I love making homemade baby food. And creating delicious, wholesome, affordable baby food is much easier than you think. It doesn't require hours of prep or fancy gadgets. I'll show you how I make all of my baby's food with just three simple kitchen tools. Homemade baby food isn't just cheaper and tastier, it's also a great way to lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating.
The only "special" tools you need to make your own baby food are a fork, a chef's knife, and blender. I adore my immersion blender and use for a lot more than baby food, but if you don't have one, a standard blender or food processor will totally work.
The easiest baby food ever is made with a fork. This one is a bit of a no brainer, but I feel it's worth mentioning. Many of baby's first foods can be made by simply mashing up a soft fruit or vegetable with a fork. Banana, avocados, and baked sweet potatoes all work wonderfully for this technique. There's a lot to love about a simple mash. This is the kind of wonderfully portable baby food that can be packed in the diaper bag and mashed at a restaurant, talk about convenient! I also like that fork mashed baby food has a bit of texture, which helps babies as they transition to eating more solids.
Looking for a low tech way to create healthful baby food? I use my chef's knife to create a super fine dice of sauteed greens and/or soft vegetables. It is much easier than getting out the blender. In fact it's so simple I often make a single serving while preparing the entire family's meal. Simply sauté spinach or kale in a bit of olive oil until tender. Place the greens on a cutting board and chop them until they are super fine. You can then add them to greek yogurt, ricotta cheese, scrambled eggs or even apple sauce. One of Jude's favorites as a baby was zucchini and spinach sautéed and finely chopped. Ronan loves kale and greek yogurt.
An immersion blender can turn just about anything into baby food in minutes. It's a great way to prepare many of baby's first foods such as carrots, peas, apple sauce, and grains. Simple cook the vegetables in water or homemade stock and once tender, puree them right in the pot. Apple sauce can be made by simmering apples, peel and all, in water or juice and then blending them up. You can also use a blender to turn soups and mild chili into baby food.
Seven tips for making your own baby food:
- Always ask your doctor before introducing new foods.
- Don't be afraid to use healthful fats such as olive oil.
- Experiment with small amounts of herbs and spices.
- Avoid adding more then a tiny pinch of salt and skip the sugar.
- Have fun creating exciting combinations.
- Use ice trays to freeze individual portions for later use.
- Make sure you use a baby safe surface cleaner like Dreft All Purpose Cleaner on highchair trays and table tops.
As your baby grows and gets more teeth they will need less pureed and mashed foods, at this point opt for bite sized pieces they can feed themselves. I like to serve small pieces of food right on the highchair tray, which means it needs to be clean. New Dreft All Purpose Cleaner Spray and Wipes are specially formulated for the job. Visit the Dreft home website and print a $0.50 off coupon.
This post is a part of the Healthy Families Campaign with KSW Media. Thanks to Dreft for sponsoring this project and today’s conversation. All content and opinions as always, are my own.