Cut the Cost of Baby Food by Making It at Home
Contact: Kate Yerxa, (207) 581-3109
ORONO — Think of green baby food, and pureed peas or string beans come to mind. But when Kate Yerxa was asked how people could save money by making their own baby food, the green she saw was dollars.
Yerxa, the statewide educator for nutrition and physical activity at University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and her colleagues found significant savings when they computed unit prices per pound for pre-made food and compared them with the cost of fresh organic or canned ingredients for homemade baby food.
For example, parents who prepare their own green beans for baby food rather than buy the jarred variety save an average of $60 in six months. Those who make meat-based baby food save even more.
A fact sheet on the subject is one of UMaine Extension’s most popular publications.
Price isn’t the only reason why people want to make their own baby food, Yerxa says. It also can be healthier.
“Because you’re making your own baby food, you’ll know exactly what’s going into it,” she says. “Some commercially prepared baby foods have a lot of fillers.”
UMaine Extension’s recipes call for healthy thickeners and thinners, including breast milk, formula and water. Pureeing can be done with a blender, fork, strainer or food mill or grinder.
Though new parents may feel overwhelmed by the idea of adding yet another task to their already busy schedules, an hour is all it takes to make enough food to last a month, if frozen.