How To: Homemade Baby Food

20 Jan

This week, I decided to try my hand at making baby food for my little man. It wasn’t out of need to save money or desire to feed him a special diet, but rather, I like eating fresh, home-cooked, preservative-free food and I’m guessing my baby will, too.

And, he did! Seriously, my kid is a chunk so he hasn’t met too much food that he doesn’t like but he really liked the specially-made-by-mommy nosh.

The bonus(es): it’s super cheap and fairly easy to make (but it does require a little time).

My little man hanging out with me in the kitch while I make him some yummy meals

My little man hanging out with me in the kitch while I make him some yummy meals

With a handful of red grapes, two apples, two pears, two small red potatoes and two handfuls of baby carrots and about an hour in the kitchen, I was able to whip up 17 servings of baby food. That’s a pretty good deal. Seventeen servings of baby food would cost me about $9 and a dreaded trip to Wal-Mart, so I definitely consider this a win-win for moi.

As far as the easy goes, there are a bazillion websites, articles and blog posts to help guide the personal chefs of small people, but there’s really nothing to it. Clean, cook, mash/puree, refrigerate. It’s as easy as that (but none the less, the recipes I used are below). No special food processor (my blender did just fine); no special ingredients, just good ole’ veggies from my local farmer’s market (shout out to Shaffer’s for being cheaper and tastier than anything from a big box store.)

My advice for anyone wanting to make their little one fresh, preservative-free food, just trust your gut (literally). If you like it, chances are your baby will like it, too. Just make sure whatever you make is suitable for their age range (things like eggs shouldn’t be introduced until 9 months, cows milk after 1 year) and nutritional needs (corn is starchy with little nutritional value, best eaten as a finger food so don’t waste time cooking and mashing them). Avoid using any salt or heavy spices like garlic, pepper and anything spicy (especially if preparing your own dinner for baby) but chicken or beef stock (homemade or low-sodium store-bought versions) can add nice flavor to bland veggies (like potatoes). And remember, if you’re preparing foods your baby has not eaten before, be sure to wash your utensils thoroughly when going from one to another in case the little foodie is allergic to anything and only introduce one new food a week to gauge a possible allergic reactions.

IMG_0700[1]IMG_0701[1]Apples/Pears
-Peel and core fruit; remove any brown spots
-Chop into small pieces
-Bring a pot of water to a boil and add fruit
-Cook until soft, then remove from water and put into a blender. (I cooked them separately, but they would be good together, too!)
-Reserve some of the water from the pot to add to fruit if it gets too thick while blending
-Blend/puree to desired texture

These smelled so yummy while I was cooking and blending them, and they taste really good! I thought about adding a little cinnamon or nutmeg when blending, but it ends up that they didn’t need it. Maybe for next time, though.

IMG_0712[1]Grapes
-Clean grapes; peel skin if desired
-Add to blender and puree to desired consistency
-If mixture gets too watery, add rice cereal as needed to thicken

Grapes are mostly water, so they result in a very thin puree. They are good to mix with other fruits or with the cereal, as mentioned above, but they are still good alone, too. Really, it’s all up to your little one.

Red Potatoes
-Peel and remove any brown spots
-Chop into small pieces
-Bring a pot of water to a boil and add pieces; cook until soft
-Mash by hand or with a mixer until desired consistency. If they get dry, add a little bit of chicken stock as needed

I blended my potatoes and they got pretty gummy. My little guy likes them but they look like glue. I will definitely mash next time.

Carrots
-Wash carrots and cut off ends. Peel if desired.
-Bring a pot of water to a boil and add veggies; cook until soft.
-Add to blender and puree to desired consistency. If they get dry or too thick, add water from pot of small amount of chicken stock as needed

IMG_0702[1]

I’ve also cooked brown rice and pureed it to use with meat and veggies for a fuller meal. Again, used stock to offset the thickness and dryness once blended.

When pureeing meat, be sure to have some chicken or been stock on hand to offset the dryness. Apple juice would also work, especially for chicken and pork.

A friend on Facebook shared a really great idea with me. She puts her homemade baby food into ice cube trays and freezes them. Then, when she’s ready to use them, she just pops them out of the tray, heats them up and then serves. I stored mine in saved baby food containers and then labeled and dated the top and those are easy to freeze, too.

Do you have any great baby food recipes or tricks you’ve picked up. Please share!

xoxo

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5 Responses to “How To: Homemade Baby Food”

  1. montanasurvivormomma January 20, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    I love making baby food homemade! How old is your son? He’s so cute!!! My son is 7months old and loves purees along with blw.

    • Toni Craig January 21, 2013 at 2:01 am #

      Thanks! I love how easy it is and it always feels good to make something myself for him. He is 7 months, too. 😊

      • montanasurvivormomma January 21, 2013 at 2:08 am #

        Aww!!! My son wishes he had a friend but I don’t think that will happen. Women here are that nice. lol I love making baby food too. I just perfected smooth puree sweet potatoes.

      • Toni Craig January 21, 2013 at 2:53 am #

        Aww thats too bad! A lot of my friends have or are having babies so he’s automatically got some playmates. But I agree that not all women are super friendly and it makes it hard to make new adult friends. … But do share-how did you perfect your sweet potatoes?

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  1. A Week of Simple Food – Becoming a Minimalist - February 10, 2013

    […] Making homemade baby food; it’s not rocket science (tonicraig.wordpress.com) […]

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