Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tools of the trade & Why I HATE the "Baby Bullet"

Realizing not everyone uses the same stuff, I thought I'd post what I use right now as a suggestion.  The first thing I wanted to do when I decided to make my own baby food is go out & buy one of those "Baby Bullet" systems by the makers of the counter top "magician" ie. the "Magic Bullet."  It's a food processor with cutesy little cups sporting smiley faces galore!  I think it's kind of disgusting how companies take advantage of mothers who just want to make what's best for their kids.  They make it seem like if we don't buy their products then we must be horrible parents!  There will always be brands trying to keep our confidence down so we'll buy their products, the trick is just trying to ignore that & go with your own instinct. What are the benefits of using the "Baby Bullet" ($80+) instead of a mini processor that can be found at your local mega-mart? (around $10-15)  Here are some of the things included & why they're not exactly necessary:
  • A batch & storage tray for freezing baby food:  I don't think it's necessary to freeze baby food unless you're deciding to leave your baby for a week at a time with someone else who has no idea how to process baby food.  Why?  Fresh is best, refrigerated is second-best, & third in line is freezing, nutrition-wise.  So just make enough for what the baby eats & if there's anything left over, refrigerate it for no more than 48 hours.  Ice crystals form in all foods that contain water & the more ice crystals that form, the more the cellular structure of the food will be broken down.  There are occasions where I'm sure you'll need frozen baby food, but you can go out & buy a silicone ice cube tray for around $2, or to go even cheaper you can get a regular ice cube tray for $0.50!  Just cover it with saran wrap, freeze until solid, pop out & stick it in a zip-top bag.  Ta-da!
  • "Date Dial" storage cupsI'll admit, it looks really cool, but you don't need to turn a dial to know when you made your baby's food.  Like I said before, you really should only make enough to store for less than 48 hours, but if you have to go further than than, masking tape & a sharpie works just as well.
  • "Pocket Nutritionist" Recipe GuideWhile it is good to have a recipe guide, there are soooo many resources available to you for baby food recipes.  Ahem, there's this blog for example :)  You can find tens of thousands of recipes online, from your local health department, pediatrician, etc.  If you want a book, you could get one from your local library or even a Barnes & Noble without having to shell out $80 for other stuff you don't need.


  • Food processor --I got mine at Walmart for $10 & it is available at Walmart.com for $14. It is a Rival brand mini food processor with a 1.5 cup capacity.  Perfect size, works fantastic, easy to clean & store, safe, & even grinds rice to a fine powder.
  • Storage containers --I'll admit it, I'm a supporter of Walmart because there are locations everywhere & I can get cheap, BPA-free containers to store baby food.  I got a 6-pk. of 0.5 cup capacity storage containers with lids for around $2.  The Glad "Mini Round" storage cups are BPA-free*, hold half-cup servings, & contain lids.  8 cups for $2.58 online & in stores.  I just got the 6-pk. of the store brand containers because they were more dishwasher safe & were actually slightly cheaper.  Always the thrifty one!
  • Ice Cube Trays --I'm not going to pretend that no one freezes baby food just because I don't want to do it, so invest in some ice cube trays.  If you want to go all-out & get the ones specifically made for baby food, they're around $10 both online & in stores.
  • Zip-Top Bags --You gotta put those frozen cubies somewhere!  Just wait until the food is frozen solid, transfer to a zip-top bag, & freeze.  There are times where we can't control the weather, power-outages, etc. so I'm not going to feel like a failure if I must freeze some food.  Hey, works for freezing breast milk!  They even have zip-top bags with a contraption to suck the air out!  NEAT!  Not really, I have one.  Works horribly.  I do have one of those "food saver" things, but if you're cheap you don't want to get those.  However, Rival makes their own version & it's significantly cheaper & works just as well.
  • Insulated carrier you probably already have for bottles --keep your baby food cool while traveling long-distances in an insulated lunchbox, bottle-holder, teeny cooler, etc.  Always cheap, always available, gotta keep that food at a safe temperature!
That's what you really need.  As Alton Brown says: 

            "I only allow one 'uni-tasker' in my kitchen & that's a fire extinguisher."  

You can bet if something is made for only one purpose --like making/storing baby food-- you're probably losing money in the long run.  You can get all of the nice gadgets, gizmos, & recipe books & still not pay as much as you would for some silly "Baby Bullet" system.  If I got one as a gift, yes, I would use it, but I'd rather spend that money finding quality ingredients for baby food.

And I'm spent.  Now I must get back to cleaning my bedroom which has been ignored for the past, oh, 3 WEEKS!  If there are any questions, feel free to ask because I realize I kind of rambled here.  It's the rare moment where Elias is sleeping so I really get into my opinions.

Peas & Love,

*what's the big deal with BPA?  Check it out online! http://children.webmd.com/environmental-exposure-head2toe/bpa

"As seen on TV" might as well be a bulls-eye
for taking advantage of new mothers...

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