When it comes to deciding what baby food you want to feed your baby, there are several options out there. Gerber is no longer the only company that sells baby food. You can choose organic now as well. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great brands out there.Personally, I preferred to make my own.
It is a cheaper option in my opinion. Plus, you can flavor it any way you would like. Store bought baby food usually has a bunch of added ingredients that we know little about.
I ultimately wanted my son to get used to fresh foods first. And babies stomachs are sensitive as it is so making your own you know exactly what your baby is getting.
Choosing to make your own baby food does take an hour or two out of your day ,depending on what you are making. But in that hour you can make a couple month’s worth of baby food.
This could help save you trips to the grocery store!
What Food to Buy
When it comes to making your own baby food, you need to decide which foods you want your baby to try. I like to think that making in bulk will save you money. So foods like squash, pumpkin sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, pears, bananas, and avocados are great for first foods.
Foods that go bad easily I would just make first and put in the fridge for the following days (bananas, avocados, etc.).
Foods that would last awhile I would make and freeze (peas, pumpkin, squash, pears, carrots, sweet potato, applesauce etc.). While you can freeze the applesauce, I just always gave my son it everyday because he liked it.
What You Will Need
Making your own baby food definitely requires a few things. I definitely made do with whatever I had at the time and it worked out just fine.
To bake certain foods you will need baking sheets or some kind of flat pan. To boil other food you will need a few medium sized pots. To steam in the microwave you will need a medium sized microwaveable bowl.
To puree the cooked foods you will need a food processor or some sort of blender (make sure it is big enough to blend the big chunks). At the time, I only had a Baby Bullet blender but worked really well for me. Just took a little bit longer to puree everything.
You may need to cut some food into chunks before pureeing, so you will need a cutting board and a knife.
To freeze the baby food I suggest to buy a handful of ice cube trays. This allows you to have the right amount of food for baby and it’s easy to defrost!
Small tupperware containers or Baby Bullet containers work great when storing baby food in the fridge. (Also, easier to feed baby from and less dishes for you, Mama!)
How to Make the Food
Once you decide which foods you are going to buy, organize a time during your day to focus on making it. It is better to get it all cooked and pureed the day you buy them or the intial days of buying them.
I like to start with the bigger items because they take longer to cook. Butternut squash and pumpkin both can be baked in the oven. Just slice them into halves, scoop all the seeds out, place on a baking sheet with inside face down and bake at 375 degrees for both! (Depending on the size will determine how long to bake them.) You want the centers to be nice and soft so it is easier to puree.
Since the baking usually took around half hour to an hour (depended on the size), I would start cooking another food.
For sweet potato, cut into chunks and place in a pot. Then fill with water. Sweet potatos can be boiled in water for about half an hour or until tender with a fork.
Peas, pears, and carrots I could boil in water or steam in the microwave to cook.
I like usingfrozen peas because they are fresher than canned (they have a sweeter taste to them). And believe me your baby will like them better than the store bought peas! Pour the bag of peas into a pot filled with water and boil for a few minutes until cooked.
Pears and carrots can be cut up into smaller pieces to steam easier (cook separately). For pears, Place the pieces in a microwave-safe bowl filled with 1/4 cup of water. Microwave on HIGH for about 3 minutes covered (check the softness of the pieces before microwaving again). Microwave for another 3 to 6 minutes after stirring or until soft.
For carrots, place into microwave-safe bowl and fill with water. Microwave covered for about five minutes or until all pieces are soft.
Once some of the foods are cooled, begin cutting the bigger foods into chunks to make pureeing easier. I would start pureeing the smaller foods first in the blender. Add a far amount of water to cover and will make it smooth (to make it chunky add less water).
You can start seasoning the foods after you puree if so choose (mild spices and small amounts are advised after 6 months of age). I rarely seasoned them in the beginning because I wanted him to get used to the true tastes of the food.
After it is all ready to be stored, grab your ice cube trays and start filling them up! Cover with saran wrap and tape the sides. Then label which food it is and the date it was made. The trays definitely make it easier to stack in the freezer. (Once completely frozen, you can put the cubes in baggies to save space. Don’t forget to label!)
If you are storing in the fridge, use within 3 to 4 days. If you are freezing, use within 3 months
*When defrosting, the best way is to take the number of cubes you want and place in a baggy. I usually fill up a small pot or bowl with hot water. I do this until the cubes are soft enough.
*When heating to eat, I avoid the microwave because you can’t control the amount of heat. Some spots may get too hot compared to others. I would use hot water in a pot. Fill up as many times as you need to get the right temperature. Make sure you knead the bag to get all the frozen pieces out.
Making your own baby food is inexpensive and super easy! Just try one food at a time and you will become an expert before you know it!
*Contact me about other foods you want to make and I can help you out!*