With homemade baby food you save money and provide the freshest, healthiest foods when you introduce your baby to solid food. Making your own baby food is so fast and easy!
All you need is a simple grinder and many of the same fresh foods that you eat.
Readiness for Solid Food
Most professional medical associations advocate exclusive breastfeeding for a baby’s first 6 months or longer. Don’t feel pushed to start solid foods if you baby shows no interest or pulled to continue exclusive breastfeeding if your child shows signs of readiness for solid food.
Don’t listen to insistent relatives who say your baby needs “real food.” You and I both know that breastmilk is a baby’s real food.
Consider your own baby’s needs. Interest alone does not mean your baby’s digestive system is ready. Sometimes they grab just for the joy of using their new-found grip.
Neither of my children had solid food until their first birthdays. My daughter piled into a cake that her grandmother made for her. What a first food! She made a slow transition to solid food, though. I made a lot of cooked and pureed baby food for her, freezing the extra for later. My son was less interested in his first birthday cake, but he made a much quicker transition to solid food—and he weaned himself years earlier than his sister did. Since he ate less baby food, he didn’t have a lot of pureed foods. He moved very quickly to soft foods he could control himself. Pay attention to your child’s development and interest.
I tracked every new food I introduced to my children in a small notebook. When either of them had a rash or didn’t feel well, that gave me a better idea what might be the cause. Introduce no more than one new food every four days so you have a chance to see any reactions.
Start with vegetables then fruits before you add proteins to your child’s diet. I started with sweet potatoes with both, though I also fed them some kind of organic baby cereal that I could have just skipped altogether.
Fresh Baby Food Tips
- Start with squash, sweet potatoes, avocados, peas, or other nutritious vegetables. That’s it, just one vegetable at a time. If you really want recipes that you can make for an older baby, try Wholesome Baby Food.
- Use organic vegetables and fruits! Especially with babies, just don’t consider using the Dirty Dozen non-organic foods.
- Steam the vegetables until soft and grind them up in a baby food grinder.
- Thin with breastmilk in the beginning. Remember that your baby is used to the same sweet food. Anything else will be very different, so start slowly.
- Don’t serve warmer than body temperature.
- Don’t add sugar. You might find that your baby likes herbs and spices, but introduce these slowly as you do with new foods.
- Once you have introduced enough foods, you can mix for variety. If you wait as long as I did to introduce solid foods, your child may be old enough to communicate a preference. Write it down in the notebook.
Freeze Extra Baby Food
If you make a cup or two of baby food, you can save enough for a couple of meals then freeze the rest in an ice cube tray.
An hour or two before a meal, you can thaw one cube of baby food—just enough for one meal. Most advice suggests you keep frozen baby food no longer than 2 months for proteins and 6 months for fruits or vegetables, but I didn’t find I needed to worry about that. We used our homemade baby food quickly.
When your baby is old enough to want more than just one cube of food at each meal, you can easily freeze baby food in larger containers like Kinderville Silicone Freezer Trays or Wean Cubes glass baby food jars, which are especially great because they can be frozen or heated so you don’t need to dirty more than one container.
I found introducing first foods and making homemade baby food an adventure to be enjoyed. Sharing this with my babies was fun and exciting. Keeping it homemade ensures the food is also fresh and inexpensive.