Some babies start on baby food purees as early as three months old. Even babies who start these purees at an older age, tend to go through quite a few jars! Many parents, being smart consumers, realize this and take advantage of sales and coupons and stock up on baby food while they can! Other families participate in the WIC program, which at six months of age, gives your child 256 ounces of baby foods per month. These jars and containers can accumulate quickly in either situation, and it’s not hard to see why parents are faced with an overflowing cupboard full of baby foods their child doesn’t want to eat once they’ve switched to solids!
Cookies, Cakes, Muffins & Breads
This may be common knowledge for some, but when you’re baking, applesauce (like the baby food applesauce) can be used, cup for cup, as a replacement for oil! Other fruit purees can be used as well, however, I have had the best experiences using applesauce.
In addition, fruit purees can be added to breads, pancakes, muffins, cakes and more as a flavoring agent! Why not add some peach baby food to your apple scones? Add some pizazz to your pancakes and throw in some banana baby food!
Any vegetable baby food purees can be used in stews and some soups. Pour in beans, peas, carrots, squash and more to add some extra flavor (and nutrition) to your soup pot!
Fruit baby foods can easily be used as toppings, especially the thinner, stage one purees. Pour these purees over pancakes, or on top of your ice cream for a delicious, and healthy treat!
If you’re making spaghetti (or lasagna, or other red-sauced dishes) try adding a jar of baby food carrots or squash! This is a great way to sneak in some extra vegetables in the presence of picky children, or just boost the vitamin content of your dishes!
Purees are amazing to freeze! Find a good popsicle mold, or simply use cups with popsicle sticks. Fill the container with the puree and freeze! You’ll have a cool, fruity treat to enjoy! These popsicles are a great hit, especially in the summer months. These popsicles might be a great way to soothe a teething toddler as well!
Carrot cake is a delicious, healthy treat with hidden veggies! Instead of having to steam, strain and shred carrots to make your cake, try using baby food carrot puree! It’s quick, easy and convenient!
Do you and your family enjoy smoothies? Add some fruit puree to your smoothie mix! These purees will give you more of a variety of flavors in your smoothies, while emptying out your cupboards!
Many families enjoy banana bread, but it can take time to get your bananas to the point they’re brown enough to make banana bread! Instead, replace the mashed bananas in your recipe with banana baby food puree!
Plain, unflavored oatmeal is often cheaper than flavored oatmeal. Jazz your oatmeal up by adding baby food fruit purees before cooking. Simply replace a portion of the water with fruit puree, stir well, and cook in the microwave as normal! If you’re boiling your water, simply add less water and stir in your fruit puree at the same time as your water!
Many children and toddlers love to dip things! Instead of giving them barbecue sauce for their chicken strips, try giving them a container of squash or carrot puree. Experiment to find which baby foods your child prefers to dip different foods in and work from there!
Many children (and adults) enjoy the flavored applesauces. Instead of buying the more expensive flavored applesauces, opt for the larger jars and simple stir in baby fruit purees to add flavor! Flavors such as peach, banana and pear work great for mixing!