I told you this story, but now, I’m telling you this one: Making my own baby food is exhausting, and this mom no longer has time for that.
My intentions were good, but my goals were unreachable. What’s that about making SMART goals? The R stands for realistic.
Making my own baby food was not a realistic goal.
Did the T stand for time-consuming?
Making my own baby food was time-consuming.
So here’s where I am. A shelf full of store-bought baby food pouches and tubs with a Baby Brezza shamefully stashed away in the cabinet next door.
Weekly, baby food adds $42-56 to my grocery budget (no, I’m not joking), depending on sales and whether or not I have coupons — and I always have coupons. I’m not buying the $3-per-pouch brand of rainbow-infused wheatberry ground by hand while a chorus of unicorns sings nearby. I’m just buying a lot of food because my son eats a lot of food.
He consumes 6-8 pouches or tubs of baby food a day, which equals 24-32 ounces. On top of his three square, he nurses when he wakes up, after dinner and before bed — and in the middle of the night. He also has a bottle when I’m at work or nurses before his afternoon nap.
So this kid is well fed, and it doesn’t matter how he got that way.
The Baby Brezza eventually paid for itself in terms of how many weeks I didn’t have to spend $50 or more on pre-packaged baby food. However, as this article about Baby Food of the Future summed up so well, it could never give me back the time I need so desperately.
Or my sanity.
Feeding a baby is like so many parts of parenting: a constantly changing negotiation between time, money, the baby’s health, the baby’s happiness, and your sanity.
Quitting making homemade baby food for my son made me feel like a failure for about two seconds. The pre-packaged stuff, while $0.69-1.29 per 4-ounce serving, pre-calculates vitamins, minerals, calories, macro nutrients — all sorts of things I (could have but) didn’t have the time to figure out.
Have you ever tried to do math while simultaneously shushing a fussy baby, draining pasta water and testing the consistency of blended peas?
Plus, my brain’s incessant questioning — “Was he eating enough vegetables?” “Is all the fruit sugar bad for him?” “Did I feed him protein today?” “How many times can he eat carrots in a day without turning orange?” — no longer questions.
Recipes were a pain, too. The Baby Brezza made steaming and pureeing fruits and vegetables, even two at a time for a blend, easy. But what about meat?
Cooking ground turkey in the Baby Brezza was both disgusting and a failure. I ended up tossing all of it because I couldn’t be sure I’d cooked it long enough to ensure food safety.
And it was still chunky no matter how many times I blended it.
And it smelled horrible.
The $0.99 Simple Truth organic baby food pouches contain 4 ounces of blended fruits, vegetables and grains perfectly portioned for his little tummy (as long as he gets most of two). The $1.25 Gerber tubs are the best pureed meat products I’ve found — exemplified in the picture below courtesy of Chicken & Rice, which smells a lot like canned spaghetti.
And he friggin’ loves it.
With nearly four full teeth, we’re just weeks away from moving on to food that requires a bit of chewing, and we’re testing the waters with diced fruits, puffs and Cheerios.
Honestly, we’re not that into it so I’ll probably be buying baby food pouches for a while.