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Homemade Baby Food by Christine Lee-McNaughton

1 September 2010 23 Comments

With Little One being my first baby, I wanted to do everything “right” for her. I wanted to nurse her for as long as I could or until she self-weaned. I wanted to give her wholesome, healthy, unprocessed food. I wanted to avoid giving her sugar. I wanted to be the best mom possible for her. I still want all of those things and we still do most of those things.

I have learned that sometimes some things are unavoidable though. For example, going to the grandparents’ house and Grampy giving Little One ICE CREAM!!!  Or other family members giving her chocolate pudding at the age of 6 months…when she has never been introduced to A) cow’s milk, B) eggs, C) sugar, D) flour, or E) CHOCOLATE!!!

“Oh! But, she likes it!”

“Ummm…Yeah! It’s CHOCOLATE!!! Of course she likes it!”

I’ve learned to ease up a bit on things like that. She’s fine. Plus, it’s only once in a while. It’s a treat. She certainly loves going to Grampy and Lola’s house though! I love that she enjoys playing at their house.

This said, at home we still feed her natural, homemade, unprocessed food…from scratch. With very little free time, I basically just feed her whatever we’re having. When she was first starting on solid food, I pureed whatever we were having and gave it to her. One of her favourite foods has always been stew. She loves the meat, potatoes and veggies.

The beauty of homemade baby food is that you know EXACTLY what goes into your baby’s food. All those veggies are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Some are even rich in calcium.

Though Little One is now a toddler and does not eat “baby food” anymore, I thought I’d share some easy, healthy baby food recipes for moms who are starting their babies on solid foods.

APPLE SAUCE
I use a dozen apples from our apple tree.
Wash apples.
Cut apples in half or quarters (speeds up the cooking time).
Place in pot with enough water to cover apples.
Cook until tender.
Drain and put apples into a fruit press or colander.
Press apples through.
Presto! You’ve got apple sauce!
*This recipe makes a few jars of apple sauce.

APPLE-PEAR PUREE
For two servings, take one apple and one pear. Cut and cook together until just tender.
Puree or mash.
Almost instant baby food.

BANANA
The easiest baby food ever! Simply take a banana, peel it, and mash it with a fork. How easy is that?

AVOCADO
Cut avocado in half.
Remove pit.
Scoop out the avocado “meat”.
Mash.

SWEET POTATO
Wash sweet potato.
Poke holes in sweet potato (keep skin/peel on for baking).
Bake in 400 degree oven until soft (depending on size, it can be 30 to 60 minutes)
Remove peel.
Cut into cubes.
Mash or puree.

I make BUTTERNUT SQUASH similar to the way I make the SWEET POTATO. I just cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and membranes. Place squash halves face down on baking sheet and bake until tender. Puree or mash.

CARROTS
In a pot, boil or steam cleaned carrots (cut into chunks).
Once tender, puree or mash.
*Steaming baskets are fantastic for steaming veggies for baby food!

For babies ready to move on to something more varied:
MEAT-RICE-VEG
1 c. cooked, cubed meat (fat trimmed, skin removed, etc)
1/2 c. cooked rice
2/3 c. cooked, diced veg
3/4 c. liquid (if you give your baby formula, you can use that. You can also use broth or water)
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. You can puree, blend, or chop. Make it as smooth or as chunky as your baby likes it. It all depends on what kind of textures your baby is accustomed to.

You can make this recipe with PASTA, POTATO, or any other GRAIN you wish. I changed it up to allow for variety. It’s a very versatile recipe.

These are just some quick and easy “Momsavers”.

Have you got any great homemade baby food recipes you’d like to share with other BornFree Canada Mom readers? Share one baby food recipe or brand that you love in the comments below. Someone will be chosen to win a Formula Dispenser!


Christine is a blogger and member of the BornFree Mom Panel.

The winner is Cherry with the email address: cherry*******@gmail.com

23 Comments »

  • Jenn of the Roof said:

    As I’ve been canning and freezing this summer, I’ve kept a little bit aside and turned it into baby food. Peaches (puree with a bit of water,) green peas and beans, and so on, and frozen them in ice cube trays. Baby food at my fingertips!

  • Kristen said:

    With my first son I had every intention of making his baby food. I succeed with a couple batches of veggies. But with all the travelling we did it was tough to keep up. My second son started baby food about a month ago, and I’m proud to say that I have managed to make all his baby food!!! Thanks for the ideas for the new foods.

  • Cassandra said:

    I am planing on doing the same. My friend use ice cube tray to freez the food. then she can mix and match to make baby meals. She always give baby 3 cube Meat, veggies, and fruits.

  • Clare said:

    Blueberries! My first loved blueberries and still does! Wash berries, puree with a little water and freeze in ice cube trays.

  • Tobi-Dawne said:

    We have always believed firmly in whole foods for baby. So at three months, when the wee girlie first showed interest in sharing our foods, we gave her baby carrots… not mashed, not cut. Whole baby carrots. She loved having the taste of real food, and it didn’t affect her insides as she wasn’t able to actually eat them (they also felt really nice on her sore little gums). Whole foods are an important aspect of infant-led weaning, and don’t get the attention they should.

  • Veronik said:

    This article comes at the right time! My baby is going to be 5 months next weekend and I already started to make her homemade food. I put this article in my favorites and I will certainly take a look at it to make her baby food. Thanks Christine for these recipies! And you are right to say that we want the best for our children! Grand parents do spoil our kids but it’s what they are for!! ;-)

  • Carrie Dodd said:

    my son liked equal parts of banana, sweet potato and mango mixed together! Thankfully I’m beyond that now and he’s eating mostly table foods.

  • Cherry said:

    Thanks Christine! We have just been cleared to try introducing some solids. I have been waiting for this day so I can start preparing her food (not that I haven’t been preparing her food for the last 4 months already – BFing). I plan on freezing some small single food purees in ice cube trays, and making apple and quince sauce from fruit in our backyard and pear sauce from my friend’s yard. I might even hit up the farmers markets for some summer stone fruit before it’s all gone.

    Every year I make apple sauce with my friend, so we’re just going to make one batch without any sugar for the babe.

  • Steph said:

    I had intended to start giving our peanut homemade baby food from the start…unfortuneately he wasn’t on board. After giving into prepared foods we are slowly able to introduce him to homemade food that isn’t as smooth. I blend up anything with either homemade broth or some water and love freezing in ice cube trays. Its great to know that each cube is about 1tbsp so I have a good idea of how many cubes to take out.
    Right now peaches are in season so we are really into those! He also loved broccoli and zucchini done this way:) Can’t wait for apples and pears and all the rest of the veggies.

  • Chrissy said:

    Veronik:
    I’ve got tons of other homemade baby food recipes to share if you’d like them :)

    Cherry:
    I cannot believe E is already 4 months old!!! How did that happen?!? :)

  • B's Mom said:

    There’s a baby food book called The Baby’s Table, I cook all my son’s food from that. But pretty much any veg or fruit that is safe to consume, you can peal it, chop it up into smaller pieces, wash it, steam it 20 mins or until soft(I just use a pot with water with a steamer basket), puree it in a blender, and pour into ice cube trays to freeze (transfer into ziploc bags to store). Each cube makes one portion, keeps in feezer for 1 month and defrost in fridge overnight…keeps for 48 hours defrosted (if traveling store with ice packs during car ride). I mix the cubes together like sweet potatoes and green beans for variety. There’s also a holder you can buy to put any veg or fruit and baby chews on it and mashes it but they won’t choke on whatever is in the mesh.

  • B's Mom said:

    oh i forgot to add you add the cooking water to the veg/fruit while pureeing to thin it to the consistency you want.

  • Fan said:

    Banana puree, sweet potatoes, apple puree.
    I do not add any water, just puree them, serve right away. Always fresh and all products are organic.
    My baby does not like peas and beans. Baby’s mouth closed for peas and beans.

  • kristen said:

    I used to use ice cube trays and Bananas for example you bake before freezing then they don’t turn brown! I am definitely going to try some of those recipes though thanks and good luck everyone!!

  • kristen said:

    I shared!

  • Melanie Rumley said:

    Another good one is green or yellow zucchini! Good for baby and abundant at this time of year!

  • Shari Goss said:

    I just used to boil baby carrots with a little bit of water, and then throw in blender. Worked great! Will have to do it again for this one.

  • Minna said:

    Chinese use congee as baby food. Basically it’s like rice soup. You boil 3 to 1 ratio of water and rice. It lasts a while depending how much you make. You put anything you want it to make it more tastier such as chicken or pork. I plan to do this when my son gets to solids!

  • Minna said:

    I shared on facebook!

  • Kristi Kocherkewych said:

    My almost 10 month old son has been diagnosed with milk, egg, banana, avocado allergies (after having bananas first time it landed us in the ER when he was almost 7 months). So, I’ve been making my own food using a food making system (wish BornFree made one of these!!) and I freeze so much and have Ziploc bags invading my freezer!! But, it’s worth it when I compare fresh carrots to jar carrots and the colour difference alone is amazing. I haven’t got too adventurous yet with my recipes as Lucas has a keen sense of taste and can weed out the one cube of broccoli to the 3-4 cubes of sweet potatoes that I’ve mixed together!! But, I still try though. I do love mixing different fruits together like apple, pear, peaches and also putting it with his cereal and breastmilk. I bought ground chicken and turkey, cooked then pureed it and put it into the trays to freeze but I don’t blame Lucas for not liking them as it tastes chalky! I think I will try chicken breasts next time, cook and cube them and just mash them into some veggies and make a stew for him to see if he likes it!!
    If anyone has any good recipes for babies with milk, egg, banana and avocado allergies then please let me know! THANKS!!

  • Veronik said:

    Chrissy – feel free to share recipies! I would absolutely love that!! ;-)

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