I’ve had quite a few Me and Baby E readers request a post on Making Your Own Baby Food, and since we’ve been doing it for about 5 months now, I feel like we’ve got a good system down to share.
So why do we make our own baby food? It’s not about the savings, surprising as that might be given my propensity for cheap healthy food. Depending on what we have on E’s menu for the week we often spend more than it would be to just buy a case of Earth’s Best Organics on Amazon. We typically spend between $30 and $40 for two weeks worth of food, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks. We make E’s food because I want her food to be as minimally processed as possible so she can taste and know what freshly prepared fruits and vegetable actually taste like.
I was inspired to make her baby food before she was born from my mother, who made all of my food, and by a traditional baby shower game. While I was pregnant with E I attended quite a few baby showers (E has 7 little buddies who were all born around the same time, it was a busy Spring and Summer in 2012!) and many of them had the “Baby Food Game”, where moms-to-be are blindfolded and have to guess what delectable dish they are enjoying, only the food tastes absolutely disgusting, to the point of being gag worthy. If they guess enough correctly they win. It occurred to me after seeing about the third round of this game that if I wanted E to love fruits and vegetables the way we prepare them (fresh and lightly cooked or raw) she would have to know what they actually taste like. Having a taste for canned, over cooked sweet potatoes wouldn’t set her up to love a baked sweet potato.
Having no idea what I was doing I went to the experts and bought a whole baby food making system by Sage Spoonfuls, which included a cook book with recipes by age and storage jars and trays. I found Sage Spoonfuls on Zulily for 60% off, I am a big fan of Zulily! These paired with a steamer/blender combo device by Baby Brezza from Target and we were well on our way, before E was even born, to making our own baby puree and finger foods. And since we made the investment I was determined to make at least one day’s worth of food when the time came for introducing solids.
E started on solids when she was about 5 months, and we discovered that the make your own process was way easier than I could have ever imagined, and that baby food could be quite tasty. The combo steamer/blender is great, you just fill, set the time, walk away and come back to baby food! Simply put the food in containers of your choice, clean the machine and begin again. Once they’re eating six or so ounces of food per meal, at around 9 months or so, a full-sized food processor added to the mix is actually easier due to the sheer quantity of food to be blended. We now steam in the steam/blend combo, dump the cooked items into the food processor, quickly rinse the Brezza and repeat till the week’s worth of a meal is ready to be blended. Much easier than cleaning out puree after puree.
In the beginning recipes are a one or two veggie or fruit combo, so recipes are really just for combination ideas and knowing what they can eat at that stage. As E has gotten to the point where most everything is on the menu, we’ve searched out some finger food recipes and found Homemade-Baby-Food-Recipes.com, a site loaded with delicious and healthy recipes. E devours their chicken nuggets! To be fair, we do have a Happy Puffs addict on our hands, hence our repurposed snack container toy, so not everything is homemade.
So here’s what you’ll need to start making your own baby food:
A list of approved foods for each age (4-6 months, 6-9 months, etc)
A steaming device
A blender/food processor
Containers for food storage (I highly recommend getting a good set like Sage Spoonfuls, the sturdy jars and lids make freezing meals and travelling with meals easy and mess-free)
Here’s an example of the process using one of E’s favorite desserts, blueberries:
What have been your little one’s favorite baby friendly meals?