To start, here are eight important factors and guidelines to consider when making baby food:
- Always check with your physician before introducing your baby to solid foods.
- Save kitchen space and money by using your regular blender/food processor to puree foods instead of special baby food gadgets.
- Introduce one food at a time to your baby. Do not blend ingredients until you have established that your baby is not allergic to any of them.
- Use water, breast milk, or formula to thin out thick purees. If using breast milk or formula, only add to single servings.
- Do not add salt or sugar to your baby's portions. Herbs/mild spices (e.g., basil and garlic) can be introduced at 9 months and beyond.
- Serve your baby's food no warmer than body temperature.
- Discard any portions that your baby has eaten from to reduce the spread of bacteria.
- Refrigerate remaining leftovers and serve within two days or freeze in airtight containers for up to three months.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
You'll dig the flavor mash-up in these twice-baked sweet potatoes, and your baby will savor the sweet taste and smooth texture of the sweet potato puree. Best for ages 6+ months.
- After the sweet potatoes have cooled, scoop out a small portion and puree.
- Thin the puree as needed with water, breast milk or formula.
Pureed Butternut Squash Soup
Both you and your baby will relish the comfort of this thick and hearty pureed butternut squash soup. Best for ages 6+ months.
- Bake all the squash cubes first at 400 degrees instead of boiling. Let cool and then puree your baby's portion.
- Thin puree as needed with water, breast milk, or formula.
Enjoy hummus as a dip or spread and share some your baby; he'll love the garlic flavor combined with the dense texture of pureed chickpeas. Best for ages 8+ months.
- Prepare dried chickpeas ahead of time, substituting low-sodium chicken broth for water and salt. Click here for instructions on how to cook dried beans.
- For your baby's portion, puree chickpeas, garlic, olive oil and water only. To add slightly more flavor, you can use low-sodium chicken broth again here instead of water.
- Serve with a spoon initially, and then offer it as a dip with whole wheat pita bread once your little one is ready for finger foods.
Avocado and Black Bean Tacos
Have a fiesta with these avocado and black bean tacos that are loaded with super foods. The avocado and black bean purees will woo your baby, too. Avocados are best for ages 6+ months; black beans are best for ages 8+ months.
- Prepare dried black beans ahead of time, substituting low-sodium chicken broth for water and salt. (Click here for instructions on how to cook dried beans.)
- Separate out a small portion of black beans and puree. Thin as needed with the bean liquid.
- Use a fork to mash baby's portion of the avocado immediately before serving.
Warm Quinoa, Spinach, and Shiitake Salad
Prepare our warm quinoa, spinach, and shiitake salad as a meatless main that's packed with protein. Your baby will go ga-ga for the chewy texture of the quinoa swirled with mushroom and spinach purees. Best for ages 9+ months.
- Toss your baby's portion of mushrooms in olive oil only before broiling. After broiling, let cool and then puree.
- Combine all the quinoa with low-sodium chicken broth instead of water and leave out the salt.
- While the quinoa is cooking, saute your baby's portion of spinach in olive oil until soft. Let cool and then puree.
- Mix the spinach and mushroom purees with your baby's portion of quinoa before tossing your salad.
Do you know of any other dishes that can be made as homemade baby food in your kitchen? Share your favorites in the comments section below!