Feeding baby homemade food offers a broader variety of flavors than jarred versions of the same fare and provides a foundation for healthy eating habits for years to come.

Discover creative ways to introduce baby to fresh homemade foods.

Benefits of Homemade Baby Food

Variety. Baby food made from fresh fruits and vegetables provide more intense flavor than jarred food, which is often bland with limited variety. Add herbs and spices to fresh baby food, and the possibilities of complex flavors are endless.

Nutrition. Jarred baby food is heated to extremely high temperatures during processing, destroying certain vitamins more than by cooking baby’s food at home. Plus, prepared and store-bought baby foods may contain additives and preservatives, while fresh baby food is unadulterated with no surprise ingredients.

 Good eating habits. The types of food baby eats lay the foundation for future eating habits. If baby begins life tasting artificial ingredients and chemically processed foods, he may prefer the same unhealthy foods as a toddler and into adulthood, which may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

It’s great to see that when you are gifted with a baby, first you look for the best baby products, then as your baby grows you research for the best toys for 1-year-old and then finally as your baby develops taste, you start searching for Fresh Homemade Baby Food.

Making Baby Food

Water leaches nutrients, so steaming is the preferred cooking method because the water does not come into direct contact with the food. Use a steamer basket and saucepan, or invest in a fruit and vegetable steamer, which can be purchased at most kitchen appliance stores.

Baby’s first foods need to be pureed smooth, creamy, and not too thick. Use a food processor or blender, a hand-held food mill, or push soft-cooked food through a sieve or mash it with a potato masher. Any purees may be diluted with water, breast milk, or formula to get the right consistency.

After pureeing, put a couple servings into containers and store in the refrigerator. For the remainders, pour into ice cube trays or other portions containers and place in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer servings to a plastic bag labeled with the date and contents. Generally, purees may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, and in the freezer for up to three months.

Homemade Baby Food Recipes

Some babies are ready to start solids before others. Baby’s pediatrician likely will recommend beginning solids between four and six months with a mild rice cereal to start. Because baby’s digestive system is still maturing, baby’s first purees must be mild and easy to digest.

Some pediatricians recommend introducing ingredients one at a time for a span of two to five days in order to isolate potential allergy symptoms, especially if baby has a family history of food allergies.

  • Rice Cereal. Put ¼ cup of brown rice in a blender and pulverize into a power, three to five minutes on medium to high speed. Bring one cup of water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat and add brown rice. Reduce heat to low and whisk constantly until the water is absorbed, about five minutes. Once baby tolerates rice cereal, he may try other cereals such as barley and millet.
  • Basic Fruit and Vegetable Purees. When he is ready, baby can begin tasting these fruits and vegetables. Core and cut into chunks two medium-sized apples or pears, then puree. Steamed and pureed zucchini or summer squash are also good beginning solids because they puree into a runny consistency that baby can easily swallow and digest. Roast one to two potatoes or yams, and puree. More simply, mash an avocado or banana.
  • Baby Food Purees with Herbs and Spices. Once baby can handle these introductory purees, add mild herbs and spices to combinations of fruits and vegetables. Combine steamed pears or green beans with one tablespoon chopped fresh mint and puree. Puree two teaspoons of cinnamon with cooked apples. Whip cooked cauliflower and broccoli with two teaspoons of turmeric. Create an asparagus and basil puree. Next, try pureeing ground turkey or lamb.

The possibilities are endless, but remember that broadening baby’s palette is a slow and gentle process as his taste buds and digestive system mature. That said, at this point in baby’s diet, he does not need any added salt or sugar – he gets enough naturally from the basic foods and from formula or breast milk. With these guidelines, parents can begin feeding baby healthy homemade foods, providing a nutritional foundation for years to come.

Note: This article is designed to provide general information for preparing homemade baby food and is not meant to replace actual medical information. If you have questions or concerns regarding baby’s health or nutrition, consult a pediatrician. 

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