I want to share an easy way to make baby food right at home so you can give it a try too and see just how simple it is. I have divided this into an easy 4-step method for you to follow. It’s perfect for any parents new to making their own baby food. Once you read through the steps I’m sure you’ll be ready to make the jump and give it a try yourself!
It’s so incredibly important for me to know all the ingredients in my baby’s food so when it became time to start solids I decided to start making her baby food at home. Now I know exactly what my daughter is eating and I don’t have to worry about any unnecessary ingredients or preservatives. Plus, it’s super easy and cost effective to make your own baby food! It’s a win-win in my book!
I’m also going to be sharing some of the great kitchen products I use, so this post will contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated (at no additional cost to you of course) if you make a purchase through one of these links.
Follow these 4 simple steps:
First thing you want to do is prep your area and get everything ready that you’ll need. For this batch I am going to use some D’Anjou pears, Red Delicious apples, fresh strawberries, and carrots. You can taylor this to include a wide variety of produce all depending on your child’s likes and dislikes. I like to make sure our food is as naturally flavorful as possible so I use different fruits and vegetables depending on the season and what’s available at the local farmer’s market.
My daughter is just now starting solids and she is not too keen on it yet, so I am going to peel everything to ensure a smoother final texture. If we were just eating the produce fresh or I was cooking it for my husband and I then I would never remove the peel because it holds tremendous nutrition. Once my daughter is eating more and open to trying new textures then I won’t peel them anymore.
I chop everything up into smaller pieces to make the steaming process faster and to ensure even cooking. This also makes it must easier to transfer into the blender later after it’s been steamed.
I have this Hamilton Beach steamer that I bought on Amazon. It’s very affordable and easy to use. Just fill the bottom part with water, put all the chopped up produce in the top compartments, and set the timer. If you are just starting out with solids for your baby, you can keep everything separated when you cook it until you know if your child is allergic to anything. Once you have tried it and know there’s no allergy to worry about then you can steam different veggies and fruits together in the same container to maximize space and usage. Also, if you don’t want to spend too much on a steamer you can get a steamer basket that you just put right into your pot on the stove. I’ve used this before, but I prefer my steamer because it’s easier.
Note: If you plan on leaving anything to be steamed for an extended period of time you want to make sure you check back periodically to ensure there’s enough water in the bottom compartment.
I included this before and after picture above so you can see what it looks like when it’s done steaming. All the condensation is perfectly normal and this is what you would expect to see. Just be careful when you go to remove it as the content will be hot. Side note, the whole kitchen smelled like yummy pears and apples afterwards! Just another lovely benefit to using a steamer.
While the apples and pears were cooking, I chopped up some strawberries and steamed them afterwards. These are softer and do not need to be steamed for as long.
After I put the strawberries on the steamer I realized we had a bunch of extra carrots in the fridge so I quickly chopped those up too and added them above the strawberries. This was just a spur of the moment addition and if I had originally planned on adding carrots I would have started steaming those first because they take longer to cook.
- Apples – 20 minutes
- Pears – 30 minutes
- Strawberries – 10 minutes
- Carrots – 40 minutes
This steamer has an automatic timer of 20 minutes already programmed, but it’s easy to add or subtract time to fit what’s needed exactly.
You can steam pretty much any fruits and vegetables, and most steamers come with a guide outlining how long each needs to be cooked. Otherwise, if you don’t have a guide, you can just check on it every 10-15 minutes until it’s done and start making your own little guide.
For this part you can use either a blender or a food processor. I have this Nutri Ninja blender and highly recommend it. One thing I do love about having this particular one is that it comes with the larger compartment shown in the picture below plus extra large sized cups, which makes it super easy to make daily smoothies. Basically, I no longer have an excuse to not get my daily intake of fruits and veggies!
Before I got this blender I used a food processor and the final result is exactly the same so you can use whatever you have available or like the most. I like this Hamilton Beach food processor, it fits 10 cups and has a bowlscraper to help get everything out.
Some fruits and veggies are going to have a thicker consistency than others and may be more difficult to pour from the blender afterwards. Instead of adding water, which merely just dilutes the nutritional value, you can add fresh breast milk. You should not use breast milk that’s already been thawed, but if you have any recently pumped milk in the fridge then you can use this to obtain the exact consistency desired.
What I also sometimes do is just make the food batches without any breast milk, but then once the baby food cubes have thawed, I will add some to make the taste seem more familiar for my baby.
To actually blend the steamer fruits and vegetables, I just pulse for maybe 30-60 sec on medium speed depending on the consistency, and then scoop right into the trays.
Next you want to cover the the trays and put them in the freezer. I just used regular ice cube trays and covered them with plastic wrap, but you can also purchase trays that have an actual lid. We already had a bunch of extra ice cube trays so I just used these instead of purchasing new ones. If you plan on leaving the baby food in the tray for a longer period of time then I would definitely suggest getting some that have a lid with a seal to preserve the food better. I am merely using the trays to shape the baby food into little squares and once they are frozen I am going to remove them and keep them in freezer bags.
That’s it! It doesn’t take very long to complete and the steps are simple.
You can take a few out at a time to thaw in the fridge or heat a few up in the microwave before dinner (just be careful as microwaving doesn’t distribute heat well so double check the temperature before feeding). I like to mix and match different flavors to see what she likes.
I like keeping extra baby food in the freezer for those hectic days where you don’t have a lot of extra time. However, I generally prefer to make her fresh baby food to ensure she is getting the highest nutritional value as possible. Homemade baby food should be kept in the freezer for no more than three months for optimum nutritional value. I date and label mine to keep track of how long they have been in the freezer.
Extra Little Tip
These little baby food squares are perfect for teething babies! I like using these Munchkin Fresh Fruit Feeders because I can just put the frozen square right in and she can just go to town. This brings her great relief for her sore gums and also makes eating solids more fun. I will warn you though that this can get a little messy so I usually give it to her when she is in her exersaucer because I can quickly wipe the plastic down afterwards.
I hope this little 4 step guide has been helpful for you and that you feel more prepared in making your own baby food now. I’d love for you to check back in and share your own creations later on!
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments and I will be happy to clarify or address anything.
Happy baby food making!
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