Mom’s Night Out: Who Knew Making Healthy Baby Food Would Be This Fun?!

Written by: Colleen O'Laughlin

Whether I was anticipating the unknowns of labor and delivery or wondering how I would adjust to my new life as a mom or even debating baby names with my husband, it’s fair to say there were few things I knew to be certain while pregnant.  However, in spite of all that, there was one thing I always knew to be certain: I would make my own baby food!  For me, this was a no-brainer.  As a former culinary student who spends the majority of my free time buried in my kitchen it was a win/win situation – I could dedicate my time to my passion for cooking AND provide the healthiest food for my baby.

While the decision was easy for me, when I joined an NPN New Mom’s Group, I was surprised to learn that preparing homemade baby food does not come easy for other moms.  When it came time for the babies in our group to start solid foods, I hosted a ‘puree party’ for my new friends to give a few pointers on how to make homemade baby food.  The party was a huge success!  Apart from having a really great time, each mom walked away with a colorful variety of organic, freezable baby food, and left confident that she could put her skills into practice. That night I learned how most moms know that homemade is best for their babies, but sometimes they simply need a little push to make it happen.

After the success of that first party, I expanded the idea to include “Stock the Freezer” parties for expecting and new moms.  What better way to keep your family eating right when your new baby arrives than to stock your freezer with easy healthy meals?  Of course, well-meaning friends and family bringing casserole (after casserole) is always appreciated during those first few hectic weeks. But, arguably, too many heavy lasagnas, meatloafs and pot pies aren’t always what your family or postnatal body needs.  Stocking your freezer not only ensures you have the meals you want when you arrive home from the hospital, but it also makes it easier on your partners who might otherwise find themselves navigating a grocery list you scribbled with one eye open at 3 a.m. “Stock the Freezer” parties are also a great baby shower idea for the expecting mom whose schedule (or lacking skills!) prevent her from cooking

My prenatal yoga instructor always said, “What’s good for mom is good for baby,” and I try my best to live by this mantra As a mom, it’s natural to put your family’s needs ahead of your own, and before you know it you haven’t had a night to yourself in months.  Puree and “Stock the Freezer” parties are great ways to get out, have a glass of wine, socialize with other moms, learn to prepare healthy meals for baby and family, and leave feeling empowered to do it all on your own!

Making Your Own Baby Food May Be Right for You:

  • Get to know your kitchen equipment! Sometimes, half the battle is taking that food processor out of the box.
  • Do the math! Apart from the nutritional benefits of organic homemade baby food, making your own baby food can save you more than half of what you could be spending on pouches and jars.
  • Give it a whirl! You may not realize just how easy it can be.
  • Go green! Making homemade baby food is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint, and ensure you’ll take the recycling out less often.
  • Have fun! It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Grab your girlfriends and make it a night.

Colleen now hosts Puree and “Stock the Freezer” parties all over the city. For more information or to plan a party, simply visit www.facebook.com/NourishChicago    

Posted on March 07, 2013 at 5:42 PM