Making Your Own Baby Food
About Infant Nutrition
Some mothers prefer to make and prepare homemade foods for their baby. When food is made at home you will know exactly what your baby is eating. It will not have added fat, sugar, salt, or preservatives. A mother can feel confident she is providing nutritious foods to her child.
All the tools to make homemade baby food are probably already in your kitchen. A few types of instruments used to puree fruit and vegetables are:
This is used to push soft foods through with a spoon. The mesh should be as small as possible.
- Spoon, fork, potato masher
You can mash bananas and soft fruits and vegetables to the right texture.
- Food mill/grinders
This can be found in the canning section of a store. A baby grinder, a smaller version of a food mill/grinder can be purchased in the baby section of most stores and is great for traveling.
This is great to make larger quantities of food to freeze for later.
- Hand-held blender
This is convenient for pureeing, and serving the food immediately to baby.
- Plastic ice-cube trays
Each cube equals about 1oz of food.
Fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables can all be made into baby food. Check the labels on canned fruits and vegetables to make sure there is no added sugar, salt, or fat. Baby does not need these added to the food. Always make sure they are packed in water or their own juice. If the fruit is packed in syrup, it is adding extra sugar to their diet. Fruits and vegetables can be pureed in a blender, food processor, baby food mill, or food grinder. Some fluid (water, breast milk, or formula) may need to be added to make it the right consistency.
Fruit should be soft enough to be mashed with a fork (cook if needed).
Add enough water to puree.
Cook vegetable until soft enough to be mashed with a fork.
Add enough water until food is pureed to desired thickness.
Squash (all kinds)
All of baby’s food can be served right away, or frozen and stored for a month in the freezer. There are two different methods for storing baby food. Once the food is pureed to the desired consistency, follow one of the methods below for storing.
Drop tablespoonfuls of fruit/vegetable onto wax paper. Cover and place in freezer for 8-10 hours, or until solid. Remove each drop and place in freezer bag or storage container.
Fill each ice cube tray with fruit/vegetable. Cover and place in freezer for 8-10 hours or overnight. Remove frozen cubes and place in freezer bag or storage container.
Keep fruits and vegetables in freezer for up to one month. After one month in the freezer the food should be thrown out.
Place desired number of frozen food quantities directly into a sauce pan and slowly warm over low heat. Be sure to stir food and test food before giving directly to baby to check the temperature.
Place desired number of frozen food pieces (drop method or ice cube method) in microwaveable dish. Heat the food in increments of 30 seconds to help prevent hot spots. Stir frequently. Test the food temperature before feeding to baby.
- When available, use remaining water used to cook fruit or vegetable to make puree instead of discarding it.
- If making baby food from family’s food, remove baby’s portion before adding salt, spices, etc.
- To heat food in microwave, cover with microwave-safe cover instead of plastic wrap.
- If pureed food is not used immediately, place food in refrigerator.
- Only introduce one new food per week, so you watch and see if allergies develop.
- Experiment with different combinations of foods. Babies will try fruits and vegetables mixed together (i.e.: squash and apples). They are young enough that they do not know how foods should be eaten together. They enjoy all foods!
- Fruit and Fruit
- Fruit and Vegetable
- Vegetable and Vegetable
- As baby gets older (8-10 months), begin to add pureed meat, chicken, turkey, to his vegetables. Be prepared for a few turned up faces at first, it is a new texture.
- If baby refuses a new food, do not give up. It often takes several attempts before baby will eat new foods.