Making my own baby food is a practical way to get healthy food in my little girls’ growing bodies. But I’m a busy mom, and anything I add to my to-do list has to be simple. Fortunately, I’ve discovered plenty of tips and tricks to simplify the process of making baby food.
The following recipes have been tested by your fellow time-strapped mama. I’ve made them with my babies at my feet. I sometimes joke that I literally can’t even think when my children are awake. That is how simple these recipes needed to be.
Each recipe below makes five to seven containers of food, and all of them have the same easy instructions: Combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree to your desired consistency. Try out all five recipes and stock your freezer for over a month! And for recipes to stock your freezer with grown-up food, check out this blog.
What You Need to Make Your Own Baby Food
Gather the necessary supplies:
- A blender or food processor
- You don’t need a special baby food maker.
- Portioned containers that are freezer/microwave safe
- Two- or four-ounce containers work well. I like these.
- Ingredients for whichever food combination you decide to try out
Simple Baby Food Recipes
"Pumpkin Pie": One can pumpkin puree, insides from one steamed sweet potato (you probably have a setting on your microwave), approximately one cup plain Greek yogurt, a pinch of pumpkin pie seasoning (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger)
Spinach and Apples: A handful of fresh spinach, unsweetened applesauce, chia seeds, a splash of chicken stock, one can rinsed garbanzo beans
Cherries and Turkey: Approximately one-pound cooked ground turkey; a handful of fresh and pitted cherries; a splash of breast milk, formula, or almond milk
Peaches and Cream: One can peaches in natural juice (include all the peaches and half the juice), approximately one cup plain Greek yogurt, approximately one cup rolled oats (check the bulk bins)
- Protein "Taco Bowl": One can drained and rinsed black beans; a handful of rotisserie chicken; cumin; approximately two cups steamed cauliflower rice (check the freezer section); a splash of breast milk, formula, or almond milk
How to Store and Serve Homemade Baby Food
Store: You can store your baby food in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to six months.
Serve: From the fridge, just pop the baby food in the microwave for 20 seconds. Be sure to stir to mix any hotspots and test the temperature before serving.
From the freezer, move your container to the fridge the night before you want to serve it. Then follow the serving instructions above, adding an additional five seconds of cooking time as needed.
Pro Tips for Making Baby Food
Mamas, please don’t get hung up on the details. Save that headspace for something else on your to-do list. If you end up with a little extra, pour it into another container and jump for joy! If you don’t have an ingredient, substitute whatever you have in the kitchen. Fresh, frozen, canned, leftovers—it all works. Just check the labels to avoid ingredients you don’t want your little one to have (added sugars, etc.).
Here are a few more tips for making your own baby food the simple way:
- On busy nights, spoon any of these recipes into a reusable baby food pouch and let your little one feed him or herself!
- Add a drop of Vitamin D supplement to your baby food to save you a step in your busy baby routine.
- Riced veggies (fresh or frozen) are everywhere these days! They are perfect for little eaters. They generally have a clean ingredient list and a simple texture for your little one.
- As you introduce purees to your little one, you can thin them out by adding breast milk, formula, or stock. As your baby gets older and has more teeth, use a chunkier texture to add interest and help him or her practice chewing.
- Don’t make more than a month’s worth of a given recipe at a time since your baby will be ready for different food consistencies as he or she gets older and more experienced with food.
A fellow busy mom
Note: Many pediatricians have specific food recommendations. For example, some recommend starting your baby on one food at a time, beginning at 4-6 months. Other doctors recommend offering pureed versions of healthy foods you eat (except honey) in any order. Please consult your doctor.