If your baby is ready to start eating solids, you might want to consider making your own homemade baby food. What seems like a daunting task, really only takes a few hours a month to prepare. Here are some tips for getting started!
If you prefer to listen instead of read, check out my podcast on this topic here.
Pin it for Later!
There are many healthy options out there if you would like to purchase baby food, but many parents (myself included) like to know EXACTLY what goes into my baby’s mouth. Some options don’t have anything besides the food listed on the label, but what you don’t know is what pesticides the fruit or vegetable was exposed to before hand. If you purchase store-bought baby food, it’s best to buy organic. However, making your own baby food might be easier than you think (it was for me)!
You know exactly what is going into your child’s body.
You get to pick out the organic fruits or veggies, what pieces of meat to puree, and what the ratios are in the mixture. It is much easier to fine-tune the mixture to provide your child with whatever they need. Are they a little constipated? Add in more pears. Low on iron? Puree up some meat. Want them to get more leafy greens? Blend it up with some of their other favorite foods to disguise the taste.
Making your own baby food gives you 100% control over what options your child has. You don’t see baby food jars of avocado or watermelon on the shelves. This gives you full creative control over what to feed your child, instead of having to decide between the premade options. The benefit to this, is you can start getting your child used to the foods and flavors enjoyed by the rest of the family at an early age.
This was one of the big deciding factors when we started homemade baby food. The premade jars are more expensive because you are paying for convenience. It is much cheaper to purchase a butternut squash, some sweet potatoes, a few fruits, and a handful of veggies. This provides you with a month’s worth of food for a fraction of the cost. It also cuts down on waste because you aren’t using disposable containers multiple times a day.
What I use:
Some of these items are not necessary, but I find that they are EXTREMELY helpful and make this whole process easier.
Note: my posts contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission from your purchase, with no extra cost to you! All of the following links will take you to the product on Amazon.
- Baby Food Maker – Not necessary but very useful! You can also use a normal steamer basket or instant pot to cook the food and then blend it up in a high powered blender.
- Ice cube trays (for freezing)
- Glass storage containers
- Freezer bags
- Liquid (Breastmilk, Formula, or water)
- Cutting Boards
Ice Cube Trays: Any tray will work, but I love these OMorc Trays on Amazon. They are BPA free, dishwasher safe, AND they come with a silicon bottom so it is easy to push the food out instead of the traditional ice cube trays. I HIGHLY recommend these!
Storage Containers: I use the OXO Tot glass storage containers specifically for the homemade baby food. Freezing glass containers that are not meant to be frozen can actually cause tiny glass shards to come off into the food. This is why I decided to spend a little extra on these storage containers so I can freeze, microwave, and store food without any worries. The lid is a spill-proof snap on with a rubber seal so you can be sure your food will stay contained on the travel between home and daycare.
- Start by washing and prepping the food. This includes peeling any skin off (if necessary) and cutting into ¼” pieces for quick steaming.
- Transfer into your steamer. Either a typical steamer basket, an instant pot, or a baby food maker.
- Steam for the allotted time. I typically look these times up online or in my baby brezza manual. You will most likely have to adjust these times based on your experiences. I have found it’s best to extend the times by about 5 minutes, on average.
- Blend. If you have a baby food maker, you can just hit the blend button and that’s it! If not, you can either transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender.
- Make sure to make the food thin and smooth for beginner babies. You want the food to easily run off the spoon. As they get older, you can make it thicker with more texture.
- Transfer to the ice cube trays and let cool before putting the lid on. Once the tray has cooled, transfer to the freezer.
- After frozen, you can pop the food out and put into freezer bags. Label the bags with the name and date of preparation.
Serving the food
I always put the frozen cubes of food in the OXO Tot containers the night before and let them defrost overnight. They provide spoons and bibs to make it easy. These are great for travel and the daycare can pop the glass right into the microwave to heat up.
When feeding at home, you will need bibs, a bowl, and spoons. You will also want somewhere that you can sit baby up while feeding. Having them seated upright will help prevent choking. You can use a full high-chair setup, or you can use something more simple like a bumbo seat.
I found these fun reusable squeeze food pouches on Amazon. I’ve just started using them and so far I really like them. I will keep you all updated as I get more use out of them with what my final thoughts are.
We have tried quite a few different combinations of homemade baby food so far, and my son has been pretty open to all of them, with the exception of green beans, he hated them.
- Organic Oatmeal (I have low iron and it is iron fortified. We give him a small amount every night after his veggie)
- Sweet Potato – His favorite, by far!
- Butternut Squash
- Mashed Banana
- Green beans
We purchased some of these Munchkin Food Feeders and he LOVES eating melon especially out of them.
Our pediatrician and our nutritionist also recommended letting him try most foods by the age of one (except for honey, obviously). Apparently, this reduces the chances of allergies later in life. At the beginning, we were VERY nervous to try some of these high allergen foods (like peanut butter), but so far we haven’t had any negative reactions (luckily).
We are just now starting to make combinations of different foods. I would love to hear your recommendations in the comments!
If you enjoy these posts, subscribe to our newsletter on the side bar or the contact page! It’s completely free and I promise not to spam you, just updates on new content once a week.