Friday, August 26, 2011

Cheap and Easy Baby Food

Baby food can be expensive and making your own baby food can be inconvenient. These are some regular cheap foods that you can easily feed your baby:

Bananas. Bananas are the easiest, especially for on the go. Just mash and you're done! Easy to do at restaurants. Once your baby is older, you can just break off chunks for him or her to eat.

Unsweetened applesauce. Regular applesauce is great for babies advancing to more textured foods (baby applesauce is very smooth). And there is no added sugar.

Avocados. Simply mash for a creamy, good-fat snack. Warning: makes stringy poo!

Dry cereal: The best and cheapest cereals to get are the store brand of Cheerios and Rice or Corn Chex.

Puffed rice. You can find a large bag of puffed brown rice in the cereal aisle for $1 at Walmart. It will last you a long time! And there is only one ingredient in it: rice. I have seen puffed red wheat too.

Sweet potatoes. Just mash (no skin) after cooking and cooling. The texture is also good for older babies.

Mashed potatoes. Scrub a potato, poke holes in it, and microwave until soft. Scoop out the flesh and mash with breast milk or butter.

Canned or frozen peas. Peas are very easy to mash and pick up if your baby self-feeds. Canned peas are smaller and softer, but frozen peas do not contain added salt or sugar.

Canned beans. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber and, like peas, are easy to mash or self-feed. (Note, most canned beans contain added salt and/or sugar, but some have high fructose corn syrup.)

Rice. Make mushy rice (or puree it) for younger babies. Mix in some beans for older ones for a full protein meal.

Oatmeal: Chop it up in a food processor for a finer texture and make it mushy. Add small chunks of fresh fruit. Just be sure not to add honey.

Tofu: Tofu is easy for babies to eat and comes in different textures. It can also be smashed and added to any other food because it is bland and absorbs flavor very well.

Cheese: Shredded cheese is easy to pick up and eat for babies who don't like to chew. The thin shreds melt in their mouth.

Plain yogurt. No need to buy special baby yogurt. Plain yogurt is healthiest and cheapest. Mash in fresh fruits for a sweeter taste without added sweeteners.

Bread. Break up whole wheat bread or toast into small pieces. My favorite brand is Nature's Pride: 100 percent whole wheat, no artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives, and no high fructose corn syrup. And it still tastes good. Another good one is Nature's Own.


Alexandra said...

Great tips! I love the puffed rice idea. I hadn't thought of that one before.

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