Making your own baby food gives you the distinct advantage of controlling what goes into your baby’s sensitive tummy. You determine how much, if any, sugar and spices your baby gets. Even when found on sale for as low as 50 cents per jar, producing your own is a much less expensive alternative to ready made. Making baby food is actually very simple with a few simple tools: a blender, food processor, baby food grinder or similar machine, a steamer or boiling pot, ice cube trays, and a few minutes of your time.
As with jarred baby food, begin slowly, introducing only one new fruit or vegetable per week. Be sure to watch for any signs of an allergic reaction. Start with the least acidic of the fruits, such as apples, pears, and bananas.
If you would like to prepare your own baby food, follow these basic tips:
Fruits and Vegetables
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove any chemical residue.
- Steam or boil your baby’s favorite fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables until mushy. Use fresh fruits and veggies for the most nutritional value,
frozen next, and canned as a last option. If you use canned veggies, be sure to use the “No Salt" versions. Use little or no spice.
- Puree the fruits or vegetables very well for smaller infants (use water to thin out), or leave a bit coarser for older ones. For variety, mix two
fruits together. If these are the first foods you are feeding your infant, you may even want to strain the pureed fruit. You can purchase an
inexpensive baby food maker that does this for you.
- Spoon into ice-cube trays and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze.
- Once frozen, remove from trays and store in plastic freezer bags.
- At meal time, simply take out a few cubes of food and allow to thaw to room temperature or defrost in the microwave for a few seconds.
- You can make weeks worth of meals at a time!
A few suggested fruits and veggies to begin with:
- Potatoes (mash with water, formula, or breast milk)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Butternut Squash
- Make your own Ambrosia by mixing a few fruits together, such as strawberries and bananas. Be creative! However, only use fruits which baby
has already tried and shown no allergic reaction towards.
- For older babies, mix plain or vanilla-flavored yogurt with their favorite fruits.
- Freeze baby’s favorite juice in ice cube trays. Mush up and let baby eat with a spoon for a frozen treat! This one is great for those terrible
As baby gets older, you can also puree dishes that you fix for the rest of the family such as:
- macaroni and cheese
- well cooked chicken and
Freeze in ice cube trays similar to the fruits and vegetables.
**Be sure when thawing meat dishes that you allow them to thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave to prevent the risk of E-coli bacteria forming.
Dawn Lloyd is the mom to three young children and owner/editor of several family websites including BabyUniversity.com , a pregnancy and parenting community, BabyShopsOnline , a directory of pregnancy and baby online retailers, and PersonalFitnessZone.com , a weight loss and fitness community.