Make your own baby food: No special equipment required
What do you do when you had your heart set on making your baby’s food at home, but you didn’t get that fancy baby food maker you so eagerly put on your registry?
You make it anyway. No special baby food making equipment needed!
Today’s tutorial for making your own baby food utilizes single foods that are best steamed prior to puree: carrots (one of our favorites), squash, broccoli, spinach, greens, whole peas, green beans and so many more. Read on for all the details!
Did you know that steaming your veggies, instead of boiling them IN the water helps retain their nutrients and flavor?
Step 1: Gather the following items
- 1. Fresh veggies
- 2. A pot
- 3. Steamer basket
- 4. Blender, chopper, or food processor. For some foods and babies who are a little older you can also just hand mash some veggies – like these carrots – with a potato masher or our favorite DIY kitchen tool, a whisk.
- 5. Plastic ice tray
- 6. Ziplock bags or air tight containers
All of these items can probably be found in your kitchen already, but if not they can be found at a low cost and you can use them for many other uses after your baby-food-making days are done.
Step 2: Prepare vegetables or fruits for cooking
Wash, slice, pat dry and inspect for ripeness.
Step 3. Add water, steamer basket and veggies to a small pot
You will want to fill up your pot with water just to the bottom of the steamer basket. Turn it on medium/high heat and bring the water to a boil. Allow the veggies to steam until you can easily pierce them with a fork.
If you plan to make several batches in one day, prepare your second food for the steamer while waiting. Remove veggies from heat and set water aside.
Step 4: Add Veggies to food processor
Do not over fill. Process until pureed. This may take a few tries to get all of the food pureed. The length of pureeing time will depend on how smooth or thin you’d like your food. This may be determined by your baby’s stage and ability to chew their foods.
The carrots pictured above were very smoothly pureed for a baby in the beginning stages of eating solids. Very rarely, you will find that a vegetable is too dry or gritty while pureeing. When this happens, add just a tad of the water that you used to steam the food with to the food processor. Typically this will make your foods too watery when you thaw them later, but on occasion, you might need to add a tablespoon or two of water while pureeing.
Step 5: Scoop pureed food into an ice tray to freeze
A regular sized ice tray will hold approximately one tablespoon of food. Spoon the pureed food into the ice tray and freeze about 3-4 hours or until frozen.
Once frozen, you can pop the food “cubes” out just like you would ice and add them to a labeled ziplock bag. Make sure you label and note the date the food was prepared and look up how long that type of food can be stored in the freezer.
Use quart sized bags, so that the bag can just be taken to the baby sitter to keep in the freezer and use over time. At home, you can typically take 1-3 cubes out at a time and place them into a small covered bowl in the refrigerator to thaw.
When you are ready to feed, set out at room temperature and stir. You may want to experiment with mixing flavors at this stage before making any combined purees. For example, if there is a food that your child doesn’t like, you can usually hide it in another puree. You can do that by mixing it 2:1. Have fun with different combinations in small amounts until you find your baby’s favorites!
Always remember, babies are different and if you are experiencing feeding woes, you are not alone. Little ones are constantly changing, so keep trying, you are doing a great job!
Photo Credit: Stephanie Clark
Tags: baby, baby blog, baby food, busy mom, childcare tips, cooking, cooking for baby, diy baby food, feeding, freezer meals for baby, frugal, healthy baby food, homemade, Homemade Baby Puree, make ahead foods, make your own baby food, nutrition, recipe
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