When Greyson was just a few months old and we got the go-ahead from our pediatrician to begin introducing new table foods my husband and I were so excited. We couldn’t wait to share the exciting flavors of fresh veggies like butternut squash, peas, and carrots. However, when we took a peek at our local grocery store’s options for baby food we were alarmed at what we found.
Questionable store bought baby food.
When it comes to finding healthy and nutritious foods or snacks it’s an important thing to read as many labels as you can (although thanks to a number of food documentaries I’ve binge watched I can no longer rely on labels and trusting the FDA to regulate what goes into our food anymore). Thankfully there are organizations like The Clean Label Project who have resources to help consumers (and parents) find more information about the ingredients in common food products. Reading labels and doing a little research never hurts. What I came to find is that a lot of baby foods are processed using real fruits and veggies, but they’re processed in a way that concentrates their natural sugars making the food taste sweeter – an effort to make babies want to eat their veggies, and losing some of their nutritional value.
Nevertheless, my husband and I sought out to begin making our own food for Greyson and looking back I’m so glad we did. Instead of opting for the convenience of prepackaged baby food, we decided that we would select in-season fruits and veggies and regain some of the control in how our baby food would be made. A nice bonus for us was selecting foods that were grown locally and that would be different from the run-of-the-mill veggies that you’d find in everyday canned baby food!
This DIY baby food is the easiest thing you can do at home and each batch makes plenty for at least 2 weeks! All you need is to carve out a little time to cook and purée and the rest is done before your sweet babe wakes from their nap.
Baby food in a snap.
- Select fruits and veggies that are in-season (preferably organically grown or even grown in your own backyard!) and are appropriate for your child’s age. Check with your pediatrician first, but we’ve been told to begin with orange fruits and vegetables like squash and carrots.
- Prepare your fresh foods and boil or steam the veggies to soften. Then, using a food processor or fancy baby food machine (we use our Nutri-bullet 😁) purée until smooth.
- scoop about a tablespoon into ice molds and freeze until hardened.
- When ready, label a ziplock bag with the type of food and pop them out into the bag. Seal and save in your freezer for mealtimes!
- When ready to serve, simply pop a cube in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for about 15-30 seconds until warm. Always check the temperature before serving to your baby.
Preparing our own baby food took maybe a total of an hour from start to finish. It actually ends up being a lot of fun since you get to play around with different flavors and introduce your little one to new foods along the way. I would often combine cubes like peas and squash or spinach and apple to switch things up for Grey. Having the cubes prepared and stored allowed us to conveniently pop them out when needed and was super easy for caregivers like grandparents to make.
The best thing about this method of making baby food is that it can be adapted as your child grows! Add breastmilk or formula for more nutrition, baby cereal to thicken like an oatmeal or a few cubes for a larger serving. There are plenty of ways to play around with how you prepare your baby food!
Have you made your own baby food before? What are your favorites to make?