Thank you so much for the awesome feedback (and pins!) on this homemade baby food post! For even more recipes, be sure to check out homemade baby food round 2. xoxo
Feeding and making solid foods for Livi to try continues to be one of my favorite things. I really looked forward to introducing solids to Liv, especially during my breastfeeding woes, and it’s just as fun as I thought it would be.
At first, while Olivia was just getting the feel for swallowing food (instead of pushing it out with her tongue), she would only eat a few bites unless it was an avocado. I figured she wasn’t super hungry or ready for solid foods yet -breastmilk/formula is the main source of nutrition for the first year, solids are really just “for fun” and getting into the habit of eating- and continued to try to feed her different things that I had made. I would usually just offer one food at a time, she’d take a few bites and that would be it. I figured she was just still satisfied from the bottle she had an hour or so beforehand, and was still getting the hang of it.
Then when I was a little under the weather, I made some soup, threw it in the food processor and she GOBBLED it up. For the record, it was probably the best soup I’ve ever made- she absolutely loved it. I quickly learned that little miss likes combos– if it’s one food at a time, she’ll eat it, but if I mix different flavors and a combo of sweet and savory, she goes crazy for it. I also figured out she likes a lot of the robust flavors I love and ate while pregnant. I always joked that she’d come out a spicy meatball since I love spicy foods so much.
We picked up a few of these baby food pouches to travel with to Las Vegas, and she slurped them down.
For the trip and convenience factor, they were awesome. On the plane, I would offer Liv a bottle to clear her ears, and if she didn’t want it, she would eat some fruit/veggie from the pouch and wash it down with some water. It was perfect.
I love the ingredients, they’re all organic and BPA-free packaging, but they’re expensive for what they are. Almost $2 per pouch, and even though we could stock up and mostly feed her those, I’m always looking for ways to save money, and I enjoy taking an hour or so to make her food for the month.
The Vitamix even gives baby food that silky smooth texture:
So instead of $120 per month on pouches (that’s 2 pouches per day), here’s a month of baby food I made in a little over one hour for $20–a much more cost-effective option!
Homemade Baby Food Combinations for This Month
Pumpkin and banana
Oats (apple, pear and banana)
Broccoli and apple
Spinach, peas and pears
One Month of Healthy Homemade Baby Food Recipes
Blend these homemade baby food combinations well and thin as necessary with water or breastmilk–especially necessary with starchy mixes.
1. Pumpkin and banana: 1 can of organic pumpkin and 1-2 banana(s). If you’d like to make your own pumpkin, check it out here.
2. Oats: Split your oats into thirds and blend 3 batches–one with steamed apples, one with steamed pears and one with banana.
3. Butternut squash: Just a steamed or baked butternut squash. (Tip: Trader Joe’s makes this one super easy, as they sell ready-to-steam peeled and cubed butternut squash.)
4. Sweet potato: Use the flesh only of baked sweet potatoes.
5. Broccoli and apple: Defrosted broccoli and one steamed or boiled apple. Note: Many of the packaged baby foods will have a ratio of about 2/3 to 3/4 fruit with 1/4 to 1/3 veggie, so they’re very sweet. I try to flip it and do mostly veggies with a smaller ratio of fruit, just to cut the bitterness.
6. Spinach, peas and pears: For this one, I’ll steam the peas and peeled, chopped pears together, then blend up with defrosted frozen spinach. As in #5, I’ll do more veggies and less fruit (like 1/2 bag of organic broccoli and 1 apple, 1/2 bag of organic spinach wilted down, 1/2 bag frozen organic peas and 1 pear), but see what your baby prefers.
Make Healthy Homemade Baby Food in Under an Hour
Follow these steps for efficient homemade baby food prep!
-Pre-heat oven to 375. Wash and poke the sweet potatoes with a fork. Get the sweet potatoes in the oven. These need to bake for about 50 min, flipping halfway through.
-Start boiling the water for the 1.5 cups dry oats, according to package instructions, and another pan for anything you want to make on the stovetop.
-Peel and chop the apples and pears.
-Steam one bowl of apples and one of pears in the microwave: Add about 1 inch of water to the bottom of a glass bowl along with fruit. Microwave each bowl for 2 minutes. You could also boil in water for about 7 minutes instead.
-Defrost the spinach, broccoli and peas (either in the microwave or steamer).
-Microwave the butternut squash (or you can bake it in the oven, cut side down with the sweet potatoes), then the pears, then the apples in a little water with a moist paper towel on top (that’s optional, but definitely helps with a squash). We use this handy electric steamer.
-Scoop out sweet potato flesh.
-Start blending and storing.
How to Store Homemade Baby Food in the Freezer
I like to use the Baby Bullet storage containers, and ice cube trays work well, too. I couldn’t find ice cube trays while we were at Target, so for now I’ll just pour whatever’s left into freezable BPA-free ziploc baggies and lay flat in the freezer. Put a couple servings in the fridge, the rest in the freezer to defrost as necessary.
*Baby food in the fridge seems to last max 3 days over here before I toss it out, so only keep what your baby will eat over the next day or so in the fridge- everything else in the freezer.
Just for Fun Baby Food Extras
-Little Ducks snacks, avocado, mashed banana, bites of whatever I’m eating to try (brown rice tortilla, egg yolk, lentils, beans)
-For breakfast, she’ll usually have fruit/oatmeal and for dinner, I try to mix up one of the sweeter veggie options with a starchy option (like sweet potato or butternut squash with a greens/fruit combo).
-While I heat up her food and make myself something to eat, I’ll give her something in the mesh feeder to keep her busy until the main course is ready. She especially loves crispy apple, cantaloupe, or bites of whatever I’m eating. The mesh feeder has been great for restaurants, and one mom gave me an awesome tip: keep a garlic press on hand to instantly puree whatever you’re eating while out and about.
Shopping List for One Month of Homemade Baby Food
-2 organic sweet potatoes
-1 can organic pumpkin
-2 C oats
-4-6 organic apples
-a pack of frozen organic spinach (or you can use fresh and wilt it down in a little olive oil, which is what I did)
-pack of frozen organic peas
-4-6 organic pears
Bonus recipe: Livi’s chicken soup = $20 for 3 huge adult servings, 4 baby servings
*Keep in mind that I’m not a baby food expert or baby nutrition specialist in any way- these are just the foods that Liv likes and an inexpensive list of combos. Always check with your doctor regarding the best method for feeding your baby. Baby led weaning works really well for many of my friends, but doesn’t seem to be the best method for us right now. For now, we’re pureeing most of Liv’s food and she loves it.
Do you have any fun baby food combos to share? Easy methods of preparing baby foods? Something unique that your little one surprisingly loves?
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