Saturday, October 9, 2010

For the Love of babies.... Homemade baby meals!

Who doesn't love them? Babies are precious gifts! Like all other phases in life, you learn a lot in parenthood. Parenthood has brought extreme happiness but not without its fair share of challenges and bouts of confusion and frustration. 

Every stage has been welcomed by the question, What do i feed her? At birth, it was Breast milk, Formula or both? Sometimes you choose one or the other based on circumstances and not by choice!

Chopped pears cooking on the hob

 As my little one approached 4 months, i had to decide what to feed her and when to start weaning her and all that and all that.... A browse through the babyfood aisle in a shop proved that there were many options to choose from, so it was Gerber Vs Beechnut, Cow&Gate Vs Heinz? Decisions, decisions....

I settled for two of the brands but 2 months down the line and as my little one approaches 6months, i realise that it really isn't sustainable.... and as she grows, she'll need more. The bottled meals are really expensive and she could eat about 3 - 4 bottles in a day (250naira per bottle and thats minus formula and all) . I thought about it long and hard and decided that it would be a lot cheaper to make mine. Making mine also means that i know exactly what is in her food plus the added satisfaction of having made my baby's food. Luckily, I kept all the empty jars from the store bought baby food...

Cross section of recycled baby food jars that have been washed thoroughly in warm soapy water. Here they are on a lined baking tray ready to be placed in a preheated 150'C oven for 15minutes to sterilise them. This process can be done in a microwave by quarter filling your jars with water and arranging them in a circle in the microwave. Bring to the boil on high then remove with oven gloves or a thick napkin. Pour out the water and invert onto a clean napkin of kitchen paper.

I went to the market and got bananas, apples and pears. I made 5 variants with these items; Banana, Banana and Applesauce, Applesauce, Pear and Applesauce and Pear.

For baby's banana meal - banana's dont need to be cooked so just rinse the banana'a (skin on), peel, chop and pop into a blender add a little water as needed and blend until smooth (you can skip the blender and just mash the banana's with a fork)

Banana and applesauce - Peel and core apples, cut into chunks and place in a pot with a little water. Cook on medium heat until soft. Place some of the cooked apples in a blender with some banana's. Add a little water as needed and blend until smooth

Applesauce - Same process as banana and applesauce but without the banana's

Pear and Applesauce - Peel and core pears and apples, cut into chunks and place in a pot with a little water. Cook on medium heat until soft, checking to be sure you have enough water in the pot at all times to avoid burning. When soft pour into the blender with whatever liquid you have left in the pot and blend until smooth. Add water as needed.

Pear - Same process as pear and applesauce but without the apples.

After the meals have been blended pour them in to prepared jars, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or pour into plastic containers and freeze for months.

I spent 400naira for the banana's, 5 large and 2 small apples at 600, 4 pears at 400 making a total of 1400naira. I got about 20, 125grams bottles (19.5 actually, the meals were so yummy that i ate 1/2 a jar)! 20 bottles at 250 (lagos market price) = 5000 - 1400 =  Total savings of about 3000naira! Not bad at all!!! Next is veggies like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potates and the like...

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