), but so is twisting off the top of a little packet and squeezing the food directly onto the tiny baby spoon! And being that I'm short on time these days, it sure is tempting.

Is store-bought baby food a part of your baby's diet? What are your favorite brands? How do you think it compares to homemade?


3 comments:

  1. with my first baby, i made about 90% of his baby food and bought Earth's Best brand jars the other 10% of the time. with my second though, i gave up on baby food altogether and would just mush up whatever we were eating and give that to her at meals. i also kept hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator and would eat the whites and give her the yolks, which she still loves to this day! (She's almost 2 now)

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  2. With my son, I tried to make baby food but while he would eat it like crazy the first day, he wouldn't touch it the next day after it had been refrigerated or frozen. So while it may be cheaper than pre-packaged to make home-made baby-food in bulk, making just enough for him at every meal and trying to not have leftovers was a major pain. So we switched to those squeeze pouches (mostly Plum) and [mostly not paleo because that wasn't our main thing] Sprout advanced pouches for him at daycare. At home he ate whatever I was eating - gluten-free, largely vegetarian but pretty heavy on dairy.

    Now he's pretty much living off of cheese, pasta and the fruit in the cups (in juice, not syrup, but still), so I'm looking into things to expand his diet. I include whole veggies with everything I cook, mix veggie/fruit puree into every sauce, but I can't get him to eat a raw piece of veggie or fruit to save my life, even though I've been including them with every meal since he started eating solids! Hoping your site gives me some hints as to how to chance him mind :)

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  3. I think Ella`s organic baby food tastes good. My 9 month old agrees. I love that the ingredients are literally sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apples, and blueberries. The only ingredient not in the title is lemon juice. No crazy preservatives or other ingredients.

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