Making Your Own Baby Food

A hot topic that seems to have developed over the past few years is whether or not you should make your own baby food.

As a new mama, I did a little research and found that making your own baby food is easy, cheap and overall a very healthy option for your little ones.

How to Make Your Own Food

You’ll need a few simple kitchen gadgets to make your own food — nothing fancy and there really is no need to go out and buy a special baby food maker!

  • blender or food processor
  • ice cube trays

End of list.

Seriously! It’s really that easy. Okay, you’ll need some pots and pans, spoons, Ziploc bags and of course the food, but it’s really not as difficult as some of you mamas and mamas-to-be might think.

Here are some step-by-step instructions:

  • Cook fruits or vegetables by steaming, microwaving, boiling or baking (depending on what it is) until soft.
  • Blend in your blender/food processor using water, breast milk or formula to thin out the food.
  • Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

  • Pop the cubes out and store in a Ziploc bag or food storage container in your freezer. Make sure you label them! It’s tough to tell the difference between sweet potatoes, carrots and butternut squash once they’re in ice cube form.

  • Take out one or two cubes at a time; defrost on the counter, in the microwave or in the fridge.

There are lots of baby food cookbooks that you can purchase. I bought Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler by Norah O’Donnell and Chef Geoff Tracy and found it very easy to read and follow.

After you’ve made a few things and get the hang of it, it becomes pretty common sense and you won’t even need to follow a recipe!

And after you realize your kiddo might actually like your cooking, you can become more adventurous and blend flavors. Our little man really enjoyed pureed chicken, apples and spinach. Mmmmmmm.

Of course, there are pros and cons to EVERY PARENTING DECISION WE WILL EVER MAKE. Why would making baby food be any different?

Pros:

  • It’s healthy! You know exactly what is going into your child’s mouth (with no additional preservatives, additives or words you can’t pronounce).
  • It’s fairly inexpensive – a bag of peas will cost you about $1 and make about 16 ice cubes. This will stretch for many, many meals when your little one is young!
  • It’s kind of fun – it was for me anyway. I love to cook and this provided a challenge. It was also something to do during my little guy’s three hour naps (don’t hate me).

Cons:

  • It can be time consuming. You’re not going to spend hours slaving over a hot stove to produce a huge masterpiece, but it might be quicker to stop by the store and pick up a few jars. Think about how much your time is worth.
  • If you’re bringing food on the go, you’ll have to be sure to pack the ice cubes in containers and include ice packs to keep them fresh. We did have some jarred food on hand for quick day trips and vacations because the hassle was not worth it.

 

Here are a couple of basic recipes to get you started (taken from Baby Love).

Perfectly Basic Peas

Yield: 32 ounces

Age: 6 Months+

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds frozen peas (that’s usually 1½ bags)
  • 8 ounces water

Directions:

  1. Fill a 4-quart pot halfway with water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
  2. While water is coming to a boil get your “green veggie shocking station” ready. You’ll need a colander and a large bowl filled with ice and cold water. You want as much ice as possible.
  3. Pour the frozen peas into the colander. Run cool water over them to get rid of any ice crystals (which will allow the boiling water to come back to a boil faster).
  4. Pour the peas into the boiling water. Cook for three minutes on highest heat.
  5. Pour peas into colander. Run cold water over them and pour them into the ice bath. Allow the peas to chill for three minutes. Pour the peas back into the colander and pick out any remaining ice.
  6. Pour peas in the blender and add eight ounces of cold water (or breastmilk or formula). Puree until smooth.
  7. Pour into two ice cube trays.
  8. Wrap and freeze.

Strawberry Banana Pineapple

Yield: 36 ounces

Age: 10 Months +

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds strawberries
  • 3 bananas
  • ¼ pineapple
  • 8 ounces of water

Directions:

  1. Remove stems of strawberries and then wash the berries.
  2. Cut each banana into four to five pieces.
  3. Cut the pineapple into pieces approximately the size of the strawberries.
  4. Put everything into a 4-quart pot.
  5. Turn the burner on high and cover with a lid.
  6. Cook for approximately six minutes, stirring once.
  7. Pour everything from the pot into a strainer with a bowl underneath to save the juice.
  8. Pour the cooked fruit into the blender. Puree until smooth using two to four ounces of the reserved juice if necessary to adjust consistency.
  9. Pour into two ice cube trays and allow to cool.
  10. Wrap and freeze.

 

5 Responses to Making Your Own Baby Food

  1. I am interested getting that cook book for baby#2

  2. I loved making my son’s baby food. It saved us money and I really loved knowing exactly all of the ingredients that went into his first solid foods were. http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com is another great resource!

  3. What’s the banana “milkshake”

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