Making Your Own Baby Food

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Getting Ready

  • You will need a fine mesh strainer, baby food grinder, or blender/food processor.
  • Cleanliness is a must to keep baby’s food safe.
  • Before starting, wash your hands and items you will use in hot soapy water.
  • Rinse items in hot water.  Then air dry.

Making Baby Food

  1. Start with good food.  Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Peel and seed if needed.  Remove fat from meat.
  2. Cook food in small amount of water until tender. Save cooking liquid for thinning food.  You may also thin food with breast milk or formula.
  3. Prepare the food by pushing soft food through a strainer with the back of a spoon, using a grinder, or adding to a blender or grinder with enough food and liquid to cover blades.
  4. Use a small spoon to feed baby.  If baby does not finish the meal, throw away what is left in baby’s dish.
  5. You can make enough baby food for more than one meal. Refrigerate or freeze the extra food.

Plain Foods are Best for Baby

Ideas for Baby Food

Fruits

  • Apples, apricots, bananas, melon, peaches, pears, plums, prunes
  • Use ripe fresh fruit, cooked, frozen and thawed, or canned fruits

Vegetables

  • Wax or green beans, green peas, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes
  • Steam fresh or frozen vegetables in a small amount of water for a short time until soft.
  • Ensure you offer a variety of vegetables. Spinach, beets, turnips, carrots, and collard greens are high in nitrates and should be offered in balance with low-nitrate foods.

Protein Foods

  • Lean beef or pork, chicken or turkey without skin, cooked beans/peas, cooked egg yolk, fish without bones and no shell-fish
  • Cook protein foods until well done.

Storing Baby Food

To Refrigerate

  • Put food in clean storage dish.
  • Cover it.
  • Store homemade baby food from meat, poultry, fish or eggs for up to 24 hours.
  • Store homemade baby food from fruits and vegetables for up to 48 hours.

To Freeze

  • Pour prepared baby food into clean ice cube tray or small storage dish. 
  • Cover with plastic wrap, lid, or aluminum foil.
  • Freeze until solid.
  • When frozen, remove food from storage dish and place in a plastic bag.  Seal tightly. Label and date the bag.
  • Keep in freezer no longer than one month.

To Use

  • Thaw a portion of baby food in the refrigerator or heat in microwave or in a saucepan on the stove.  
  • Test temperature before offering to baby to be sure that it is not too hot.
  • Thoroughly reheat refrigerated or frozen food to an internal temperature of 165 ºF. Use a good thermometer to ensure this temperature is reached.

Using Extra Jars of Baby Food

Baby food can be used to make healthy finger foods as your infant grows and tries new foods. Try these tips so your nutritious baby puree foods don’t go to waste.

Fruit

  • Add to jams and jellies or use the fruit puree as jam on bread or crackers. Either way you will get added nutrition.
  • Mix into plain yogurt for a natural sweetener. 
  • Use as a dipping sauce. They are great for dipping other types of fruit and snacks into. Serve with slices of fruit, fruit kebabs or cubes of angel food cake for a yummy treat! 
  • Add to pancake or muffin batters. Some good fruit choices include: apples, pumpkin, squash, pears and peaches. 
  • Replace fruit purée for fat in baked goods for a lower-fat version. To replace oil, substitute one for one. For example: 1 cup oil can be replaced with 1 cup apple purée. For butter or margarine replace with half as much fruit puree. For example: ½ cup of butter can be replaced with ¼ cup of fruit purée. Add more purée if dry.

Vegetables

  • Add tomatoes, zucchini, squash to soups, broths, stews and casseroles to add more nutrition and thickness. 
  • Add to plain cream cheese to spread on crackers.
  • Add to sauces such as pasta sauce and other cooking sauces to enhance flavor and nutrition. 
  • Try adding some green beans into your gravy, sweet potatoes into regular mashed potatoes, and zucchini into casseroles.
  • Use vegetable purees such as zucchini, squash, sweet potato and pumpkin in baked goods like zucchini bread, pumpkin muffins or brownies. Get creative – you’ll surprise yourself!

This post was last updated on January 2nd, 2020 at 1:41 PM

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