Carrots in my Hair

Babies can be a test of frugality as Midge well knows!  Here is her latest adventure…

Guest Blog Featuring: Midge

I know; I am a bit behind the times.  While others were cooking side by side with their moms, I was learning the fine art of microwave-ing a Hot Pocket.  No real fault lies with my parents or for that matter, with me.   My parents were busy running their own 24 hour business and I was busy with school and after school activities.  So, I just sort of skipped the part in life where “learning kitchen skills” was a necessity.

Off I went to college, where my pizza ordering skills were honed to perfection.  My few forays into the cooking realm usually involved a roommate or two with a late night quesadilla.  Making things from scratch?  No problem, right?  I just scratched the box open and VOILA, a ready made meal!

Now, I find myself in a bit of a pickle.  My daughter Sarah is now eating solid foods.  I really desire for her to eat healthy, organic baby food.  I’ll bet a few of the readers of the econobusters’s blog have mastered the art of making baby food!  But, me, well, I still struggle with cracking eggs to remove the yolk.

Glass container for baby food

My baby food jar… still empty. Image via Wikipedia

I saw the Magic Baby Bullet (Say that five times fast!) at the store and thought I could do this project for cheaper!  In the sale section that day was a baby generic Cuisinart food processor.  Bingo!  I walked out of the store $10 lighter and was on my way to a “make your own” baby food adventure.

Anytime I have ever tried to go cheaper without fully visualizing the whole plan, I have fallen on my rump!  In this case, the mini food processor would not chop my veggies down to small enough pieces.  I had started with organic baby carrots and cooked them in a microwave-able bowl.

Up until this point I had never cooked “non-frozen” carrots in the microwave.  I assumed there must have been something wrong with my microwave because half of the carrots ended up undercooked and the other half overcooked.  Maybe I just cooked them the wrong way?  I cut up the carrots with a knife after a bit of adjusting and cutting off the bad pieces.  Then, I placed them into the food processor.

The end result was not pretty.  It was shredded carrots with lumps and chunks of larger carrots mixed in.  I tasted the carrots and they were awful.   I even tried adding a bit of formula to soften it up, make it juicier and more baby food like… but, to no avail.  I imagined my little girl spitting them back up on my shirt, my face and all over my hair.  Ugh, where did I go wrong?

Going cheaper is not always better… should I have invested in the Magic Baby Bullet, get a really good baby food cookbook, or just stockpile organic baby food coupons?

Oh and one more thing…the mini food processor now resides in a special spot deep within the dark recesses of the back of the cupboard.


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7 thoughts on “Carrots in my Hair

  1. I have found the easiest way to make home-made organic baby food is to steam the veggies and place them in your countertop blender with a little of the cast off water (or formula or breast milk) and blend until smooth. We don’t have a microwave, so a steamer (you can also steam them on the stove) allows me to put the veggies on, have some play time with the kids (or do the never ending laundry) while the veggies cook and cool. Once blended, I place them in recycled canning jars with the plastic lids and place some in the fridge and some in the freezer. From one batch of veggies I can usually get 2-3 days worth of baby food. Good Luck Midge!!

    Midge Says: Wow! Thanks for the great tips!!

  2. I used to make my own baby food by steaming the veggies till soft, like Ruth Ann above. I would then mash it up by hand, adding water if necessary to get the right consistency. There were other moms in my church at that time, that rather than mash by hand used a little baby food mill like this one at Amazon:

    You can probably find one a bit cheaper somewhere, but this gives you the idea. :)

    Midge Says: That food mill looks interesting… thanks for the hints!

  3. Baby food is quite easy. The problem is cooking in the microwave. I never used the microwave to cook my baby’s food. Just steam veggies on the stove (which is super easy). I used a mini food processor and the food came out perfect every time. You can also use it to do meats when a baby is ready for meat. Also adding cooked pasta. It is a much healthier and cheaper option especially if you are using food you are already eating.
    A valuable resource I used was

    Midge Says: Thanks Julie for the link and ideas :)

  4. The only thing I ever did just for baby food was puree apricots and freeze them in ice cube trays because we were given a lot of them when they were ripe. All the other baby food that we used came right off the table while the rest of us were eating and into the hand turned baby food mill. We were on child number three when we wore our first used one out. The second one got handed down to my sister who was on child number three when the blade piece got lost. All that to say it can be well worth the initial purchase price. Daddy and big siblings all took turns cranking the mill. Meat was usually done by daddy because he could provide more downward pressure. We took the baby food mill with us when we were traveling. I have a stack of good old Tupperware one cup containers, all the “extra” food that we ran through the mill got put into those. They were just the right size for stacking in the fridge, freezer and diaper bag. The added benefit of using the baby food mill is that it gets baby used to eating what you eat; makes the transition from “baby” food to eating what everyone else is eating easier.

    Midge Says: Great ideas! A good use for all of those one cup tupperware containers too!

  5. my sister got the baby bullet for a gift, and she mentioned it today on how much she has loved it. She talked about using it to grind rice and oatmeal up before it is cooked to make homemade cereal. Her baby does not like the boxed variety. It may still be worth investing in since it will be used for a few years.
    The ice cube trays work wonderfully. Freeze the food and then pop them into a freezer bag. Only pull out what is needed for the meal at that time. We also used a traveling baby food mill.

    Midge Says: I have a few friends that really enjoy their baby bullet too. It is sometimes hard to make good “economic” choices when it comes to a kitchen tool that you may not use when the baby is a bit older. I appreciate your thoughts on this!

  6. The only “baby food” I have used with my 6 children is the initial rice cereal. Ground my own organic rice and used that to make the cereal. Everything else we used was from the table. I follow the “Super Baby Food” chart of when to introduce specific foods. It also gives ideas of foods I never would’ve thought of on my own. I give my children as many of the foods raw as possible. Raw carrots make a great natural teething food! When you have 4 children within 3 years you find ways to streamline and even pureeing isn’t necessary unless you have children with gag issues. I purposely wanted my children to have lumpy food in order to avoid texture issues as much as possible. I also agree with “Home Educating Winns” that the transition from baby food to regular food is virtually non-existent.

    Midge Says: I would love to see a copy of the Super Baby Food chart :) Thanks for commenting Susanna!

  7. It’s been a long time since I made baby food, but I love my mini Cuisinart! Please don’t relegate it to a back corner or feel like you’ve wasted your money. It’s something you should be able to use for the rest of your life–perfect for crushing cracker or graham crackers for crumbs, chopping garlic and onions, etc. Much easier than draggin the big one one! Mine has a reversivble blade–one side is sharp, the other not as sharp. They have different uses. Still, I agree with the above comments that the problem was likely trying to microwave the carrots instead of steaming them.

    Midge Says: Thanks for the encouragement! Great ideas for ways to use the little cuisinart in the future!

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