So… it’s time to start feeding your baby solid foods. Congratulations! Now it’s time to decide what kind of baby food you serve your kiddo. Will you buy the jar baby food? Or will you make your own healthy homemade baby food purees?
Making your own baby food is a great option for many reasons. Most importantly, you will know exactly what’s in it (and how much of each ingredient), but also because you can save money, too. It’s a great combination of parenting, being health conscious, and general awesomeness.
Why You Should Make Your Own Healthy Homemade Baby Food
Okay, so we’ve already talked about how by making your own baby food you’re saving money – and keeping better tabs on what your baby is eating.
Here’s how it’s cheaper: you can make baby food out of the foods you’re already buying and preparing for your family!
In other words, you don’t have to buy any special ingredients. You can just meal plan as usual.
How to Know if Making Baby Food Isn’t Right For You
Before we get too far into making baby food, we should probably cover times when it’s not right. Here’s when it may not be right for you, if:
- You are pressed for time or space in your refrigerator (or freezer), making your own homemade baby food to be not right for you.
- Time is too tight, buying healthy and/or organic baby food may be your option. There’s nothing wrong with that!
- You’re traveling and you can’t pack your whole baby food making supplies. It will probably be wiser to pack just the food – or buy good quality baby food on the road.
Supplies To Make Your Own Homemade Baby Food
If you decide that you do want to make your own baby food, then here’s what you need to make that happen.
The good news is that you don’t need a whole lot of different tools to do it with. In fact, you may already have all of the tools you do need sitting in your kitchen. But if not, it’s not expensive stuff.
What you do need are kitchen tools and implements that will help you:
- Steam the food (the best method of cooking baby food because it preserves the most nutrients).
- Puree the food – like with a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, a potato masher, blender, or a sturdy smoothie bullet blender will do the trick.
Now, if you’d rather buy the fancy all-in-one baby food machines, that’s certainly an option. But you really don’t need them. What you’ve got on hand will work just fine.
Speaking as someone who was given a fancy baby-specific blender, we didn’t use it more than once or twice. Our regular blender was just so much handier and easier to use. Because really. Let’s not spend money on things you’ll never use again or don’t already have in your home. Clutter isn’t fun, y’all.
6 Easy Steps To Make Your Own Healthy Baby Food
- Wash the fruit or vegetable.
- Peel fruits and vegetables as is appropriate.
- Steam until tender. Baking or roasting is fine too, but you preserve the most nutrient with steaming or microwaving.
- Add liquid and puree with your food processor or blender. Be sure to add that liquid, though or it’ll just clog the blender. You can use water, breastmilk, or formula for the liquid in your baby puree. The amount of liquid will depend on how runny you want the food to be. Oh, and for older babies who can handle more texture, you can mash instead of puree.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Reheat and allow to cool (so you don’t burn your baby’s mouth) before serving.
And there you have it. Easy, pease, right? You better believe it, lemon squeazy.
More Ways to Make Healthy Baby Food in a Pinch
If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to steam anything, find some ripe (or even overripe) fruit. Mash it up, think about adding liquid, and serve. Voila!
Another way to feed your baby is to share food from your family’s dinner. For example, are you making homemade mashed potatoes? Before you add the milk and butter, put some aside for baby. Then you can add breastmilk or formula to baby’s portion – and you’ve still got plenty to feed the rest of the family.
You can even add a little spice and butter to baby’s potatoes if you’d like. Giving your child a modified version of what you’re already eating will help them get used to what you’re eating so there’s less struggle as your child gets older. And if your family loves spice, this is a great way to get them acclimated to that, too.
Enjoy Making Your Own Baby Food!
Making your own baby food can be a great option for many families. It’s definitely not the only option, but consider it for sure.
Oh, and one final notice from my nurse’s soapbox:
Make sure you get the right consistency for your child and always discuss with your doctor about starting solids.
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