Friday, June 01, 2007

Baby food

Baby food: LD is past this stage but don't buy the jars of food...well buy some for outings or other times that it's not convenient to carry fresh food but in most cases it is. Those jars are expensive. Here's what I did. I bought organic fruits and vegetables and pureed them myself. This ensures good healthy food and you know everything that's in it. No additives. In addition, do you know that one organic sweet potato costs around $1. That one sweet potato will make 24 jars of baby food. One jar of baby food costs around 40 cents. If you made your food you would save $9.60. That's just one item! I pureed 1 thing a day in a food processor and spent less than 30 minutes doing so. I pureed them and poured them into ice cube trays, covered and froze them. Once frozen, i popped them out and stored in freezer bags. They last about 3 months. You can make better foods too. Baby food is limited. I fed my kiddo eggplant, beets, leek and potatos, all sorts of good stuff and he's one healthy kid because of it and is still an adventurous eater. If you want more tips on this, there's tons of books on the subject or ask me too. I highly recommend the book "Super Baby Food" by Ruth has tons of tips for everything including making and storing baby food, health and nutrition, crafts and other household tips. I love this book and carried it everywhere with me until little dude was 9 months old or so and i had it basically memorized.

Don't forget that nursing your baby is one of the best ways to feed your child and it's completely free. You save $5,000 a year by nursing...

What to always have on hand:

Dried beans and legumes: lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas and other dried legumes are high in protein and very healthy for you. They also do not spoil and are easy to prepare.

Meat: I buy meat once a month and spend about $50. I try to fix fish once a week and a vegetarian dish once a week. I also try to make most meals have meat and vegetables. You'll use less meat this way too. I'm trying to eat less meat in general is why I do this.

Fruit and vegetables: I shop weekly for these. I buy what's on sale and what is in season - they usually go hand in hand.

Bread/Grains: I buy bread but want to start making it for freshness. Buy whole grains. Each month I buy oatmeal and whole wheat flour. I also buy whole grain pastas.

and every couple of months i buy: millet, barley, soy flour, wheat germ, flaxseed, and other grains. Oatmeal is one of the best breakfasts you can have. I try to give little dude oatmeal 3 times a week. It fights off bad cholesteral too so a really complete breakfast (and cheap too!) is:

Oatmeal with raisins, and additives like flaxseed or wheat germ, brewers yeast if you are vegan for b-12 (i used to add this to LD's cereal before he ate meats). Have a boiled egg with it and yogurt and fresh fruit or thawed frozen fruit. This meal costs about $1. It's very healthy, and costs $30 a month to eat.

Frozen foods: I buy frozen raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. My kid loves these and by buying them frozen they last and offer variety. I can make smoothies, thaw them for a snack, top off yoghurt with them and use them for desserts. It's much cheaper to buy these three frozen even if you buy organic like i do and they last much longer.

Things most people buy processed but it's better if you make it yourself and freeze it. Let me segue here real quick to my love of the freezer. Use your freezer. This is how you are going to use less, waste less, and eat better. Make the freezer your friend. Get over the issue of freezer burn and learn how to store things in there without getting freezer burn (get the air out, don't leave too much space in a container, label things with name and date).

Okay, so tomato sauce, so easy to make yourself and it tastes so much better than store bought. Tomatoes are something i buy in the tin because they last longer (except in the summer, i grow my own tomatos and herbs). I suggest growing your own herbs too. It'll save you lots of money are they are so easy to maintain. More on that later. Same with chili. I make a big batch of chili every three months or so and store it in the freezer. I do the same with indian/pakistani foods, sauces, soups, etc. If i'm making something, i make twice what i need and freeze it. It cuts down on cooking time, and if you ever need fast food, you have it without eating out. Eating out is expensive and unhealthy.

The next post will be on how to waste less.


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