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homemade baby food

sg May 7, 2006 11:42 AM

i've recently realized that i don't want to continue feeding my 8-month old food from a jar, so i am in search of some interesting baby food recipes that you've tried, or some informative weblinks i can look at. i've ordered some baby cookbooks from amazon, but haven't received them yet. thanks for any advice!

  1. p
    pat Hammond May 7, 2006 11:56 AM

    I've given "Feeding the Whole Family..." to new moms who are interested in preparing nutritious and delicious food. Take a look at the link, and read some of the "reviews" to see what you think.

    Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/prod...

    1. h
      Hungry Celeste May 7, 2006 12:02 PM

      An immersion blender is your best friend. Many things you're already cooking are baby-friendly if pureed...steamed veggies, pasta & tomato sauce, creamed spinach, various soups...

      1. f
        foodiex2 May 7, 2006 12:02 PM

        My son ate whatever we ate, no need to make special food. The best thing I bought was a manual food grinder. I used it at home and took it everywhere with me. Just put some food in and 2 secs later my son had dinner too. I found one for under $10.00 at one of those big box baby retailers but check out the link below to get the idea.

        The other thing I did was on Sundays steam a bunch of fresh veggies- carrots, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato etc) and run them thru the mill. The I would fill ice cube trays with the veggies and freeze. These were great for my son when we ate thing he couldn't yet (sushi, things with honey and the like). it defrost fast and is much cheaper than the same thing in a jar.

        Have fun- I loved that stage and watching my sons face as he tried new flavors. The best was his expression when he had poached salmon with a creamy dill sauce. His face just lit up when he had his first taste- I think he was around 9-10 months at the time!

        Link: http://www.onestepahead.com/product/8...

        3 Replies
        1. re: foodiex2
          sg May 7, 2006 01:51 PM

          wow, salmon w/ dill sauce! now i am excited at the prospect of introducing really good foods to my little guy so he can learn to enjoy eating as much as my husband and i do. thanks!

          1. re: foodiex2
            KathyR May 7, 2006 02:39 PM

            I know people who love that Kidco Food Mill, and it is very inexpensive. My baby is just getting to the age where I will probably be getting one, so I haven't used it myself.

            1. re: KathyR
              toodie jane Jul 15, 2008 04:52 PM

              I give these as baby shower gifts and have had rave reviews. Simple, small, lightweight, easily washed, portable; you simply grind the food you're preparing for grown-ups (plainly seasoned) and there you have your baby food. No expenive immersion grinder needed.

              These folks have thought it out and now provide everything from a how-to booklet about baby foods to a grinder, fruit slicer/cuber, freezing tray and carry case. http://www.kidco.com/main.taf?erube_f...

          2. m
            Marsha May 7, 2006 12:48 PM

            You really don't need a cookbook. The blender/grinder is a great thing, but often a fork works just as well. Yogurt, soft fruits and cooked vegetables mashed up, scrambled egg, avocado, various cooked cereals--anything that baby can't choke on is fine. My daughter was anemic, so I cooked chicken livers and mashed them up with strawberry yogurt, and she loved it (plus, 20 years later, I enjoy reminding her of her earlier tastes). We never bothered with jars of baby food, and I always felt sorry for people who had to carry them around and fiddle with them and throw them away half-full (but save a few of the ones you still have--they're good for storing screws and other miscellany).

            1. h
              heidipie May 8, 2006 12:09 AM

              "Super Baby Food" is a good guide to what foods you can introduce when, and has good ideas about nutrition. Otherwise, yeah, just go for it. Whiz up some chard, or sweet potatoes, or brown rice; freeze it in an ice cube tray, then pop the cubes into a bag; and then find out how many cubes constitute a meal for your wee one.

              Remember that those tiny taste buds are anything but jaded, so in the first year(s) they're usually perfectly satisfied, even excited, with the taste of pure foods. Try some of that chard puree and see for yourself how fresh it is.

              Have fun!

              3 Replies
              1. re: heidipie
                Ruth Lafler May 8, 2006 12:44 PM

                I'm glad to see you recommending "Super Baby Food" -- that's the book I got my sister, who's about to start her 4-month-old on solids. It seems like a very useful, practical book with a good attitude.

                If you're using "table" food, do you have to be careful about how much salt you put into it (considering the baby palate used to "pure" tastes)?

                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                  heidipie May 8, 2006 04:24 PM

                  Yes, it's good not to train the salt palate too early. We got lazy and let our younger one eat a lot right from our plates, and now at 19 months, she'll throw a tantrum over "more ham" or "more hammin" (which is smoked salmon).

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    soupkitten Jul 11, 2008 03:12 PM

                    i like this book too-- although i find the author needs to be taken with a pinch of sea salt-- she gets a leeeeeetle obsessive about the well-being of her precious little ones, and occasionally goes overboard in ways that make martha stewart look like a slovenly ne'er-do-well with poor attention to detail. if you know what i mean. :) your sister (JLafler, right?) will no doubt find the passages i'm talking about. still, a good book that is absolutely packed chock full of some great ideas

                2. e
                  EAF May 8, 2006 09:18 AM

                  A little tip - after you have made your purees, freeze them in ice cube trays. Once frozen pop them out and store in plastic baggies. This way you can defrost them as needed in individual servings.

                  1. a
                    Alison B. May 8, 2006 01:28 PM

                    I have a 6-month-old who is very interested in solid food, and I've been using the site linked below as a reference. I use the food grinder on my Kitchen-Aid mixer & it has worked quite well. So far, my husband & I have made & frozen zucchini, green beans, and sweet potatoes.

                    Have fun!

                    Link: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Alison B.
                      withalonge Jul 14, 2008 11:50 AM

                      I second the website... my daughter especially liked the sweet potato "custard"... good way to get a little extra protein in... and you can use black strap molasses for iron too.

                      I loved the freezable containers from one step ahead that foodiex2 recommends, but found just plain ice cube trays to work better once my daughter started eating more quantity wise. I also like to bake then freeze or just freeze in silicone muffin pans (perfect serving size for older babies, esp for things the combine protein & veg). plus they are easier to pop the frozen food out of.

                      and for an additional 2 cents, I used a big food pro for my baby food.. some people really love the smaller processors or hand grinders, personally I preferred to do larger batches... plus with a larger pro it is easier to get a more consistent result.

                      good luck! making baby food is fun.

                    2. a
                      Andrea Dorzab May 18, 2006 08:53 PM


                      I fed my daughter strictly homemade baby food (except when traveling) and it is really easy. I just cooked whatever food I was introducing and then mashed it or blended it to the consistency I wanted and then froze portions in ice cube trays. 1 cube = about 1 serving. I used the Super Baby Food book as a reference. Very helpful! You can also make rice, oatmeal, barley cereal, too. You blend the grain in the blender and then add water (I forget how much!) and then cook it for about 10 minutes. Also freeze in ice cube trays. This recipe is in the Super Baby Food book, too!

                      Link: http://andread.stayinhomeandlovinit.com

                      1. a
                        Andrea Dorzab May 18, 2006 08:54 PM


                        I fed my daughter strictly homemade baby food (except when traveling) and it is really easy. I just cooked whatever food I was introducing and then mashed it or blended it to the consistency I wanted and then froze portions in ice cube trays. 1 cube = about 1 serving. I used the Super Baby Food book as a reference. Very helpful! You can also make rice, oatmeal, barley cereal, too. You blend the grain in the blender and then add water (I forget how much!) and then cook it for about 10 minutes. Also freeze in ice cube trays. This recipe is in the Super Baby Food book, too!

                        Link: http://andread.stayinhomeandlovinit.com

                        1. zoememel Jul 11, 2008 10:51 AM

                          Have you check out weelicious.com? Amazing homemade baby food recipes, feeding tips, family friendly restaurants and more!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: zoememel
                            jcattles Jul 11, 2008 02:55 PM

                            I had a small food processor. Our daughters ate what we ate. Just chop up to a consistancy that will work for your child and you're off!

                          2. d
                            DGresh Jul 14, 2008 12:05 PM

                            I recall the date that we completely stopped using any "baby food" and it was when my daughter was about 10 months old. Soon enough your baby will be feeding him/herself with fingers. So don't invest too much in equipment etc. I agree with those who say just mash up your regular food with a fork.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: DGresh
                              montecoretiger Jul 14, 2008 12:27 PM

                              i had big plans to make baby food purees, but, like other posters, mine hated baby food (jarred or homemade) and hated my puree efforts. it got demoralizing to spend all the time making these purees for him only to have him reject them. but, it turned out that he just hates baby food and loves my grownup cooking. one day i was cooking split pea soup with white wine and bacon and black pepper and gave him a little bite just to see what would happen and he LOVED it. it's been grownup foodie food for him every since. he likes spicy indian curries, rich wine sauces, etc. i don't think there's anything wrong with giving your baby regular food if he / she is old enough to digest it (eight months should be fine for most stuff IMO), so why not get your baby used to nice real foods?

                              1. re: montecoretiger
                                jlafler Jul 14, 2008 12:59 PM

                                Yes, I agree. The most useful information to glean from babyfood cookbooks is the mechanics of learning to eat solid food, and which foods to introduce when. But the goal should be to encourage the child to eat what the rest of the family eats. I found the book my sister (Ruth Lafler) mentions above useful, but I only used it for a few months. Once a child is a year old, unless there are allergy concerns, they should be able to eat anything that's not a choking hazard. For whatever reason, our daughter has become a very adventurous eater -- so adventurous that I have to watch her like a hawk at the grocery store, since she has a habit of grabbing fruits and vegetables off the displays and biting into them. Yesterday at the farmer's market I had to buy some broccoli that I hadn't intended to buy....

                            2. c
                              cackalackie Jul 14, 2008 01:02 PM

                              I had my first child when I lived in London, and I still recommend Annabel Karmel (http://www.annabelkarmel.com/).

                              As soon as possible, I started feeding our daughter what we were eating, just making sure I hadn't put much (if any) salt in it.

                              One thing that worked well for us, as I was working full-time, was to save a portion of that night's meal for her for the next night. That way, each night I fed her the leftovers as soon as we got home. Then I could take my time preparing that night's meal (and saving her dinner for tomorrow night).

                              1. w
                                wellfedred Jul 15, 2008 02:59 PM

                                I agree with below who says don't overinvest...s/he will be eating little bites of finger food before you know it. Mine got bored with me feeding him by the spoon so I had to start finger food. I found early on that overcooked broccoli was really easy to tear into little teeny flourets which he adored...good to use the pincher grasp too. Then I was left with all the purees in the freezer. (Fruit ones make good "jam" when they move on the little pices of toast)

                                1. MrsCheese Jul 15, 2008 07:51 PM

                                  I used wholesomebabyfood.com and the Mommy Made! cookbook for ideas on how long to steam things, what ages to start foods, etc. I used a mini Cuisinart for everything. Super, super easy. And I work outside of the home, sometimes quite long hours, and none of my friends could believe that I was making my own baby food (like I must be crazy), but it was really minimal time investment because I would just puree something we were making for ourselves anyway. I froze dollops on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and then peeled the dollops off once they were frozen and put them in individual baggies. So much cheaper than jarred food, and you control what goes in.

                                  I totally agree with comments not to invest much - my daughter was only on pureed food for a couple of months before she moved to finger food. That's the nice thing about making the food yourself - you can control the texture, so keep making it lumpier as you go along and they'll be ready for real food in no time!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MrsCheese
                                    withalonge Jul 16, 2008 09:50 AM

                                    I have to second mommy made... they have a lot of good recipes that can be adapted for "family" meals, but are kid friendly too. they are a good starting point for "chow-hounding" up too. (e.g. adding more fresh herbs, spices, etc.).

                                  2. s
                                    smartie Jul 15, 2008 08:24 PM

                                    I saved the baby food jars from the pureed fruit which was the only jarred food my 3 ate. Then I just pureed or blended whatever, chicken soup chicken and veggies, mac n cheese (homemade), veggies and pasta or rice, filled the jars (not all the way to the top) put the lids back on and froze the little jars.

                                    1. a
                                      aimeesmom Mar 18, 2009 08:00 PM

                                      I love the annabel karmel site, too...but have found another site that is easier to navigate and "less cluttery" than the other mainstream homemade baby food sites...


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