Carly Davis, MS, RDN, LD, NICU Clinical Dietitian
When your baby is between 4 and 6 months old, he or she should be ready for their first taste of solid food. If you are on the fence about whether you should make baby food at home or buy it, read Homemade vs. Store-Bought Baby Food.
Making your own baby food is a great way to introduce your child to the flavors you will be using in your cooking once they are old enough for table eating.
Get the Right Tools for the Job
In order to make baby food at home efficiently and safely, you’ll need one of the following:
- Food processor
- Food mill (which usually has different blades for different textured foods)
- A baby food grinder
- Immersion blender
- An all-in-one baby food maker (which both steam-cooks and then purees the food)
You can opt to mash ingredients with a fork, but this will limit your food options to easily mashable fruits and vegetables like bananas and avocados.
Step 1 – Preparation, Steaming, and Pureeing
- Fruits and Vegetables: To prepare fruits and vegetables, wash them, boil or steam them, and then puree using one of the tools listed above.
- Grains: Cook grains like brown rice, pasta, or whole wheat cereal. Puree or grind them, thinning with water as needed.
- Meat and Poultry: Cook your meat (chicken, veal, beef, pork) and reserve the juices that you cooked the meat in. Chop into small pieces, and puree, adding the juices as needed to thin out the puree.
You can add flavor without adding sugar or salt. Use fresh garlic and herbs/spices like cinnamon, rosemary, thyme and parsley.
Step 2 – Storing the Baby Food Safely
You can store your homemade baby food in single serve containers or in ice cube trays.
In the containers, you can store the baby food in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for a maximum of 2 months. The ice cube portions can be served by thawing each serving in a bowl using the “defrost” feature on your microwave.