I love to make my own baby food. And not because I’m against processed foods, or only eat organic- although those are great reasons to make your own baby food. But because it serves two huge purposes at our house. One, it saves TONS of money, really, TONS. Two, it gets everyone eating the same thing, at the same time. So if it saves me money and time then I’m all over it. Can I get an AMEN?
Of course I have to admit that I too day dreamed of one of those fancy little mini baby food blenders that claim to do everything but the grocery shopping- oh and check out the cute little storage containers for the freezer that only you and your baby will ever see and will make your life SOooOOO much easier… yeah right, but its oh so enticing! And then hubby saw the price and snapped me back into reality. You can use the blender and ice trays he reminded me. And he was right. Geez I hate it when that happens.
There are a lot of fabulous tutorials out there on how to make baby food (like this one and this one) and I referred to a couple of them while I was whipping up this last batch. It’s been a few months years, and I needed a little refresher. I put my own spin on things though, as you will too. My kids LOVE garlic and spices, but yours might not. I also find mixing foods together is a great way to disguise a less interesting food with something they really like- like mixing corn with sweet potatoes. Why wont my kids eat corn??
There are so many possibilities and recipes out there, but first, you need to crank out a batch of a few core foods. I’m going to show you the basic steps using apples, pears, carrots, and butternut squash. You can also throw in sweet potatoes, peaches, other types of squash, etc… the process is mostly the same, just account for cooking time.
Gather all your supplies.
I used an assortment of fruits and vegetables that would all cook for about the same amount of time.
A lot of people like to use ice trays for freezing their baby food. I do too- except I didn’t have any.
Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled to an automatic ice maker I am!
So I did the next best thing and grabbed my mini-muffin pan. It worked perfectly!
You’ll also need a deep, oven safe baking dish.
Wash everything good and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cut all your fruits and veggies in half and remove the seeds and cores.
Turn them cut side down in a water bath with about an inch of water.
Throw your carrots in an oven safe dish and cover them with water too (enough to fully cover them)
Bake at 400 degrees for around 40-60 minutes.
Your carrots may need longer, pears not so long, so just check everything at about 40 minutes and assess.
Pull everything out of the oven and let it sit until its cool to the touch.
Grab your blender and set it up.
Then grab your biggest metal spoon and slide it around the inside edge of the fruit or veggie.
The “meat” should just pop right into your blender.
Toss in a little cooking water until its smooth and creamy.
(Do not use the cooking water from the carrots since it contains nitrates.)
I like to blend all my pears, then all my apples, etc… and put them each in bowls until I’m done with the blender. Then I’m free to mix fruits and veggies if I want.
This is also the point where you can add minced garlic, onion powder, etc..
I like to avoid using season salts, since that kind of defeats the purpose of making your own baby food, but a few mild spices and herbs can be a great way to begin introducing baby to new tastes.
Just remember, a little goes a very long way.
Spoon each food into your mini muffin pan.
I used a few mini plastic containers for freezing some “on the go” portions too.
Freeze overnight so that everything gets good and firm.
Then pop everything into baggies and label.
Two mini muffins are approximately a serving.
It should keep in your freezer for around three months,
and if you make enough the first time, baby might just be on table food by the time you run out!
How cute is that?
And if you grab one of those handy dandy hand grinders from the baby aisle (I got mine at Target) then you can turn all kinds of table food into baby friendly fare! Some of our favorites are macaroni and cheese, potatoes, green beans, and cantaloupe.
Just make sure you follow the 4-day rule when introducing new foods.