When I had my first child and the idea of making homemade baby food was introduced to me, it sounded like too much work! What could be easier than buying jarred food that was all ready to go? Well, I found out that making your own wholesome and nutritious baby food does not have to be difficult, and is in fact very easy and quick.
What you need
Luckily, you don’t need a lot of special tools or need to spend a lot of money to make your own homemade baby food. The only additional kitchen appliances I purchased were a food processor and a steamer basket. There is another type of food processor specifically designed for making baby food called the Baby Bullet, as an option to consider.
The food processor was a great investment for us, since we used it not only for making baby food for our daughter, but also for many other recipes and now making baby food for our son!
Ready to get started?
Which foods should you begin with? We went straight to my favorites — sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and beans. Once you’ve chosen which food to puree, you’ll need to steam it first so it will be soft enough. Chop the food into smaller pieces, put an inch or so of water in the bottom of a pot and place your steamer basket in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and add the chunks on top of the basket, then cover with a lid. You should only need to steam it for 10 to 15 minutes or so. Use your judgment — if you’re steaming meat, you’ll want to double check that it’s cooked through before you move on to processing.
Once the food is soft enough, it’s time to puree. When I put the food in the processor, I add some of the water from the pot to help create a nice, smooth puree. Now that my youngest is a bit older, I like to add homemade bone broth to thin the puree out. It adds a great nutritious punch to the food and adds a little bit more flavor. I’m all about expanding baby’s palate!
Storing food for later
There are many different products for freezing and storing food, but my favorite has been an ice cube tray. I put the freshly pureed baby food in the individual sections of the tray, and then stick it in the freezer for baby-sized portions of food. Once they are frozen, pop the frozen cubes of food out of the tray, place them in a freezer bag, label and you’re done! As long as you’ve sealed the bags well, your food should last for up to six months in the freezer.
Making homemade baby food does not have to be a daunting task. I used to spend an hour or two every few days preparing baby food and freezing it, so that I always had a nice stash of baby food to choose from.
Once we had tried the standard “firsts” for baby, we moved on to meats. We tried different puree mixtures with various spices and ingredients you won’t find on the jarred baby food shelf, like quinoa, tahini, and garlic. Your baby can be exposed to so many great flavors when you make their food yourself and get creative!
Do you make your own baby food?
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