How to Make Baby Food: The Only 2 Recipes You Need

Sean knows how to use a spoon (sort of).

Sean knows how to use a spoon (sort of).

If you plan to make your own baby food, don’t do what I did and buy a cookbook. It’s a waste of money. Since you’re not adding any seasonings or fat, what do you need a baby food cookbook for anyway? There are only two recipes that you need to make pretty much all baby food: one for fruits and firmer vegetables, and one for softer vegetables. Of course, foods that don’t need cooking, like ripe bananas, avocado and melon, only need to be pureed and served.

You do need to get one piece of equipment, though: a food mill. I got the Oxo one, which has three different grinds. Use the finest grind for baby food. A food mill is a good investment, because you can use it to make all kinds of purees, mashes and sauces. It will remove seeds and peels and produce a finer puree than a food processor. A food mill makes very creamy mashed potatoes!

Ice cube trays are perfect for freezing baby food in one-tablespoon portions. I like the silicone ice cube trays because the frozen food pops out neatly and doesn’t leave a mess behind. You can reuse them for freezing pestos, stock and sauces in small portions.

Fruit and Firm Vegetables

This recipe is best for apples, pears, plums, peaches, winter squash, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

  1. Peel the fruit or vegetables. Remove the core and/or any seeds.
  2. Cut into small cubes.
  3. Add just enough water to cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat and simmer until very tender.
  5. Drain.
  6. Push through the finest grind of a food mill to puree.

Soft Vegetables
This recipe is best for broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peas and green beans.

  1. Cut the food into small pieces.
  2. Steam until very tender.
  3. Push through the finest grind of a food mill to puree.

Refrigerate baby food up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 months. Baby food does not need to be reheated, but your baby may like it better at room temperature. If it is too thick, thin with a little water, formula or breast milk.

Note: The American Association of Pediatrics does not recommend preparing your own carrots, beets, spinach and greens because of the potential for nitrates. Commercially prepared baby food is supposedly screened for nitrates. Use your own discretion. I do keep some prepared baby food for when I don’t have anything made, so I choose these foods to buy instead of to make.

Babies only need to be fed purees until they develop the ability to pick up small pieces of food in a pincer grasp. (We’re practicing with Cheerio’s.) Then you can graduate to finger foods, such as cut up fruits and veegetables, tofu, well-cooked pasta, toast, rice cakes and pancakes. So you only have to go through the whole baby food ordeal for a couple of months. (This was one of those things I didn’t know before having a baby.)

Once they start eating finger foods, I think it’s best to feed them a scaled-down version of whatever you’re eating, just hold the fat, spices and sugar, and continue to avoid allergenic and acidic foods until they are least 1 year old.

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8 thoughts on “How to Make Baby Food: The Only 2 Recipes You Need

  1. Maggie 21 September 2008 at 8:28 pm

    On the Nitrates issue, here are a few snippes from the AAP itself:

    AAP Statements from Policy Papers

    “Because the intake of naturally occurring nitrates from foods such as green beans, carrots, squash, spinach, and beets can be as high as or higher than that from well water, these foods should be avoided before 3 months of age, ”

    and “Preventive strategy would be not to introduce home preparations of these vegetables to infants before 3 months of age, although there is no nutritional indication to add complementary foods to the diet of the healthy term infant before 4 to 6 months of age.23
    Infants fed commercially prepared infant foods after 3 months of age generally are not at risk of nitrate poisoning, although the containers should be refrigerated after first use and discarded within 24 hours of opening. ” American Academy of Pediatrics – Nitrate Statement and

    “Because vegetables, including green beans, carrots, squash, spinach and beets, can have nitrate levels as high or higher than that of well water, infants should not eat these foods until after age 3 months.”
    AAP Well Water Statement

    I just thought I’d share 🙂

  2. Shannon 21 September 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks, Maggie, for sharing. The AAP also recommends no solids until 6 months of age, so I guess the nitrates are not so much of a problem at the later age.

    I do tend to choose commercial baby food for the foods that can be high in nitrates, just to be on the safe side, since I am buying some baby food anyway. But I don’t think that should discourage people from making their own baby food.

  3. […] that Sean is eating solid foods, I have tried my hand at making baby food. I don’t like it too much; it’s time-consuming, messy and not very creative. I would love […]

  4. Easy Healthy Recipes 30 September 2008 at 3:54 pm

    what a cute baby

  5. Shannon 30 September 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks, we like him.

    eree5t56555555555555555s3sd542212asrvvetrerexx – Sean’s comment

  6. […] How to Make Baby Food: The Only 2 Recipes You Need […]

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  8. BREAKING NEWS: BABY GIRL LOVES QUINOA! | 27 August 2014 at 10:55 am

    […] How to Make Baby Food: The Only 2 Recipes You Need […]

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