Wednesday, May 02, 2012

baby food exchange

about six months ago, a friend of mine told me about the Baby Food Exchangethat she did with some other moms with babies that were the same age as hers.  what a great idea!  every mom made a whole lot of two baby foods, froze them into ice cubes, and then once frozen, divvied (yes, that's a word) them up into bags to share with all the other moms.  7 moms each make 2 foods - every mom leaves the exchange with 14 types of baby food!  i vowed to do an exchange when avery got to baby food eating age.

when avery hit 6 months and i remembered that i was supposed to be starting to feed her solids (oops!), i got on the ball and invited a random assortment of moms who had babies that were between 4 - 6months.  i had 6 moms say yes - they wanted to be a part of the exchange.  i used momtastic's Wholesome Baby Food website which actually has 14 "first foods" listed which i thought was perfect (2 foods each).  but after everyone started picking their foods, i realized there are some overlaps like pumpkin AND squash so a few moms picked from the 8-10mo food list also.

i set a date for our exchange/playdate.  one mom wasn't able to make it so she sent her bags of baby food with a friend and the friend collected hers for her.  everyone brought coolers.  when everyone got to my place, i threw their baby food into my deep freeze in the garage so we could playdate upstairs for awhile first.  we had 5 toddler/preschoolers and 6 babies.  i had the living room set up with all my baby toys.  wooden trains were in my son's room to play with, playdough at the kitchen table, car mat with cars on the kitchen floor, and colouring at the kid's table in the "playroom"/kitchen area.  i have to admit, i'd imagined the moms drinking coffee in the living room with our babies and all the other children dispersed throughout the house playing happily.  of course, this was not so - do i NOT have kids? we all congregated in the kitchen where the kids could play but still be close to us as many of the kids had never been to my house before - why would they leave their moms?  my son was the clingiest of all because it felt like a ton of people in our house!  haha.  but we managed to still chat and eventually moved into the living room.  there was even a few minutes of some kids way down the hall playing trains and reading books!  amazing.

baby stations with toddlers running through in the living room 

playdough in the kitchen
after about an hour, i went down to the garage with another mom with plans to divide up the bags amongst everyone but it started to get complicated when we couldn't remember which mom brought what (because, of course, they left the food they made for themselves at home) so instead we laid out the bags in piles and every mom came down (in shifts) to grab the foods they needed.  my friend who was helping me says, "do you think anyone will mind that we're laying these bags on the garage floor?"  haha.  so i guess i should have planned that part better...but no one seemed to mind.  the food WAS in bags.  ;)
collection time

overall?  a success!  i've been loving pulling homemade cubes of baby food out of the freezer for avery at feeding time.  she doesn't seem to like a lot of the foods so far though love love loves pear!  i think it's the texture - it's the smoothest.  i made blueberries for the swap and so far, that's the only cube that didn't work out that great when it thawed - it was really strangely goopy.  but other than that, i've been adding a little water to most of the cubes to help smooth them out and i am STOCKED on baby food for a good while!  

next up?  i'm currently planning a Busy Bag Swap with moms of 3 year olds!  i may be becoming a swap-a-holic... 


LaelDyck said...

I LOVE this! Jacob was a big fan of pear and apple. He basically hated everything else and sadly most of it got freezer burnt before I thought to give it away so I had to toss it. :( If I have another kid I will work harder at getting them to like the homemade stuff. GREAT job planning this swap! Looking forward to your post on the busy bag swap!

Alyssa said...

I've been loving all the homemade baby food in the freezer. It's so nice to just reach into the freezer for things, and to have so many to choose from. So far H's favourite is butternut squash. Really? What a weird kid, haha.

Jen said...

Such a great idea!

ABC bags- just pulled mine out. My Qq, Yy, Zz, and Xx are looking pretty slim. Q has a cartoon little picture of a quail, Y a cartoon pic of a yak, z a zebra flashcard, and x has a plastic letter x. Not looking good! We haven't worked on these letters yet, so I'm going to have to work on my bags, too.

A couple of ideas--
Qq- a little piece of fabric for quilt, a quarter

x- maybe a small x-ray pic (look online)

yam- picture of a yam from online and a piece of yarn , something yellow, a photo of our yard

z- put a zipper, maybe a few plastic animals with a sign that says ZOO.

Not sure if that was helpful! Email me if you have any ideas at (maybe we can both get these bags filled together! ;)

Nice to meet you- thanks for stopping by.
I'll follow.