Do you ever wonder how children survived the dark ages before Gerber and Beech Nut? How did they get from Stage 1 to Stage 3 without the benefit of vacuum packed carrots in little jars? Well, I think they did it with the benefit of Banana Guacamole! This delectable dish combining a ripe banana with a ripe avocado is my son’s absolute favorite of all time (keeping in mind that he’s only 10 months old, “favorite of all time” might not mean a lot, but you get the point…).
As you know, the impending arrival of our son was the impetus of my frugal-intensity and I was very cognizant of the high costs of raising a baby. As I waddled down the baby food aisle (pregnant but price conscious!) I quickly realized that baby food was going to be a budget buster. So it was with great delight that I found this terrific website, www.WholesomeBabyFood.com. It’s chock full of great advice on how to start your baby on solids, when to introduce different foods and how to prepare them for easiest eating. Plus, there is a lot of valuable information about allergies and food sensitivities. Even better for us frugal mommies is that you can search for recipes by food type (strawberries, cucumbers, pork, etc) which makes it easy to translate good deals at the grocery store into good food for our wee ones.
Banana Guacamole: Take one ripe banana and mash it up. Take half of an avocado and mash it up into the banana. Serve. Note: It looks gross but tastes yummy.
Here are a few other tricks I’ve tried:
- Frozen Bananas: most grocery stores will sell the ‘past perfect’ bananas at a deep discount – I can normally buy 3 lbs for less than a dollar. I simply put them in the freezer (no need to peel them) and then take one out in the morning in anticipation of lunch. And I love them as take-alongs if we are going to be out of the house – they defrost in about 30 minute but stay cold for up to 2 hours. Just put the frozen banana in a bag or container ’cause the peel gets sorta goopy.
- Apple Slaw: I use a cheese grater on a fresh apple to create a quick and easy snack that is in perfect size pieces. You can either use it right away or freeze it for later. If you are going to freeze them, just add a squirt of lemon juice to keep them from going brown.
- Frozen Veggie Cocktail: Since I can almost always get frozen veggies for free/almost free, this has been an easy choice for dinner time. I buy the vegetable medley and heat up about 1/2 cup on the stove. I cook them longer than recommended so they get mushy and then use my kitchen shears to get any remaining chunks down to size. For little babies, you could also use your food processor to make a finer puree. Delish!
MYTH BUSTER: the most common concern I hear when I talk about home-made baby food is “I just don’t have the time.” I can imagine that it might seem labor intensive, but once you try it you’ll be amazed at how little time it actually takes. This is not Bon Appetit, it’s just boiling carrots. You can do this!
So, do you have any other good tips for feeding your baby on a budget?