Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making your own Homemade Baby Food

Winter squash puree baby food I made from squash from the garden

This post is to accompany my talk on BTO for Friday, Dec. 3rd

Making your own fresh baby food is very simple and there are many benefits. There is a wealth of information out there, so I'm going to provide some great links that are wonderful resources on the subject.

I'm hoping this post will act as an inspiration to make your own baby food if you have a child. But it should not be used as medical advice. I am not a doctor, and only your pediatrician can give you the best advice on what to feed your child.

The Benefits

You control the ingredients. If you keep a garden, you can feed your baby the food you grow yourself. Or you can purchase organic ingredients from a source you trust.

Cost- since you already buy food for your family, you may already have some of the foods you will feed your baby. Also it's is very much cheaper, than buying individual jars.

It's easy and doesn't take alot of time. Storing the finished product in the freezer allows you to make a large batch at once to use throughout the week or month. You can even freeze it in ice cube trays to use as needed.

How ToMaking baby food is essentially making a puree with any fruit or vegetable. To make a puree you need a food processor, blender or food mill to make it smooth. As your child gets older, you may only need to mash it.
For vegetables, steam the vegetables until soft. For example, if you use carrots, peel them, cut them into chunks, then steam until very soft. Put them through the food processor, blender or food mill, add a little water if needed to get the texture you want and it's ready to serve. Store in fridge for a few days, and freezer for months.
Do not add sugar or salt.
good examples of vegetables to puree and feed a baby
mashed potatoes-they wouldn't need much altering
winter squash or pumpkin
green beans
yams/sweet potato
yellow squash or zucchini
or try a combination of a few
Fruit Purees
If making a fruit puree like applesauce, first peel the apples, cut them into chunks, add them into a pan with a little water, cook them until soft, then puree it using a food mill, food processor or blender. Store enough for your baby to consume in a few days time in the fridge, the rest put in the freezer for future use.
good examples of fruits to puree and feed a baby
bananas-you may just be able to mash it yourself with a fork
avocados-you may just mash this with a fork
or try a combination of a few
For cereals-
to make oatmeal baby cereal simply grind oats in a food processor or blender to make ground oats.
To use the ground oats, take 1/4 cup ground oats mix it in a pan with 3/4 cup water bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add water, formula or breast milk to thin to desired consistency, cool a little and serve.
For rice cereal use the same method, grind up some rice (or brown rice) in a food processor or blender, to make a rice powder, use 1 cup water to 1/4 cup rice powder, cook water and rice in pan for 10 minutes, whisking to keep it smooth, add water, formula or breast milk to reach the desired consistency.
As your baby gets older you may be introducing meats like chicken or beef, that is usually done at 8-10 months in the U.S.
The easiest way to feed your baby meats and vegetables is to grind down or puree food you are already eating. For example if you are eating chicken, potatoes, and green beans for dinner, you can take some chicken off of the bone, add a few green beans, a small piece of potato (without the skin) and puree it in the food processor. I would suggest doing this before you season it.
Another example would be to do a riff of a popular baby food, macaroni and beef. If you are eating some pasta for dinner with some ground beef, just go ahead and puree that in the blender or food processor, adding water if necessary to reach the consistency desired.
A great food to puree for your baby would be a stew or soup, if that's what's for dinner for the family, you can go ahead and blend that.
The possibilities are endless. If we just think to the way things used to be before commercial baby food, we can see that families simply adapted what they were eating to suit the younger ones.
I would encourage you to have fun and experiment!
Some helpful links is a great, thorough site with many instructions and recipes for your baby all the way through the toddler years. has some great information

This is a great site from a mom who cooks for her son Andres. She shares what she's learned on her site.
Ask Dr has some great info


Anonymous said...

I've actually forwarded your link to friends who have had gastric bypass and are on the "pureed food" stage. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Melissa, tried to post as my google account and it wouldn't take it for some reason - the above post is by Pam G.

The Alchemist said...

Pam, very interesting, thanks!