If you’ve been following me on Instagram you know that I’m all about my making my own baby food. Whether I’m whipping up breakfast, snacks or dinner, I’ve been making Chloe’s baby food since she was 6 months old and just starting on solids.
It was important to me to make her food for a few reasons.. Most importantly, I wanted to control the quality of the items she was consuming (natural, organic, etc) and could make sure she was always eating a well-balanced meal. I’ve always cooked very healthy meals for Bill and I., and wanted to make sure to do the same for Chloe. Now that she’s getting older, I’m starting to mix in real foods that are soft, like small pieces of chicken, noodles, banana and other items that she can practice chewing on but the majority of her food is still blended and we also give her bottles.
But, starting to “cook” baby food was not intuitive to me and I have to admit, I was little intimidated getting started. Like anything else you do for the first time, it’s a bit daunting! There really wasn’t a clear cut instructional manual on baby food making which is why I decided to make my own here. After many, many batches of food later, I can tell you now that it’s super simple to do. Plus, in just under an hour you can make enough food to last for weeks and save yourself a ton of money too!
What you need to get started:
- Ninja, Vitamix or baby food maker (essentially something that can thoroughly mix it all together well) – I use this Vitamix and I love it for this
- Baby food storage containers – these are essentially ice cube trays with lids for baby food.
- Recipes – pick out some super simple recipes or even just puree one fruit or veggie at a time
5 Simple Steps to Making Baby Food:
Once you decide on recipes and buy the ingredients, follow this process:
Once de-skinned, chop ingredients into pieces and add to boiling water in a large pot. I often just dump all items in at once even if they aren’t going in the same “recipe”. It usually takes about 10-20 minutes to get soft depending on the ingredient. Obviously you can skip this step if your ingredients are already soft like bananas or avocados.
Add mixture to store containers. These are essentially ice cube trays that are 1 oz servings each. Freeze overnight and then label with the ingredients and date (baby food is good in the freezer for 3 months).
When you’re ready to serve, add a cube or two of the food to a microwave safe bowl for about 45 seconds. Stir and make sure it’s cool before serving. I typically give Chloe 2-3 cubes at one feeding which is subsidized by formula. Gradually she’ll begin to wean off of the formula and eat more food.
Here’s a quick video to re-cap the key points to help you get started:
Simple example: Puréed Pears
- Boil about 3 inches of water in a pot
- De-skin pears and cut into pieces
- Add pears into boiling water and cook for 10 min or until very soft
- Add pears to blender and purée (Note: sometimes puréed fruits or veggies, you’ll need to smooth out the consistency by adding a bit the cooking water to the mix but since pears are a watery fruit, you don’t need to do that here.)
- Add pears to trays for freezing or serve immediately
Few tips to help you get started..
- Try one vegetable or fruit at a time to ensure there are no allergies
- Once you know that a food is “safe” you can begin mixing it with other “safe” foods. For example, try pureed pears for 2 days. If there is no sign of a reaction, then you can consider it “safe” and move onto the next food item like “peas”. Once you know there is no reaction to either, then both pears and peas can be blended together in future recipes.
- Be mindful with spices (only use a 1/2 teaspoon at a time) and do not add salt or honey. Honey is especially dangerous for babies to digest this early.