Friday, December 16, 2011

DIY Baby Food

Which banana would YOU rather eat?

Since I realize that I shouldn’t waste all of my excess time on gossip websites or MTV reruns, I sometimes try to use that extra time to be a good, productive mommy.

As some of you may know, I don’t eat meat and am a huge proponent for fresh, organic or locally grown fruits and vegetables. I’m going to spare you my rant about organics, raw foods, and the poisons that we unknowingly ingest every single day in frozen food and processed meats—I promise that I will go on and on about that another time.

What I am going to talk about is something which stems from this belief system: how to make your own baby food, something that I’ve done with my daughter since she was 4 months old. Friends and family frequently ask me about this so I thought it might be a useful post. 

Warning: To any non parental reader, you might want to avert your eyes from this point on because the rest of this post is about to get pretty mommish and boring; If you choose to continue reading, do so at your own risk.

I’m a complete freak show about making virtually everything homemade (even peanut butter!) so to me making my own baby food was a no brainer. It never even occurred to me to purchase jarred food, because I rarely eat anything canned, jarred or frozen myself. However, most normal people don’t act in such an extreme and ridiculous manner and, for many, the idea of making baby food can seem difficult and complicated.

Not only is it not difficult at all, but the benefits of making the food yourself far outweigh any doubts that you may have:

1.You can feel like you are actually doing something good and productive
One of the problems that I face on a regular basis is that gnawing feeling that I don’t do enough for my kid. I feel like I don’t play with her enough, that I don’t take her for enough walks, that I’m not teaching her enough, etc., etc., etc. One thing that cooking for the baby from such a young age has done is make me feel like it’s possible that I’m getting something right. It feels good to do good things for your kids so why not start with the area where it matters most—their health.

Pizza is NOT a vegetable, Congress
2.You are lessening the chances of of your life being dependent on chicken fingers 
When you make your own food you are given the opportunity to shove a bunch of fresh, super healthy foods into your kids face before they are old enough to realize that good food is bad and bad food is good. If you continue with it as they grow, they will naturally develop a taste for fruits and vegetables because they are already so conditioned to eating them. My daughter genuinely enjoys avocados, spinach and green beans and literally starts gagging and pretending to choke if I try to give her a bite of macaroni and cheese (unfortunately, I’m not even slightly exaggerating when I say this).

3. You know exactly what your kid is eating
Yes, I know that there are pesticides on all vegetables and that it’s impossible to make sure my kid is 100% healthy. But at least I don’t have to panic every single time I see a Facebook post that Gerber bananas are being recalled because they found glass in the jars.

4. You save a crap ton of money
I’m not quite sure how much the average person spends on baby food since I’ve never actually purchased it; what I do know is that my daughter goes through about 4oz of food 3 times a day, plus snacks and bottles. If I was buying her jarred food on top of her snacks and formula, let’s say around $1 a jar for the stage she is at, and she eats 2-3 a day for 30 days...well, you do the math. As it is I spend a whopping $30 a month on her food, possibly less if you consider that I generally don’t even go through the full supply of food for about 6 weeks.

5. Most importantly—all of those fruits and veggies that you buy, which never get eaten and end up rotting in the crisper, will now have a purpose!

The only downside that I can find to making your own food is that it can be a bit time consuming. Yes, you will have to cook and yes, you do have to defrost or mush the food for however many meals a day your child is up to. And when you average four hours of sleep a night, have a household to run, a job to go to and other kids to look out for it may seem impossible to try and fit something like this in, especially when the jars are so convenient. 

But, the upside is that there’s no rule that you have to do it every single meal every single day. Try it out here and there and see how it works for you; maybe you will become a full time freak show like me or maybe you will find that it’s not something that you have the time or patience for. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.

You will need
Sandwich bags
A food processor or blender
A vegetable steamer (optional but ideal)
A colander
Ice trays (optional)
**You do not need a Baby Bullet, Magic Bullet, or any other fancy expensive system to make and freeze the food. As long as you have a way to cook it, thin it out and freeze it than you have everything you will need.

The basic method for most fruits and vegetables

Gather you supplies

Peel, chop or dice; then rinse

Steam for 10-15 minutes

Rinse to cool off

Process or blend- add water as needed to thin out the consistency depending on the age and abilities of your baby

Before                                                                                            After

Bag about 2 ounces worth of food per bag 
*With more watered down food you can pour the mixture into ice trays, cover, and freeze for a few hours first--1 cube is equal to about 1 ounce, so bag according to whatever portions you like


It’s pretty simple. 


  • I prefer to steam most of my food but boiling and baking works just as well.
  • Many soft fruits (bananas, avocados, mango, etc) can just be thrown right in the blender and diluted as necessary
  • Foods can be mixed with rice cereal, yogurts, cheeses, eggs and other mixtures (depending on your child’s age)
  • You aren’t limited to fruits or vegetables—I cook rice, pasta, oatmeal, cream of wheat and lots of other grains to go with her food
  • Food can stay good frozen for up to 3 months, though I try to use it all up within 6 weeks
  • Always wait 3-5 days before introducing a new food so that you can watch for any allergies

For more information about cooking and storing particular foods, as well as age recommendations and healthy recipes, visit Wholesome Baby Food.

Share your questions, comments, tips, or suggestions below!


  1. I have always wanted to try this, I will have to keep in in mind with my next one :)

  2. This is great information!!! Thanks for sharing. Awesome!!!!


  3. Awesome, I really like this Idea. So simple.