Homemade Baby Food: A Success!

With my mom being in town, I was brave enough to attempt my first batch of homemade baby food.

(Full disclosure:   My mom pretty much made the food.   But I did keep throwing veggies in the steamer, so I figure that counts.)

It went so much better than I expected it to go!   I tend to be a little on the lazy side about homemade stuff.   I’d much rather try the store-bought version of most things, but this was actually easy to do and it made me feel good because it seemed so much healthier for Beaner.

First, I was completely unprepared to start a baby food production line in my kitchen, so we had to go out and invest in a lot of really expensive equipment.

Like this super groovey rubber steamer thingy that we bought at Target for $5.00:

And these ice cube trays that we also bought at Target for $1.00 each:

And these bags of frozen vegetables we bought for $1.19 a bag:

And this one sweet potato we bought for 75 cents:

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t expensive equipment after all.   I think we invested a total of $10.00 and that even included the one-time purchase of a steamer thingy and ice cube trays.

The process of making the food was even easier than purchasing the “equipment.”   We just threw a veggie into the steamer (for the sweet potato, we just put that into the microwave for 5 minutes, turned it over, and then microwaved it for another 4 minutes)…

The carrots required one extra step of cutting them up into smaller slices before steaming them, but that was just so they steamed a little faster and would puree a little easier.

After steaming, we put the veggies into this small little chopper and pureed them until they were the right consistency.   For the carrots, we added a little bit of apple juice to them when we pureed to help smooth them out a little bit.

Once the veggies were pureed, we spooned them into the ice cube trays.

We’d freeze a batch of veggies, and then popped them out and bagged them up with labels on them so I know what I’m feeding Beanie.

And that was it!   I think the entire process – including clean up – took about an hour.   And we made enough baby food to last for over a month (though most food websites suggest only keeping frozen baby food for up to a month).   We packaged up squash, sweet potatoes, green peas, green beans, bananas, pears, and carrots.

The problem I was having with Bean, aside from the fact that he hated jarred baby food, was that at daycare, they can’t keep anything overnight in their fridge that has been opened.   So, if they opened something and he only had two bites of it, I had to throw away the entire container.   That’s $1.00 a meal, which doesn’t sound like a lot but it really adds up after a couple days.   With this food, we invested $3 or $4 dollars in actual veggies and made enough for 30 days of food.   If Bean decides one day that he’s not into green peas, then I won’t feel quite so sad about throwing it away.

To serve this food, I just have to take one of the cubes out of the Ziplocks and pop it in the microwave.   For daycare, I will put a cube in a little Tupperware cup and it should be thawed by the time Bean’s ready to eat at school.

On a somewhat related note, since Bean has started feeding himself real food, he has gotten used to several of the foods and he will even take them off of a spoon from me now.   He ate an entire jar of green bean baby food the other day (before we made the homemade stuff) and a bowl of applesauce.   All from a spoon.   So, if you’ve got a baby out there that just isn’t getting the food thing – DON’T GIVE UP!   Just let them play and get used to the food on their own terms and eventually they might warm up to the whole process.

Bean certainly has.

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18 Thoughts to “Homemade Baby Food: A Success!”

  1. Good for you for making his food. I did so with my boys also, it really is easy and so much better for them also. If you haven’t heard of the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron, its really great and goes month by month want new food to introduce.

  2. courtney

    My son actually did eat baby food, but we transitioned him to table food very early on (not junk – just vegetables, fruits, etc). My pediatrician wasn’t a big fan of baby food so she pushed for the transition. A lot of my friends and family left there kids on baby food past a year and they are very picky eaters now. My son eats like a champ and will eat any and all vegetables. We also didn’t do the whole 2nd foods, 3rd foods, etc. I felt that it was a waste of money when you can just mash up a few peas and carrots yourself. As Bean grows and learns to chomp and gum things you can start to puree less and increase the texture of the food very slowly.

  3. I found my oldest refused to eat homemade baby food after having the jarred stuff, so just in case he freaks out about the homemade, could be why. The taste and texture of homemade are totally different from jars. Hopefully he’ll stick with finger foods because it’s soooooo much easier to feed him bits of what you are eating. Also, try little pieces of avocado — most babies love it and it’s so good for them!

    1. Katie

      I just bought an avocado today to try!!

      1. Kelly

        And on the plus side, some Mexican restaurants have sliced avocados on dishes, so Beanie can share in the feast. 😉

        Oh, and just a simply, canned pumpkin in easy. Add cinnamon or nutmeg if you’re really feeling kicky.

  4. Thank you for the encouragement! I am still struggling to get my son to eat food. He acts interested but when we actually give him some, he refuses. It is really frustrated. I can’t believe how easy it is to make your own baby food! I may have to try that myself!

  5. Good job, mama! We made some of our own baby food too. Really easy and cheap, cheap, cheap! Now since {at the time} we were both really busy full-time working parents we did end up using jarred baby food too. The horror! But hey, sometimes convenience took over. I do highly recommend making your own baby food though. We used the magic bullet system to puree and it works wonders!

    I’m glad I found your blog, by the way. I’ve been blogging for 3 years and I read your post on the Pioneer Woman (seriously, how did I never know she existed until now?). Now I’m hooked on both!

  6. I am so glad that you wrote about this. We just bought some quinoa, pearl barley, long grain wild rice, oats, and millet so that we can make Charlotte’s iron-rich single-grain cereals because, well, HELL, if I’m home with her, I may as well make it myself instead of buy boxes of it, right? Although, I have to say, I always assumed we’d buy boxes of rice cereal, and so learning what to do with quinoa – which I’d never even heard of before – is going to be interesting.

    But it’s nice to know that someone else does the same thing and I’m not a total loon.

    1. Kelly

      Don’t be scared of the quinoa! Use 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or so. It’s the only grain that is considered a complete protein. it does look a little funny once it is cooked (it will have a little squiggle on it), and might need to be mashed/pureed so baby can eat it.

  7. Meghan

    I made all my own baby food for Son #1, and I’m currently making all my own baby food for Son #2. The only time we use jarred food is if we’re traveling for convenience’s sake. For $.79 (the cost of a bag of non-salted frozen peas on sale with a coupon), I can make enough pureed peas for approx. 17 servings. 17 jars of peas would cost at least $8.50! I can’t imagine how expensive it would be to feed two kids using all jarred food….we do transition to table food fairly quickly, but still. And making the food really doesn’t take that much time, especially if you do it while you’re cooking other things or dedicate a couple of hours and knock out a ton of food at one time.

  8. Jen

    You are officially Superwoman! I’m sooooo going to need your advice (hopefully) SOON!

  9. Yay! I also make my own food and it is SO easy. I have been itching to buy this (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/beaba-babycook/?pkey=x%7C4%7C1%7C%7C4%7Cbabycook%7C%7C0&cm_src=SCH) even though I know it is insanely overpriced and ridiculously unnecessary. The only thing stopping me is the looks I will get from my mom and mother-in-law:)

    Not sure if someone mentioned it, but we have had good luck throwing a frozen cube of food in the mesh feeder. It gets my son used to the flavor (he is only 5 months) and helps with his gums.

    1. Katie

      I tried the mesh feeder with a frozen cube yesterday and Bean actually liked it. He lost interest after a while, but it liked it when it was really frozen and hard. I think it felt good on his teeth.

      1. Same with us:) Cold = good, warm mush = get me something cold.

  10. YAY!!!! Congratulations for giving it a try.. We all knew you’d love it! 🙂 I’m glad it turned out so well for you. It looks like what I did…though I didn’t use applesauce for the liquid when pureeing. That’s a great idea.

    When he gets to finger food, it’s even easier. Keep a bag of mixed veggies on hand, and just microwave a batch every couple of days. It’s really easy to feed these kiddos after all!

    (You can get really wild when he’s ready for meat, and brown up some chicken breasts or make mini meatballs to freeze in baggies too. Just make the meatballs small enough to microwave quickly and cut the chicken into small pieces before you freeze it)

  11. Bhuvana

    You have a great blog! I found you from the Bloggies website – congrats on being nominated. I had to comment on this post – my daughter is almost 8 months old and I’ve been thinking about making baby food for her after spending lots of $$ on containers of organic baby food. As a working mom I always assumed I didn’t have enough time to do homemade baby food, but this post has inspired me to try it this weekend!

  12. Dawn

    Just came aross this post – and wanted to THANK YOU for posting it! I have been wanting and thinking about making baby food for Little C for a couple of months now, but am so intimidated by the whole idea that I haven’t. Hearing people say that it is “So easy” has not helped make it seem any easier in my mind. But your step-by-step and picture-by-picture post has helped me realize that maybe I really CAN do it myself. And save lots of money in the process!

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