Weaning your baby onto solid foods can be an exciting but challenging time for both you and your little one. It is amazing watching your baby experience new tastes and textures and discover new foods that they will either love or hate. However, weaning can be an expensive task, with the added expense of weaning supplies, high chairs, and additional food.
Luckily, there are many ways you can wean your baby without breaking the bank. Below are some great tips for weaning your baby on a budget.
1. Make your own baby food
Making your own baby food is an excellent way to both save money and make nutritious meals for your baby. Fresh fruits and vegetables are easy to make into purées using a hand blender or by just simply mashing them with a fork. By making your own baby food you can control what goes into your baby’s food and avoid any nasty preservatives or additives. It is also a great way to use up leftover fruits and vegetables in your fridge.
2. Feed your baby what you eat
Often parents worry about making separate meals for their babies when often, with only a few adjustments, you can share what you are eating. Make sure that any meat is fully cooked and mashed to make it easy to eat. When you are cooking, avoid salt and excess spices in the portion intended for your baby. Babies under 1 year of age should not eat honey and be aware that shop-bought sauces will contain sugar. If you are serving vegetables, cut the skins off to make them suitable for your baby.
3. Invest in reusable food containers
Invest in a set of reusable food containers that will be used for your baby’s food, which are easy to take out and about and store leftovers in. Some food containers make it easy to store and freeze baby purées whereas simple food containers with a strong lid make saving leftovers easy. Reusable containers are better for the environment and you will need a good set of containers for transporting snacks and food items when you are out and about.
4. Buy second-hand highchairs or chairs that last
A high chair is an essential item to feed your baby at the table, and it is important to include them at the family table from a young age. Eating at the table gets your child used to eating at specific meal times and it makes it easier to safely feed them. Look for second-hand highchairs to save money or choose a highchair that will last a long time. The Stokke Tripp Trapp or cheaper Alpha+ Wooden Highchair are expensive purchases but they are adjustable as your child grows and can be used as a desk chair in their teens. Many people sell these types of chairs in good condition second hand which is a great option.
5. Get creative
Weaning doesn't have to be boring and there are many creative ways to feed your baby that will interest them and are inexpensive. A teething baby will love an ice lolly so invest in a set of ice lolly moulds to make your own at home. Remember you don't have to give them sweet options, frozen puréed sweet potato or carrot will be nutritious and enjoyable. Pancakes are another great option cut into finger-sized portions and can include either savoury or sweet options.
When introducing your baby to new foods, be patient and offer small portions, otherwise, there will be a lot of food waste. Save leftovers in reusable containers and offer a variety of different foods. Reuse containers that you buy food in and freeze things like leftover yogurt or sauces to be used again or turned into ice lollies. Remember weaning is an exciting and adventurous time for your baby so have some fun and see what you can make at home from the food you already buy for yourself before splashing out on expensive jars or pouches of baby food.