If you decide to make your own baby food, it’s not that difficult: All you need is a food grinder and a way to steam the food. (If you’re taking the time to make your own baby food, steaming is the best way to cook ingredients because it preserves the most nutrients.)
There are plenty of baby food makers on the market, from a French product that combines steaming, blending, warming, and defrosting, to simple baby food processors, mills, and grinders. But you don’t need to buy any of these products; your own food processor — or sometimes even a potato masher — will work just as well for making baby food.
Many popular books offer hundreds of recipes for baby food purees, including Blender Baby Food, Top 100 Baby Purees, and the Petit Appetit Cookbook. These books can help you come up with new ideas to try with your baby and remind you of important nutrients to include, but as with baby food makers, they’re not a requirement for making your own baby food.
Healthy Homemade: How to Make Baby Food in 6 Easy Steps
- Wash and rinse your hands and equipment.
- Scrub and peel fruits and vegetables.
- Bake, steam, roast, or microwave until tender (steaming and microwaving preserve the most nutrients).
- Puree in a food processor with a little liquid (water, breast milk, or formula), or mash if your baby can handle more texture.
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer, in airtight containers. (Packaged baby foods can be stored in the cupboard until they’re opened; because they’re fresh, homemade baby foods can’t.)
- Rewarm when it’s time to eat and allow to cool.
There are a number of storage containers sold specifically for refrigerating and freezing small serving-sized amounts of baby food; you can also just use an ice cube tray.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, you can puree foods such as cooked meats (fully cooked, with no pink, and remove fat, skin, and connective tissue), beans, and cooked eggs.
Homemade Made Easy: 1-Step Baby Food
When you’re preparing some foods, you can actually cut the steps down to one. Cutting up a very ripe pear, mashing a banana, mashing an avocado — that’s making your own baby food. Or, for example, when you make mashed potatoes for the family, set aside some that don’t have whole milk added. You can add a little butter or mild spices. As long as you’re eating healthy, you can give your baby a modified version of what you’re eating.