Homemade Baby Food – Weekend Cooking

Posted 13 January, 2012 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 29 Comments

Tags: ,

I can remember the first time I saw a baby food maker. I was browsing through William Sonoma (love) and saw the little baby puree maker and freezer containers. I may have laughed out loud—I don’t remember—but I definitely remember scoffing a little bit. Who has time to make baby food? Granola moms, that’s who!

But then my friend had a baby and she made me realize how easy it is to make baby food. Maybe it was because I didn’t get to nurse for as long as I would have liked, but I decided that when it came time for Elle to have solids that I would make her baby food. I’ve stuck with the idea that I will continue to do this until it becomes stressful and luckily for the both of us it has been easier than I would have ever imagined.

And trust me, I am not a freaky granola mom. But when I was trying to think of reasons NOT to make baby food, I couldn’t think of any good ones.

I don’t have any of those fancy baby food making gadgets either. I did buy a food processor but only because when I tried to puree carrots in the blender, it was a nightmare. A pot, a steamer, the food processor, and ice cube trays. Not sure why you would need anything more than that.

Well, I do have a baby food book that I’ve used religiously. Even though steaming and pureeing vegetables and fruits is kind of a no brainer, I LOVE Top 100 Baby Purees for all of the advice, recipes, and nutritional information. Plus it’s just kind of nice to have some hand holding in the beginning.

What have I made for Elle? Carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, green beans, apples, pears, peaches, and most recently chicken mixtures. I have some cauliflower in the fridge and blueberries in the freezer to whip up soon and then maybe we’ll move on to broccoli and then who knows what else. I typically make a big batch on the weekends (usually only every other weekend) and we’re good to go for a few weeks. Especially now that she has much more variety of foods and is also eating raw bananas.

So all you non-freaky non-granola moms–you can do this too. Honestly? I think it’s easier than having to go to the store every time she’s out of jarred food. It’s really taken the guessing game out and I can defrost as much as I want at a time and very little goes to waste. Plus, it tastes amazing. Yes, even the pureed chicken!

Do you have any baby food making tips? I know I still have a lot to learn!

And a big thanks to Heather for pointing me towards this Homemade Baby Food Recipe site!

Every weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  “Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.”  Hope you’ll join the fun!

29 Responses to “Homemade Baby Food – Weekend Cooking”

  1. Yay for making baby food! I was intimidated by the idea of doing it as well, but once I started, I really thought it was fun! You are far braver than me though…I was way grossed out by the idea of any pureed meats, so I just waited until Emily was old enough to start eating little pieces of shredded chicken. She’s still not a huge meat eater these days though. Also, can’t believe you can feed Elle NOT in a high chair! I’m pretty sure we would have had food on the carpet and couch, and Emily wasn’t even a super messy eater! Little Elle must be quite the little lady ;)

  2. I’m planning to make my own baby food. I’m starting to think I might end up looking quite a bit like one of those granola moms. :p I think I’ll want a book too, even if just for the hand-holding. :)

  3. We made baby food for little monkey and will do the same with this one. It’s so easy. We often would set up an assembly line process while he was sleeping on the weekend. I’m trying to remember some of his favorites…

    It is so incredibly easy and tastes so much better than the jars.

  4. I love this post. And yes, really, how easy is that and you know exactly what she’s getting to eat — not too much salt and sugar, no preservatives, and by getting real food, she’ll grow up to eat everything and not be fussy (we hope).

  5. Steph did exactly the same thing for PJ. She made all of his baby food. He especially loved carrots and sweet potatoes. He originally hated peas, but now loves them.

    Towards the end, right before he started eating regular people food, we introduced a few of the premade organic veggie/fruit pouches. He loved them too.

    Steph also enjoyed it because she could make a ton of it and freeze it for later.

  6. I was BOUND AND DETERMINED to do this for Greyson when he was little, and then life blew up in my face!!! I’m glad it’s been working for you, and it’s something I regret not doing.

  7. Good for you! I was a lazy mom who turned to Gerber for the baby nourishment. I’m sure your baby food is much less expensive, and much better tasting.

  8. I think it’s great that you make Elle’s food. I very likely would have done the same because I really like to know exactly is in what I’m eating and either way the homemade food is fresher and better for her.

  9. I’ve done this too- your food processor looks just like mine! Unfortunatley, most of my baby purees are still sitting in the freezer- my babe wants nothing to do with them. Today I finally gave up and let her try some soft cooked macaroni pasta cut into tiny circles- and you know what, she ate it! (I think she just wants to feed herself) So I don’t know if we’ll go back to the purees, or if I’ll have to throw them all out- and they taste good, I tried every one! Someone suggested I let her eat little teensy bites of dry toast with the pears or apple puree on it like jam… I don’t know.

  10. *Rhapsody – We’re getting better with the food on the face, but not much. ;)

    *Rae – My hair IS dark! Miss the blonde but not the upkeep

    *Laura – Well, that picture is about two months old so she’s not crawling yet. Not sure I could get her to sit still now!! And honestly the chicken isn’t so bad. We got one jar of turkey and it was enough to turn me off!! Still trying to figure out when it’s OK for Elle to eat “real” food.

    *Wordlily – I really recommend 100 Baby Purees. Think that DevourerofBooks also used it with her babe. And nothing wrong with granola moms. ;)

    *Teresa – It IS so easy–the only pain is cleaning up afterwards or in between foods, but it’s just like anything else. And the taste is totally worth it!

    *Beth F – LOL! We’ll hope that she won’t grow up fussy eater! I think the key is to try as much variety as possible.

    *Pax – Carrots are my personal favorite! ;) And yes, it’s nice to be able to open the freezer and have lots of variety–to me it seems so much easier than always having to run to the store to pick up jars.

    *Andi – I admit that I was really intimidated at first and didn’t know how long I would be able to keep up the act but it’s not bad.

    *Kristi – I haven’t evaluated the cost versus the baby food but I do like having all of the fresh vegetables on hand for us to much on as well. The only pain is when we are out and about–have to take a bunch of containers and then wash them later.

    *Bermuda – Definitely have worked ourselves into a routine!

    *Darlene – And you know, since I’ve started making Elle her own food I’ve started thinking more about my own eating. Why am I willing to make her fresh foods when I don’t do that for myself? It’s really opened my eyes!

    *Jeane – We’ve been pretty lucky with Elle eating almost everything we give her. I did have to toss one chicken batch because she wouldn’t touch it–think it was the leeks I used. Maybe try mixing some of the veggies or fruit with cereal? There have been many times when I’ve had to “disguise” what I was giving her in her cereal…

  11. I would totally make my own baby food, too. My husband and I are currently in the planning/trying stage. I hope and pray that we are successful soon and I will soon then be on my way to William Sonoma (I love, LOVE, this store, too) and pick up these items.

    A good friend of mine blogs at http://www.weeklybite.com and she regularly includes recipes for kids along with some vegan/vegetarian options. I can’t wait to be able to make all of these dishes (and make the baby food as well) soon.

  12. One of my cousins got a baby bullet and loves it. I don’t know about now, but back in July, my cousin was using it and loved that one could put an expiry date on the food so as to remember to use the food in a timely fashion.

    My mom made baby food for my sister and I and it didn’t really matter that my sister became a picky eater (she doesn’t really like onions or mushrooms).

  13. I love this post and what it means: new mothers are embracing the idea of preparing food for their babies themselves. No processed foods. How wonderful and heartwarming.

  14. *Natalie – I personally don’t think you need any of the special gadgets to make baby food! The only “special” thing I purchased (other than the book) was the food processor. Best wishes to you. :)

    *Jeane – Mine is just starting to turn her nose up at cereal. Ha! Afraid I won’t be able to use it for sneaking foods much longer!

    *Diane – Thank you so much. I enjoy making her food!

    *Melissa – I’ve heard good things about the baby bullet and almost got one but figured I could get more use out of the food processor. How awesome that your mom made your baby food! Think I had the good ole jars. ;)

    *Margot – Yes, I do think there’s a trend for moms to make their babies food from scratch! And you know what? It’s made me think about my own eating as well!!

    *Joy – LOL! Yes, sometimes I sneak several bites of her food–especially the pears. ;)

    *Bookgirl – I would have never guessed how easy it is to make baby food! Anyone can do it.

  15. Well I don’t have a baby and I maybe I never will, but I think it is awesome that you are giving your baby a healthy start in life instead of giving her store bought baby food that probably has too much sugar or salt and whatnot.

  16. *Uniflame – I definitely think it’s good for everyone to examine what they’re eating–why should babies be different?!

    *Vasilly – And so easy to make the baby food!!

  17. *Vicki – Once the grandkids come, convince your kiddos of how easy homemade food is!

    *Jenny Girl – Making baby food has made me really aware of my own eating!

    *Carol – The only pain is having to wash the dishes afterwards. ;) Well, and maybe peeling the fruit/veggies! Ha!

    *Michelle – Nope–just stopped coloring my hair. Sometimes it still looks light but not a blonde anymore. Sad! ;)