HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What type of beef to use for homemade baby food for a seven month old baby?

I want to make some homemade beef baby food. Can someone suggest what type of beef I should use? I would think the best way to prepare it would be to boil it.

At the same time what other foods would you suggest for babies' first foods after cereal? I am planning to make carrots, chicken, apple sauce, sweet potatoes, pineapple, chicken soup, and pear.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: melpy

      Can this be frozen in ice cube trays, or is it something that must be fresh?

      1. re: lukfam

        I froze it in slices. Dip each slice in a half water half lime juice mixture to keep the color pretty.

        I put them on parchment on a plate in the freezer until solid, then into a zip top bag.

        The slices defrosted enough to mash for my kiddo in under 10 minutes.

    2. Here's some general info from the Mayo Clinic:


      I assume you're talking ground beef so I'd probably just use whatever you like. And you're going to grind it yourself, right?

      4 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        No, I don't want to use ground beef.

        1. re: lukfam

          At that age I thought "solid" didn't really mean "solid" like a piece of beef. No? Perhaps I don't understand.

          1. re: c oliver

            I was planning on pureeing the chicken and the beef in a food processor.

            1. re: lukfam

              Oh, I take that to be the same as grinding. Again, I'd use whatever beef you like. Fattier might be easier to eat.

      2. Is there a particular reason for not using ground beef? The reason I ask is that I found ground meats (whether poultry or red meat) to be a little bit easier to puree for baby food.

        I saw below about pureeing avocado - I did this and it worked fine. I squeezed some lemon juice on the top before I froze the avocado in ice cube trays to prevent a lot of oxidation but otherwise it worked just fine (and defrosted very quickly too which was nice).

        I also made spinach, kale, beets, butternut squash, peas and broccoli.

        1. Since at this age you will be pureeing it later anyway you should just use some tender, high quality beef cut.
          In terms of what to give your baby after cereal we went with our baby to give very similar things what we would eat but with much less spices and salt at the beginning. You wrote down many sweet foods on your list, e.g. carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, pineapple etc. but even though we didn't completely avoided them we tried to give much more savory foods early on to not "train" a baby to only like (new) foods when they have a sweet component. And so we didn't have any limitations what we gave our daughter - and now with just recently turned two she pretty much eats everything and actually isn't often too much interested in sweet stuff.

          13 Replies
          1. re: honkman

            Can you give me some suggestions of what savory purees you made?

            1. re: honkman

              I think your advice to lean towards savory is a good thing. Even now (age two) they'd go for the fruits before the vegs if given the choice. Honestly who wouldn't?!? :) At six months our granddaughter enjoyed a little of my foie gras and triple creme cheese. We're raisin' that kid right :)

              1. re: c oliver

                How I wish we could easily get foie gras - the damn ban in California which makes it hard to get here. (We were also happy recently when our daughter had the choice on the table between a salad with cucumber, tomatoes and avocado (with vinaigrette) and some braised goulash and a cookie she immediately choose the the salad and goulash)

                1. re: honkman

                  This was stuff I bought right before the ban. She's not much of a sweets either also. I mailed some cookies along with other stuff a while back but her parents ate most of them :)

                2. re: c oliver

                  My son never wanted fruit when he was young. Ate every veggie. Until he stopped.
                  Until he started again.
                  I think we try way too hard to control how kids feel about and react to food.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    Oh, yeah, her mom said she suddenly went off apples.

                  2. re: c oliver

                    Think about this for a bit. As she grows, how much do you want to spend on foie gras? Maybe liver wurst would be a better start.

                    1. re: sr44

                      :) I made a deal with our daughters that any money I spent on gifts would be matched by a donation to the college fund we set up :) So they WANT me to feed her foie gras!

                        1. re: sr44

                          Money well spent - on both ends of the equation :)

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Watch out for truffles, lobster, uni... Foie gras is just training wheels.

                            1. re: sr44

                              She'll have to settle for Dungeness crab for a while :)

                3. Pretty much any kind of beef would work, but a tender beef will be easier to puree. Reserve some of the water that you boil it in to smooth out the texture.

                  Wait on the chicken soup for now. Introduce each food individually and serve that same food for a few days before introducing another item. We always started with fruit like, apples, pears, bananas, peaches, plums, mango, nectarines, apricots, etc. (not citrus) Than moved into the veggies like carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, spinach, avocado, broccoli, etc. (Tofu is a good way to introduce soy beans.) Then proteins, eggs, chicken, turkey, pork, beef, lamb and fish. Once it was established that those items did not cause problems, start with things like tomatoes, onions, celery, and more acidic fruits like oranges and pineapple and shellfish like shrimp. (See the Mayo Clinic guidelines already linked by somebody else, for info about introducing individual foods gradually.)

                  I say wait on the chicken soup because it is a combination of ingredients, not just one ingredient.

                  I strongly believe in introducing babies to a really wide variety of foods and tastes at a young age. They will grow into children that will eat anything.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: Springhaze2

                    "Wait on the chicken soup for now. Introduce each food individually and serve that same food for a few days before introducing another item" - I know this is a very American approach to baby food but I think that people here are way too worried about allergies etc. In most part of the world babies get introduced to a variety of different foods at the same time and they are not dropping dead like flies because of complications/allergies. And so I don't see any reason not to give (chicken) soups (and other mixed foods)early on

                      1. re: honkman

                        And we are all entitled to our own opinions. I'm not talking about babies dropping dead...It's more like having to deal with a really bad poopy diaper and not knowing what caused it.

                        A baby's palate is a blank slate. There is no reason to rush the introduction of foods. It really is not hard to follow a slow progression in the introduction of foods. Unless, of course, the parents don't want to be bothered with a few extra steps. I am just commenting on how I did it and recommendations from pediatricians and various other medical professionals.

                        I never had problems with getting my children to eat anything they are now young adults and enjoy/love food of all kinds.

                        1. re: Springhaze2

                          I agree that everybody has to do it his/her own way and that there is no "correct" way. But I disagree with your comment about "Unless, of course, the parents don't want to be bothered with a few extra steps" - My original comment has nothing to do with being afraid of potential extra steps/work but unncessary steps which have, in my opinion, no benefits.

                          1. re: honkman

                            As I said before...you are entitled to your opinion, as am I. I see those steps as necessary.

                          2. re: Springhaze2

                            I'm extremely careful with anything approaching medical advice, esp. internet sites. But the Mayo Clinic is a solid go-to and they suggested adding a food at a time.

                            1. re: Springhaze2

                              One tiny problem here is that pediatricians and medical professionals rarely know much about health and diet!

                              1. re: sandylc

                                I think that's a rather broad indictment. Having a good bit of medical/scientific background, I've found my health care professionals to be quite knowledgeable in those areas.

                              2. re: Springhaze2

                                It was not for me a matter of not wanting to bother. We believe that kids do well eating basically what we eat.
                                It worked well for us. No bad poop, no problems. But weare a family with no food allergies .we didn't ever do much cereal, either.

                              3. re: honkman

                                I'm with you, honkman!

                                We used a small food mill and fed our kids from our plates. Naturally, they started with things like banana and avocado but they quickly moved onto family fare. In our case that meant Indian, Thai and Mexican along with the meat-and-two-sides.

                                They all grew up to have adventurous palates and to enjoy their food.

                            2. I would skip the pineapple for a while and go with mango. Easier on little tummies, and things that make tummies sad aren't pretty on the other end.

                              (sorry old school laptop not letting me make the link!) is a great resource for homemade baby food.

                              1. MANY years ago, when original neighbors had baby getting into REAL food, they used this grinder thingie. It kinda ground stuff UP from bottom... think it had a few different dies to determine coarseness. Dad was an avid fisherman... I'd often get "mystery" fish, cooked or raw, with instructions to EAT before he'd tell me what it was!?! One trip resulted in several blue fish... smaller ones... not as strong. They were cooked on the grill along with zukes right from garden. That combo went into babyfood grinder and the results were GRAY/GREEN in color, but that girl gobbled them up. What she didn't eat got frozen in ice cube trays for later.

                                I bet that grinder thing is still available and thinking about ANY food would work, as long as not overly seasoned.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: kseiverd

                                  My mom gave me the one she used for me and my brother 30 odd years ago. While it worked, 30 seconds in the food processor was a bit more efficient for mass preparations.

                                2. Have you seen one of these? http://www.diapers.com/p/green-sprout...

                                  A number of companies make them. They run between $9 and $12. A little more if you get the deluxe versions with carrying cases.

                                  The point of them is that you make baby food at the table from the healthy food you're eating. That way baby experiences a variety of foods and nutrients. You're not doing extra cooking. Everything is fresh. …tho you can certainly mill extra portions and freeze them separately.

                                  The few parts separate and are easy to wash by hand or by machine. It goes with you when you travel or eat out. They typically have two dies: one finer, one with more texture. That flared section forms a little bowl that the milled food collects in so you can grind and feed in a continuing operation.

                                  I used it for my adult kids. They're using them for their toddlers. None of us ever found anything better.

                                  1. You can use whatever lean beef you are feeding the rest of your family; you only need not to season it as if you're eating it yourself and prepare it in a way it's tender. Bake or boil the meat (or cooking it in a slow cooker is good too). I made most of the food my last two kids ate when they were at the age to start eating solid food and stayed away from commercial. I used a blender (pre-food processor days) & a fork to mash what I could. My only regret is that I didn't do it so much with my first kid.

                                    I started with banana, applesauce, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas and regular potatoes. Then I went into everything else.

                                    1. I would make sure that ANY beef I fed a baby is grass fed organic.

                                      6 Replies
                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Oh dear! Now you've gone and done it. You've asked a magic question and triggered my looooooong post mode! Why not organic instead of organic grass fed? Well, to put it succinctly the answer is that grain fed beef can be organic, but gran fed beef is a big villain. So now to the lonooooong answer:

                                          Remember the years when all of the health departments in the country, and all of our doctors, and the American Heart Association were warning us NOT to eat butter, eat margarine? It was the belief then that the increase in heart disease – things such as high bad cholesterol, hypertension, clogged arteries and all that jazz were linked to man eating beef... And they were right. But for the WRONG reasons!

                                          During a huge increase in studies on these problems “associated” with eating beef, someone noted that some English folks living on some grassy islands of the coast of England, Scotland, Wales ate beef and butter in HUGE quantities, 24/7, so to speak. They all lived to a jolly old age, and no one had any problems with elevated cholesterol or any of the other heart disease problems associated with eating beef in North America. “Science” quickly concluded that those people were genetically immune to the dangers of consuming beef. Talk a bout candidates for joining The Flat Earth Society! Sheesh!

                                          So now, half a century or more later, we know that those people were just normal people eating “just normal” cows... The problem in the U.S. and Canada is not the diet of people, but the diet of cattle! After WWII, when all of the GIs came marching home, they created the Baby Boomers! HUGE population spurt. That population growth is what spurred “agribusiness” as we know it today. The meat industry back then realized that feeding cattle grain and corn forced them to gain weight faster, and gaining weight faster meant they could be sent to slaughter quicker, and that meant the major meat conglomerates of the time could pack their wallets quicker. But there is a HUGE problem with that “solution.”

                                          Cattle are ruminants, and not designed to eat grain. They are grazers that eat with their head down, and their natural diet is grasses. Corn and grain just give them stomach aches from hell! They can even die from a diet of grain and corn. Their bowels have to vastly increase the amount of ecoli bacteria that is natural in the guts of all mammals, and is the acquired bacteria that adapts to each of us individually and is the key to our ability to digest food once weaned. So in order to get the cattle to continue eating this fattening diet, they were/are treated with antibiotics so that they aren't sick and can continue eating to gain the desired weight in the desired amount of time.

                                          And then somebody realized, “Hey, if we can force them to gain weight by feeding them grains and corn and antibiotics, how fast will they grow if we throw in some growth hormones and estrogens? And we'll keep the cattle in feed lots where it's easier to just chuck the food at them, and the quicker we send them to slaughter. And so it is....

                                          But the problem is that this diet and this feed gives the cattle high cholesterol problems in spades, but with fattening them up for slaughter so fast, they don't live long enough to die of heart attacks and such. But when we eat grain fed cattle, we get all of the problems from their meat that they get from their feed!

                                          “Science” is getting smarter all of the time. We now know that margarine, with its hydrogenated oils that give it a the ability to be solid the way butter was/is a big part of the problem, because hydrogenated fats are trans fats, and trans fats are bad for our health! Grass fed butter, believe it or not, and all flesh and byproducts of grass fed beef are heart healthy foods!

                                          So... Grass fed organic beef means healthy beef. Organic beef may simply mean that the grain and corn the cattle eats is organic. And when it comes to cattle, organic grain and corn will produce exactly the same problems as a non-organic diet. They are eating foods that REQUIRE antibiotics just to be able to eat their feed.

                                          If you Google “advantages of grass fed beef” you will get all kinds of information on the topic. The great news is that as the public demands more and more grass fed beef, agribusinees IS listening. Maybe not moving as fast as many would like, but they are listening, and more and more grass fed beef is coming to market. There was a time there when you practically had to raise your own if that was what you wanted.

                                          Anyway, my cardiologist is delighted that I only eat grass fed beef and wholeheartedly (pun!) approves!

                                          Now, C.O., aren't you glad you asked...???? '-)

                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            I'm glad she asked, Caroline. I mean if the OP cares enough to posit a query, to a bunch of menu masters and sustenance shunners, about how to feed such an innocent being, she must wanna hear some supported speculations, Solomonic sensibility, and deductive approaches to deliciousness. I mean, it's alright if a man like me decides that tequila and take out is a good way to "dine" all weekend, but I'm only responsible to myself . . . .

                                            I say, feed that kid the stuff you wish you could afford to eat yourself

                                            1. re: MGZ

                                              Love your logic. And for the cost at this age it is negligible. I don't particularly eat organic or anything, but for my infant, where 1 sweet potato yields 16 meals, yes I am paying Whole Foods prices happily. It's still cheaper than jarred and I know she is getting just food, no pesticide no hormones no extra. To buy grass fed organic meats, I might not be able to feed the rest of the family that on a regular basis, but the 1/2lb that it would take to feed her for a few weeks of protein, well worth the cost.

                                              Now once she is about 2, brain and body are well formed, it will be a different story.

                                              1. re: ncghettogourmet

                                                Just remember, every time you take your car somewhere you can walk, you are following the same logic: "Isn't it better to err on the side of prudence, than wait for proof that the worst will happen?"

                                                Oh, and by the way, so there's no misunderstandings, my Mom swears my first "semi-solid", homemade food, was Lobster Thermador my Grandmother put in a blender.

                                          2. re: c oliver

                                            There are many reasons to use grassfed beef based on animal welfare (e.g. cows can't digest corn and it is painful for them to eat corn) but in addition grassfed beef has also a positive effect on the human diet by having a better omega 3 to omega 6 ratio than grainfed

                                        2. Would this be a good place to use a pressure cooker?

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: sr44

                                            I don't have a pressure cooker but like the idea. The thought of boiling ground beef isn't very appealing to me.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Oh, but larb could be such a great baby food! :)

                                              I'm following this discussion as our little guy will be six months right before Xmas.

                                              We plan to start with avocado, or winter squash, but I'm trying to read up on baby led weaning. -I really love the idea of him eating what we do.

                                              The food allergy issue is crazy nowadays. So far, he's good with dairy, and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed the rest sorts itself out. We don't have allergies between the two of us, but that doesn't seem to be the determining factor for all of the kid allergies.

                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                My ped said to check out aaai.com American academy of allergy & immunology. Pretty much the whole don't eat before 1 yr has been debunked. My family never followed those rules anyway but it was nice to read a study that confirmed it. Peanut butter, shellfish, chocolate, strawberries - all fine.
                                                So still introduce foods one at a time, one new food every few days to know if a reaction occurs where it comes from.

                                                Also I know people on here have been advocating mayoclinic. My doc sends us to healthykids.org it's the national pediatrics website. It may be healthychildren, I have it bookmarked but not on my computer right now.

                                          2. i haven't seen anybody mention liver. the iron and zinc are critical for babies' brain development.

                                            rather than chicken soup, which has lots of components, just good home-made bone broth.

                                            cereal as a first food pisses me right off. it's a cheerios conspiracy, i swear.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                              Cereal as a first food for infants SHOULD be rice pablum and not wheat of any sort, let alone Cheerios!

                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                Ah, yes, but those Cheerios are a life saver when you're out and about and the kid wants something. I've never known a parent to leave home without them :)

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  Well, if parents think feeding their little kids GMOs is a good idea, give 'em some more Cheerios! I don't think either of my kids had a Cheerio until they were in college and bought it themselves. Well, maybe when they spent the night at a friend's house? Who knows?

                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                    I should have used lower case C. I understand that TJs sells a non-GMO version.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Sounds good to me! Except that neither of my kids nor I ever picked up on the flavor of Cheerios... I know. We're a weird lot! '-)

                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                    My sister has an omnipresent container of rice puffs in her purse. We went out without them once and had to stop at the store "just in case"!

                                              2. I haven't read this but I imagine it's got a lot of interesting variation in people's ideas of what is best for baby :) My personal take would be some cut of stewing beef, braised. Not lean beef, not ground beef. And soon enough you can make a simple beef stew with the carrots, etc right in there. After that initial stage of testing things, I basically fed my kids what we were eating, including seasoned stews (pureed if necessary, but they loved to feed themselves small, soft pieces of food).They were more into that than the purees.

                                                1. Use whatever meat you are cooking for your family and then use a small, tabletop grinder. Include whatever else you want in the grinding and a bit of sauce/gravy if you have it.

                                                  Freezing/pureeing big batches of meat makes for a nasty texture which most babies reject. Meat purees are a bad choice for batch cookery.

                                                  Pineapple is very hard on the tummy. I would recommend it for much later. Citrus too. Unless you like being miserable, miserable at night with sad baby. That isn't a matter of who recommends what.

                                                  Avocado and sweet potatoes are the best.