Project Baby Food

We are, like most everyone else, trying to cut back on needless spending. Have you checked out how much baby food costs these days? It’s a lot. Too much, actually.

I experimented a bit with making my own baby food after my first baby. She hated it. So I stopped. With my second I was too sleep deprived and consumed by having two babies still in diapers. And it was, of course, much easier.

Anyway, my number three will eat anything. She would eat a steak dinner if she had teeth. She’s that interested in food–but real food, not prepared baby food. She turns her nose up at the stuff.

A few of my friends used to make their own baby food. I went back and read Erin’s post about how she made her own. And I looked around online a bit, too, and found a few other blogs with similar posts. You don’t need fancy equipment. Just a pan, fresh fruit and veggies, maybe a basket steamer, and a blender.

I spent the weekend making various blends for my little culinary 7 month old baby:

Fuji Apples (they were so sweet and delicious)
Apple-Blueberry
Banana-Blueberry
Sweet Potatoes (not yams–the real thing)
Sweet Potatoes and Corn
Green Beans and Turkey (I used turkey that had been canned in broth with no salt)

Next on the list:

Zucchini
Squash (probably acorn or butternut)
Strawberry-Apple
Plums, Peaches, Apricots or Cherries (if I can find them–she needs some fiber)
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Peas
Spinach-Potato

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I’ve been amazed how my baby slurps the homemade food right up. She would not do that with the prepared stuff.

Here’s a few other links you will find helpful:

Rookie Cookie’s Baby Food
Sweet Peas and Pumpkins DIY Baby Food Series (really helpful!)
Wholesomebabyfood.com (great info and Q&A’s you may have)

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17 Comments

  1. The book I used as a guideline for making my own baby food has you cook everything in the microwave. For example, two sweet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks, a few tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes then let stand for 5 minutes. You blend it up adding water as needed to get the right consistency. If you want to add spices, you do it before you cook the food. On another note, if you can’t find fresh peaches, I had pretty good success with frozen peaches.

  2. I’ve done this before. It worked well for me too.

    A couple of my babies were really late to get teeth (like 13 months old), but had quite big appetites. I would mash, blend or pulse some of our regular homemade food in the food processor for just a second to make it easier for them. They loved it.

  3. I hadn’t really given much thought to making my own baby food until I was given a baby puree book for one of my baby showers. Honestly, it’s the BEST parenting book I could have ever received.

    You should check out Anabel Karmel’s Top 100 baby purees, it’s FAB! It’s got everything in there from basic purees to gourmet first foods. I don’t always follow the recipes exactly, but it’s a great resource for ideas.

    The microwave idea is genius.

  4. I did homemade food for both my kids and got the same reaction when I’d try to give them prepared stuff–they hated it. My youngest hasn’t ever been a big fan of veggies and still isn’t, so that may or may not affect whether they like ‘real food’ or not. But it is definitely cheaper!

    I also was trying to feed babies during the winter so I used some frozen and canned fruits/veggies. That seemed to work well.

  5. Hey thanks for posting this! I’ve been thinking about making some baby food with our new Vitamix but wasn’t sure where to start. My little guy is just a month younger than yours. Thanks again!

  6. I think I’m definitely going to get into this with this next baby I’m having. It just seems so much better for them. And cheaper if you shop at Sunflower Farmers Market.

  7. Isn’t it funny how opinionated they are? My youngest wouldn’t eat the jarred stuff either but also wouldn’t eat anything pureed. So I just breast-fed him longer and gave him table food early. I didn’t blame him – a foodie at under a year!

  8. I used to make my own baby food, until I experienced a conversion:

    No baby food.

    Real food.

    Baby will start eating solids when baby can eat food.

    Here’s how it works:
    Sit baby on lap with you at table. Let baby grab food off your plate. Let baby feed themselves.

    Easiest thing ever (even easier than making your own baby food.)

    My son’s first food was sweet potatoes that he swiped off my plate, and he’s been ravenous ever since.

    More on how you do this at the baby led weaning site (‘weaning’ in the expansivive sense; moving off of milk of whatever type.)

  9. Once your babe gets a little older and can handle the peel try steaming Gala apples and pureeing them with the peel on. You get a wonderful pink sauce…my girl loves it. Also pureed blueberries go great with plain whole milk yogurt.

  10. I always fed my babies real food. They really did like it best of all, and I felt good about making it for them! (although I do confess that as an adult I still do have a weakness for arrowroot custard!)

  11. Definitely get frozen fruits and veggies that are not in season to try. Very, very easy, no need to even thaw. The book I used was called “Blender Baby Food” by Nicole Young. Recipes were super easy to follow and divided progressively (i.e., first foods, second foods, etc).

    Also, some veggies tend to be extremely watery when pureed (such as zucchini); I found that stirring a Tbsp of rice cereal into a serving worked quite well to thicken it up.

    Finally, I bought several packs of those small Gladware-type containers to make big batches of individual servings to freeze. Masking tape and a permanent marker to label and date the food on the lid.

  12. I’ve had great luck with my 8 mo old and making our own food. It’s a great way to sneak in strong tasting, but good for you items (such as kale and broccoli) into his diet. I cook, puree, and then freeze in ice cube trays. Some favorite combos: banana avocado, mango avocado, kale carrot, potato spinach…the possibilities are really endless.

  13. I will bookmark this post, and I’m noting how you did turkey. I did most of the baby food for #1, except I never tried meat. I’m gearing up for #2, so these ideas will be great. Try pears…my #1 always loved them. And prunes. She had some problems in that department.

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