Author Topic: Canning Homemade Baby Food?  (Read 2889 times)

Offline HappilyMarriedMama

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Canning Homemade Baby Food?
« on: September 25, 2012, 09:59:55 AM »
I've been feeding my baby homemade baby food (using the ice cube tray method) ever since I started her on solids. However, we have to go on a trip in October, and I don't really want to switch to commercial baby food. I have looked online for instructions for canning baby food, and everything I've found says something like, "Do NOT attempt to can pureed vegetables!!!" and warns about botulism, etc. But the baby food companies can pureed vegetables, so why can't I? 

Also, I have looked up some commercial baby foods online and discovered that many labels list the contents as vegetables/fruit and water. Are there hidden ingredients in commercial baby food that the companies don't have to list? If not, I guess I'd be fine using the commercial stuff, especially since it will be for a short time. 

Any suggestions???

Offline DHW

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Re: Canning Homemade Baby Food?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 02:40:57 PM »
Yes.  Manganese is frequently added and it can build up to toxic levels (not common, though).  I recommend calling the company whose products you might be interested in and asking them to verify in writing that there are no added ingredients.

Offline HappilyMarriedMama

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Re: Canning Homemade Baby Food?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 02:18:24 PM »
OK, thanks! Anybody know anything about home canning baby food?

Offline ladyhen

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Re: Canning Homemade Baby Food?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 02:58:17 PM »
I've never known anyone to can baby food, as it is the least nutritious choice.  Fresh or frozen is far superior in nutrient quality.
If it were me, I would be inclined to just use commercial baby food for a short time.  You can probably find organic baby food in glass jars at health food store or in a good grocery store.   
(I even used disposable diapers for traveling - just keep things easy when away from home)

Other than occasionally freezing portions of leftovers for my children, I usually fed them whatever we were eating.  If it was in large pieces, I mashed it a bit with a fork.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 03:02:01 PM by ladyhen »
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;    Titus 2:13

Offline herbalmom

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Re: Canning Homemade Baby Food?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 04:55:39 AM »
I posted this on the home canning thread about pumpkin puree, pumpkin butter & re-fried beans. It applies here about baby food as well. While traveling I would just stick to a good organic brand like Earth's Best & not worry about it. Homemade is much better but for a short time using jarred baby food isn't going to hurt IMO.

Commercial processors can use much higher pressure & heat than we can at home. Besides, they figure out the processing times based on the thickness of their particular product & pumpkin butter, pumpkin puree & re-fried beans are MUCH thicker than anything else commonly canned. For low acid foods, if the food doesn't reach 240* THROUGHOUT the food, botulism is a definite risk. Anything as thick as squash puree, pumpkin butter &/or re-fried/mashed beans is going to be difficult to get the center hot enough with home equipment. Even a pot of spaghetti sauce would be difficult to get the center hot without stirring & it's not near as thick as mashed squash, pumpkin butter or mashed beans.

As you probably know from my posts, I'm well known for doing things 'outside the box' & don't think much of gov. agencies either but on this subject the logic is sound, IMO. Personally, I think you are taking too big of a risk when the simple solution is to just freeze it instead. Or in the case of mashed/re-fried beans, just can the cooked, whole beans & drain & mash when serving. Just my .02 on it. Blessings ~herbalmom

I pressure canned the pumpkin butter.  All of my lids did seal.  I know about the USDA, but I am not trying to be rude, I really don't care.  I think these agencies approve and disapprove depending on their mood that day.  If I can go to the store and buy pureed pumpkin or pumpkin butter or re-fried beans in a can, then why can't I can it myself?  That's just my thinking.  Maybe I am a rebel at heart. ;)