I am getting ready to start feeding my baby solids next month. With my daughter, I thought making my own food would be way too much work. Now, I have the time and would love to make my own food for my son. The problem is I have no idea where to start. What do I need to have to make it and store it? Are there any great recipe books out there? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. – Anna
Hi Anna, I’m at the very same stage with my own son, so you asked his question at the perfect time! I’ve made food for all of my children and it really is as simple as you want it to be.
Generally, at times like these, I turn to books. And a few that look really great right now include The Best Homemade Baby Food on the
Planet which I recently raved about here; Sprout Right, which is written by an amazing nutritionist to help get super-healthy foods into babies, and Baby-Led Weaning. The last one explains a different way to introduce solid foods that skips the purée phase altogether and essentially outlines feeding them what you’re eating yourself. An interesting approach — and certainly easy.
Or maybe you don’t have time to read a book – you do have two little ones, after all! We love the great step-by-step DVD called Chef and Father, which offers fun and delicious recipes your little one will devour.
And there’s a great website I just got lost on: Weelicious has all kinds of healthy recipe ideas in the 6-9 month category that sound scrumptious, including one for homemade brown rice cereal (above).
As for some small appliances that might come in handy, the Beaba Babycook and the Baby Brezza (at top) are pretty darn awesome if you feel like investing in a gadget that will pretty much make the food for you. But if you don’t want to go the electric route, there’s always a good old fashioned food mill like the Baby Steps Food Mill or a nifty invention like The Wean Machine
Finally, if you’re looking for something to store the food in, lots of moms just use cheap and cheerful ice cube trays to freeze
everything in handy single-portion sizes. But But I’d recommend a BPA-free version like the So Easy Storage Trays from Fresh Baby.
Hope you have fun on your baby food journey. And don’t forget to snap lots of pictures. Because, as I’m sure you already know, those
sweet potatoes you make are going look pretty darn cute all over your own little sweet potato.
We LOVED making our own baby food at home, and are sad that our daughter is now out of the puree stage and into the “flinging food everywhere” stage. One of the first recipes we did was and she loved it!
I realize that my baby had teeth early so this isn’t necessarily useful for toothless babies, but we never needed recipes to make food. We steamed carrot sticks (matchsticks or slightly bigger) until they were soft, cut bananas into spears, and cooked green beans until soft. We made steel cut oatmeal and mixed it with breastmilk for easy, healthy, nutritious cereal. Shredded mozz cheese for tiny bites of cheese (when the ped okayed “processed dairy”). We never felt the need for recipes for food. We just mashed or cut up what we were having (we waited on tough meat for a while, but tiny shreds of chicken were fine) and steamed some of our dinner veggies a little longer for our son. I don’t really see the point in a specialized “for baby food” appliance, nor in “recipes” for baby that are basically pureeing soft food. If our baby hadn’t had teeth we would have done the same only pureed or mashed after steaming it soft.
You sound amazing Kim! (As does your toothy baby, ha.) Not every mom knows how to do these things – some people need encouragement, tips, and ideas. And some of us even like the convenience of appliances. As a full time working mom, I can tell you that every second saved can be a godsend.
Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas.
Making baby food is something I encourage all moms to do. I’m a single working mom and made baby food for both my daughters by basically following my mom’s recipe: using a pressure cooker, I would mix differnt types of vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, broccoli, yams, beet roots, etc, plus either chicken or beef. Put in some water and cook everything till soft. The result is a type of hearty, mushy soup,which is super healthy and tends to have a lot of the nutrients kids need. The variation was in the different types of vegetable I would mix. Both of my daughters loved it, and I owe this recipe my daughters’ love for veggies. They actually, from time to time, still ask me to make this veggie soup for them, and my oldest is already 9! For dessert, I would always give them fruit – papaya, banana, strawberries, avocados are fruits that can be easily mushed with a fork…
i just started, as in today, his first meal was peas. I havent really read any books. I did buy a Baby Bullet, like the Magic Bullet but for baby food, and it comes with little jars and a tray, I also got a steamer. I am pretty much hoping to introduce to him vegetables first and then fruits and focusing on ones we eat constantly at the house so he becomes familiar with them. I am also buying only organic vegetables and fruits, and putting of meats for a couple of months.
I love seeing stuff about mums making fresh food for their babies. My son is now 13 months and at the I eat out of your pot mum and dad, so we cook for us and just crush it up for him. But before this I prepared his lunch similarly to how Tanya did hers in a pressure cooker. As we do not season with any salt, i would cut half an onion and a few sprigs of Thyme and drop into the pot. The onion and thyme stalks are easy to scoop out once everything is finished cooking. You will be surprised at the flavor this adds to their food. I didn’t like the idea of freezing his food and would make it daily for him. To help my days be a bit easier, I would cut up the vegetables for his meal, the night before, with tyhme and onion and put everything into a sealed container. This way when i woke in the morning all i had to do was drop them in the pot. Its a real time saver in the morning!
I had always thought that making your own baby food was time consuming as well, but with baby #3, I thought I would give it go this time around.
I had been collecting baby food cookbooks since the first baby, and I finally threw in the money for a beaba machine (which I love by the way). It really doesn’t take anymore more time than preparing baby bottles. Most of the stuff I make are either roasted in the oven first and then processed, like sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, or I steam them in the beaba, like apples, pears, etc. I keep the storage simple with the disposable Ziploc containers, but I also have the Annabel Karmel Stackable Food Pots by Annabel Karmel. I like the size of them and the fact that they are stackable, so they don’t slide around in the fridge.
I’m not here to slam any of these devices for people who like them. (Because some people really seem to love them.) Only adding my 2 cents to say that I don’t totally “get” them because we got by just fine using our regular food processor that we already owned. Not sure what these devices would’ve added in terms of ease or convenience. We did a combo of jarred foods (for convenience), and homemade foods to add greater variety to the diet. I read Super Baby Food to find out more about what foods to introduce when, but I never really used “recipes” per se. Just simple single ingredient things (mostly veggies) were what we did, and then by the time the child is ready to progress, you can just start mushing up your own food, cutting teeny bites, etc.
I often feel seduced by sleek baby appliances that my kid will quickly outgrow; I see it as a weakness on my part that I have to fight. Sometimes I lose the battle and regret it; other times I win.
But there are a few times when I’m not entirely sure I’ve won. Case in point: I have been using a small Kitchenaid food processor to puree orzo and other foods that don’t mash easily or quickly with a fork or through a hand-crank stainless steel potato ricer.
One nagging worry I have about my food processor is the plastic container where the food goes. I don’t know if it’s free of BPA and other questionable substances, and I don’t know if I have the right to hold Kitchenaid accountable since they might argue that this particular model was never designed to prepare baby food in it.
I also have an old secondhand 1970s blender that has a glass pitcher instead of a plastic one, but I have no clue about the safety of the other parts that come into contact with the food. Again, I don’t know if I can go to Osterizer and ask for safer replacement parts if anything in my unit does happen to pose the risk of leaching questionable substances into the food I make.
So one advantage I see that the made-for-baby gadgets have over the all-purpose appliances is manufacturers of the baby products are expected to comply with more stringent safety standards. But I do wish those same standards would be applied to all age groups. I don’t want toxins, endocrine disruptors or carcinogens any more than my baby does!
We should be really careful giving solid foods to our babies the first time. It seems fruits are good choice. Nice post.