|Courtesy Sage Bears Books|
For Liza Huber, making homemade baby food started as a family tradition — albeit one she was hesitant to take on.
“My mom [Susan Lucci] always made baby food for us when we were little, so I knew I wanted to do it for my own children one day,” she tells PEOPLE.
“When my son Royce was born, I knew it was something I wanted to do, but I had never cooked a thing in my life before.”
Using the advice of her father, a chef, and her pediatrician, Huber started by introducing her now 4-year-old to steamed carrots, eventually expanding her repertoire with the birth of her other children, 2-year-old son Brendan and 8-month-old daughter Hayden.
“I was really floored at how easy it was, and really started thinking about how there wasn’t anything on the market, a system that made it easy for moms,” she says. “That was really when I started mulling this idea around in my head.”
That idea became Sage Spoonfuls, a book of “preparation instructions” and accessories, including portable storage containers and a small blender, that instructs moms to spend one hour every two weeks creating baby food in bulk.
“If you can start feeding your baby homemade food right from the start, there’s less chance that they’re going to become a picky eater,” Huber says. “Homemade food is naturally what kids and babies want to eat because it smells so good and tastes so fresh, and teaching them about food and involving them in the process, that little extra bit of effort is so beneficial for them in the future.”
Furthermore, cooking homemade baby food benefits parents as much as it does children. “It’s the green choice,” Huber says. “Four million babies are born in the U.S. every year, and by the time each one of those babies is a year old, they’ll have eaten almost 600 jars or pouches of babyfood; that’s millions of tons of waste.”
“By making your own and storing it in Sage Spoonfuls containers, you’re not wasting any food, you’re not putting any baby food packaging into the environment,” she continues, adding that homemade is also the cost effective route. “Store-bought baby food can be more than three times as expensive.”
And for moms who remain unsure about tackling homemade cooking, Huber has a tip for how simple it can be.
“A wonderful place to start is just by mashing a banana,” she says. “When you really see how basic and easy it is, you’ll get hooked right away. Homemade baby food is not about an appliance, it’s about a lifestyle, and I really wanted to provide moms with all the tools they need to live this lifestyle in a really easy way.”
– Kiran Hefa