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My youngest just started eating solids this week! Yay! I’m breaking out my favorite homemade baby food recipes for my little guy.
Why make your own baby food?
For organic baby food, you’re looking at anywhere from $.20-.40 per ounce of baby food from the store. My 9 month old eats between 8 and 12 ounces per meal three times a day (we’re TRYING to fatten him up after having lots of problems with losing weight). If I bought it from the store, I’d be looking at a cost of $7-14 a day, meaning $210-420 a month!
Compare that to being able to make my own for roughly $1 a day (depending on what I was able to make for him) making the monthly total about $30. I’m ok spending a little bit more time in the kitchen for that kind of savings!
Knowing exactly what your little one will be eating
We choose to eat organic as often as we can, so being able to feed my baby organic produce from a very young age is very important. I don’t know the quality of the produce going into the big chain baby foods. Not to mention, if you have a child with food allergies, it’s better to be safe than sorry with what might be in an innocent jar of baby food.
Making your own baby food isn’t hard. It’s actually really easy!
All you’ll need:
- A blender (This is my tried-and-true blender that’s been with me for 5 years of consistent use)
- Ice cube trays (or plastic freezer bags or baby food specific freezer trays)
- A squeezie (I use squeeze pouches instead of spoon feeding. It’s quicker and less messy, so it works for me!)
- Lots of bibs
- Lots of patience
One food at a time
It’s so very important to start with one food at a time so make sure that your little one doesn’t have any food allergies. The best way to start is one food for 4 days to a week. At the end of the week, mix in the new food with the food from the week before to ease baby into the new taste. If your baby has no negative reaction to the new food, continue the same routine into the next week.
Start with veggies
Skip right over the rice cereal. I had been told by a pediatrician for my oldest son that I need to add rice cereal to my 4 month old’s diet. But after doing some more research, I decided to skip it and go straight for the veggies. If you can, skip the fruit for a while so that baby doesn’t develop a sweet tooth.
A really great veggie to start with is ripe avocado. No need to do anything to it, just slice it open and get a spoon. The healthy fats in avocado and the mild taste are perfect for a first food.
If your baby seems to hate everything that you’re feeding him, keep trying a little bit at a time. You could feed your baby a spoonful of sugar for their first meal (don’t do that) and he’d still make the disgusted sour face at you and still probably turn his head away from it. Patience is key!
Maybe your little one isn’t ready for solids yet. If after a few days of trying to get baby to eat and he keeps turning his head, wait a week and give it another try.
If your little one gets constipated, steaming and pureeing prunes and adding them to your baby’s food works amazingly well. But make sure that you only use about 6 prunes per 64 ounces of food, otherwise, you’ll be dealing with diarrhea and that’s just about as much fun as constipation.
How to make your own baby food:
- Steam the veggies you want to feed your little one so that they are soft, but not overcooked.
- Place veggies and water into a blender and puree until completely smooth.
- Place in jars and refrigerate until ready to serve. Once they’re cooled, you can freeze the puree in ice cube trays or in baby food specific freezer trays.
And that’s it! Yup, it’s THAT simple. You don’t even have to cook some foods like fresh berries, bananas, and avocados; you can just pop them right into the blender.
Here are some of my favorite recipes:
4-6 months: 1 ingredient, thin purees
- Sweet potato
- Butternut squash
7-8 months: Adding ingredients, foods can be cooked in organic chicken stock for additional nutrition, foods can be mashed by hand if needed
- Sweet potato, green bean
- Apple, pear, green bean
- Mango, blueberries, avocado
- Mixed berried and avocado
- Sweet potato, green bean, egg yolk (the egg white has the allergen; yolk is safe)
- Beets, blueberries, avocado
- Apple and lentil
- Carrots and apple
- Zucchini and sweet potato
- Apple, kiwi, zucchini
Don’t waste produce.
If you have produce in your fridge that is about to turn or is starting to get mushy, just steam it and blend it up for baby food. If you have limp carrots or limp leaves of lettuce, put it in the blender and make some baby food out of it.
Use a Squeezie!
Squeezies are those pouches that hold baby food. They are lifesavers when it comes to feeding your baby. I don’t know about your babies, but when mine realized how yummy food was, waiting for me to get more on the spoon was just taking too much time. I got my first Sili Squeeze for my oldest 5 years ago and it is now on my list of must-haves for feeding my babies.
They’re easy to use, easy for baby to eat at their pace, and fantastic as baby grows. I still use them for when I need to trick my picky eater into eating anything green!
I wasn’t kidding; it is literally that easy to make your own baby food.
Foods to avoid with before age 1:
- Peanut butter
If you have food allergies in your family, talk with your pediatrician if you have concerns before you start introducing food. There are some really simple allergy tests that they can perform.
Making homemade baby food allows me to save a ton of money as well as having full control over the kind of food that my baby has. If you’re trying to save money while feeding your baby the best foods that you can, you can absolutely make your own baby food!
What is your baby’s favorite food?