Homemade Baby Food Part 1

Our little dude is growing like a weed and nearly a month ago, at his four month appointment with the pediatrician, she advised getting started with solids.

There are mixed opinions among professionals about the ‘right’ time to start solids. Ours is in the “The Sooner, The Better” camp, explaining that studies are suggesting food allergies may be preventable if we start introducing our little ones to solids sooner.

I was given 3 rules with introducing foods:
1. no honey until age 1
2. don’t let him choke
3. introduce eggs before peanut butter (but don’t wait until age 1)

We didn’t waste any time and introduced rice cereal that night.

He LOVED it!

Now that we are through a handful of foods, ruling out any reactions, I’ve started making my own.

Now, hear me, making homemade baby food or choosing to purchase at the store are both equally great options. Not everyone has the time, resources, or desire to tackle this task at home. I will have a small supply of store bought in our cupboard in addition to what I make in my own kitchen. And really, I’m more an advocate for “Feed The Baby” than specialized rules for how and what you should feed the baby.

I’ve chosen the homemade route simply because I always imagined that I would, because it’s more cost effective (my cost for this first round was 17 cents per oz for organic baby food compared to about 32 cents per oz when purchased at the store), and because I then know exactly what’s in those little colorful jars of baby food.

This first round of baby food making I chose organic spinach, apples, blueberries, and bananas. I also picked up avocados but they weren’t quite ripe enough so I’ll be blending those up later this weekend.

Spinach isn’t a store-bought baby food option (unless it’s mixed with something else, and getting started that’s not the best idea) but it’s super high in iron which is super important for little ones brain development. After we give it an initial test drive for reactions I will combine it with homemade cereals/grains (which won’t be fortified with iron like store bought varieties are) and probably a sweet fruit to make it a bit more yummy.

Homemade baby food is actually quite simple, if you have the right supplies on hand.

Here’s what I used:

-3 oz baby food cups with lids that are BPA free, freezer and dishwasher safe
-Food Steamer (for this project I used my wok and steaming baskets simply because of the size)
-Food Processor
-Spatula, Cutting Board, Knife

My efforts resulted in 77 oz of baby food in the freezer in less than 2 hours (start to finish, including all clean-up)

Print Recipe
Homemade Baby Food Part 1
Bananas, Apples, Blueberries and Spinach
Instructions
  1. Bananas: Peel bananas and process in food processor. Add liquid of choice (breast milk, formula or water) to reach desired consistency.
  2. Apples: Wash, peel and cut apples into like-size pieces (the smaller the pieces, the more quickly they will cook). Add to steamer and cook for 5-10 minutes, until soft. Allow to cool slightly, then add to food processer and process, adding liquid to reach desired consistency.
  3. Spinach: Rise and drain spinach. Add to steamer and cook for 5'ish minutes, until leaves wilt. Allow to cool slightly, then add to food processer and process, adding liquid to reach desired consistency.
  4. Blueberries: Rinse and drain berries ensuring all leaves from the plant are removed and all berries are in good condition (i.e. no beginnings of mold forming where the berry once connected to the plant). Add to steamer and cook for 5'ish minutes (this softens the skins allowing the berries to process into a smooth texture). Allow to cool slightly, then add to food processer and process, adding liquid to reach desired consistency.
Recipe Notes
  • The final step for each of these foods is:
    • fill freezer safe containers
    • snap lids on tightly, pushing out any air
    • freeze
    • thaw in fridge prior to serving. 
  • There is no firm/hard rule about how much of each fruit/veggie to buy and make. Since you are making a "simply ____" food the amounts will only determine your final yield.
  • Making/freezing individual fruits/veggies will allow you to mix different flavor combinations down the road by simply thawing a couple options and mixing them at the time of serving. For example, once I'm sure we are reaction free with spinach I intend to mix with apples, which I already know he likes and tolerates. 

2 comments

  1. Kristin says:

    This is great. I’ve made nearly all of my children’s baby food, but I don’t feel guilty when I buy it either. You’re right, fed is best. Just feed the baby!! Ha. What I appreciate about this blog post though is how simply it truly can be. At times, I allow myself to get overwhelmed because I need to come up with a new “combination” to ensure she’s getting a variety of nutrients, exposed to numerous tastes, textures, etc. The idea to make individual foods for introduction to foods is great from an allergy stand-point, but I think I’ll carry that same idea over to when I make food next week for my 9 month old. That way I can pick two different ones from the freezer each meal (out of the maybe four or five I choose to make) and combine them at each meal in order to change it up. I don’t have a variety of frozen combination purées on hand like I did with my first baby (just not enough time to stay caught up!). It’s usually whatever I make that week is what she has to primarily eat…at every meal. Individualizing each food again, even though she’s older now and has been introduced to most, may prevent her from getting bored of the same meals, AND I can still spend one day every couple weeks food prepping. Win-win for this mom and babe. Thanks for sharing!

    • HJ Ozborn says:

      YES! It can get overwhelming (at least in our heads) if we let it! When I made baby food for my older boy I worried about the frozen combinations as well. This time around I intend to tackle it just as you described…pack everything individually and then make the combinations as each meal comes around.
      The fact that you have two littles, work full time and are making baby food (on top of everything else) is really extraordinary! Keeping it simple will help ensure that you keep it up on the baby food front…and not beating yourself up if you end up with some store bought varieties is part of the battle too!
      Glad to have you pop over and to hear from you, Kristen!

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