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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Adventures in Baby Food Making


I honestly don’t remember when I decided I was going to be making Houston’s baby food.

I didn’t do it to save money, though that’s a huge positive and one I’ve enjoyed reaping the benefits. I probably semi did it because I can’t stand the thought of all those baby food jars and pouches filling up the landfills and I still have the nagging mommy guilt of not cloth diapering. My #1 reason by far was to KNOW exactly what went into my child’s food, organic if necessary with absolutely no preservatives.

Do I watch for preservatives and buy organic for myself?

Almost never.



But my neurotic panic to do better for my child was enough to throw me into the adventures of baby food making. Once I started, I found so many other benefits to it and learned just how EASY it really was to ever turn back.

All of this coming from a girl who use to cook maybe once a month. I had next to NO kitchen skills prior to this. They truly aren’t necessary. Baby food making is pretty simple requiring mostly energy and little to no brain power ;)


I’ve wanted to write about the topic for a while now after getting quizzed by friends on just exactly what it is I had been up to. I want people to know if I can do it, you can most definitely do it, if you want to that is…


My disclaimer: I DO NOT believe making your own baby food is superior to buying pre-made. I simply advocate feeding your baby :):):) I still buy a good little stash of pre-made each month to keep for a quick grab or to throw in the diaper bag in a hurry. My child is no smarter, no happier, no better than the jar fed baby, but I have truly enjoyed this journey and the added bonus of it’s benefits are extremely nice, but not necessary.

Just doing my part to try and clear up anybody’s holier than thou thoughts before they began! ;)



I will say that my boy is one FABULOUS eater! Avocado, spinach, asparagus – he gobbles everything we give him no matter how out there it is. I have not shied away from letting him try what even I think is disgusting and he has surprised us every time. Some foods I’ve given him are seldom or not found at all in premade baby food - like the avocado, asparagus, lima beans, black beans, bell peppers, chick peas, etc… and I DO take pride that he has been able to have them early in his life and hopefully set him up to continue as a good, healthy eater… fingers crossed!




Now, to begin -  there are far too many books, websites, and other sources out there for me to duplicate all of their information here. I am not the professional. But everyone has their own process to get to the same results and that’s just what I wanted to show here, my own way of getting the job done.

My resources I used the most were the website Wholesome Baby Food {such a thorough and fantastic reference!} and this book from Sage Spoonfuls:


There’s a bazillion books out there on the topic and I really only chose this one because they had a special for it on Plum District. It’s been really handy for a quick reference in the kitchen and is a great choice if you’re looking for a book. But the website above is all encompassing if you want to save your money. Completely up to you!


My very first endeavor started with just carrots and the Baby Beaba Babycook. It could not have been simpler!



Though that little contraption is truly pricey, I feel pretty confident I’ve at the very least saved the difference in the money I’ve saved making our own food. Especially when your babe has just began solids and you’re not making huge quantities to store yet, it’s nifty to steam and blend in the same little container and have extremely minimal clean-up.

I know for me, the thought of how much kitchen prep and clean-up I imagined in this process was enough to overwhelm and keep me from trying it, but the Babycook really keeps it to a manageable minimum.



As Houston got older and was eating more, I began to use what free time I had to make large quantities to freeze. I decided to get a larger steamer to cut my steaming time down. You could also just start with this instead of the Babycook, save the money and use your own blender. It’s still not much more clean up! However, I continued to use the Babycook to blend as it was quieter than our blender {the baby was usually sleeping} and honestly, our blender was just becoming a hunk of junk.

May it rest in peace… that crappy blender has now finished its circle of life.


This is my inexpensive Hamilton Beach steamer which I now use for our own healthy meals as well:




In action steaming what looks like a large amount of parsnips:

{Fun fact: I had never tried parsnips before making them for Houston!}




For storage, I used breastmilk/baby food ice cube trays to first freeze the foods, then pop them out and into a labeled and dated freezer zip-lock bag. I already owned these trays from when I was freezing breastmilk and started using them for the baby food:



Mine in action:




They worked great but I needed to be able to freeze more than just 24 cubes at a time. Instead of getting more of the same kind, I decided to order these 2 trays that can freeze 42 cubes at a time. Both sets of trays work great!



When it’s time for him to eat, I pull out the foods from the freezer that I want to warm up and throw them in the microwave. DONE! The beauty of making so many different foods is the endless amount of food combinations you can make!


This is my little tub to keep all the ziploc bags together in the freezer:




For on the go and also for taking to the baby sitter’s house, I bought these great little microwave safe dishes and lids. They have worked beautifully for this purpose. Food can also be frozen in them or stored in the fridge for later. They have been uber convenient and I’ll even label a sticker or just a piece of tape to the lid with marker to let the sitter know what the mystery food is inside ;)



Again, in action:




I’ve listed some of the foods I can remember that I’ve made. Some are from frozen {even easier to steam and blend!} and a couple just use your fork to mash. Really, the possibilities are endless:

{Frozen peas – too easy!}



  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • peas {from frozen}
  • peaches
  • green beans
  • sweet potatoes
  • white potatoes
  • black beans {from can}
  • plums
  • apples
  • mangos {from frozen}
  • peaches
  • bananas
  • avocados
  • pears
  • blueberries {from frozen}
  • raspberries {from frozen}
  • zucchini
  • squash
  • cantaloupe
  • asparagus with parmesan cheese
  • apricots
  • blackberries {from frozen}
  • bell peppers
  • broccoli {from frozen}
  • cauliflower {from frozen}
  • squash
  • corn {from frozen}
  • chick peas {from can}
  • pumpkin {already pureed from can!}
  • banana {mashed with fork}

    avocado {mashed with fork}


    I have not attempted to puree any meats… just never felt like that one ;) The chick peas and black beans are 2 foods packed with protein that I make and he has great protein in his organic yogurt every morning, but I do buy him pre-made meat baby foods from Earth’s Best Organic brand. Organic meat is something I even make sure Nick and I eat – no additional hormones, chemicals, or antibiotics needed here! Houston is already eating chicken/steak/shrimp/hamburger meat straight from our plates, so I haven’t really felt the need to dive into that puree.


    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve found out how easy the “pouch” baby foods are on the go and just how quickly Houston can slurp straight from the pouch. I’ve also learned how they’re 3 x the price of jar baby food! Just a few days after learning his love for them, I stumbled on these reusable green pouches on Pinterest and ordered them STAT! I can put in my homemade food or just transfer a much less expensive premade container into one.

    Love a great find! :)



    That’s all I can think of for now… let me know if any of y’all have any questions! I’d love to know how many people are already making their own baby food too. It seems to really be going back to main stream these days.

    Soon I’ll have to write a post on the challenge of feeding our new toddler. The in-between-foods, how to pack for the sitter’s, etc. It’s already becoming a whole new world and I’m up for the challenge!








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    1. This was a very timely post. I just got the go ahead from our pediatrician to start solids with our 4 month old. Lots of great info you have. Thanks!

    2. Great post. I make Carter's food too and I use the baby bullet. I didn't start making his food until he was 8 months old though and I so wish I would have done it when he started solids at 6 months. I've just now started mixing meats in with his food. So far I've mixed shredded chicken, peas and brown rice as one meal and sweet potatoes and turkey as another meal. You're totally right about the food combinations being endless. I mix it up on Carter all the time and he loves it!

    3. I totally agree! I definitely wasn't as conscious about what I ate until Colin came along. Now we consider every bite that goes into, not only our children, but also our mouths.

      And if our results are indication, we exposed our boys to a wide variety of foods and they are both great eaters now! You're doing a great thing!

    4. I loved making Lainey's baby food! She won't take purees anymore but I feel like doing this made her a more adventurous eater because I wasn't afraid to try anything. One of her favorites was parsnips and carrots mixed together. It's actually pretty good!

    5. They have a pouch refiller for making babyfood I was really surprised to see how big the section had gotten in the past 4 years. I'm pregnant again and when I had my first it was kind of taboo to make baby food, not a lot of people did it. Now it's popular. I suppose I will have to start collecting recipes haha. I plan to do baby lean weaning with this kiddo so hopefully the combination won't be so bad!!

    6. Great information! I haven't decided if I'm going to try making baby food or not but it looks easy enough!

    7. I didn't make Sam's but someone bought us a babyfood steamer thing so I've been wrestling with exchanging it or trying to make Sydney's. Might have to give it a try.

    8. I love making Alyssa her baby food for a lot of the same reasons. I haven't tried canned stuff yet but that's going to be next because I love me some black beans and chickpeas! I have ventured into pureed meats done out of pot roast, baked chicken and tilapia. The pot roast was for dinner one night and we had a lot left over so I pureed her some. It wasn't a dish I made just for her baby food. Not into all that now;) I mix her pot roast with pureed corn and her baked chicken gets mixed with mashed potatoes. She eats the fish by it's self because it's pretty tasty! She loves it! Thanks for the new food ideas!!! I was starting to feel like her new foods were starting to dwindle:)

    9. I just started making Abby's baby food, it's so fun! We just started solids this week (at 5.5 months). So far she has only tried the sweet potatoes and she loves them! I just steamed the veggies in a pot and uses our blender. Easy peasy! Also, I just use a regular old ice cube tray from Walmart (actually, several of them), works perfect and each cube is approximately 1 tbsp.

    10. I just started making Abby's baby food, it's so fun! We just started solids this week (at 5.5 months). So far she has only tried the sweet potatoes and she loves them! I just steamed the veggies in a pot and uses our blender. Easy peasy! Also, I just use a regular old ice cube tray from Walmart (actually, several of them), works perfect and each cube is approximately 1 tbsp.

    11. I was excited to make Easton's babyfood but he had NO interest in purees. :( We ended up doing baby-led weaning instead. I was a little bummed at first that I didn't get to make his food but at least this route is pretty easy!

    12. I am making Baker's food and he loves it! So far, we've tried oatmeal, carrots, English peas, green beans, bananas, and apples. I'm using the Baby Bullet and LOVE it!! I have also used ice trays. I do all of my cooking and preparation on Sunday and have it ready throughout the week. It's much easier, and more fun, than I thought it would be!

    13. my guys weren't huge fans of purees either( they wanted exactly what we had) but the ones they did eat were homemade with a blender by this mama....keep up the good work!

    14. I've blogged a ton about my adventures in making baby food too, although I am purely doing it for the money saving aspect.. ok, I take that back, I do like knowing exactly where his food is coming from, but I don't buy organic (we simply cannot afford it!).
      You really should try pureeing meat, it's so easy!!
      We also love our Mumi & Bubi trays! I originally got them for freezing milk, and happy that they worked awesome for that and now his food too.
      Thanks for more inspiration on new foods to expose my LO to :)

    15. Amazing Post about baby food. I would like to have some recipe for baby food. I am very impress with your article because your article show that you have great knowledge about it. So i request you must share some more Experience and recipe's with us. Baby food Market Analysis

    16. stephanie I remember you had blogged about this a while ago and I have come back to it now that I am starting to make my own baby food:) thanks for the help!! :)


    I just shared my thoughts, I'd love to hear you share yours! {Besides, I'm tired of listening to the voices in my head.} I kid, I kid... ;)