After baby #1 I decided I need to do things differently when it comes to baby food. I didn't know a whole lot about making homemade baby food (or how cheap and easy it is), and resorted to buying the baby food pouches at the store. The baby food pouches cost more than the jars, but I loved them because my baby seemed to eat everything that came in them! When I found out reusable baby food pouches were available on the market, I got really excited to try making homemade baby food!
Little one (16-months) mostly eats what we eat for meals, but we are on the road a lot so I wanted to make some homemade baby food to put in pouches for when we are in the car. I was super excited to try out the Fresh Foods Cook-n-Blend Baby Food maker as it made my preparations super simple (it also has amazing reviews on Amazon)! I like that it steams, mashes, purees and defrosts all in one machine. There are two blend levels depending on the age of your baby and whether you want the baby food to have a smooth or chunky texture. I tried a veggie-apple mix first, and then an fruit/oatmeal mixture. The biggest preparation I had was to cut up my fruits/veggies and then press the steam button. The baby food maker comes with a recipe book that also has a “cook time chart” for all the different fruits and vegetables so you know how long to steam them.
**UPDATE: The Fresh Foods Baby Food Maker is discontinued. A good alternative is the Magic Bullet Baby (cheaper but does not steam food) or the BEABA Baby Food Maker (very similar to the Fresh Foods, and highly rated).
Why it's beneficial to have a Baby Food Maker:
- Makes the process of making baby food super simple
- Small Appliance-doesn't take up too much space
- It's so much healthier to steam your own baby food than to buy it in the jars at the store!
- Can make up to 4 meals in a short steam session
- There is an up-front cost to buy it, but it's still much more cost-effective than buying baby food
- Easy to wash
- Multiple texture options, double steamer basket, and dishwasher safe
Next thing on my list is to get the Infantino Squeeze station. My sister LOVES hers and I was jealous of all her neatly filled and dated food pouches. Here's how it works:
Homemade Baby Food Storage Tips:
- Frozen: There are a variety of opinions about how long frozen baby food keeps in the freezer, but most say to use it before 3 months time. The reason it does not last as long as regular frozen fruits and vegetables is because the food is not frozen in its original form (it has been cooked).
- refrigerated: Up to 48 hours
- Glass Jars: If you would rather freeze your baby food in glass jars, make sure and buy ones especially for freezer use (do not use empty Gerber or other baby food jars as they are not made for freezing).
- Extra Tip: You can freeze fruits and vegetables, use them in homemade baby food recipes, and then re-freeze the baby food that you have made. You should not however, use frozen fruits and vegetables that have been cooked, and then freeze them again. In other words, once something has been cooked, it should only be frozen once.
Homemade Baby Food Recipes:
This is my daughter's favorite and is the most simple. If you have the baby food maker all you have to do is chop up the sweet potato and press the steam button! If you don't, wash your sweet potato, poke it several times with a fork and put it in the oven (375°) for about 45 min-to and hour depending on the size of the sweet potato. Peel of the skin and mash it up with a fork. Easiest baby food around!
This one is a fun breakfast blend. I steam one one apple with about 1/4 cup water and then blend with 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 banana, and some baby oatmeal.
This is another very simple recipe: Peel both the banana and the avocado and mash them together.
Here are a couple of recipes from the Fresh Food's Baby Maker:
Find more baby food recipes here:
Weelicioius has TONS of recipes and videos for making homemade baby food!
What are your baby's Favorite Baby Food Blends?