Homemade baby food.
Some friends think it’s crazy that I make my own, but when I explain the why and the how and how much money can be saved when you make your own, tiny light bulbs start to go off in their heads and they want to know more. So today, I’m going to show you just how easy it is to make your own baby food. And if you’re skeptical, just know this… you most likely have everything you need to make your own (the only thing I had to buy were the silicone ice cube trays)! Also, if you can cut vegetables, boil pasta, and make a smoothie then you, my friend, are capable of making your own baby food.
Why make my own?
The main reason is I like knowing exactly what I’m putting into my baby’s mouth. I like the fact that I’m buying quality produce and using that to make her baby food. I’m not adding anything extra—no preservatives, no color, etc.—nothing except the food itself. Plus, I like that she’s able to discover the textures of different foods. I’ve only bought a few jars of baby food (for when we are out and about) and the texture of each one, regardless of what food it is, seems to be that of mushy soup. With the food I make her, each one is completely different. Sweet potatoes end up like mashed potatoes, peas feel a bit grainy, bananas have some chunkiness to them.
As far as the monetary aspect, when you buy in bulk you can save! For example, I bought a 5-pound bag of organic carrots and I was able to make 44 one-ounce cubes. To give some context to this number, each cube is equal to two tablespoons. So two cubes (four tablespoons) is one serving. With that being said, those 44 cubes have now become 22 servings. I paid $5.00 for that bag of carrots, which comes out to $0.23 a serving. The cost of two servings of Gerber baby food is $1.09—per serving is $0.54—so by making your own you are saving nearly 50%!
Lastly, I will only give Harper what I myself will eat. So those canned meat and veggie meals…. They won’t ever make an appearance at our house. Just the smell alone makes me want to gag. This made my decision pretty simple: homemade baby food was (for the most part) the only way to go.
How to make it
When I tell you how simple it is, you’re going to laugh and say “Really”? So, get ready…
What you’ll need:
- Fresh produce (or frozen if what you’re looking for isn’t in season)
- Chopping block and knife
- Blender or food processor (we use the real thing, not the baby version)
- Silicone ice cube trays
- First thing’s first, wash and peel your produce (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, etc.)
- Cut produce into chunks
- Put your chopped produce into stockpot and add enough water to just cover the top of the vegetable/fruit.
- Boil until fork tender. Drain most of the water from the pot.
- Put food into food processor/blender and blend until it’s the consistency you want. You may need to add a bit of the leftover water (I always use the water that the food has cooked in) to get the consistency you’re looking for.
- Once blended, put into silicone ice cube trays (I just pour on top of the trays and smooth with a spatula). Cover with plastic wrap and freeze immediately.
- Once frozen, run the bottom of the ice cube trays under warm water for a few seconds (this helps release the cubes) and transfer frozen cubes to freezer bags.
- Buy in BULK and make in BULK- you will save much more money and time if you just knock out everything in one session
- For meat, we buy super lean chicken or turkey and brown it, drain the fat/oil, then add cooked vegetables and process all of it together. When Harper was older, we gave her meat that we were eating (e.g., white fish) and stopped doing the meat in the freezer trays.
- A lot of things you don’t even have to blend and freeze (bananas, avocado, kiwi, ripe peaches, and the like).
- Get creative! You are the chef here so the sky’s the limit. Make fun food combinations, like kiwi/pear/apple blend or spinach/chicken/carrot blend.
- Offer your child everything (unless food allergies run in your family) and if they resist, try again. We offered everything under the sun to Harper and I’m so glad we did because she will eat almost anything we put in front of her. As her mom, that makes me so happy because unfortunately I am a very picky eater (which I hate) but I will never turn my nose up at something (at least in front of her).
Do you have any winning recipes or techniques for homemade baby food? Happy cooking!