Why I Don’t Make My Own Baby Food

Disclaimer: I recently received a fun surprise. The people at Ella’s Kitchen sent me a sampler of baby food pouches. This is not a paid review, however. These are my honest opinions as someone who has been happily using Ella’s Kitchen pouches for the last three months.

When I got pregnant, I had a very clear vision of my future. It wasn’t late nights or burp cloths or missing socks. It definitely wasn’t picking that soggy rice cracker out of my hair this morning. No, my vision was clean and darling and beautiful.

It was the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker.

 

How freaking beautiful is that? It’s like an Easy Bake Oven and a KitchenAid mixer got together and had darling offspring. The thing steams food and then purees it. At that point you can put the purees into these little Beaba ice cube trays to freeze until you want to thaw it out in a little Beaba food tray so you can serve it with the little Beaba spoons.

Love.

So, I was over the moon when some of my relatives sent me this darling contraption when Eva was born. Kyle and I pulled it out and pored over the recipes, counting the days until she could eat steamed and pureed salmon with a side of streamed and pureed sweet potato. We even talked about pureeing extra vegetables to add to our own food. Who doesn’t need more creamed carrots in their life?

And then…

The thing about parenthood is that everything is bright and shiny and darling when the baby is born, but as the baby gets older and starts to get grabby/sticky/pukey/poopy everything just gets a little less darling. Like the crib sheets. And the bibs. And my hair.

By the time Eva was ready to eat solid foods, I didn’t have time to plan out elaborate meal plans for her. In fact, I didn’t have time to get the baby food maker out of the box to read the instructions. So, I guiltily bought her a few Gerber jars. Then Kyle bought a few. Then I bought a few more. And then we discovered Ella’s Kitchen.

 

The little pouches of organic baby food from Ella’s Kitchen are the best of both worlds!

The food is organic, healthy, and free from additives, so I don’t have to feel guilty about serving her the equivalent of a baby SPAM burger.

The pouches: DARLING. Bright colors. Cute graphics. They’re even a little cuter than the baby food maker.

They’re easy to transport, they last a while, and they don’t have to be refrigerated, so the convenience level of these versus frozen cubes of homemade food is off the charts.

They’re regulated (like all commercial baby food), so the food ends up being a bit safer than the food I make at home. It seems counter-intuitive, especially with all the warnings about how we don’t know what goes into food that we aren’t growing ourselves, but I trust that the people making these pouches are carefully checking the ingredients whereas I like to play a little game called “How long have we had these carrots? Are they soggy? Did they sprout new leaves? Were those brown spots there when we bought them?”

Most of all – the flavor variety is huge and Eva loves every one of them. We can pick between single fruits, fruit/veggie combos, or fruits mixed with grains.

That last one is a biggie. See, here’s what I didn’t think of when I was imagining myself getting all Williams-Sonoma with the baby food. Kyle and I try to have a selection of fruits and veggies around the house, but most of the time we just have staples (spinach/kale, broccoli, apples, and bananas). They work for us and when I buy too many fruits and veggies, I tend to find scary bags of fuzzy produce in the bottom of the fridge.

However, Eva is at a point where she needs to be trying new flavors and getting used to different foods. The Ella’s Kitchen pouches are perfect for that because the blends include a lot of things that we don’t often eat. True, I could have hit the store every few days and made my own rutabaga and apple puree, but c’mon…was that really going to happen? I can’t find time to get a haircut!

The other thing I just didn’t think about is that the baby food window is smaller than I thought it was. Eva will only be eating these purees and creamed foods for another year, at most, and she’ll be moving on to small bites and big bites and PB&J sandwiches before I can blink. The Beaba baby food maker is darling, but it was a fun luxury that just didn’t match my lifestyle (or produce drawer). So, we sent it back to Amazon and traded it for a combination clock/nightlight/iPod stereo that should last Eva until high school.

Did I think I was going to make my own baby food? Yes. Do I feel a little bit like a slacker because I’ve never made my own baby food? No. Eva loves the pouches and, even though they’re a bit pricier than the jars, I love knowing that the food is good for her and making her happy. Added bonus – I think Kyle eats them when I’m not looking. Apparently our whole house has been suffering from a distinct lack of parsnip and carrot blends until now…

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