Are you curious about making your own baby food but don’t know where to begin?
Consider this post a baby food making 101 class -the short version for busy parents.
Here at MOMables, we help parents make fresh school lunches; but we also know that many of you have younger children and are looking for ways to make all of your family’s food healthier. Even your baby food.
So your baby is showing all the signs of wanting to eat, and you are excited to get started with baby food making but have NO IDEA how to go about it.
First you need to know what are the “right” foods for your baby’s age and not introduce too many foods at once.
It’s so important to follow a guide and follow the 4-5 day rule so that you know that your baby is ready for those foods.
What happens when you serve your baby foods that he is not ready to eat? The short answer: it can be hard on their digestive system and could be a source of food allergies later on.
How do you know if your baby is ready for solid foods?
More than likely, your pediatrician has already suggested introduction of baby cereal or solid foods. If not, some of the signs are:
- The baby is able to sit up with support, reaches and grabs things and tries to put them in her mouth.
- Try to reach the food that it’s on your plate
- Mimics eating with their mouth when you eat
Basic First Foods
Note, there is no significant difference whether you introduce fruits or cereals first.
- Mashed bananas
- Barley and rice cereal
- Sweet potatoes
What You Need to Make Baby Food
In recent years, there have been some all-in-one food steamers and blenders that make baby food making a snap. Know, that for hundreds of years people have used traditional methods and things typically found in your kitchen to make baby food. Therefore, you don’t really need any special equipment to make your own food.
- Pot and a steamer basket, or
- Electric steamer
- Cutting board
- Good knife
- Immersion blender
- Ice cube trays or small storage cups
- Freezer baggies
- Sharpie Marker
- Organic fruit or vegetables
You have done your research, got all the materials and foods you need so you are ready to get started. The main thing you need to remember is to make your food smooth and thin for those beginner babies and as they get older you can make it a bit thicker and with more texture. To make your food smooth and thin you need to add a little bit of water at a time.
***NOTE – If you choose to start feeding your baby before the age of 6mos old you will need to steam all fruits. Steaming or light cooking these foods makes it easier to digest.
After the age of 6 months you do not need to cook fruits unless it’s a harder fruit such as apples. Also depending on the fruit and how much natural liquid the fruit has in it you may not need to add water. For instance pears have a TON of natural juices so you may not need to add any water.
- Fill a pot about ⅓ of the way up and place a steamer inside of the pot.
- Add the fruit and bring to a gentle boil
- Once it starts to boil, turn down to low and let simmer until fork tender
- Remove from heat and place in a glass bowl
- Once cool then with your immersion blender blend until you get the consistently that is right for your baby. Again, you may need to add water to make it smooth enough.
The only other material that you would need when doing vegetables is a baby pan. When steaming you would do the same type of thing as you did for the fruit. When blending this is when you will add water. I suggest using the steam water for extra nutrients and then add additional water if necessary. Remember to always add water a teaspoon at a time so you can control the consistency.
I like to roast many of my vegetables such as sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash or any type of winter squash. Check out these easy vegetable roasting instructions. Once your fruits and vegetables are made into purees then you can spoon that mixture into a BPA FREE ice cube trays and place into the freezer up to 24 hrs. Place on the counter and let defrost just enough until you can easily take them out. Once all the cubes are out place them into a labeled freezer baggie and put back into the freezer.
How Long Does Homemade Baby Food Last?
Your homemade baby food can last in the freezer for up to 6 months. When serving remember that each ice cube is 1 ounce. Follow the guides as to how much your baby should be eating at their age.
Want to learn more about feeding your baby including baby lead feeding? My friend Amy has some incredible courses for moms of young kids all about feeing babies and toddlers! Learn more here & get 10% off your course using the code momables10
Wow! This could be one of the most useful blogs we have ever come across on the subject. Actually a fantastic article! I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.
MOMables - Laura
Thank you, Linda! I’m glad you found it helpful.
Cindy J. Coffey
So useful tips for all parents. Love reading every post! Thanks so much!
Thanks for reading, Cindy!
Thank you. We found the ice cube technique useful when our children started solids.
How do you defrost your baby food cubes from the freezer? Do you sit in fridge the night before, run under warm water or microwave it? We don’t use a microwave, so I was just curious of other acceptable ways to defrost.
you can defrost in the fridge if you think head, warm it up in a food warmer and it will defrost as you warm. it also depends on how you store the food. if you do the ice tray route, running it under hot water is a little difficult but you can warm it up directly on what you will serve or in a small pot.
Great, thanks! Food is so much better without the microwave, but sometimes it is not as convenient.