What You Need To Make Homemade Baby Food

How to Make Baby Food With Basic Kitchen Equipment

Starting your baby on solid food for the first time is an exciting time in your life as a parent and it can be fun to introduce new flavors and foods to your little one. And if you're looking to give your baby the healthiest start to eating baby food or just saving a few dollars on baby food, you may be looking to make your own baby food. I for one, am a big fan of mixing both homemade baby food and using the best all-natural, organic options at the grocery store when I need a break. I think balance is the key to a healthy diet and that's a great lesson to learn at any age, right? 

But back to business here -- how do you get started on making your homemade baby food? Like any good recipe, it starts with making sure you have the right tools for the job. Unlike breastfeeding or formula feeding, making baby food might take a little bit more prep work. When it comes down to it, all you really need to make baby food is a banana and a fork. However, the fork won't cut it for a majority of your puréed fruits and veggies, not to mention meats.

Before you go investing in that $400 food processor, use these common kitchen items first. Once you've determined homemade baby food is clearly for you, you can invest in other complementary pieces. But for now, get started with these essentials.

1
Blender, Food Processor, or Hand-held Stick Blender

Man making a smoothie at home.
A blending tool is an absolute essential to make baby food. Ezra Bailey/Taxi/Getty

Obviously, you're going to need something to mash your homemade baby food into a fine purée. To start you off, your basic blender, food processor, or hand-held stick blender will work just fine. However, if you intend on making most of your baby food, it may be wise invest into a decent food processor. It's possible that repeated daily use could cause you to blow out the motor of smaller accessories. There are a lot of really great individual blender options out there now, as smoothies have become more popular, like the NutriBullet, which are perfect for making baby food. 

2
Vegetable Steamer

Vegetable steamers soften fruits and veggies in order to make homemade purées. Cuisinart, http://www.cuisinart.com

Whether you choose your basic steamer and cooking pot duo or you happen to have an electric vegetable steamer, you are going to need something to cook your foods. You definitely want a steamer that has a tight lid to help lock in nutrients as the foods cook.

3
Ice Cube Trays and Plastic Wrap

Ice cube trays make freezing homemade foods a snap. brungrrl, http://www.flickr.com
You can find special products meant specifically for freezing homemade baby food. But as long as you have an ice cube tray and a roll of saran wrap, you're all set. Portion out your mashed foods into the individual compartments of the tray and cover with plastic wrap. These cubes ease the task of thawing and portioning out servings. Most ice cube trays are the equivalent of a one ounce serving.

4
Ziplock Freezer Bags and Permanent Markers

Store frozen cubes in labeled ziplock bags. manueb, http://www.flickr.com

Once you've gotten your cubes frozen, transfer them to a labeled ziplock freezer bag. Make sure you include the date the food was prepared and what the food is. If you forget the latter, you may wonder if what you are looking at is peaches or sweet potato. Most baby foods can be stored for about a month's time. When it's chow time, just thaw and heat the desired number of ounces. Should I Worry about Nitrates and Homemade Baby Food

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