Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, September 29, 1984, Image 60

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    Bl6—Lancaster Farming, Saturday, September 29,1984
Making baby food can help stretch food budget
babies can be expensive. The cost
of cribs, car seats, high chairs,
clothes, diapers, toys, doctor bills
and food all add up to an
astonishing amount.
But parents on tight budgets
have found ways to reduce, if not to
eliminate, these costs.
Mothers can cut the food
allowance, one of the largest
essential elements of the total
budget, by making baby food at
home instead of buying prepared
foods at the grocery store.
Julie Deppen, the mother of two,
says she decided to make her own
baby food “mainly because it's
cheaper ’’
Julie started preparing baby
food when her first child, Heather,
was ready for solid food Heather
is now two-and-half years old, but
Julie will soon be repeating the
process for six-month-old Joelle
Although Julie says making your
own baby food is not necessarily
easier than buying prepared foods,
it is not a difficult or time con
suming task. When she first
started introducing solid foods,
Julie said she would cook some
peas or another vegetable and
puree them in the blender.
When Heather had been through
the introduction process and was
able to eat most foods, Julie said
she would grind up a little of
whatever the family was having
for dinner in her baby food grinder.
It’s not really any extra work
once I had my meal prepared,”
Julie said, estimating that she
spent only about three minutes to
grind out a single meal for
Heather. Julie mixes all the parts
of the meal - meat, potato and
vegetable - together with a little
gravy or water to make the
grinding easier. One of Heather’s
favorite combinations was
chicken, rice and peas, Julie said.
Most foods can be prepared in
the grinder, but some meats are a
little tough When grinding meats,
Julie says she depends on her
husband, Eric, to volunteer his
muscles. Hamburger, chicken and
very tender roasts are the easiest
meats to grind, she says.
The cost savings makes the
effort worthwhile. Julie estimated
that it costs her about five cents to
make a baby food jar of peaches.
The same portion would cost about
30 cents in a grocery store.
Most of the vegetables Julie uses
come from the garden on the farm
they rent near Elizabethtown,
making the savings even greater.
Julie received her baby food
grinder for a baby gift, but says
she would have bought one
anyway. The grinders sell for
about $5 or $6 and are simple to
The food is placed in the grinder
and is pureed by turning the handle
and pressing down. The ground
food comes to the top and can be
served directly from the grinder.
Sandi Harmsh of Willow Street is
another farm wife who makes her
own baby food. She said saving
A \
it is to make baby food with a grinder
money was also the primary factor
in her decision to prepare her own
“We have all our garden
produce, so it seems really silly for
us to go buy it (baby food)," she
said 'To us, it’s a big savings. ’ ’
Sandi has two children, Daniel,
who is 10 and a half months old,
and Amanda, who is three and a
Sandi said she makes the baby
food ahead of time and freezes it in
pop out ice cube trays. Once the
food has frozen, she puts it in
plastic bags That way, when the
baby is hungry, “All you have to do
is take it out of the freezer and heat
it up," she said. If you have a
microwave, she noted, you can
warm it even faster.
When the baby gets older, she
freezes single serving portions in
plastic butter tubs, which are
larger than the ice cube trays
Sandi believes that homemade
baby food is more nutritious than
store bought food. You know what
you’re putting into it,” she says.
If you would like to try making
your own baby food, but aren’t
quite suie wueie 10 jwu, mv.
recipes below, taken from Feed
Me I’m Yours," by Vicki
should get you started in the right
J i cup cooked sweet potato
‘4 cup liquid (milk or cooking
1 cup applesauce ui apples
lIP r ;* jv
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove
skin and core and slice apples. Mix
sweet potatoes and apples in a
buttered baking dish. Pour liquid
over. Cover and bake for 30
minutes Puree or mash with a
1 cup cubed chicken or turkey,
U cup nee, cooked
‘4 cup vegetables, cooked
1 4 cup chicken broth
1 4 cup milk
Blend or puree together and
make into food cubes
1 cup beef liver
1 4 cup broth
1 4 cup milk
1 icup potatoes, chopped
Cook together until liver and
potatoes are done. Puree and
freeze in cubes.
'd ver> ripe a\ocado, mashed or
1 2 very ripe banana, mashed or
1 4 cup cottage cheese or yogurt
Canned fruits, with sugar syrup
rinsed off, are also easy to puree
and serve
This column may not appear
different, but it is! I wrote it on the
computer. Self diagnosis indicates
that I have the “computer bug”.
After one week of intense com
puter training, the symptoms are
evident: fingers itching to touch
the keyboard, muscles aching to sit
in front of the screen, and sleepless
nights while my mind whirls with
computer lingo and programming
ideas. And, I couldn’t wait to see
how the computer would write this
column for me. We, (Mac the
computer and I), inserted a word
here, changed the print style in
another place, and erased my
typo’s. The only problem occurred
when I pressed the wrong key and
erased the entire first paragraph.
Fortunately, Mac has a better
memory than I do and the first
paragraph was retrieved from his
memory and re-typed.
The compute; - has taken over my
desk, and at the present time my
sewing room has become the
computer room. Within one short
week it has changed my way of
doing some things and the way that
I spend some of my time. But how
are families affected when a
computer joins the ranks?
While research is not complete,
many of the affects are seen as
positive. Dr. James Van Horn,
extension family sociology
specialist, reports that, “A com
puter in the home can enhance and
strengthen the family. At the very
least, the computer is a challenge
and provides many families with a
reason to work together.” Just the
complexity and the fact that it can do
so many things encourages
family members to become in
volved with one another in solving
various problems. Working On
computer problems is similar to
rtf t. jfr
" f-
■V I
the family putting together a large
puzzle, with each member con
tributing some of the pieces.
Another positive is that the
computer requires active par
ticipation. Unlike watching
television, a passive activity, the
computer requires activity to
make it happen.
Children today have grown up
with computers. As a result, they
are unafraid of this “new
technology.” It is a part of their
world. And because of it’s com
plexity, the computer challenges a
child with one problem after
another. Once a problem is solved,
the person using the computer,
along with those helping, receives
immediate results. This gives a
feeling of competence, “I can do
it!”. This is one reason why
children, and especially children
OCTOBER 1-7, 1984
By Michelle S. Rodgers
Lancaster Extension
Home Economist
who may .*oi do well in school, are
often so enthused about using the
computer, it captivates them and
they learn in the process.
One concern about the computer
and the family is the social im
plications. After a one week steady
diet of computer, you might have
thought I would have been thrilled
to clean the house and mow the
lawn. Instead, I found myself
rushing through activities to get
back to the computer. While 1
anticipate I’ll recover from this
“computer bug,” for some
children, computers have taken
the place of a “best friend"
Computers make convenient
friends because they are always
available, they always respond,
and they have infinite patience. It
is possible to get “hooked” on
computers to the exclusion of
social contact with other children
In this computer age, the pur
chase of a home computer is often
viewed as a criteria of a good
parent (along with braces and a
private room for each child)
Actually, there is no need to push
computers on children. Parents
can expose children to computer
usage in day to day activities-at
the store and bank. Families can
take time to attend computer
demonstrations together or enroll
in one of the many classes
available. Find out if your children
are really interested in a com
puter. If your children don’t care
.about computers, invest in a
musical instrument, a box of
acrylics, or simply give them time
to figure out what they care about
Then, keep the door open for them
to leant about computers if and
when they’re ready. Computers
are a part of our lives, a part that
most young children will respond
to if they are not forced to forget
other aspects of being alive.
If you decide to purchase a home
computer it will require an in
vestment of time and effort to
evaluate the best buy for your
family. You might read computer
magazines, talk to others who own
a home computer, attend a com
puter show, read directories and
review software available, or take
a short introductory course.
Well, I’ll admit that after writing
this column with the word
processor, I’ve decided to retire
the pad and pencil method
However, “I won’t go as far as
tune magazine did in 1982 when
they named the computer “Man of
the Year.” I still prefer my own
6’2”, blond, walking and talking
version as my man of the year.
Penn State Is an affirmative action equal
opportunity employer.