How To Make Homemade Baby Food: Stage 1 Video
I’m going to show you how easy it is to make Homemade Baby Food for beginners!
Let me show you how to make homemade baby food that is healthy and economical!
Okay, when it comes to money I am pretty conservative. I hardly ever initially go for the most expensive option. I will research and brain storm through ways to save a few pennies always. There are a few things in life that I have accepted that if I want quality I am going to pay for it. For instance, I know if I want to go away for a pretty decent vacation I am going to have to pay for it; if I want some good hair (yes occasionally I will wear a lace front or get extensions) I’m going to pay for it; and if I want a good spa experience I am going to have to pay for it. Those are some of the few things I know I am going to spend top coin if I want a quality experience. However, there are some things that I will wait to spend money on just because I want to make sure there aren’t any cheaper options available. When it comes things I need for my baby I am no different. Yes, I am cheap when it comes to the baby boy. Before you start judging me, let me explain.
Babies grow so fast, so why in the world would I buy everything he wears new? Don’t get me wrong, there are some things you have to buy new such as white onesies, shoes, and bibs. But I have a very low price point for the clothes I buy for my son because he grows so fast! I’m telling you, Once Upon A Child is our best friend! Especially when they have their “bag sale”! Oh, I should mention, we did buy all of his furniture new. That is something else I will spend money on just out of the safety of my child. You should always buy a baby crib and car seat new if you can. Okay, moving on. With the cost of daycare (Lord, please keep in a position where I can continue to work from home), diapers, formula (breast is best and FREE), and other items you are going to need when raising a family, there is nothing wrong with cutting cost where you can and one of the biggest ways you can cut cost for your child is making baby food!
I knew before I got pregnant that I was going to make my son’s baby food. It makes so much sense to do so. How hard is it to steam some fruit or veggies, put them in a blender or the Baby Bullet to puree them, and feed them to your child?! The best part about this is you know what is going into your baby food. I do have a few organic jars of baby food from brands such as Earth’s Best, Beech Nut, or Gerber Organics on backup in case I need it, but these past few months I have been really trying to make my sons food on my own. I know to some people when I say that I make homemade baby food I get looks like I am some sort of psycho-crazy, over compulsive, and super healthy mom who wants her child to eat certain things and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Making homemade baby food is just smart. I know there are a few of you out there with some objections so let me attempt to overcome them one-by-one.
Cost of baby food
If you give me the option of going to the grocery store to buy a bag of frozen peas for a $1 or buying a 4 oz. jar of peas for .69 that has been sitting on the shelf for God knows how long, I am going to take the bag of frozen peas because I can make equivalent to 2-3 jars of baby food and it didn’t come out of a factory. I think I’m planting some seeds now. You can go to your local farmer’s market or grocery store, buy a bag of peas, carrots, mixed vegetables, and green beans, all for less than $5, steam them, puree them, and put them into jars and you’re done! You can do the same with apples, peaches, pears, and plums and your baby has food that you made for them that is healthy and nutritious and much more economical than buying the jars or pouches every week. Now that I have you thinking about doing this, let’s talk about the time it takes to make homemade baby food.
Time to make food
NONE! That is one of the biggest set backs I get when I tell someone that I make my baby food is that it takes too much time. OHHHH MARBLES! It does not. Let’s walk this through. How long does it take to warm up a bag of frozen veggies? 1-2 minutes, right? So the next step is to put the steamed veggies in a food processor, blender, or your Baby Bullet (highly recommend by the way) and pulse until it is ground into baby food (another 1-2 minutes) and you’re done! Who doesn’t have that kind of time? If you have time to play Farmville, go on Snap Chat and take pictures with the stickers, or browse your Facebook and Instagram feed, you have time to make your baby some baby food.
Let’s talk about how long it takes to make things that don’t come in a bag such as apples. I have made my son’s applesauce two ways: 1. I boiled the apples until fork tender and 2. I roasted them in the oven inside some aluminum foil. Once the apples were done, I put them in my Baby Bullet and WHOA-LA! I had baby food. Of course, this process is going to take a bit more time, but it’s still not an all day affair. If you have a steamer, you can steam your apples, mangoes, plums, or whatever the same way.
So now that you have no more excuses when it comes to cost and time, let’s talk about the next thing you’re wondering…convenience.
I won’t lie, although it may not seem as though it takes a lot of time to make baby food, it is definitely more convenient to go to the grocery store, buy a few jars of baby food, and not have to worry about it. This is true. I do have a few jars on standby just in case I don’t get to make my baby food. Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-jar baby food. I am a stay-at-home working mother and I get how crazy and busy life can be when you have a child(ren) and taking any extra time away from something else that needs to be done when there is already an easier option (buying baby food) seems like the way to go. I GET IT! You don’t have to convince me. However, next time you are in the aisle getting ready to buy baby food for your child, I want you to think how long it has been sitting there and what that clear liquid is? Seriously, is that water? Maybe you don’t have to make all of your baby’s food, just half and supplement the rest? Maybe you can make your baby’s vegetables and get the fruit at the market? I don’t know what this will look like for you as everyone is different, but I do recommend, at least, considering this as an option.
Okay, so we discussed cost, time, and convenience. Now let’s talk about baby food feeding strategy.
Baby Food Eating Strategy
Babies can be introduced to baby food as young as 4 months. I didn’t start introducing our son until he was about 5 months. When you introduce baby food to your child, in the beginning, it is simply to get their taste buds ready and to help establish the skill of opening their mouth to receive food. Baby food at this point (I don’t think) should be used as a complete meal supplement. The majority of their calories still should come from breastmilk or formula. When you begin to introduce baby food to your child, I recommend, starting with veggies first as long as possible. Kids hate vegetables, right? Well, I think this may have something to do with how the taste of vegetable begins in their lives. If they are given sweeter foods in the beginning such as applesauce, pears, and peaches and then you try to give them peas, green beans, and spinach, of course, they aren’t going to enjoy it as much. Below is a good chart for reference if you are struggling, like I was, with what to give your child first. I will say I started my child on Multi Grain Oatmeal Cereal for the longest (about 2 weeks). When we started giving him peas, we noticed that he had more difficulty sleeping and realized he was having gas. We gave his body a little more time to get used to digesting solids before we went back to the veggies and everything was fine.
I think you have to understand and realize that no one can tell you how to raise your child but you and you are going to have to try a few things to see what works. In the meantime, you can take a look at this feeding chart that I took some tips from. Also, I would like to suggest to not give your baby food as a night time meal thinking it will help them sleep through the night in the beginning. Their bodies need to get used to digesting food and you may have to rush out in the middle of the night for baby gas medicine if you do that. I would give them cereal in the early part of the day so their bodies have the rest of the day to digest it. Also, do not be surprised if their stool changes. I am a breastfeeding mommy and my son’s poop was pretty runny. Once he started eating solids more regularly, his stool became a bit more solid.
Okay, so I mentioned a lot of reasons that you should consider, at least, supplementing your baby’s diet with homemade baby food. Before I end this post I want to add a few more tips for you to be aware of:
- When storing your baby food, you can use Mason Jars, ice cube trays, or the storage units that come with Baby Bullet. If I know I am going to use a particular baby food within a day or so, I will put my food in a Mason Jar and measure it out when it’s time for feeding. If I made a large amount, I will put them in ice cube trays, allow them to freeze, pop them out and place them in marked zipper bags. It’s up to you to taste.
- TASTE THE HOMEMADE BABY FOOD BEFORE FEEDING. Typically I don’t keep homemade baby food in the refrigerator longer than 3 days as it is gone by then. However, I would give the baby food a shelf life in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, myself. I always taste the baby food before giving it to my child. I almost gave my son some pureed sweet potatoes that had gone really bad. They looked fine but was rancid. I guess my mommy alert went off because I really had no reason to suspect anything was wrong. I immediately threw the entire batch away. Therefore, be careful and always taste before giving unless it’s coming out of the freezer when it is probably okay.
- Do not use any seasonings in your food especially salt. Salt makes us dehydrated and you definitely don’t want your baby dehydrated. I know to us bland peas and carrots are gross, but that is because our taste buds have matured in a way where we can appreciate different flavors and seasonings. A baby cannot. Read this article by Wholesome Baby Food as to why you shouldn’t add salt to your baby’s food!
Alright, that is about it! I will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. I am just a normal stay-at-home mom so my answers will be based on my experience. Below is are simplified ways I make my homemade baby food for beginners between the ages of 4-6 months. Until next time!
- For whole fruits and vegetables: Steam until fork tender and puree.
- For frozen veggies: steam until cooked and puree
- For potatoes, root vegetables, or fruit: Roast in the oven with no oil in aluminum foil on 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until fork tender, and puree.
I recommend steaming all fruits and vegetables if you can.
Here is what I use to make my homemade baby food!