Baby Food DIY | A Simple Guide for Beginner’s
Baby Food DIY for Beginner’s
If you have little ones, you’ve been there… it’s time to start giving your kiddo baby food and you need to decide if baby food DIY is for you, or if you’ll buy what’s on the shelf.
For you, it may not have even been something you even thought about, you just buy what’s available either for simple convenience or just because it’s what you think you’re supposed to do.
But what if there WAS another option?
What if there was a SIMPLE way for you to make your own baby food right at home without a bunch of time or crazy equipment? Would you do it?
Let me share our story of how we came to decide baby food DIY was right for us, and maybe it will encourage you to begin your baby food DIY journey too!
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. I only recommend products I love or would personally use.
I LOVE to find a good deal on anything our family can use. I especially love to find a good deal when I get the chance to stock up on something before I am going to need it.
This was the case with baby food one time at my grocery store. I feel like jarred baby food has gone to the wayside and pouch baby food is all the rage right now.
I just expected that we too would join the pouch baby food revolution with the rest of America. So when I was able to get them for FREE, I stocked up!
I was SUPER stoked that I was ahead of the game and prepared. It’s kinda my thing, ya know?
One night we were eating dinner and just so happened to have green beans. Doesn’t sound exciting, I know, but it was about the time to start our little one on baby food and I knew I had a pouch of green beans.
I thought, “This is perfect, baby can have green beans just like us”.
So I went and grabbed the pouch and squirted some out on a plate because I was curious what it looked like.
I placed a real green bean next to it, and I was rather grossed out.
The two were completely different colors.
It may seem like no big deal to some, and I totally get that they are two different variations of the same thing, but I did this same experiment with some other foods as well, and our thoughts on feeding our little one had changed completely.
It was then that we decided that baby food DIY was for us.
Balancing a Full-Time Job and Feeding Baby
I was working full time as a teacher when all of this was going on, and I am not going to lie, it was a lot to juggle.
I was still making and washing all the necessary bottles to go to the sitters, washing and prepping all breast pump parts, as well as steaming and blending the food, and assembling the food containers.
It was a lot of work, to say the least. Was it worth it… 100% yes!
We knew what our little one was eating… we purchased our produce, usually organic, processed it, usually by steam, and then blended it all in our kitchen. There was no question about the nutrition we were providing for our child.
I get that baby food DIY isn’t for everyone and we certainly pass no judgment, but it was the right move for us. A fed baby is #1 priority much like the breast vs. bottle debate.
But for us, this was how we wanted to feed our children.
Now on to the important part… here is what I did!
There are some really great resources available about the sequence of food you should give your children. I found a solid foods chart from Wholesome Baby Food that I really like. I like that it provided me with some choices but kept it pretty simple and straightforward.
Keeping things simple is a priority for me!
I also liked that it gave me a place to make notes. I didn’t realize it then, but I used the dates of when I had given each food to our first as a guide and resource when our second started on solid food.
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Baby Food DIY- First Foods
The first food we chose to give our kids was avocado.
I know, most people start with iron-fortified cereal, but I did a lot of research (which I would encourage you to do as well) and discovered that a baby’s belly just isn’t quite ready to break down grains until a year old.
There is an enzyme in the gut called amylase.
I learned that babies do not make enough of this to digest grains until at least 1 year of age. Amylase is used to help break down starch, which can be found in cereals. There are a lot of sites out there with a lot of information!
(I would HIGHLY encourage you to do your own research as I have no medical background to speak from. I would just suggest that you educate yourself and make your own choices for your little ones.)
Which types of produce should I choose?
Is it important which fruits and vegetables are organic versus non-organic?
That’s totally up to you!
When we started making our own baby food for our kids, I found a list of the 2017 top 12 Dirty Dozen foods from Eating Well.
We kind of let that be our guide, but I would also personally add potatoes to that list.
Another resource we used was this list of 15 foods you don’t need to buy organic from Eating Well.
Eating organic can certainly more expensive, so having some resources to help you choose the right types of produce is important.
Why did we choose to even worry about buying organic vegetables? Great question!
Before having kids, I can’t honestly say that it was something that crossed my mind very often. We just ate whatever was on sale.
But, when we had kids, I wanted to make sure that I was providing them with the best nutrition I could based on my knowledge of food. With things like autism and learning disabilities on the rise and the fact that we often don’t know what causes these things, I knew the food was one thing I could have control of and try to do what I felt was best for our kids.
Food Prep Processes
Our process was incredibly simple! So if you like simplicity, this will most likely work for you too!
We usually steamed most of the food in a vegetable steamer basket.
I do boil carrots in a pot on the stove in water until tender, and we cook our sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour.
For the foods that we boil and steam, I add some or all of that water to the food before blending depending on the consistency I am going for. It’s important that you let the water cool before adding it to the blender!
By adding the water back to the food, I am preserving the nutrients that may have escaped during the boiling process.
We could have used our regular blender to blend the food, but I have a Magic Bullet that I like to use instead. Allow the food to cool and place it in containers for more immediate consumption, or into an appropriate type of container for freezing and storing.
Related Post: How to Be a Better Mom to Your Toddler
Useful Kitchen Tools
Right around the time we decided to do baby food DIY, I was making a purchase from Pampered Chef.
I asked about something that would allow us to portion and freeze some of the homemade baby food.
This was important for me because I was a full-time working mom as I mentioned before. The Pampered Chef consultant led me to these awesome herb freezing trays that I repurposed for freezing our baby food.
Once the homemade baby food was frozen, I popped them out and put them in a labeled plastic freezer bag for storage.
We also use these OXO TOT baby blocks food storage containers. They were great for storing baby food in the fridge and freezer, and the awesome part is that as your kids get older, you can repurpose them for snacks!
Share Your Experience!
I hope this has given you some food for thought or maybe some direction and inspiration into baby food DIY!
If you have any questions or want to share your experiences, let me know in the comments. I love to hear from you!
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