My youngest will be turning 1 years old in April and somehow I still have a basket full of store-bought puréed baby food sitting in my pantry. We took our time introducing foods due to some food allergy concerns but once he got a chance at self-feeding he didn’t look back. Hence, the basket of unused baby food in the pantry.
Over the last few weeks I’ve made it my goal to find ways to use up the baby food and I’ll be honest both my son and I have been pleased with the results! If you’re in the same situation here are 5 great ways to incorporate puréed baby food into your self-feeding child’s meals:
- Oatmeal for Breakfast – To make oatmeal for my son I’ve always made it with 2 tablespoons of quick oats and 4 tablespoons of water and then microwaved it for 30 seconds and let it cool in the fridge. One morning I was thinking about cutting up fruit to put in it but realized that would lead to my son wanting to feed himself the oatmeal, so I grabbed a leftover banana baby food container and mixed it into the oatmeal. Success – he loved the sweetened taste but still let me spoon feed him and avoid an early morning mess.
- Alternative Sauces – My son has a milk allergy so we have to watch carefully when it comes to sauces for pasta and other items. I have found that if I cook up noodles and then use a savory baby food like butternut squash or peas as the sauce he will eat them all up! It’s a little messy but a great alternative to provide if his brother or classmates are having mac and cheese.
- Frozen Bites – While we haven’t hit 100 degrees yet in Phoenix the temperature is on the rise so having some frozen snack bites my son can enjoy outside has been a great use of leftover baby food. I took an unused liquid medicine syringe, filled it with baby food, and then placed small dots of the baby food across a slipmat on a cookie sheet; then put in the freezer overnight and transferred to a ziplock bag. Now when we come in from a walk around the neighborhood or playing outdoors I have a quick cool treat ready.
- Smoothies – Another cool treat that can pack a great deal of nutrition. Add your normal smoothie fixings and toss in a leftover container or two of baby food.
- Egg Substitute in Meatballs – This is on our list of must tries as my son also has an egg allergy but meatballs are a family favorite among the boys in my house. A fellow mom shared with me instead of using eggs as the binder in meatballs she uses a savory baby food as the alternative – usually butternut squash or sweet potato. She shared that she uses her favorite recipe, minus the eggs, and then just adds the baby food based on desired consistency.
Do you have any other tips or tricks for using up baby food? Has anyone successfully gotten to the self-feeding stage without having leftover baby food? Please comment below or share with us on social media using #nphxmoms.