The hubby and I have been struggling on our one income for a while now and, try my hardest, it’s proving more difficult than I thought to land a job. While I have all the credentials, certifications, and experience for the jobs I’m applying for, the two boys are causing some kinks. Either the daycare doesn’t have a spot for one of them, or they do but the discounted price would be half of my paycheck. On top of that, there’s just not a lot of job opportunity down here in the middle stretch of interstate. There are jobs aplenty 30 minutes north and an hour south, but the gas is horrendous and next year, #1 starts school. It’d be more than a little odd to be working at one daycare and have to have him at another because of my work schedule.
Then, today, I had an idea. It’s still half-baked, and I really don’t know how I would price things out, but here it is: homemade organic (possibly) baby food. What do you think? Would you buy it?
I know that many of us stay-at-home moms already do this, but I was getting a little bored of the basics. “Put a strawberry block in, and a mango block, and some applesauce…” Dinner times are the worst. Even I cringe while mixing green beans and mixed veggies together in his little bowl. I started looking into recipes for more variety and realized, if I’m wanting more diversity, I’ll bet there are other moms out there who want more. It’s a little daunting, though, tackling the baby food diet. Everything has to be stripped down to its essentials. No sugars added, no salt added. Do you know how hard it is to get green beans or peas to a puree-able softness? But I definitely don’t want to go back to the canned baby foods.
(I am totally thinking out loud here, so bear with me.) I’d probably have certain packages of differing values and stages. The beginning stage would have simple fruits and veggies: applesauce without the skin, bananas, pears, peaches, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash. Simple foods that aren’t too vivid in flavor. I found a fantastic recipe for a pumpkin-pear combination. The second stage would have larger chunks, rather than being completely smooth, and I’d start introducing some of the brighter flavors: mango, strawberry, blueberry, peas, broccoli, yellow squash. The final stage would swing into adding meats: ground beef, ground chicken, etc. And the recipes I’ve found! I stumbled upon pea soup for a great baby food when I had tons left over from a family meal and #2 loved it. It has carrots, split peas, onions, potatoes, and tiny pieces of bacon. It was delicious for us grown family members, and entirely healthy, even for #2. I’ve found so many more, and one reader from the fabulous country of Brazil has given me a whole bunch of recipes that she or friends have used.
What’s more, I plan on using local produce from the farmer’s market if I were to do this. Support our local farmers, get the local flavors, and keep it organic. What’s great about that, too, is that many farmers at the Farmer’s Market grow organically but can’t label it as such because it’s too expensive to get the label.
So, what do you think? I would of course have a disclaimer that it was made at home, and it would be frozen straight from cooking, not canned. Do you think it’s a plausible idea? Worth exploring? Or already something out there?