A baby eats spaghetti, with a bowl on their head

8 Simple Tips For Weaning Your Baby On A Budget

Let’s look at some ways of weaning your baby while staying on budget… 

When your baby is ready to start solid food for the first time, at around 6 months old, it is an exciting time. (You can also read more of our tips for starting weaning!) However, you may be worried about the cost of buying food, especially as you may not know what sort of foods your baby likes.

How Much Does It Cost To Start Weaning and How Can I Save Money?

There are ways you can save money as you start your weaning journey:

  • Avoid buying too many gadgets such as special baby food blenders. If you already have a food blender you can use this to blend fruit or vegetables or mash them with a fork or potato masher. 
  • You don’t need to spend too much on special plates, spoons or bibs. Only buy a few bowls and spoons as you will not need too many to begin with.
  • Frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh ones, and can be quite cost effective.
  • Choose simple foods that are good and not super expensive, such as cucumbers, breadsticks, supermarket’s own brand Weetabix and other fruit or vegetables that you might be buying anyway. These don’t cost too much and make great first foods. 
  • If you are adding vegetables for your own meal, why not try slicing a few for your baby to try? If you are worried about food waste, you could stick to foods that you know you will use.
  • Not everything needs to be baby specific, you do not need to buy special baby rice or baby pasta unless you want to. Once cooked properly, babies can eat normal pasta and rice which is usually a lot cheaper, and you may have some in your cupboard already. 
  • There are baby-weaning courses that you can attend, and many of them are free or cheap. See what your local children’s centre or local council offer. Some of these are online as well as in person.  
  • Get cookbooks or recipe books for babies second-hand, (charity shops are great!) or maybe from a friend who does not need them anymore. 
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3 bowls of pureed fruit, with a banana, plum, carrot and apple nearby

Is It Cheaper To Make Baby Food Or Buy It?

Buying baby food such as purees in pouches or jars is convenient, but it can be expensive. It will usually work out cheaper to blend or mash your own purees for your baby. Or make your own finger foods by chopping fruit/ vegetables or other food. If you make a batch of pureed food, this can be frozen and used later. This puree can then be fed to your baby, or used in cooking, such as baking veggie muffins with pureed veg added, this can be tasty! 

What’s A Good First Food When Weaning For A Baby On A Budget?

Keep it simple to begin with, chopped or pureed vegetables. Try a single fruit or vegetable at first, such as blended or chopped cooked sweet potato or carrot. You could then try mixing two together. Mixing fruit and veg at the same time can be fun, like blended cooked apples and peas. Supermarket own brand Weetabix with plenty of milk, or cooked rice mashed with milk also make good first foods. 

See if your baby enjoys eating puree from a spoon, or when they are ready,  let them try and use a spoon themselves. Be prepared for some mess though, as this is part of the fun and helps your baby learn about food texture! (Putting down a mat under their highchair can make it easier to clean) Or offer your baby something they can hold like a stick of cooked carrot. Make sure the food they are getting does not contain artificial sugar, too much salt, or any honey (honey contains bacteria that can be harmful to babies under 1 year old). Also, avoid anything that is hard to chew.  

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An adult chops fruit, a toddler sits next to them. Fruit and vegetables are on the table.

Keeping It Fun and Safe

Babies need to be supervised all of the time when eating and sitting in their high chair. Make sure round foods like cherry tomatoes or grapes are chopped in half to avoid choking hazards. Many weaning courses will cover safely when weaning, or have a look on the NHS’s website and NHS’s Start For Life website. They have lots of useful information about safe and healthy eating for babies. 

Whatever type of first foods you try, whether you do a mixture of baby-led weaning and pureed food, or make your own baby food and sometimes buy some from the shop, make sure you have fun as your baby starts this exciting new chapter!

Bon appetit! 

A collage of 4 pictures, a baby easts food in a high chair in each picture

Want to get out and about, have fun with your baby or toddler, and meet other parents?

Search Happity to find everything that’s happening for the under-5’s in your local area – from music and singing classes, to messy play, arts and crafts, baby massage, gymnastics and more. Simply enter your postcode and child’s age to search, and then book your spot in a few taps. Enjoy dedicated fun time with your little one, watch their skills develop, and make friends at the same time. Mums, dads, grandparents and carers will all find something to love!

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If You Found This Post Useful, You May Also Like:

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Weaning – Our Easy Guide To Starting Your Baby On Solid Foods

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Interested in being a guest blogger?

Helen Holding

Helen Holding

Happity's Growth Marketing Assistant. Helen works hard to get more classes around the UK onto Happity, connecting more parents with activity providers every week. Mum of one beautiful daughter, Lyra. When she's not working she is usually enjoying toddler classes with Lyra. Their current favourites are toddler gymnastics and Forest School!