If you can boil water, you can make baby food. The rules are simple: Steam vegetables until tender, simmer ripe fruits until soft, and poach meats until fully cooked.
All you need is some basic equipment: a steamer basket, a blender, a food processor or food mill, and a strainer. Babies should start with silky, smooth purees the texture of runny yogurt. As the months go by, and your baby moves from gumming food to using his or her milk teeth, your purees should become thicker and chunkier; switch to a food processor or food mill fitted with a medium or large disk.
Refrigerate or freeze the baby food in single-serving airtight containers labeled with the ingredients and the date. You can even freeze food in ice-cube trays; for many babies, one cube is enough. To store, transfer frozen puree cubes to a freezer bag. As your baby grows and begins to eat more, increase the size of the containers -- or simply serve two at a time.
Some baby-care books warn against using microwaves, but most mothers we know use one. Because microwaves heat from the inside out, however, food may be hot inside but cool to the touch, so stir the food until no hot center remains. Test it with your finger and mouth; the food should be barely warm or room temperature. If you don't want to use a microwave, you can thaw or warm the food in a saucepan or in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water.
Download our printable recipe cards.
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