My kids are all too big for the jarred baby foods that parents know all too well. We get WIC for our children, and they provide a very large quantity monthly. Our twins and son all decided at around 8 months that they no longer wanted purees. They would only eat solids, leaving us with a very large amount of uneaten jarred food. We also do not like to waste anything in this house (just take a peak into my craft closet and see how much junk I have that I MIGHT be able to use some day). So I went to work finding ways to use up the baby food.
Here’s what I have tried:
Add carrots, green beans, squash or peas to pasta sauce. Barley changes the flavor (depending on how much you add) and makes the sauce healthier.
Serve a dish of veggie puree with any finger food as a dipping sauce. (My kids LOVE dipping anything!)
Add a jar of veggies to meatballs, hamburgers or meatloaf (your kids won’t even notice they are eating their vegetables!)
Sweet potato puree can get mixed right into your sweet potato casserole for holidays, or into sweet potato pancakes for a sweet breakfast.
Using parchment paper, you can make little dots (similar to Gerber yogurt bites). Just make the size you want on a tray and pop them into the freezer for about an hour.
TIP: These do start to melt after about 5 min but are a favorite in our house.
When making macaroni and cheese, add broccoli or cauliflower (or both) to it.
Add any kind of vegetable to soups, sauces or dips.
Add in purees to muffins or breads. Our favorites were banana muffins and apple blueberry muffins.
Peaches, bananas, apples, and pears can be added to pancake batter for a little change of pace for breakfast. (I’m sure there are more fruits you can use; these are just the ones we tried.)
Smoothies are a big favorite here. They allow you so much freedom with what you can add. We normally use fresh fruit, yogurt, ice and a 2-3 jars. For a special treat, use ice cream instead of yogurt. (I have also been know to slip in veggies into the smoothies and no one was the wiser.)
Flavor your own yogurt. Buy plain yogurt and add whichever flavor you would like.
Freeze it into dots using the same method as mentioned above for the vegetables.
Spread some on a piece of toast or crackers (or teether biscuits) like you would jelly.
There are so many ways to use it all up. This is just a small list of our favorites from all of the stuff we came up with. Make sure to save all those glass jars as well for craft ideas, such as snow globes, seedling pots, and organizing small things. Let us know what you come up with from using your leftover baby foods!