Thursday, July 26, 2012

Made by Mama: Basic Homemade Baby Foods

Making homemade baby food has been so much more rewarding and fun then I ever would have imagined.  I know what you're thinking... really, are you kidding me?  Isn't it a million times easier to just buy the little jars?.... I'm pretty sure I actually said something along those lines when my friend, Shawna, told me that she planned to make her own baby food.  But then I talked to a couple more people that had made their own baby purees and insisted that there was nothing magical about it - it's just a matter of pureeing what you already eat.  Hmmm buffalo chicken pita pizza puree?  Maybe not exactly what they meant... better look into this some more.

So I started doing some research and somewhere along the way I got really REALLY excited to try it.  Suddenly, the thought of cooking for my baby made me really sentimental (combine that with end-of-pregnancy hormones and I was weeping at the sight of little baby spoons and ice cube trays).  Not only would I know exactly what I was feeding my baby, but I would have more control over the flavors and combinations she would be experiencing.  My hope is that by feeding her what we eat, she will be less picky about trying food as she gets older (fingers crossed!)
this girl loves her sweet potatoes!

To get me started, I bought and borrowed a few good books (see list at the end of this post) and did lots of research on the cute little baby food makers (yes, you absolutely can do the same thing with your blender/food processor/etc., but 1.) I LOVE gadgets! and 2.) these make the whole process simpler).  I decided on the Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker because it is small enough to leave out on the counter and it has a steam+blend function that I'm obsessed with.  Basically, I tell it how long to steam (based on a nice little chart in the instruction manual) and it steams the chopped ingredients then automatically blends it while I walk away!  So smart and simple.  I use these food storage trays to freeze the purees overnight, then transfer them to labeled/dated ziplock bags to store for later use.  I also found these baby food containers that I use to store food in the fridge to be used in the next couple days, or for things like prunes that don't freeze into nice little hard ice cubes.  All in all, there was a little bit of a start-up cost (especially since I didn't register any of this), but I was able to use giftcards, shop sales online, etc.  Plus, I figure I will recoup the cost in the money I'll be saving by making my own food.

Now on to the good stuff... let's start cooking!  These are a few of the simple baby food purees I have made for Annalyn.  We've only been doing food for about a month now (we decided with our doctor to start some solids at 4 months, but every baby is different, so be sure to talk it over with your pediatrician before starting solid foods), so we are still focusing on the basics, no curry for this baby....yet! 

I love this ingredient list... frest fruit, veggies, and water.  THAT'S IT!!


1.  Dice the fruit/vegetable of your choice into 1/4" - 1/2" pieces.

2.  Steam in baby food maker, microwave, or on the stove (using minimal amount of water so you don't lose all the nutrients!).
3.  Puree, adding small amounts of formula, breastmilk, or water to achieve desired consistency (start with thinner purees for young babies new to eating solids).
4.  Store in refrigerator for 2-3 days, or freeze.  To reheat frozen cubes, use defrost setting on microwave until desired temperature is reached.
homemade applesauce, ready to freeze
my freezer stash
So far, I've just made basic 1-2 ingredient purees (such as applesauce, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pears, prunes, green beans, and combinations of these), but I have lots of exciting combination recipes to try as Annalyn gets older.  I'll be sure to post some of her favorites as we go!

Baby food references and cookbooks
1.  Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron


  1. Loooove Annabel Karmel's books. She has a great one w/ recipes for toddlers that you can eat too so you are all eating the meal together. Her website is fantastic!

  2. I love this! I will have to look into the food processor you have. I tried making Landon's food when he was a baby but he wasn't into baby food in general so I kinda quit. Need to get back into for Olive! Your Annalyn is just so beautiful btw!

  3. Thank you! And I would definitely recommend the Baby Brezza food maker. It's so simple and quick. So far, we have been blessed with a good little eater... the only thing she turned away from so far was actual store-boughten pears baby food (she loves the puree I make, so go figure!). I'm working on a post now about her current favorite meal.... it's crazy!

  4. Ok so I have started making Olive's food and she loves it! She totally prefers it to store bought food just like Annalyn. They are smart little cookies. :)

  5. Awesome! Our girls will have to start sharing recipes :) I really enjoy making it. Michael and I both have fun mixing different flavors and coming up with new concoctions for her!