Making your own homemade baby food can be SUPER EASY. When you are already going to be cooking, why not just make little one’s food at the same time.
Heck, they can even eat the same things you are eating. Having carrots for dinner? Why not just put a portion aside once everything is done cooking and quickly blitz it for your littlest member of the family.
How you go about making your own baby food is different for everyone. Some like to make big batches and use it throughout the week. Others (like me) just like to blend a little bit of what I am already eating and feed it to little one.
There is no one right way to make your own baby food, just find a method that suits you best.
How Do I Start Making Baby Food?
Well easy, you just chop up a few things, cook em’, and puree them. When you think of it in it’s simplest form, it really is that easy.
Here I will give you a detailed version of how to start making baby food with a family favorite recipe of ours, Pureed Carrots & Parsnip. You can see what you will need and step-by-step how to make your own homemade baby food.
After that I will go into more detail about which blending appliance is best, some easy baby food recipes, followed by how to store your delicious homemade baby food.
How to Puree Baby Food
- Small Pot
- Blending Tool
- Chopping Board
- Mug (if using stick blender)
Time needed: 20 minutes.
Carrots & Parsnips Baby Puree
- Get Everything Ready
Get out 2 carrots, 1 parsnip, stick butter, 1 small pot, stick blender (or blending tool of choice), chopping board, and a mug.
- Chop Food
Chop your carrots and 1/2 Parsnip into 1 cm rounds.
- Place Chopped Food in Pot
Place carrot & parsnip rounds into the pot
- Add Water
I prefer to boil the electric kettle and pour the boiled water into the pot to cut down on time. If you don’t have one just add hot tap water. Doesn’t matter either way.
- Boil/Steam Food
So you can choose to either boil or steam your food of choice. Foods like broccoli are better steamed as carrots are sweeter when boiled.
So in this recipe I will boil the carrots and parsnip for 5 – 10 min.
- Once Cooked, Strain Water
Poke with a fork to make sure food is cooked through and soft.
Once it is, if boiling strain the water into a measuring jug carefully. Save this water if you need to made consistency adjustments later.
- Place Food in Mug
I use a mug because it is easier to puree, and then I can easily feed baby straight from the mug. A mug is easier to hold on to and feed from than a small bowl, mom trick I learned.
Puree the food in the mug with stick blender.
If using another blending device, place food in your blending device instead and puree according to your device’s settings.
- Add Saved Water if Needed
If your consistency is too thick, add small amounts of saved boiled water, then puree a bit more to get desired consistency.
Alternatively, you can add breastmilk or formula.
I sometimes like to add butter for a bit flavor.
- Let Cool
Let heated food cool to a safe temperature before serving. While it cools, use this time to quickly rinse and clean your stick blender.
- Feed Baby
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Woohoo! That is How You Puree Baby Food!
That is the basic 10 step process on how to baby food. You can easily modify it depending on your circumstances.
Lets say you are already making dinner for the family, no need to make a separate pot of food just for baby. Just take a portion out once everything is cooked and puree it.
For times you want to roast veggies, cut them into sticks the size of your pinky finger and drizzle with olive oil, then roast on baking tray for about 45min – 60 min depending on vegetables. It’s a longer process, but the flavors are so much better and often preferred by kids.
If you are wanting to batch cook, then add more of the food item into a bigger pot and cook a bit longer. You will want to use a food processor or blender for pureeing such a large quantity. Then just freeze your batch into individual servings once it has cooled.
What Appliance is Best for Making Baby Food?
My personal opinion, after being a nanny for a few years and making many different versions of baby foods for different families with different food processors like Thermomix , magic bullets, and stick blenders, the stick blender is your easiest and most effective appliance for making baby food.
Though, it depends on whether or not you plan to make big batches. If you plan on making big batches of homemade baby food each week then a good food processor/blender is going to be your friend.
Why is the Stick Blender Best for Baby Food?
Two main reasons, easy to clean and makes the best puree consistency. The third reason why the good ol’ stick blender wins huge points for me is that it is super easy to store. It doesn’t take up counter space, nor does it take up half a shelf in the cupboard.
Easy to Clean
I think as mom’s anything that be cleaned in under 30 seconds is AMAZING. You already have lots to clean every day, so keep your life simple and pick an appliance that won’t make you groan when you think about having to clean it.
A stick blender literally takes 30 seconds to rinse,wash and wipe clean if you do it directly after pureeing. Done, Dusted, and can be put away while the food cools for a minute or two.
Best Puree Consistency
Want to make a quick pureed baby cereal for babies breakfast? Easy done!
Boil the kettle, add 2 tablespoons of oats to mug, add 2 tablespoons of boiled water, puree away, clean stick blender while it cools, and feed baby. All within 5 minutes. You will get a perfect puree consistency with your baby cereal, and you won’t have much food waste as all.
Not the case with bigger food processors. Baby cereal was the hardest food to get a smooth consistency with in a food processor. Along with many other roots veggies.
This is the problem with bigger food processors, unless you are making a big batch it just won’t puree your baby food as fine as a stick blender. I had this problem multiple times when I was making baby food for other families, I had to keep scraping down the sides of the bowl every so many seconds to keep the food at the bottom near the blades.
Then the consistency would still often have chunks and bits in it. This is fine for older babies, but at the 6 month mark having a chunk in a puree doesn’t go over well.
So stick blenders are easiest option for daily use!
Baby Food Recipes
Here are a few of my favorite easy homemade baby food recipes if you are in need of some inspiration.
BIG TIP: I’ll let you in a major veggie secret, baby’s LOVE roasted vegetables way more than boiled/steamed. The flavor is so much better. SO, if you have the time roast your veggies instead of steaming or boiling, Do it!
- Chop 2 carrots
- Boil them for 8-10min on low heat
- Strain water out into a measuring jug
- Put carrots into mug and puree
- If consistency too thick, add bit of strained water
- Let cool until safe to eat
- Cut into sticks about the size of pinky finger
- Put on a baking tray covered in baking paper
- Drizzle Olive Oil over them
- Roast at 356 F/180 C for 45min
- With tongs put in mug & puree
- Let cool until safe to eat
- Cut into small florets
- Put into steamer
- Steam on low heat for 8 – 10 min
- Put florets into mug & puree
- Let cool until safe to eat
- Peel 1 Banana
- Cut into 3 pieces
- Put into a Mug and Puree
- Chop 1 pear into 1 in pieces
- Put into small pot with 1/4 cup water
- Cover on low heat for 10min until soft
- Put into mug & puree
- Let cool until safe to eat
- 2 Tablespoons Normal Oatmeal Oats
- 2 Tablespoons Boiled Water
- Blend in a mug, add tsps of more water as needed
- Let cool, until safe to eat
What are the Benefits of Making Your Own Baby Food?
More Options = More Nutrients
There are only so many options of pre-made baby food on the shelves. By making your own you are giving your baby more options of foods to get used to (potentially preventing pick eater), all the while they get access to more variety of nutrients.
Often I found that homemade baby food kept babies fuller for longer than pre-made baby food too. I am not sure if this is because the extra water in pre-made food or what, but time and time again it seemed to hold true.
Is it cheaper to make your own baby food?
In most cases, Absolutely. You are not paying for the packaging anymore, you are just strictly buying your normal fruit and veggies.
When you make your dinner, just pull a portion of the veggies aside to puree and use for your baby’s dinner. Would that be a significant extra cost to you? Versus the $1.40 per container of pre-made babyfood.
If you only fed your baby 1 pre-made baby food container per meal, 3 x a day for 1 week at $1.40 each…that is nearly $30 extra dollars to your grocery budget ( $29.40 for those that want exact math).
We all know as they get older they need more than 1 container per meal. That adds up real quick.
How to Store Homemade Baby Food
So you made too much, or they weren’t hungry , or you decided to make a big batch. How do you store homemade baby food? Well it depends on when you plan to use it next.
No matter what method you use, let me first say you need to get familiar with the cream colored scotch tape and sharpie. Just write food name & short version of the date (2/14 = Feb 14).
Mom brain happens, and the last thing we want to do is give our family food poisoning. So, in your kitchen drawer have these 2 items easy to access.
This tape won’t leave “stick” behind, it’s like a painters tape. Cheaper option than buying proper labels, and easy to write on. It will stay on in the freezer or fridge.
Big Batch Freezing
When you do big batches, you are going to want to make it as easy as possible to take out single serves when you are ready to use them. Thus, the good ol’ ice cube tray is going to help you out with this. Plus they stack fabulously.
Pour your pre-made baby food into the trays and then let your food cool down so it is not steaming hot. Once it is cool, pop them into the freezer.
Now, it you have the cool baby food ice cube trays you can put a lid over the top to keep anything else from falling in to your baby food.
If you have regular ice cube trays, check back in on your baby food about 90 minutes later to see if they’ve frozen. Once they have frozen take them out and put them into a container, label a piece of scotch tape with food item & date and put it on the container, then quickly put them back in to the freezer.
Take out however many cubes your need and reheat in a mug in the microwave.
Fridge Use for Later
Again, First things first, Label it! Once you have labeled it, it depends on whether or not baby has fed directly from that serving of food, or if it was the “extra” from when you initially made it.
Baby’s leftover servings
If little one has any leftovers from their personal serving, then it is not considered food safe to reuse. Babies are very sensitive to bacteria.
Extra portion from Initial Cooking Portion
If you think you’ve made too much from the get go, put some aside right after cooking it. Put it into a small container and pop it into the fridge. You can use this extra portion anytime within 24hrs
Making Baby Food is Pretty Easy Right?
So there you have it, How to puree your own homemade baby food! It’s not too hard really, especially if you just use the food you already plan on having yourself.
I personally found trying to plan baby food batch cooking too stressful for some reason. When you have a baby there is already enough things you need to add to your to-do list, cooking at a separate time just for baby was not something I wanted to add to that to-do list.
So find yourself a good stick blender and a mug, and away you go! You’ll be able to introduce your little one to all kinds of foods with just those two tools!