Looking at the price of baby food in the store you may think, “Oh, it’s not that expensive. I’ll just buy baby food.” And you put homemade baby food out of your mind.
you have a baby like mine. One who throws up everything at the slightest inkling of an unpleasant texture or flavor in his mouth.
And so, long after other babies his age (and younger) have moved on to table food, my little guy will still only take pureed foods. This is going on four months now.
That would be four months of buying baby food.
Fortunately for me, I have a blender. So it’s been four months of blending my little guy’s food.
Why Homemade Baby Food?
Let’s start with the basics of why make your own baby food and then we will move on to the how.
Homemade Baby Food Saves Money
Buying baby food can add up really quick! Especially if you have a big eater. Save yourself some money by just making your own.
Whatever you are making for the family dinner, just throw some in a blender (a Bullet works great, too), add some water, broth or milk and blend. Although I limit the wheat my little one gets since it is harder to digest.
We raise much of our own veggies and meat anyways, so that’s added savings!
Now I’m not saying that I never buy baby food. Having a pouch or two of non-perishable food in the diaper bag at all times is so handy!
I love store-bought baby food on long days or outings. On these days I don’t have to worry about it spoiling if it goes unrefrigerated for too long.
Homemade Baby Food is Healthier
But what about organic baby food? you argue. Yes, that is what I buy when I chose to buy baby food.
One thing I don’t know about is “industry standards” in baby food processing. There could be some things that are added or done to the baby food that don’t have to be disclosed on the label because everyone in the industry does it.
In addition, the packaging could be adding unnecessary “ingredients” to the baby food. Even pouches that say “BPA Free” may still contain other chemicals that aren’t deemed as great a threat as BPA and so are not announced on the label.
More chemicals could be leached into the food if it is packaged at a hot temperature. Heat causes plastics to break down easier.
When purchasing baby food, stick to glass jars if possible. [But I do usually keep a pouch or two in my diaper bag for convenience.]
How to Make Homemade Baby Food
The sky is the limit when it comes to baby food. Any healthy food you can put in a blender will usually make great baby food. [A blender makes a great wedding gift if you need ideas!]
For the easiest baby food, just throw some dinner in the blender as I mentioned above. Otherwise read on to find out all the ways I boost the nutrition profile of my baby’s food.
Cook the Veggies
Cook all the veggies you put into your baby food. Vegetables are much easier to digest and break down after they have been cooked.
You should also make sure there is some source of fat with the veggies. Many vitamins in vegetables are fat soluble and can only be absorbed in the presence of fat. Chose a healthy fat! Like butter, cream, lard or coconut oil.
Egg yolks are packed with lots of nutrients and healthy fats. They are especially beneficial in brain development. Drop one or two in a blender full of baby food. Yep, raw! I would only recommend doing this if you have a trusted source of eggs, though.
Yolks make veggies creamier and smoother. Or they add an extra punch to just plain oatmeal. Really, egg yolks taste mild enough that they complement any food.
Just be sure to not get any of the whites in the baby food. Raw egg whites are very difficult for a baby to digest.
Plain gelatin is an excellent source of protein and amino acids. Be sure to get a grass-fed, organic source for your little one. Especially if they aren’t a fan of meats yet.
First you will want to dissolve the gelatin in cold water. Put one tablespoon of gelatin in a quarter cup of cold water. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so until it blooms. It will look like the inside stuff from a soaked disposable diaper.
After the gelatin is dissolved in cold water, it will then dissolve easily in liquids and baby food.
My little guy was a preemie. During the last month of pregnancy is when the baby tanks up his iron stores from his mother. Since my baby missed out on the last month of pregnancy, he had iron issues around nine months.
The iron supplement that was prescribed for him had artificial colors, flavors and corn syrup. Not impressed.
I decided to skip the supplement and go for the liver. Liver is very high in iron. I bought the desiccated liver so that it dissolved easily in my son’s bottles or food. He no longer is low on iron!
I have two different kinds of probiotics that I alternate between. Because my son was born via caesarean I wanted to help colonize his gut with proper bacteria.
I don’t know a ton about probiotic products so I took Genevieve Howland’s recommendation from Mama Natural. I also purchased Just Thrive probiotic because it is spore based and survives through the stomach and makes it into the intestines.
When I’m blending something I’ll also add a splash of my homemade milk kefir for added probiotics.
I add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast into my baby’s foods as well. It is very high in several B vitamins and offers more protein.
Homemade Baby Food Recipe Ideas
Breakfast was the hardest for me to think of something my son would like. But with a blender, anything is possible!
One thing I make for my baby is fried eggs. Make sure to keep the heat low so there aren’t any crispy edges on the eggs. I keep the yolks runny (or try to) and make sure the whites are completely cooked.
I toss the two eggs into the blender with a bit of chicken broth, milk or kefir. And blend and blend. The eggs become this wonderful creamy consistency that is like pudding for my little guy. It can get a bit pasty so make sure the eggs are thin enough.
I soak 1/2 a cup of oatmeal overnight in 1/2 a cup of warm water and a tablespoon of kefir. The kefir and soaking helps break down the anti nutrients that coat most grains and seeds. This soaking makes grains much easier to digest.
In the morning I add another 1/2 cup of water, several pinches of salt and cook it up. Because it has soaked all night, it cooks up very quickly.
I dump the oatmeal in the blender and throw in some frozen berries, two egg yolks, collagen (or gelatin) and a pinch of stevia. I usually have to add more water during the blending phase to keep it from being too pasty.
Lightly seasoned chicken or beef soups make a wonderful baby meal after they’ve gone through the blender!
My little guy loves winter squash. I put some butternut in the blender and add all kinds of goodies for him for supper. I thin it down with a bit of chicken broth.
Applesauce by itself is a great “dessert.” Or you can put it in the blender and throw in some fresh or frozen berries for apple-berry sauce.
Sweet potatoes are delicious, too. Although I’m not sure how much my son actually digests them because his poo is very orange after he eats them…
How to Freeze Homemade Baby Food
I freeze a lot of baby food because I like to blend bigger amounts of food for my boy. I put some of the food in jars in the fridge to eat in the next day or two. I pour the rest of the food into ice cube trays and freeze it!
This way I can choose exactly what cubes of food I want to feed my baby and how much. And it thaws much quicker when it’s frozen in smaller portions.
After the cubes have frozen I pop them out into a larger container in the freezer. At any time I have a variety of healthy foods ready to feed my baby.
If you are venturing into making your own baby food, be creative! Even if you only have a bit of cooked veggies to blend up, there is so much you can add to it to nourish your baby. Homemade baby food can benefit both you and your baby!