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Homemade Baby Food: 10 Tips for How to Get Started

10 Tips for Homemade Baby Food

Making homemade baby food is a great way to go green and save some green!  I love that you know exactly what is in the food – no preservatives or fillers.  Plus it is cheaper and it tastes better!  I could especially tell this when comparing homemade vs. store bought green beans.  Yuck!

10 Tips for Making Homemade Baby Food

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1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. – Making your own baby food doesn’t have to be a huge commitment.  Try it out with one fruit or veggie, see how you like it, and then go from there.  Babies go through a lot of food, so even if you love making it, don’t feel bad if you don’t make 100% of the food your baby eats.

2. It doesn’t have to be complicated. – Repeat after me, “I promise to never, EVER buy banana baby food.”  Just smash and serve, moms!

3. Get inspiration from jarred baby food. – Check out the baby food isle to see what kind of recipe combinations you can make at home.  I ended up making a batch of mango pear and a batch of blueberry apple after seeing it in the store.

4. Start Small – Some people truly hate sweet potatoes.  Your baby might be one of those people.  Don’t make huge batches of anything until your baby has given that particular food a stamp of approval!  (Note: It can take babies a couple tries to like a new food, but here I’m talking about when it is truly a lost cause!)

5. Steam or Bake – Cook the food before pureeing because it breaks down the “fibers” of the food and that helps your baby’s digestion.  That is why it is recommended to cook even the fruits that you wouldn’t necessarily think about like peaches and pears. Need a steamer? Click here.

6. Freeze the food in ice cube trays & then pop them out into freezer bags. – Using the ice cube tray method of freezing your food has a couple of benefits:

  • It saves freezer space compared to using baby food jars.
  • It makes it easy to get out just as much food as you need.
  • Technically, it is not recommended to freeze in baby food jars because the glass could crack.  I did it anyway, but I also used ice cube trays.  Do what you feel comfortable with.
  • You can also use silicone freezer trays like this one.

7. Don’t over dilute the food. – Your baby won’t be able to handle thick textures at first, but that may quickly change.  Only dilute the food as needed to get it through your blender.  When you thaw the food you can further dilute it as necessary with water or breast milk.  This is a better alternative to having food that is too runny.

8. Use an immersion blender. – My friend Donna loved using her immersion blender to make baby food.  She used it in replace of a food mill and would blend whatever they were eating that night right at the table.  Instant baby food!

9. Educate yourself. – I relied heavily on the website Wholesome Baby Food to learn the best way to prepare each fruit and vegetable.  For example, it is great to use the left over steaming water to help dilute the food you are pureeing.  However, you should not do that with carrots because of  nitrates.  I also used this site’s guides for what foods are appropriate for what age.  Love that site!!

 10. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t buy organic produce! – When I bought baby food it was 100% organic.  However, when I made the food myself it usually was not organic.  Instead of feeling guilty I decided to be happy that I could give my daughter wonderful fresh food and I made sure to give the food a good scrubbing!  I always wash my produce with Veggie Wash, an organic citrus based fruit and vegetable wash.  I’m not a scientist, but they say it is laboratory tested to remove pesticides and chemicals.  I trust it.

Want to try homemade baby food? Check out these helpful products:

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Do you make your own baby food?  What are your favorite tips or why do you choose store bought?

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17 Comments

  1. I do love my immersion blender! It was great for when our infants started eating more solid foods I could blend up a casserole just a bit to make it easier for a toddler to eat. Super handy! I love the idea of using an ice cube tray too!

    1. I have only ever heard amazing things about immersion blenders. I really need to get one sometime! But…. cheap me….. You just know I’ll wait until my blender dies first. My blender is actually a smoothie maker! I have a brand-new-in-the-box blender that was a wedding gift waiting in the basement until my smoothie maker dies. Yes, I’m weird.

  2. This is so funny! I just posted about baby food on my facebook page a couple of seconds ago!

    These are such great tips and I would love to try them out. I would love to make all of my baby’s food, but my kids gag on the texture of homemade food. They will only eat store-bought food that has the solids and liquids well-fused together… does that make sense? Store-bought food is more… congealed or something. It is so disheartening (and expensive!)

    1. That’s too bad, Gaby. There are definitely some foods that work better than others. I always felt like peas and green beans created kind of a strange texture. Have you tried sweet potatoes or applesauce? Those were always super smooth when I made them.

  3. Pingback: How To Cook A Whole Chicken and Make Homemade Chicken Broth
  4. I’ve tried sweet potatoes, but mashing by hand, not in the blender. I’m going to try applesauce and pears and see what happens. I can always give it to my toddler if baby doesn’t like it!

    I didn’t know that cooking the food breaks down the fibers to make it easier to digest, either. Thanks for that helpful tidbit! Otherwise, I would have just put the pears in the blender without cooking first.

  5. I loved Wholesome Baby Food .com. It was the best resource for figuring out when to introduce new foods. I used ice cube trays, then popped the cubes out and stored them in baggies. I used my blender for everything but rice & oat cereal. I didn’t have a fancy food processor. I used my coffee grinder for the rice and oats. Thankfully, my son didn’t love those, so I didn’t have to make them often 🙂 It was so much easier than I thought it would be to make baby food. (and I also looked at jarred food to get ideas for our foods). Now, meat was another thing completely. I didn’t do so well with pureeing that. It was more a paste when I made it. Oh well. You win some, you lose some 🙂

    1. Making my own baby cereal was one thing that I never did. I had friends who tried to tell me how easy it was, but it just never happened. I’ll have to give it a try next time around.

  6. I have a couple tips that worked for me. First, I froze my little one’s food in silicone muffin pans that I’d found on the dollar rack at Target. The food popped out so easily! Much easier than ice cube trays. I wish I’d discovered this sooner. I would transfer it to freezer bags once fully frozen, and then reheat in small, glass pyrex bowls with lids. The pyrex bowls are my second tip – they came in a stack of 4 with lids. Perfect for reheating in the microwave and for taking my homemade food to go! Even restaurants would heat it for me in the glass bowls.

  7. I’m getting ready to make baby food for the first time next weekend. Thanks for the tips and ideas. I’m anxious to get started!

  8. Loved the tips shared here. Every mother needs to learn how to prepare healthy homemade food for the baby. Thank you for sharing the helpful post.

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