Loose Change

Loose change: Budget busting baby foods

Loose change budget busting baby food

Loose change is the space for bloggers in the network to have a rant about the money matters they love and hate.

Here Katy Stevens from KatyKicker.com shares her frustrations with the cost of baby food.

I have a daughter with cow’s milk protein allergy and I’ve lost sleep in the last few weeks wondering if she will be able to eat any of the food that I cook. The time is rapidly approaching for me to begin weaning my daughter and convenience vs price is coming into play, as it often does at the supermarket.

I’m a busy working Mum and as such I want to find that right balance between saving time and saving money. I don’t want to feed my daughter lots of chemicals and junk food, especially when she doesn’t even know that junk food exists yet.

Crazy carrot prices

I was recently browsing the baby food aisles in two supermarkets and I found myself wondering – why is baby food so expensive? I saw a jar of food that was labelled as ‘simply carrots’ and it cost 85p. The ingredients are carrots, as you would expect, and water. With a 125g jar costing 85p – why not just make your own? You can regularly purchase 1kg of carrots for around 50p, in a variety of supermarkets.

A frozen opportunity

I’m all for convenience but does there need to be such an extortionate markup? Why are brands not selling baby food in the freezer? As parents, we are often told how convenient it is to steam vegetables, blend them and freeze in ice cube trays. Even factoring in the time involved to do this, and the energy to steam the vegetables and freeze the ice cubes the markup on packaged baby food is still HUGE.

I’d love to see a brand, particularly an organic one, selling frozen baby food. This would give parents the convenience of ready made but also allow them to still save some money versus buying jars of baby food every week. Also, it would be better for the environment too.

Why does a baby need a ready meal?

Baby ready meals are popular too now, with the most well-regarded brands selling for around £2.50. What is wrong with putting less salt in your meals and feeding your child what you eat? If you have a balanced diet already it should be easy to dish up your child a small portion of whatever you are eating. That way you can control what your child is eating and save yourself money in the process.

I’m not going to be unrealistic and say that I am always going to make all of my daughter’s meals from scratch, however, I’m going to have a good try! I do have a couple of jars in the cupboard now, ready for unexpected days out, and in the coming weeks I am going to get the freezer stocked up. I’ll be saving small portions of dinners that we regularly enjoy and pureeing leftover vegetables to give my daughter a variety of tastes.

Weaning your baby doesn’t need to be a worry, particularly if you already cook from scratch. I’m going to cut down on added salt and make my favourite meals less spicy to accommodate for my little girl.

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