Today I made my first batch of homemade baby food. We’ve been buying Gerber’s Supported Sitter products for a little over a month with no mishaps so I thought I’d introduce my son to homemade food. Gerber baby food seems fairly simple. All of their Supported Sitter products have only two ingredients: the produce and water. How hard could it be to replicate at home?
A lot of parents make their own baby food. So it is feasible and a good option for some families. A quick internet search generated plenty of tutorials to choose from. I looked over several and sort of followed them all. Since the process is important to the rest of this discussion, I’ve listed how I made carrot baby food.
How to Make Baby Food
- wash the carrots
- peel the carrots
- chop the carrots into small pieces
- just for good luck, I rinsed the carrots again
- steam the carrots until soft
- puree the carrots, adding water for the desired consistency
- portion and freeze
Since it was my first time, there were a few glitches in the process. I kept checking on the steaming vegetables, making the half hour more work than it needed to be. I also did not add enough water initially when pureeing the carrots. It takes a surprising amount of water to match the Gerber consistency.
I love the bright color of the baby food I made. The two baby foods came out about the same consistency, but the Gerber one was a little smoother. They tasted about as good as baby food can taste. I honestly can’t decide which baby food I think tastes better. Mine was fresh and I could taste the sweetness right off, but the flavor died really quickly. Gerber’s was a little dull but the sweetness lingered. My son ate both readily, so I could use either in the future.
Why I Might Make Baby Food
If I choose to make baby food regularly it will be because it saves money. I bought a one pound bag of carrots for less than a dollar and made seven servings of baby food. I could have made more if I hadn’t used some carrots in a soup. By comparison, two servings of Gerber Supported Sitter baby food costs one dollar.
The preparation time is not bad either. It is easier and faster than several dinner recipes I know. One hour for multiple servings is great! I bet I could make a whole weeks worth of baby food in one afternoon.
Why I Might Buy Baby Food
The main downside to making baby food is the time it takes. I know I just said the prep time isn’t bad, but compared to opening a container of ready made baby food, the hour of prep work and dishes seems like a lot. Plus, food processors and blenders are my least favorite type of dishes to wash.
I also like that Gerber baby food can stay at room temperature until opened. This eliminates any wait time to get the food to the right temperature to serve. Plus I can take a container of food on the road without using ice packs.
Factors That Don’t Effect My Decision
Gerber baby food is “processed”. Processing is anything done to food. So the cutting, cooking, and blending done to homemade baby food are all processing steps. Half of the magic of cooking is in the ingredients, the other half is in the process. Baby foods have very few ingredients and quite a bit of processing because it has to be made soft enough for babies. I personally do not mind having a food plant do the grunt work for me.
Homemade baby food has hand picked ingredients. If grocery stores had amazing produce every week, this factor might be more important to me. But there are days when the selection is not that great. Gerber does a lot to ensure the produce they are using is of high quality. Check out their website for more information.
So which is better: homemade baby food or store bought? The answer depends on which factors are most important in baby food. Convenience? Cost? I’ll let you decide.
Feature Photo: Luis Cuellar