Table of Contents
- Pros and Cons
- Storage and Safety
- Tools required (you can use any blender for baby food)
- Sample Recipes
One of my favorite things to do is cruise around Pinterest for recipes for hubby and I to try out. Back when my kiddo had just moved onto solid foods my best friend mentioned she had been making baby food for her daughter. It sounded so fun and easy (and cheap!) that I had to give it a shot. I packed up my things, made a quick grocery trip and then headed over to her house for some on the job training. It is so easy when you use a blender for baby food that I was hooked instantly. And in this post I’ll tell you exactly what you need to know to start making your own, at home!
Pros and Cons
As with anything, you’ll find a wide range of opinions online. And of course, take them all (mine included) with a grain of salt. That said, I’m a big fan. Here are just a handful of the reasons why I love it:
- I get to know exactly what I’m feeding my kids
- I find it to be cheaper in general (your mileage may vary though)
- My kiddo gets to eat stuff that isn’t offered in the generic jars at the store (avocados!)
- I’ve read that when the jars are heated up (for shelf life purposes) a lot of the nutrients are destroyed. My homemade baby food is fresh, often organic and simply veggies or fruits – no additives or preservatives.
- We all eat the same food, sooner. I just grab a bit of whatever the rest of the family is eating and spin out some puree from the food processor. Make sure to remove the skins from some things as too much fiber on baby bellies isn’t always pleasant 🙂
Before you begin, make sure that you’ve spoken to your pediatrician and done some research about age appropriate foods.
For a quick look, I like the Baby Food Timeline from WebMD.
Storage and Safety
When you buy baby food at the store, it’s often pasteurized and sometimes will have preservatives and other ingredients in it that help maintain shelf life and stability. It goes without saying, but when you’re making it at home, the only stuff in it is what you put in there (and I don’t recommend chasing after shelf life 🙂
I generally just make up a big batch of something and then freeze the rest. I treat the baby foods as the same as any other food – same shelf life and handling procedures. I’m sure this is pretty much common sense but I did want to call it out and discuss it briefly before I start getting angry emails that little kiddos were getting sick!
Tools required (you can use any blender for baby food)
Most of what you’re doing here is simply cooking vegetables until they’re soft and then blending. Mostly, I’m using a knife, a cutting board to cube the veggies, and then a pot with water to boil. You can also steam them or microwave if you want something a bit quicker.
For fruits, I will often remove the peel (too much fiber, as mentioned above, can cause some belly discomfort for babies) and soften by cooking a little. Pretty much the same process for either, honestly.
A lot of these gets so soft that you can just mash them up with the back of a spoon or fork, but since I’m the ‘blender lady’, I’ll often throw them into my blender and puree. This also makes mixing fruits and veggie cocktails into a uniform consistency and texture a bit easier too.
While it’s true that you can simply grab some veggies or fruits and go, here are some of my favorites that I’ve made tons of times. If you have any great ones yourself, please share in the comments below.
Squash, Carrot and Sweet Corn Puree Baby Food
A massive hit around the house - even my hubby sneaks bites of this one!
10oz butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled & sliced
1½ oz corn, frozen or tinned
Boil the squash and carrots in a saucepan (about 10 mins or until tender).
Add the corn and cook for another 3 minutes until everything is tender and tasty.
Toss into a blender and puree.
Sweet Potato Baby Food
A super easy sweet potato puree for hungry kiddos.
about 4 oz of sweet potato (about half of a medium sized one)
1 cup of water
DirectionsDice the sweet potato into roughly 1/2″ cubes.
Throw them into a pot and add the water.
Boil for 10-15 mins or until soft.
You can use the back of a spoon or throw into a blender to puree. Let cool and serve!
Asparagus + Mint Baby Food
This one is so good that I often find myself sneaking bites 🙂
12 ounces asparagus, chopped, fresh or frozen
4 mint leaves
1/2 cup water
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil over medium heat. Steam the asparagus over the boiling water (roughly 10 mins or until tender). Add the asparagus and mint to a blender or food processor and puree. Feel free to add liquid in 1/4 cup increments to keep a consistent texture.
Beet Baby Food
Kids normally hate beets - which is why this one is so interesting. They'll love it!
2 medium beets
DirectionsSo pro tips on this one before we get started. First off, wear gloves, otherwise your fingers and hands will get stained. I’m not kidding.
Preheat oven to 375. Wrap the beats in tin foil (I leave a little vent for air to escape). Bake for 45 mins. Remove and let sit. Once they’re cool to the touch, de-skin them. Cut into cubes and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add some sugar and salt to taste. Cool and serve 🙂
You can use pretty much any blender for baby food – and it makes everything so much quicker. But if you haven’t yet got yourself a blender why not head over to my buying guide and see which blender is going to be right for you.