Baby Food for Thought

Jars and jars and jars
Perhaps this seems a little out of left field... but what the heck is up with the packaged baby food industry? How have they ingrained in us so well that we can't do this ourselves, that prepackaged is the only option?

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that education and child development were my first loves. Even though I have undergone several drastic life-path rebirths, I have consistently babysat and nannied on the side, mostly for infants and toddlers, while going to school or juggling more professional jobs for over 14 years. As my diet and food philosophy have shifted, I have become more and more interested in what people choose to feed their children. It seems to be motivated by a variety of things, as far as I can tell: health, quality, and unfortunately- expediency/convenience (image from

The families I have worked for have really run the gamut. Some have cabinets filled with enough Gerber's bananas to last through a nuclear fall out, some have exclusively breast fed up to a year, and some go out of their way to consistently make their own baby food. Coming from a house where we had recognizable, brand name junk food as a main staple (Sorry, Mom! I know not for babies... but still relevant), it had absolutely never occurred to me to make baby food. It seems straight forward enough now... but for some reason I was under the impression that there was something else aside from pureed fruits and vegetables in there. Something that you couldn't do at home.

As more and more friends and relatives update their facebook statuses with ultrasound photos and quirky pregnancy cravings, I find myself considering what my plan will be. Tyler and I have a more alternative diet than most (at least compared to people where we're from). Tyler is vegan, I am a limited-dairy vegetarian... and not all of our family members are always so kind about our choices. We often wind up defending ourselves or avoiding the topic all together. I fully anticipate having to do this tenfold with whatever choices we make for our future children.

Containers used to freeze portioned food
But the family I currently nanny for has given me vast fields of flowery hope! Their approach is so simple, healthy, and DO-ABLE! I have been working for them for a month, and I have yet to feed this little guy a single drop of jarred baby food or formula. And if you're about to say, "Well, I just don't have the time for that! I work, my partner works... I mean, the jars are just so much easier!" then think again. They only cook once or twice a week. Both of these parents work full time as teachers. They are not rich, and they do not have tons of time. They cook fruits and vegetables in bulk, puree them, and put them into large jars. Then they section off some and freeze individualized portions. Genius! I am literally enamored with their system. Each day I get to their house and look in the fridge to see what is fresh and then take out a portion to defrost that makes sense with the rest of the little guy's "menu." So organized, all labeled, super easy. I am taking notes for my future, people. (image from