I uncapped the jar of baby food and was assaulted by the smell: beef with beef gravy.
Hmmm, smells like cat food.
Hmmm, I bet cat food is cheaper.
This brief conversation with myself marked a turning point. It was time to start making my own baby food. Previous conversations with friends had assured me of the economical sense and the simplicity of this task. And when my sleep-deprived mommy brain contemplated feeding cat food to my baby? Well, that just sealed the deal.
I stocked up on supplies and pulled out the blender and the ice trays. I grabbed a bottle of breast milk to provide additional nutrients to my concoctions. I put pots of water on the stove to boil, pre-heated the oven, and began rinsing the produce.
Hours later, the freezer was stocked with tiny, frozen cubes of baby food: applesauce, sweet potatoes, peas, avocado, spinach, kiwi banana, mango banana, blueberry, succotash, and carrots. I had even experimented with using our dinner, resulting in miniscule servings of pureed chicken and dumplings.
To me, the benefits of making my own baby food are numerous. It saves money. It’s convenient to grab one or two little cubes out of the freezer and thaw the appropriate amount. I’m more confident that my child is getting the necessary vitamins and minerals and not unnecessary preservatives, salt, sugar, etc.
To 10-year-old Squirt, there is only one benefit to this process: Watching me spread some of the pureed blueberries onto my waffle and eat the entire delicious fruity meal, all while waiting for the perfect time to remind me, amidst much laughter, that I was in fact, eating my own breastmilk.