Making your own baby food gives you complete control over what you feed your child. You don’t have to worry about added sugars or preservatives that are often found in store-bought baby food. Although many baby food recipes call for using a steamer to soften the fruits and vegetables, you can make baby food at home without a steamer. Instead, use the microwave or stove top to cook the foods to make homemade baby food.
Wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly under water. Dry the items with a clean hand towel, then thoroughly wash your hands.
Peel the skin from fruits and vegetables using a knife or vegetable peeler. Remove any pits or seeds from the food.
Place the fruits and vegetables in a saucepan. Cut them into smaller pieces to allow for quicker cooking.
Add some water -- just enough to cover about ¼ of the food in the pan -- then put a lid on the pan. Cook the food on low heat until it is soft. Exact cooking times will vary depending on what you’re cooking and how much is in the pan.
Puree the cooked fruits and vegetables in a food processor or blender with the liquid you used for cooking. Once you’ve softened the foods you are using to make the baby food, mix the pureed items together, such as pears and apples, to create your own unique concoctions.
Store the homemade baby food in BPA-free plastic containers or glass jars.
Items you will need
- Hand towel
- Cutting board
- Saucepan with lid
- Food processor or blender
- BPA-free plastic containers or glass jars
- You can also soften fruits and vegetables in the microwave. Put the food in a glass bowl, then add a small amount of water just to cover the bottom of the food. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave until the food is soft.
- Avocados and bananas do not have to be cooked prior to making baby food, as they are soft enough already. Just mash them or puree in a blender or food processor with a small amount of water.
- Once your baby is accustomed to eating baby food, try adding mild spices like dill or cinnamon to your homemade baby food to add flavor. Stay away from strong spices like cayenne or cumin, which may be too spicy for a baby. Avoid using salt as well.
- Try to use fresh produce whenever possible, but you can also use frozen fruits and vegetables when making homemade baby food. Soften the food by cooking it before making the baby food.
- If you’re using meat, fish or poultry in your homemade baby food, cook it thoroughly on the stove top to kill bacteria. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the food is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit for red meat, 160 degrees Fahrenheit for fish,170 degrees Fahrenheit for white meat poultry and 180 degrees Fahrenheit for dark meat poultry.
- Always use a separate cutting board and knife when cutting raw meat and other foods.
- You can freeze homemade baby food in the freezer for up to one month.
- Avoid using honey, unpasteurized or raw dairy products, home canned foods or foods from rusted, dented or leaking jars or cans when making homemade baby food. These items can pose a health risk to your baby.
- United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service: Home-Prepared Baby Food
- FitPregnancy: Baby Spice
- Momtastic's Wholesome Baby Food: Commonly Asked Questions about Preparing Fruits & Vegetables for Homemade Baby Food
- FoodSafety.gov: Homemade Baby Food -- Make it Safely
- Fresh for Kids: Baby &Toddler Food
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images