How To Create Simple Homemade Baby Food
11m read

How To Create Simple Homemade Baby Food

Making baby food at home doesn't have to be complicated. Simplify the process with these tips, and a little help from well-loved KeaBabies products!

As a busy parent, making baby food at home can feel like a daunting task! However, in reality, cooking and preparing homemade baby food isn’t as complicated as it seems. By making baby food at home, parents can save money and provide high-quality foods to their little ones, knowing all of the healthy ingredients that went into their food. No matter how busy your schedule is, try out these tips for making baby food at home, and the whole process will feel like a breeze! There are so many wonderful foods that can be transformed into stage 1 or stage 2 baby foods using equipment most people already have in their kitchens. 

While there is nothing wrong with using commercial baby food, there are growing concerns about additives and toxins in some of these foods. Cooking baby food at home can also help parents who are concerned about food allergies. Although it is advised to introduce common allergens to babies earlier rather than later, parents can ease some of their anxiety about potential cross-contamination by making their own food.

How do you know if your little one is ready for solid foods? 

cute baby ready for her meal

Babies usually get the green light for starting solid foods around 6 months of age, although some pediatricians give the okay around 4 months and others wait until the baby is older. Most experts agree that starting solid food around 6 months old is the most beneficial age to begin.

Transitioning from just milk to offering baby food is best done under the guidance of a pediatrician who knows your baby well. The doctor can assess whether your baby has the necessary skills to begin solid food.

Some parents choose to introduce solids in the form of pureed food, while others embark on a process called baby-led weaning, where solid table foods are offered in infant-safe ways. Baby-led weaning involves introducing solids to children through chewable pieces of food instead of blended purees. Baby-led weaning introduces the baby to a number of different table foods, served in safe ways. During baby-led weaning, choking hazards should be avoided. Whole grapes, hot dogs, and nuts are a choking hazard for infants and young children.

Homemade baby food can be beneficial whether you choose to do traditional purees using a blender or food processor, or baby-led weaning.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to do so only under the guidance of a pediatrician. When introducing each new food, your baby should be monitored for any type of sign of allergic reaction. If your baby shows any signs of allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention and contact your child's pediatrician for follow-up assessment.

Months 6-8: Beginning healthy eating habits 

baby food

The foods you prepare for a 6-8-month-old baby should be designed for beginner eaters who can focus on thinner purees. Thin purees can be enjoyed by older babies and toddlers as well. These foods can be served one at a time, or combined to create special tastes and flavors. 

The easiest way to make baby food is to use a high-quality blender. Blenders can be used to create purees with just a few simple ingredients. With fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats, and some water, breastmilk, or formula, tasty pureed concoctions can be created to please any baby’s developing palate! Cooking healthy meals for your baby doesn’t have to cost a fortune or require any fancy kitchen equipment. 

On average, blend at least one cup of any base ingredient with a liquid to make sure there’s enough substance in the blender to fully mix. Some easy foods to start with are carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, or squash. Check out store-bought baby food for some ideas for first foods to make at home.

What are some good "first foods" when starting to make your own baby food at home?

The best foods for your baby don't include added sugar or salt, are not a choking hazard, and have a simple cooking time.

Here are some popular foods that can be made into simple purees with the most nutrients:

  • Apples

  • Pears

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Bananas

  • Avocado

  • Butternut squash

  • Black beans

  • Peas

  • Cauliflower

  • Carrots

  • Green beans

Basically, any fruit or vegetable can become a great base for homemade baby food. Cooked vegetables and fruits blend easily and can be mixed with other ingredients such as breast milk, formula, or water. Parents should avoid giving their baby cow's milk until they are older.

If you need ideas for food combinations, take a look at the commercial baby food sold at grocery stores. Your homemade baby food can replicate these ideas, but made fresh right at home. There are also many blogs and websites for great ideas on baby food recipes.

Look online for ideas for baby food recipes, or check out books that contain homemade baby food recipes. When your baby is ready to start solids, you'll be prepared with a variety of ideas on how to make your baby's food right at home.

What are some tools you’ll need for homemade baby food? 

You’ll want to have the following items on hand when you start your homemade baby food-making journey:

  • A high-quality blender (or immersion blender or food processor)

  • Water

  • Formula or breastmilk 

  • A knife for cutting produce

  • Spoon

  • Bowls

  • Ice cube tray or silicone food tray for freezing portions

  • Freezer bags for long-term storage

  • Baby food storage containers

  • Notebook to track baby’s progress

A food processor isn't necessary, but can be a great tool for blending and crushing ingredients to make delicious concoctions. Ice cube trays are a great option for freezing baby food. A food mill is another option for easily blending up foods to make it easier to serve to your baby. A slow cooker or pressure cooker can also be useful for cooking large batches of food to store. Food prep jars or an airtight container are important for food storage and make it easy to freeze small portions of homemade baby food.

What are stage 1 baby foods? 

preparing baby food at home

Stage 1 baby food is meant for beginner eaters. Typically, these purees are very thin and easy for a baby to move around in their mouth. Babies should start solids around 6 months of age, under the instruction of a pediatrician. 

Some babies prefer watery purees, while others prefer chunkier textures in the beginning. It is helpful to read your baby’s cues and follow their lead. Some babies are ready for solid food right at 6 months, and others turn their nose up at anything except milk for several more months. 

Pediatricians now recommend exposing babies to common allergens early. Keep a food log to keep track of what your baby eats, and any possible reactions. 

Stage 1 Option: Banana Purée

Bananas are a great first food because they contain good nutrients and plenty of fiber, which makes them easy to consume and digest. The seeds of bananas have even been shown to soothe the stomach, another reason why many parents choose them as one of their baby's first foods.

Simply mash or blend bananas with water, breast milk, or formula, and serve to your little one. Although bananas are a delicious, nutritious option, don't overdo it. Bananas can easily cause constipation, which is incredibly painful for infants.

Stage 1 Option: Baby Cereal

Baby food recipes often include baby cereal, which can be made from oats, barley, or rice. Some parents prefer not to use rice cereal and opt for other options. Infant cereals are often easy to consume and digest, and simple to prepare.

Simply follow the package's instructions for preparation, which typically includes mixing the cereal with warm water, breast milk, or formula.

Stage 1 Option: Sweet Potato Puree

Sweet potatoes are another great first food for babies,.

To prepare the sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Peel the potatoes, and then bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the oven. Use a potato masher or a blender to mash the sweet potatoes into a soft puree.

Stage 1 Option: Carrots purée

Carrots are another excellent choice when it comes to first foods. Carrots have a natural sweetness that babies love. A carrot provides high amounts of beta carotene and vitamin A.

Beginner eaters can enjoy a simple carrot puree. Peel carrots using a peeler and chop them into coin-shaped pieces or larger chunks. Place the carrots into boiling water and close the pan with a tight-fitting lid.

Steam the carrots until they are soft enough to mash (around 8-12 minutes). Steaming the carrots for a longer period of time can help make it easier to blend them. Mash them with a fork or blender until they are soft, and you can add water or milk to thicken them as needed.

What are stage 2 baby foods? 

baby eating meal on a high chair

Stage 2 baby foods are for more experienced eaters. Typically, they are a little thicker, and sometimes include a combination of several foods. Most babies are ready for stage 2 baby food around 7-8 months, once they're accustomed to eating thinner purees, sitting up and swallowing, and experiencing different tastes and textures. 

There is no set order that you need to introduce foods. You can start with fruits, or vegetables, but stick to whole, unprocessed foods that do not contain additives like salt or sugar. Simply steam, mash, or blend foods with some water or breastmilk/formula, and your little one will have a delicious stage 2 puree to enjoy. 

At this stage, a set of KeaBabies 3-Pack Prep Silicone Suction Plates comes in handy. With three separate compartments, these plates promote portion control and help introduce a variety of foods to your little explorer. 

Stage 2 option: Whitefish, carrot, and leek purée

Babies will love the unique flavors of this puree. This mixture is an excellent, flavorful brain boost for little ones. Whitefish is full of essential fatty acids and helps stimulate a baby's brain cells. Leeks are important as well. They can help strengthen the cardiovascular system. Lastly, carrots are a great addition - they are rich in antioxidants.

Simply steam the vegetables and cook the fish as you normally would (taking care not to add salt), and blend or mash them together once everything is soft.

Stage 2 option: Beets and blueberry puree

This puree is a lovely shade of magenta, and contains lots of nutrients that your baby needs. Beets and blueberries offer a nutritious blend of antioxidants, vitamin A, and fiber.

Simply roast or steam beets until they're soft, and then blend with fresh blueberries to create a delicious snack for your little one.

Stage 2 option: Avocado and banana baby food

Although avocado and banana make excellent "first foods" for your little one, they can also be combined into a delicious treat. Avocados and bananas are two wonderful foods that many babies enjoy. Bananas add sweetness to purees, and can help thin out purees that are too thick for babies. Bananas are also a great way to avoid adding sugar to baby food recipes.

Since bananas and avocados are already soft, you can mash them with a fork and serve to your baby. You can also add breastmilk or formula, and blend these ingredients with a few ice cubes to create a delicious smoothie for your baby.

KeaBabies Prep Jars are perfect for making baby food that can be stored for later! 

baby food stored in KeaBabies Prep Jars

The KeaBabies Prep Jars Food Storage Glass Containers are an amazing product for anyone looking to make their own baby food. These airtight and leakproof storage cups feature an easy twist-lock lid and are made from durable, food-grade glass. They come in several different sets of colors, sure to match any parent’s aesthetic. 

Introducing solid foods to your little one doesn’t have to feel like an impossible challenge. KeaBabies knows that parents strive to make sure their kids eat healthy, nutritious foods that help their growth and development. The KeaBabies Prep Jars allow babies to enjoy homemade purees and meals in perfect portions. 

KeaBabies Prep Jars are made to last.

These airtight jars won’t leak, and are made with removable silicone o-rings, which come off for easy washing. These jars can be packed in a diaper bag, purse, or backpack for on-the-go meals with your little one, and you won’t have to be afraid of accidental leaks or spills. The easy twist-lock lid allows parents to avoid fumbling with difficult glass containers. The lids on the KeaBabies Prep Jars easily open and close without hassle. The jars are made from high-quality, food-grade glass to ensure that your food is safe for freezing and reheating. These prep jars are designed to last for years to come. They are detailed with measurement markings that won’t fade during years of use. The measurements help parents figure out the perfect amount to store for their little one, without causing food waste.

Whether you make your own baby food or buy baby food at the store, the best method of feeding your baby is the one that works for your family. 

homemade baby food preparation

Although it makes sense for many families to cook their own baby food, it should be an enjoyable process for the whole family. If cooking homemade baby food causes too much stress, don't fret. A happy baby is a fed baby! 

Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez

I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.

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