UMaine Cooperative Extension to Offer “Make Your Own Baby Food” Classes

Contact: Kate Yerxa at 581-3109 (media only), or Nannette Marcinkowski at 581-3445.

When most people think of green baby food, pureed peas or string beans come to mind.  But Kate Yerxa, the statewide educator for nutrition and physical activity at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, has a different perspective. The green she sees isn’t beans. It’s dollar bills.

“We went through computed unit prices per pound for premade food, and wanted to compare that with how much it would cost for people to make their own baby food with fresh, fresh organic or canned ingredients,” Yerxa explains. “Over six months, you can save $60 if you just make your own green beans, but the greatest cost saving came from meat and baby food.”

To help Maine parents save money and offer safe, healthy alternatives to store-bought baby food, Yerxa will lead a series of “Make Your Own Baby Food” classes starting Sept. 8 in Bangor. A grant from Bangor Region Public Health & Wellness allowed Yerxa to purchase food mills for students in the class, but families don’t need special equipment to prepare baby food — a fork or blender will do the trick.

Yerxa’s classes and UMaine Extension’s “Making Your Own Baby Food” publication provide nutritious recipes, discuss storage techniques and review when it’s appropriate to introduce new foods to babies and infants, including pureed versions of the same meals their parents are eating.

Yerxa, a mother of two, understands the importance of promoting a cost-effective, nutritious alternative to store-bought baby foods.

“Parents want the best for their children,” she says, “and by making homemade baby food parents can easily control the quality and ingredients of the food that they provide to their children.”

For information or to register for the classes, which will take place from Sept. 8 to Nov. 18 at 103 Texas Ave. in Bangor, call Nannette Marcinkowski at 581-3445. Class size is limited to 10 participants. The “Making Your Own Baby Food” publication is available for download.