Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Make Your Own Baby Food: Scoop on Starting Solids Blog Series by Little City Kitchen Co.

People always ask why I bother teaching parents how to make their own baby food when I’m selling my own.  My answer is always the same: whether they buy some from me, or make their own, the goal is getting kids to eat more “real” food.  I feel there is a (very big) difference between roasting & pureeing your own sweet potatoes and buying them in a jar that is shelf stable for two years.  I don’t think they qualify as sweet potatoes anymore.  So here’s why you should consider making your own…

Reason #5) Teach baby to like a variety of flavors

Here is your opportunity (your first and one of the best) to expose baby to a variety of flavors that will set the stage for a lifetime of healthy food choices.  Pack as many flavors, spices, and textures you can into the first few months.  Take advantage of this stage, because it starts to diminish the moment they start walking.  For more on this, check out: How to Grow a Broccoli Lover.

Reason #4) Better control what baby eats

There is no better way to know where you food comes from than when you make your own.  (I don’t know who grew those peaches in a jar?). Chose organic food whenever possible (see the Dirty Dozen) and support your local farmers if that’s an option in your area.  We live in a toxic world, so if you have access to good, clean food for your baby, then everyone wins.

Reason #3) Taste varieties that aren’t available on the shelf

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen baby food with roasted kohlrabi, blood oranges or Chioggia beets on the supermarket shelves before.  Whether you’re in the Bay Area or not, hopefully have access to heirloom varieties of foods that you can introduce to baby, and most likely these are not foods available in any pouch or jar.  And if you refer to reason #5, you’ll understand why it’s so critical to introduce them to so many flavors from the beginning.

Reason #2) Teach your kids what food should taste like

There’s something a little unnatural about the baby foods on the shelves.  The flavors are bland, the colors are muted, and the texture is super (super) smooth.  The bright flavors are lost during the high-heat processing method or from sitting on the grocery shelf for extended periods of time.  Set up your own baby food tasting experiment.  Sauté up some carrots and compare them to three different jarred varieties.  Which one tastes more like a real carrot?  This is your chance to teach kids what real food should taste like.

Reason #1) Re-establish a connection to food

I’ve saved the most important reason (from my perspective at least) for last.  As a culture, we’ve lost our connection to food.  Most people think food comes from the grocery store and have no concept of how it came to be there.  Take this opportunity to involve baby in the whole process: have them watch you roast sweet potatoes, smear it all over their face so they can taste the flavor, give them a cooked chunk to squish in their hands, and do anything to involve them in the process of transforming raw ingredients into their food.  Take this time to teach them that real food something to appreciate.

You’ll see from this list that nowhere have I mentioned saving money.  Some companies have taken the position that making your own baby food is less expensive, and while that may be the case with some ingredients, most parents I speak with aren’t drawn to making their own baby food for that reason.

They just want to feed their kids the healthiest food possible, and on some level, they know the answer doesn’t come from a jar.

Interested in reading more?  Check out a Few of My Favorite Posts which has information on best baby food equipment, making your own grain cereals, healthy fats for babies, and more…

Jill Epner is the owner of Little City Kitchen Co. is a Bay Area company making handcrafted, organic, frozen baby food with an International twist.  Follow us on Facebook, or sign up to receive our newsletter with information on starting solids & making your own baby food.

4 Comments to “Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Make Your Own Baby Food: Scoop on Starting Solids Blog Series by Little City Kitchen Co.”

  1. David Horton says:

    Our broccoli war with Jackson is about to flair up again! Thanks for the inspiration Jill.

  2. Christyna says:

    Hi there! Thank you so much for your blog! I currently have a five month old that I just started feeding solids to a couple of weeks ago. So far we’ve done homemade sweet potatoes, peas, apple sauce, bananas, avocado, and I’ve ground up organic brown rice in a spice grinder to make him rice cereal. I would really like to venture into more of the squashes, and leafy greens like Kale, spinach, and broccoli, etc. I’m also interested in using beans, and getting spices in there, and have so far done cinnamon in the apple sauce. However, even though when reading your site and the pediatric advice given by the guest pediatrician, and even buying the book “feeding baby green” that you recommended, I’m finding myself a little confused as to when to actually introduce these other foods. Specifically, the site, the pediatrician, and the book seem to say to give your baby all of these kinds of foods in the first few months of eating solids, but other books tend to say not to introduce some of these things until they are well into the later months of eating solids. As such, even though I want to be adventurous, I’m feeling hesitant about what to feed him, and when to best feed it to him. Any advice as to what to specifically avoid right now, e.g., I know honey is a no-no until a year old, but are all veggies and fruit fair game at this point?

  3. Courtney Lee says:

    I just wanted you to know that I read your blog ALL the time (I’m on your emailing list)! I met you at the June Birth and Baby Faire in SF. I miscarried, but still was so impressed by everything you did. Now I am just over 4 months pregnant and am getting really excited to make my own baby food (even though it is so far away!). I totally intend on taking your classes and possibly ordering food as well! I will also be making my own – yes, I got the bebe cook. I know you said you didn’t need it, but I’ll admit it, I fell for the “cute green appliance”. tee hee – Anyway, I just wanted to leave you a little shout out of encouragement. Keep it up! I know you have to make it a business and you should, but you are providing something that is unique and literally changing little lives. Thank you!

  4. Lisa says:

    As usual your blog is informative and passionately felt. I wish I had this information when you and Wendy were babies! I made some baby food but kept it to a single item. Lucky for the current babies and their parents that good eating is in your genes. Love you, Mom

Leave a Reply