Do you know how to make baby food?
Making homemade baby food is a skill that every new parent should learn forsustainable parenting.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I just assumed I’d be using the jarred baby food I was raised on.
Somewhere down the line, I had the brilliant idea that I would just make it instead.
Understanding exactly how to make baby food took me quite a while, but - I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of the ins and outs of homemade babyfood.
So today, I’m taking you through exactly why you should make your own baby food and how you can with a few simple tips.
Why You Should Make Your Own Baby Food
I don’t know about you, but some of the flavor combos commercially available are interesting, to say the least.
Or, they don’t suit your needs in terms of food sensitivities.
Once you learn how to make baby food, you’re controlling the flavor profile, and you know it’s fresh because YOU made it!
Have you walked down the baby food aisle lately?
There are all of these different stages, which equate to how thick or thin it is.
That’s all well and good, but if you make your own, you’re not having to worry about having a ton of baby food that’s no longer the correct consistency!
You’re in FULL control. It goes without saying that making your baby food that it’s going to be much healthier, just as making food from scratch - or less processed - is more nutritious for your family!
Bonus that if your baby is experiencing a bout of constipation, you can add in some P’s!
Prunes, peas, and even peaches can help get that digestive tract back on track.
With homemade babyfood, you control all of the ingredients, how they’re handled and prepped, and the actual cooking process.
This ensures that you are in full control of how nutritious they are and that you’re not cooking out all of the vitamins and minerals your growing baby needs.
Cost Savings of Homemade Baby Food
Have I mentioned yet that I’m frugal?
Dropping somewhere around $1-$2 for that organic baby food makes my wallet cry- a lot.
There are not enough Ibotta rebates for me to stomach that cost.
Making your own baby food will save you over HALF!
Yep. I said it.
Even if you used 100% organic ingredients, your homemade baby food would be less than 50% of the cost. WHOO!
How To Make Baby Food
The tools needed can be worked into any budget!
You will surely need a blender or food processor, a saucepan, a cutting board, a paring knife or peeler, cutlery, reusable storage bags, and a freezer tray.
The actual cook and prep are totally up to you!
Want to keep some of them raw?
More power to you!
I’m lazy and find that throwing some veg into the oven and roasting is not only easier, but the taste is even yummier than steaming.
I know many of you’re probably big fans of your instant pot or rice cooker, so feel free to use those, too, with the steamer baskets.
Lightly mash and blitz in your food processor or blender to suit your baby’s needs. Every month or two, I make a massive batch of masala (think the curry base) and freeze it in silicone muffin bakeware.
The same theory can be applied to your baby’s food. Make a big batch, and freeze.
While you can use an ice cube tray, I’ve found that using mini muffin silicone bakeware to be the easiest to pop out.
These can be found in 1oz, 2oz, and 4oz options to best suit your needs.
Just throw in your baby food, freeze, pop out and store them in yourPlanet Wise Leak-Proof Bags. BOOM. DONE.
Tips on How to Make Baby Food at Home
Washing Hands, Foods, and Utensils:
- When preparing baby food, remember that babies are much more susceptible to bacteria and viruses than older children and adults. Therefore, wash your hands with soap and hot water before handling any food or equipment that comes into contact with your baby's meals.
- Always wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking with them—especially if they've been sitting around at the grocery store for more than a day or two!
- Make sure all utensils used for preparing food are thoroughly washed before moving on to the next step of cooking. This includes spoons as well as bowls used for mixing ingredients.
- Keep raw meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables separate from cooked foods.Raw food contains germs and shouldn’t be placed next to cooked food. Wash all kitchen utensils, cutting boards, and dishes that have been used with raw foods before using them with cooked foods.
Buying Vegetables and Fruits:
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. These will be the most nutritious for your baby!
- You can use any fruit or vegetable, but some are better than others. For example, bananas and avocados are great for making babyfood because they're soft enough for babies to digest easily.Applesauceis another favorite because it's high in fiber and low in calories, which makes it the perfect treat for growing babies.
- Honey and some corn syrups may contain dangerous bacteria that can cause infant botulism. Don't give these foods to children under one year of age.
- If your infant is under 6 months old, don't feed them home-prepared spinach, beets, turnips, carrots, or collard greens. Thesefoods naturally contain nitrates. If you feed these foods DAILY to your infant, they may develop a disease in which their blood can't carry ENOUGH oxygen to their body.
Cooking Food for Making Baby Food:
- When cooking food, boil them in a bit of water until tender. The less water you use, the more nutrients stay in the food.
- Use a blender or food processor to puree foods into a smooth consistency. You can also use an immersion blender, which is a hand-held tool that blends the food in its container instead of transferring it to another container.
- If you don't have a blender or food processor, try mashing up the fruit or vegetable with a fork or potato masher before adding it to your baby's jar or bowl!
- If you’re nursing, you can always add some breast milk to thin out the consistency and make your baby taste something familiar! If you aren’t nursing, you can also add a little water if you want the food thinner and less sweet.
- Baby-friendly foods are generally mashed-up versions of what you're already eating. So if you're already cooking with broccoli or applesauce, just throw them in a blender and mash them up into a smooth consistency for your little one! However, remember to separate the baby's portion before adding spices or salt. Babies need very little added sugar or salt.
- Make sure that the food is finely chopped or pureed before serving. So it's easy for your baby to swallow without choking on large chunks of food (and potentially choking themselves).
Storing and Freezing Baby Food:
- Baby food should berefrigerated or frozen as soon as possible after preparation. Never leave baby food out at room temperature for more than two hours, including the time it takes to serve it. Throw out any uneaten food.
Always reheat refrigerated or frozen baby food evenly before feeding. To warm the baby food, place a small amount in a dish set in a pan of hot water. Stir well and test the temperature before feeding your baby.Never microwave the food to reheat it because it can create HOT SPOTS that can burn the baby's mouth.
Homemade Baby Food Recipes
I know you're excited to make homemade baby food for your little one. I am too!
And we want to help you get started off on the right foot. So here are a couple of simple recipes to get you started:
- Cardamom or cinnamon to taste
- Peel and roughly chop pears
- Place pears, spices if using, and enough water to simmer over medium heat covered for 1-15 minutes until tender
- Blend and allow to cool before transferring to your storage vessel of choice
Green Bean and Basil Puree
- Green Beans
- Optional herbs of choice: basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, and or chives
- Roughly trim the green beans and give the herbs you’re using a rough chop
- Steam your veg using steaming basking and cook for ten minutes or until tender.
- Don’t forget to reserve your steamer water!
- Add the green beans and herbs to a blender or food processor and puree for 1-2 minutes or until smooth, adding in your reserved steaming water in ¼ increments if needed Blend and allow cooling before transferring to your storage vessel of choice.
Red Pepper Baby Puree
- Red Bell Peppers
- Choice of potato, pear, and/or apples
- Core and chop the red peppers and your additions
- Steam your ingredients using steaming basking and cook for ten minutes or until tender
- Strain and dump your veggies and fruit into a blender or food processor and puree for 1-2 minutes or until smooth
- Allow to cool before transferring to your storage vessel of choice
Avocado Baby Food
Avocado is the easiest to prepare but won’t hold very well for storing.
This one is best made fresh; be sure to use it quickly!
- Slice and pit the avocado.
- Scoop out the flesh and mash or blend until smooth.
You can also add some pureed avocado to other fruits and vegetables.
Our babies loved apples and avocados!
Conclusion - How to Make Baby Food
Making homemade babyfood is a skill every new parent should learn. No need to run out and buy overpriced baby food anymore! With these simple tips, you can start making your own, saving money while benefiting your child's health.
We wish you lots of luck and, hopefully, an exciting new adventure. Baby food doesn’t have to be boring, bland, or look...unappealing.
Homemade babyfood saves you time and gives you complete control over what your little one is eating.
Using Planet WiseReusable Sandwich Bags is the best way to store your homemade baby food.
These will make food storage fun and safe as they are made with 100% organic materials.
Organic materials = No unwanted toxins in your food.