Do you really need to buy packaged “baby food?”
It is easy to incorporate baby’s diet into the family meals. When introducing banana, slice off about an inch of it, mash it with a fork, and offer it to your baby. You can eat the rest of the banana. When you want to introduce sweet potato to your baby, bake sweet potatoes for the family’s dinner one night. Cut off a small piece of sweet potato and mash it with a fork for the baby when you’re eating. Store the rest of the sweet potato in the refrigerator for three or four days in a covered dish. For the baby’s next offering of sweet potato, just cut off a small piece again, mash it and offer it to your baby. You can do the same thing for white baked potatoes, cooked carrots, and winter squash. There is no need for you to mash up several bananas or potatoes or squash and put them in the freezer in individual servings. Simply feed fresh food to your baby just as you feed the rest of your family.
Baby food is not ecofriendly. Because babies can eat foods that have been cooked for the rest of the family, almost every container of baby food represents wasted energy and resources except those used when traveling, which would represent a tiny percentage of current production. Even when traveling it is possible to order foods that could be fed to your baby, such a baked potato or sweet potato that you mash with your fork before feeding just as you would if you were home. Most baby food today is packaged in non-recyclable containers, rather than the glass jars of yesteryear.
Savings: If you feed your baby two 70-cent containers of baby food every day the first month after starting solids, it will add up to about $40 for the month. As the baby eats more, the cost will continue to go up every month. If the baby is eating seven containers of the baby foods for older babies, with an average cost of 85 cents per container, the monthly cost will be $178.50. This cost can be eliminated almost completely if you simply avoid buying baby food.
This is an excerpt from Ecothrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life.