We have been saving a lot of money on baby food (not to mention feeding our baby a far more appetizing and less processed diet) by making our own. I know you probably have your doubts about this one, but you really do not have to be an overachiever in order to do this. Here's what you need to do:
- Dump a bag of frozen veggies into a microwave-safe bowl with a small amount of water and cook. It depends on your model of microwave, but I'd say try cooking on full power for about four minutes, stir, then cook another two minutes. My wife simply describes this step as "cook the bejesus out of them."
- Grind the heck out of these using a food processor. You should make sure to have some water involved in this step too. You can also use a blender - those are just a bit harder to clean.
- Dump the fine puree of veggie into a seperate bowl and get going on the next veggie. Meanwhile, a partner or friend can start spooning the puree into ice cube trays.
- Freeze, remove from trays, store in bags.
You can also puree frozen berries into applesauce to make cubes of flavored applesauce. Just buy the big, giant jar of natural applesauce (not the stuff with sugar and corn syrup added). To keep this nice and easy, I feel I should provide another list of things you don't need to do:
- You needn't use fresh veggies. I know the tremendous guilt involved in every parenting decision these days is making you think that you should only feed your baby fresh, organically-grown vegetables - and you can do this if you want - but you should know that it is unnecessary extra credit.
- Once you've already established that your baby isn't allergic to any of the foods being used, then you don't have to clean or even rinse your food processor between batches.
When it's time for a meal, just put a couple of cubes of veggies into a little bowl and microwave for 30-60 seconds, making sure to break it up a bit with a spoon once it's been in there for 30. It appears that the fellow behind The Simple Dollar is also planning to do something like this, and a discussion of the merits of various methods has broken out in his comments thread.