How to Make Homemade Baby FoodsThis post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
It is so easy to make homemade baby foods — and most of the time, making baby food at home will be healthier and cheaper than store bought! This is your guide to making healthy baby food at home that you can feel great about giving to your little one!
Many of you know that I made both of my kids’ baby food at home when they first started on solids’ve gotten so many questions about whether it’s really that easy to make your own baby food at home. And trust me – it is!
What foods are best to puree for baby food?
You can literally puree pretty much any food for your baby! The best foods to start with are sweeter vegetables or less-sweet fruits including:
Once your baby has mastered these purees, you can move onto more “pungent” veggies, tart fruits, and proteins like:
- Stone Fruits and Cherries
- Chickpeas / Beans
- Meats (if you are planning to give your baby meat)
- Whole Milk Yogurt and Cheese
You can introduce grains and sweeter fruits last so that your baby doesn’t get too used to sweet flavors first (which will make them more likely to reject green veggies which have stronger flavors). So once your baby has been exposed to a large variety of less-sweet fruits and veggies, you can introduce foods like:
- Oats, Barley, Wheat, Quinoa
You can also add warm spices to your baby’s food at any point — spices like: cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic powder, ginger powder, etc. are all great to add flavor and to expand your baby’s palate!
What is the best way to store homemade baby foods?
I recommend freezing your homemade baby food in ice cube trays for storage. I love these Mumi & Bubi Trays because they come with airtight lids and hold a ton of baby food! I would freeze the baby food in these trays, and then once frozen, I’d pop out the puree cubes and transfer them to airtight freezer safe zip-top bags.
Is homemade baby food healthier?
Yes it is! This is because when you make baby food at home, you can control both the quality of the ingredients and the types of things being included in your baby’s food.
Since your homemade baby foods don’t have to be shelf stable, you don’t have to worry about any preservatives or stabilizers in the food you’re giving your baby. Additionally, most pre-made baby food is very fruit-forward which makes it quite sweet and high in sugar. This can make babies who eat pre-made food more likely to only develop a liking for sweeter foods, which could make them pickier eaters later on.
Note: Not all pre-made baby food is bad and there are some healthy vegetable-forward pouches available today. These can be good options if you’re on the go or in a bind and need food fast! You can see my list of the healthiest baby food pouches here.
How do you make baby food at home?
All you need are the right tools – many of which you probably already have in your kitchen, and knowing the method, which is as easy as: steam, puree, freeze.
You don’t need a fancy baby food maker to do any of this stuff – in fact, I recommend against buying a special baby food maker because it’s a pretty pricey purchase for something you can’t repurpose for anything else. I like investing in kitchen tools that can grow with you and your family.
Tools and Equipment You’ll Need
#1: Invest in a Good Blender. I recommend getting one that you can use for smoothies and other “grown up” recipes – so the purchase is worth it! Any blender will work, but my favorite is the Vitamix.
It purees everything SO smoothly that the consistency exactly mimics the baby food pouches at the grocery store. And you don’t have to peel any of the fruits/veggies (except for the obvious like bananas, oranges, pineapples, melon, etc. – that have a hard shell) because the Vitamix is so powerful that it pulverizes all of the peel of most fruits/veggies to retain all of those nutrients for your little one.
It can also make chunkier meals for when your baby transitions away from purees. Lastly, you can use it for so many other things like making soups, smoothies, pancake batter, falafel mix, brownie batter, etc. – the list goes on and on! I bought one when I started making my kids’ baby food and absolutely LOVE it and use it all the time (still!)
#2: You need covered ice cube trays. You could just take regular ice cube trays and cover them in plastic wrap, but I found that ended up with my purees getting freezer burn which wasn’t great. I love these Mumi & Bubi Trays – which store / stack really well, have tight lids, and hold enough baby food for about 1 month!
#3: A Steamer Basket. It’s worth it to have a steamer basket that can fit inside any pot. Steaming fruits/veggies in bulk is key to making baby food easy and quick to make at home – and a steamer basket can make all the difference!
You also need a good, large pot – but literally any pot will do. And that’s pretty much it! Then you can literally make any baby food recipe at home for less cost, less time and a healthier puree for your little one than a store bought version.
Making homemade baby foods – Step by Step
- Wash the fruits and veggies you are planning to puree.
- Chop them into 1/2 inch sized cubes and put them in a pot with just enough water to almost cover them. Alternatively, put them in a pot with a steamer basket to steam them.
- If you are steaming them, steam until fork tender (easy enough to mash). If you are putting them in a pot with water, just cover the pot with a lid and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the fruits or veggies are fork tender.
- If steaming, put the fruits/veggies into a blender with some of the liquid you used to steam them. If you boiled your fruits/veggies, transfer everything from the pot into the blender (so you don’t lose any nutrients that might have leached into the water while you were boiling the produce).
- Puree the fruits/veggies until smooth. Transfer to ice cube trays and freeze.
- Once frozen, pop the cubes out and transfer them to freezer-safe zip-top bags.
- To reheat, simply defrost in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove.