Have you ever read the ingredient labels on store bought baby food? Well, I hadn't (not until my 2nd child was born anyways), and I must say that I was shocked to see all of the unfamiliar added ingredients and preservatives in many common baby food products.
When my daughter began to show signs that she was ready to start eating some real food I decided that I really wanted to try and make it myself. Not only was it the healthier option, my doctor informed me that it may also help with her acid reflux.
At first, I was a little intimidated to try and make my own baby food. But, after a little research and preparation, I found that it was really very simple (and it was even less time consuming then I had originally thought!)
Here are my simple steps to making baby food...
1st - Steam, cut, + prepare produce. Puree in blender then pour into ice cube trays.
Once puree is frozen, break cubes out of tray and place in a freezer safe bag or container.
Also, take a few servings of fresh puree + place directly in the fridge (to use over the next few days)
When baby is ready to eat, place 3-4 cubes in a small cup or bowl
Thaw in the microwave just until food is warm, stir, + be careful of hot spots :)
Then feed to your baby!...or your toddler! :) - Homemade baby food tastes so much better then the store bought brands my 3yr old will even eat it!
*To get a more detailed explanation on how to make your own baby food + personal food suggestions click below!
When I made the decision to start making my own baby food, I kept things simple and stuck to 1 ingredient recipes (this is the best way to start babies on solids anyways ;).
My method to making baby food goes a little something like this...
After determining if your baby is ready to start solid foods...
1st - Decide what to make. (read further to see the foods I make most often).
2nd - Buy ingredients needed in bulk...I would either buy fresh or frozen produce but I always made sure the frozen fruits or veggies had only 1 ingredient and no preservatives. (surprisingly, frozen produce can still have the same if not more nutritional value then fresh produce! *source).
3rd - Rinse desired food, (peel if needed) and puree in a blender or food processor (depending on the type of food you may need to add water if puree is too thick).
4th - Fill empty ice trays with baby puree and freeze until hardened.
5th - Empty frozen baby food into a freezer safe bag or other container and store in the freezer.
6th - Depending on how much your baby needs (mine usually took 3-4 cubes) thaw the baby food in the microwave or pre-thaw on the counter or fridge. Make sure the food is not too hot!
Here is a list of foods I would frequently make and freeze (all are great for first time foods!)
*note: all food was pureed using a blender
PEARS - Slice with an apple slicer and throw pieces straight into the blender.
SWEET POTATO - Peel, steam, and then puree
WHITE POTATO - Peel, steam, and then puree
PEAS - Use single ingredient frozen peas, let thaw in the fridge, then puree
CARROTS - Buy fresh, or use single ingredient frozen carrots let thaw in the fridge, then puree
I would also frequently puree BANANA's and AVOCADO but I typically didn't freeze them (I personally thought they tasted a little off after being frozen and then reheated). But luckily both bananas and avocados are naturally soft so I would simply place pieces in a small bowl and puree them with a fork right before serving them to my baby.
*Disclaimer: I do not claim to be any type of expert when if comes to babies diet and nutrition. Please talk with your doctor about the appropriate time to start feeding your baby solids and what the best food options will be.