How to Make Homemade Baby Food
This page will teach you the basics about preparing homemade baby food. It’s not very hard, but if you ever feel like you need more information or recipes, take a look at these books about baby food .
Let’s start with fruits and vegetables.
1. Cook the food in as little water as possible. For vegetables, try boiling or steaming. For fruits, try boiling with just a little bit of water to cover the bottom of the pot.
2. Place the cooked food in a blender, add a little water, and process until it is in a consistency that your toddler enjoys. For beginner eaters, blend thoroughly until the mix is smooth like a cream soup. For experienced eaters, use less water and blend for less amount of time.
3. If it is hot, allow it to cool before feeding it to your toddler. If you have made more than you can use in one sitting, freeze the remainder in small batches. You can freeze the food in left over baby food jars, in small tupperware, or in ice cube trays.
Here’s an example:
- Cook frozen peas (or shelled peas) in just enough water to cover the peas. Cook until the peas are soft and can be easily forked through.
- Drain, pour it into a blender with some water and blend. If the peas are too thick, add more water.
- Dispense into one serving size containers and freeze.
You can do the same with carrots, squash, yams, green beans, apples, and pears. You don’t need to cook bananas, just mash it with a fork and then use it.
There are a variety of tools that you can buy for making homemade baby food. For blending, there’s the classic blender which we have seen for the last 20 years. There’s “baby food grinders” which are basically small blenders. These take up less counter space and allow you to puree smaller amounts of food. And lastly, there’s the hand held grinders called “mills”. These are great for grind-and-eat scenarios. Clever ones will grind the food right into a container which you can use as a feeding bowl.
- see blenders, processors, and grinders
- see various ice trays for storage and freezing
- see homemade baby food books
When your toddler gets older and can pick up food with his thumb and index finger (called the pincher grasp; a fine motor skill), then it is time to let him pick up his own food. Continue to cook and blend his food, but save a portion that is not blended. Spoon feed him the blended foods, at the same time, allow him to self-feed on the not blended portion. If your child has teeth, you can give him a slice of apple or pear and let him suck and gnaw on it. (Always keep an eye of your toddler to make sure he doesn’t choke on a large chunk that crumbled off the slice.)
When your child starts eating pasta and meats, you can cook these foods like you normally would except don’t use additives. Don’t add sugar, salt, pepper, or sauces. Keep it plain and add flavorings when he’s bored of the plain foods. Check out my other tips below.