Now that our twins are 6 months old, we have started introducing them to different fruits and veggies. I almost forgot how fun (and messy) this new milestone is! Making homemade baby food is something I decided to try a couple years ago with our first daughter. I was a little intimidated and skeptical on how much time and effort it would take, but let me tell you now before you dismiss this SIMPLE guide, it really is SIMPLE!
I made a month worth of baby food for the twins in one afternoon for about $15! Here is how you can make healthy food for your babies and save money too!
WHY make your own baby food?
Firstly, I’m not anti-store bought baby food. Store bought baby food is great for our family when we’re traveling or having a super busy week. I really do trust our kiddos’ nutrition to those little glass jars, BUT there are lots of benefits to making your own and planning ahead a bit! When you make homemade baby food…
- You know exactly what your baby is eating
- It might be more nutrient dense than store bought food (which often times tastes watered down)
- You can save a lot of money!
- It can make for an easy transition when your baby starts eating what the family eats.
- Its fun to make things for your baby that they love!
HOW to Make Baby Food
This is how our family makes easy and inexpensive baby food purees: I usually commit an afternoon to make a few weeks worth of food for our babies. It’s nice to get it all done, so I can easily grab from the freezer at meal times.
To start, choose some basic fruits and veggies to pick up from the grocery store. We shop at Aldi, which has lots of organic options too! While I prefer fresh produce, we do buy some frozen – just make sure there aren’t any added sugars or ingredients on the label. These are my easy essentials for our 5-6 month old babies:
- Frozen peas
- Frozen green beans
- Frozen peaches
- Baby carrots
- Sweet potatoes
- A jar of unsweetened applesauce (The only ingredient is apples! Personally, it is not worth my time to make purreed apples.)
Next, I microwave, steam, or cook down almost all the fruits and veggies. I do not cook bananas, avocados, or prunes. See below how I cook/prepare each of the foods.
- Frozen peas- Microwave with a splash of water or steam
- Frozen green beans – Microwave with a splash of water or steam
- Frozen peaches – Cook down for 5 minutes on the stove with a splash of water
- Baby carrots – Steam until soft
- Sweet potatoes – Poke with a fork and microwave for a few minutes
- Prunes – Soak in water for an hour, no cooking needed.
- Bananas – No cooking needed.
- Avocados – No cooking needed.
Once everything is cooked and has cooled for a few minutes, dump the fruit or veggie into a blender or mixer. We have a Ninja that works really well. You will want to add some water to make it smooth and easier to blend. I usually use the water from what the food was cooked or steamed in, to keep as many nutrients as possible!
The amount of water you add will depend on what your baby wants or needs for their age. You can always add more as you blend. Start with a few tablespoons and go from there.
Storage & Using Your Homemade Baby Food
After the food is blended to the right consistency, I pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. You can then dump the ice cubes into a labeled zip lock bag and store for up to 3 months! Each ice cube is about 1 ounce.
When I use these for our babies, I sometimes mix and match the cubes or add applesauce after heating. I’ve also thrown a few cubes into baby oatmeal to spice it up a bit too. Peas + carrots, prunes + apples, and sweet potatoes with a tiny bit of cinnamon are our favorites right now!
YAY! Now you have a TON of healthy baby food that didn’t take too much time or money, right?! As your baby grows, you can make the purees thicker and thicker and start blending or mashing up food that you’re eating for meal time! I’ll never forget my now 3 year old’s first chicken parmesan puree when she was 7 months!
Let me know if you have any tips or tricks & tag us in a pic if you try! We’d love to see!