Recently I’ve learned how to make homemade baby food. Why? Well, it’s much cheaper than store-bought baby food, and it can be much healthier for baby too!
I looked all over the internet for recipes to make, but for some reason I have had a hard time finding anything. (If you have any good recipes, please share them with me!)
I have to say that I am very proud of how what I made came out. Plus, baby loves it! And it was a lot easier than I initially thought it would be, and a thousand times more rewarding than popping the lid off a can that was filled who knows when!
I was blessed with a baby food processor for a shower gift when my (first) daughter was born, but I only used it once or twice with her. I decided to give it a real shot this time around with my son. I’m so glad I did!
Check with your pediatrician to make sure your baby is ready to switch to baby food from formula or breast milk first. Usually, you will want to begin tastes of fruits, vegetables, and cereals around four to six months of age.
Breast milk and/or formula will remain the main source of nutrients until your baby is at least ten months old, but you will be able to introduce more foods in starting around six months.
Table of Contents:
Before you make your own baby food, you’ll need to have the right supplies on hand.
I already mentioned that I Had a baby food processor, but you don’t necessarily have to have that kind of gear. Any kind of blender, food processor, or immersion blender will work just fine.
Alternatively, you could use items like an all-in-one baby food maker or a baby food grinder. These will both help work the food down to the right texture.
Otherwise, you just need basic food preparation items like a cutting board, knife and colander. You will also need something to store your baby food in, like small serving containers or mason jars.
How to Make Your Own Baby Food
So, here is the simple way I make homemade baby food…
1. I got together the food I was going to prepare:
- Frozen Strawberries (test for allergies first!)
- Frozen Blueberries
- Frozen Peas
- Frozen Corn
- Frozen Broccoli Florets
- Frozen Green Beans
2. First I washed all of the fresh fruit/veggies. I peeled the skin off what needed to be peeled.
Cut up what needed to be cut. Then I just steamed the fresh fruits and veggies (all together), boiled the frozen veggies as directed, and thawed the frozen fruits.
When you’re preparing baby food made out of produce, you’re going to want to wash and boil the vegetables or fruits with as little liquid as possible. Then, grind or puree them.
If you’re cooking grains, you’ll cook and then either puree or grind them. For meat, use only skinned and trimmed meat.
3. When everything was tender and cooled, I added each item to the food processor as I wanted them (mixed or plain), and added a little purified water. A little mixing and it’s done!
Instead of water, you can also use breast milk to get your baby food to the right consistency. Keep in mind that the older your baby gets, the less liquid you will need.
When you blend the food, make sure everything is at a perfectly mashed consistency.
4. Next, I filled my ice cube trays with the different foods, and froze them. Once they were frozen I separated the fruits from the veggies and put them into little freezer bags. I then wrote the contents and dates on each bag before sticking them in the freezer.
**Here is a little tip I learned the hard way… see the empty ice cube sections?? That’s where I broke the tray trying to get the frozen food cube out with a butter knife.
My suggestion: buy a good quality baby food freezer tray. I had a hard time getting the frozen cubes out of mine, and ended up cracking a bunch!
This is what I made:
- Green Beans
- Mixed Veggies (squash, broccoli, carrots)
- Bananas (I added a little 100% OJ)
- Banana Apple
- Apple Strawberry
- Apple Strawberry Blueberry
- Strawberry Banana
These came out great, and baby Titus gobbled them down! I was so proud of myself, and glad that he enjoyed the fruits of my labor!
Next I tried to make chicken. I cooked a plain piece of boneless, skinless chicken breast in the crockpot until tender.
Once it was cooled I put pieces into the food processor and added a little water. It blended up nicely. I sat down to feed it to baby.
And this was his reaction:
YUCK!! Okay, the chicken… not so great. I’m gonna work on that one. Mix in some veggies maybe?
Storing Homemade Baby Food
Baby food is pretty easy to store. It will last in the fridge up to four days or in the freezer for three months.
Like I said earlier, I recommend using single-serve trays or containers so you can thaw them overnight or put them in the microwave.
If you don’t want to go for the freezer method like I did, you can also store your baby food in teeny tiny little mason jars. They sell these online and they’re usually sold in four-ounce serving sizes.
They’re perfect for feeding baby! They even sell refillable pouches that you can load with baby food, which are great for taking with you on the go.
Tips and Tricks
When you are making your own baby food, there are a few general tips you will want to keep in mind. First, try to avoid adding too much salt or sugar.
Yes, you want your baby to be able to enjoy good-tasting food, but you don’t need to activate a sweet tooth when they’re that young. You can use spices and herbs to season the food, though – cinnamon is a great choice.
Make your baby food in big batches rather than small amounts. This has the potential to save you a ton of time! You don’t need to make it fresh every night. Instead, cook it up in a puree and then freeze it all at once.
Another tip – and likely one you’re already following anyone. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before preparing the baby food, especially if you’re working with raw eggs, fish, or meat.
You don’t want t get your baby sick! You should also follow all other general food preparation tips like keeping cold foods cold and warm foods warm, an cleaning all utensils and work surfaces thoroughly.
Don’t be totally dismayed if your baby doesn’t love all the foods you give him!
Start slowly, and only introduce one new food every four or five days. This will allow you to pinpoint any new allergies. You may also want to start with single-ingredient purees for this reason.
You can feed your baby just about any kind of food, but you’ll want to avoid the following: popcorn, raisings, nuts, unpeeled fruits, peanut butter, and raw vegetables.
You can feed these items once your baby is older than two years old, but younger than that, they can present the risk of food poisoning or allergic reactions.
Don’t add honey to baby food, either, especially if your baby is under the age of one. It can carry botulism bacteria.
You should avoid feeding babies younger than a year baby food with beets, collards, spinach, or turnip greens. They contain lots of naturally-occurring nitrates, which can reduce your baby’s hemoglobin.
Citrus fruits or those that are highly acidic should be avoided, too, as they can be a bit harsh on a digestive system of a baby younger than a year old.
Finally, remember that you don’t have to use only homegrown produce to make your baby food.
Using store-bought or even frozen produce is totally fine! Just steer clear of canned vegetables, which usually have lots of added salt.
If I can do this, you can do it. It’s really easier than you think. And believe me, you will feel so good about what your baby is eating because you will know exactly what is in it.
And, you will save your family lots of MONEY!! Yay!
Do you make your own baby food? What’s your baby’s favorite food combination?
updated 04/11/2020 by Rebekah Pierce
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.