Homemade Baby Food
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Does making your own baby food sound like too much work to you? I promise you that it isn’t. A few friends have asked me about how I make my own baby food recently, so I’m going to give you the primer. Really, honestly, making your own baby purees doesn’t have to be difficult.
One great thing about making your own baby food is that you know exactly what is in it. You can choose home grown, locally grown, or organic veggies. If you’re like me, you’re trying to avoid feeding your child junk and chemicals for as long as possible!
The other great thing about it is that it is super cheap. A single serving size jar of peas costs about $1 in the grocery store. If you want organic peas, it’s slightly more. You can make it at home for only 33 cents using frozen organic peas. You don’t even need to invest in any fancy equipment. I’ll show you how.
I also like making my own food so I can add spices to expand my baby’s flavor palate. Feeding in the first year is all about exposing your child to various flavors, textures, and temperatures. For example, after my wike baby’s first tastes of carrots, I added ginger or turmeric, and after her first tastes of sweet potato, I added cumin.
You can make large batches of purees at once and freeze them in individual portions to use as needed. It’s really simple.
Here’s how to start by making single-serving pureed peas:
Get your materials ready:
Steamer or Double Boiler
Blender- I use the NutriBullet. There is no need to buy the baby version. Don't be a sucker!
Freezing Containers—I use this awesome silicon multiportions tray from BEABA, which makes it super easy to pop out the frozen portions.
Ziploc and Sharpie- You'll use these to store your frozen portions for later.
Peas- You can use home grown, locally grown, or frozen organic. A one pound bag of our grocery store’s frozen organic peas costs $1.99.
Steam the peas.
Transfer to your blender and blend.
Pour into the individually portioned freezing tray and freeze.
Pop out the portions and put into a Ziploc. Label with the contents and date.
When you’re ready to serve, just take a portion out of the freezer and defrost! This took me ten minutes, during which time I also made other food. It yielded 6 3-ounce servings and cost less than $2.00. Easy peasy. (Pun intended!)
Now that you know the quick version, play around. Keep in mind that some fruits and vegetables require being cut up into small pieces before steaming (carrots) or require boiling (potato). Some, like avocado, can easily be mashed. Some will taste better if first baked (like sweet potato). Some fruits and vegetables require no cooking, and work well simply blended. For the first foods, you want to avoid really fibrous produce like pineapple.
After you make your first few batches, you can look to websites and books for flavor combination inspiration. Here are two books I used for ideas:
I really enjoyed learning about baby food from Denaye, which you can find on her Simple Families website and podcast here.
Now that she’s one year (AHHHHH), my wike baby is eating all sorts of foods. She’s onto eating almost everything that we eat, softened or cut into small pieces. When she does eat purees, I don’t hesitate to feed her store-bought organic jars if I don't have any homemade purees on hand. I find no problem with it, but I did enjoy making her food myself. I hope you do, too!
Share your ideas, questions, and inspiration for baby food in the comments below or on our Facebook page!