Homemade baby food is quick and easy to make and it’s a lot less expensive than buying baby food at the store. In this post, you’ll find easy instructions, helpful tips and a video showing some examples.
Easy Homemade Baby Food
I have to say, when I see a mom whose cart is just full of baby food at the store, I just cringe. Homemade baby food is one of the quickest, easiest and most inexpensive things you can make so why spend hundreds of dollars buying the little jars? I’ve had four kids and bought a total of about 20 jars of baby food. Most of those jars of baby food were for trips.
Here are a couple quick and easy ways to make baby food:
Steam vegetables or fruits in a small amount of water. You can start with peas, green beans, apples, peaches, pears or sweet potatoes.
For meats: boil in some water until tender. Chicken is a good meat to start with.
Cool. Puree with water or breast milk in a blender or food processor until smooth. I just use a hand blender and I have baby food in about 30 seconds. Just rinse off the blender and you’re done!
Freeze the baby food puree in ice cube trays.
When frozen, place your homemade baby food cubes in a freezer bag. Take as many cubes as you need for a meal. Simply defrost and serve.
The Fast and Easy Homemade Baby Food Method
When I’m in a hurry, I just open a can of vegetables or fruit and puree it right in the can with my hand blender. It’s quick and easy. I drain off some of the juice but not all of it.
Of course, you can always just open a jar of applesauce and give it to them.
If you are on the go: You can store homemade baby food in small half cup containers that are easy to grab and run.
We most frequently used pears, peaches, bananas, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes and leftover meat, but you can try other foods, too. We experimented with a lot of foods. We DON’T recommend pumpkin just because our oldest son had a negative reaction to it.
Sometimes we would add a little bit of baby rice to the thinner foods. The rice doesn’t really change the flavor, but it thickens some things and helps satisfy baby longer. Babies seem to like the flavor as-is for most foods, but if something seemed too bitter, we would experiment adding a little of something sweet just to see if they would like it better.
Using Food From Your Dinner
You can always use leftovers from your dinner to make baby food, too. Just puree and freeze it as above.
If the leftovers have seasonings on them, I just rinse them off before pureeing. Tawra
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Love your blog! I have been reading for awhile! :) I really want to try your e-books. If you ever want to have someone read/write a review on their blog, let me know! :)
I also made my own baby food when I could. I worked full time on the night shift so I was tired a lot but I tried to cook ahead and freeze. So much cheaper and healthier! :) Erin
When my baby was small, I would use one of those hand blenders on the food that we were eating, potatoes, any veggie, and chicken and various soups. As long as there was no grease she would have what we ate and I did have backup in the freezer cubes too. The baby food was yuk most of the time that you got in the store other than fruit.
Nice tips, I also make baby food for my baby sometimes
How long can you store in the freezer?
3-4 months in the freezer.
jill .. thanks for posting htis ..
just wanted to share .. bc we live near (well not really near but about 40 miles away) to disney and the other theme parks .. we (meaning me and my daughter) like to go and visit downtown disney .. go “shopping” (the only thing we really buy is some stuff out of their sweet shop; homemade fudge, candies, treats etc… ) .. well there is the wolfgang puck’s restaurant and we like to do lunch/dinner there .. all we get is their butternut squash soup .. it is soooo good ..
so this one nite i decided to try to make my own and looked online for recipes and even looked on you tube too .. i have found several that i liked .. (rachel ray has one, 30 mins or less) and then i came across tyler florence’s recipe . .he was making homemade butternut squash baby food but it was the same consistancy as the soup we buy .. (yep!) .. and the ingrediants are about the same .. (actually rachel ray’s is closer if i recall) but when i saw the pic on this blog .. it reminded me of the soup ..
the restaurant now gives little recipe cards to make the soup .. i tried ot make it but i dont think i did as well as a job as the restaurant .. i cant find the card either at the moment ..
but we are supposed to go down one nite later this month .. and when i do i will make sure to have extra .. bc my nieces want them too .. and when i do i will send u the recipe too .. to share with everyone ..
i used to make my own baby food too but i used a regular blender .. we didnt have those little hand stik blenders they do now ..
thanks again jill ..
i hope ur ok .. i know u miss tawra and the kids too and mike too .. hopefully you will be closer to them soon ..
((( HUGS ))) :D
Thanks Rose for asking I am doing great. I do miss my grand babies (sorry B.J. he’s my 13 year old grandson but you are still Nan’s baby) but I have been really busy so that helps. I just go home yesterday from spending a long week end with my grandkids who are still here. I gave their mom and dad a break to get away for a couple of days.
I’m still playing catch up from spending those couple of weeks in Colorado but I am getting there.
Hope you guys are still doing okay too. I do read all of your posts even if I don’t get everyone answered and love hearing from you all.
WIC gives vouchers for baby food in my state, so our problem is trying to figure out what to do with it all! We get almost one hundred jars per month plus four boxes of infant cereal.
When I was getting baby food jars for my youngest, I would also let my older kids eat it. I would also add some to soups, some fruit ones to smoothies. Also I added some to my dogs’ food, gave some to my friends. Never wasted any. I didn’t have the chickens at the time, they would love it too.
Donate your excess baby food to women’s shelters, or homeless shelter’s. Or to a homless food pantry. There are so many out there that could use it!!!
Thank you Paula Cloat for posting this. I agree. If someone has an excess of any type of food and they know they are not going to use it before it expires then they should donate it. I think Mimi will really appreciate this because anyone who needs programs such as WIC knows the feeling of doing without. So being able to give back to the community gives them a great feeling, as it should.
Love this. I make baby food and it’s soooo easy. I do buy jarred meats because I’m scared to play around with those (unless I just made it and he’s going to eat it right then). But any time I buy jars is when I go to my parents for drill weekends because they’re over 300 miles away and I know they don’t want to bother with homemade stuff (as well as when it takes me about 8 hrs to drive there with a baby it’s easier to open a jar and feed him when I pull over). We save so much money making out own.
Over twenty-six years ago I had my first of three babies. I breast-fed all of them for six months, and then started introducing them to other foods. When I saw the ingredients of the jarred food, I started making my own. For meats, I would trim all fat and gristle, cut it into pieces and poach it in water or broth. Then I would puree it to the texture I wanted and freeze it in icecube trays, just as described. I never made a baby sick using this method, though I was very careful about cleanliness and quick chilling and freezing. The only time I used jarred food was for traveling or power outages. I always had some on hand and if the power failed for more than a short time, I tossed the homemade baby food out and started over. I did this for all three of the babies, even though I was working, and all three of them always loved veggies, probably because I started them so young, and the food tasted good to them!
Thank you all for showing me how easy this is! I don’t have a little baby (she’ll be 42 this year!) but I do have an elderly mom-in-law who won’t eat any of the meats I’ve cooked, no matter how tender. I think she doesn’t like the texture. I’ve been worried that cottage cheese as her main source of protein doesn’t give enough variety. Now I know how to be sure she gets a wider variety of everyghing! Thank you all so much!
The hospital here in town just hired a new head cook. He was planning the menu and wanted to do a stir fry. A friend of mine told him they couldn’t do it because the patients sometimes choked on the meat and some couldn’t chew it.
He said to cut the meat and coat it in a bit of corn starch then boil it for 5 min.
Cindy said the meat came out so tender they did the stir fry and the patients raved about it.
I knew about boiling it to help tenderize but the added corn starch seemed to help it retain more of it’s own juices.
Now maybe the food there will continue to improve. It isn’t bad since it is such a small hospital but every little bit helps. Most meals are home cooked and some days are better than others depending who the cook happens to be.
With my first baby, I wasn’t confident and bought baby food.I was afraid I’d starve her Later,with the other two, I learnt better.
I made almost all my daughters food.(She is 24 now) I froze extra portions in ice cube trays. Saved so much money that way. Most of the time I blended our food before it was seasoned for her. We always have a large garden. So her food was fresh in the summer and frozen versions in the winter. Healthy stuff. — So much cheaper.
Do you know about how much vegetables it takes to make the equivalent of one jar of the baby food you get from stores?
I’m not sure but I would say 3-4 carrots would maybe be a small jar. 1 cup of peas a small jar etc. I haven’t ever really measured it out since I just made it made it and put it in a container to use until gone.
I started out with my oldest son only buying baby food…22 years ago. My Grandmother watched my son one day and when I went to pick him up in the evening, I noticed that the jars of food were still in the bag unopened. I was surprised and asked if the baby was feeling ok because he didn’t eat. She laughed and said she never even opened the bag other than to get out diapers. He ate squished up green beans and peaches that she and Grandpa were having for lunch. She shared her banana (squished) for a snack. Then my lightbulb came on and I never bought another jar of baby food other than when we took a car trip. I shared my “new-found” knowledge with some other new mothers and we just thought we were the smartest things out there. I laugh about it now, but oh the money we saved! We actually set the money aside that we had budgeted to buy pre-jarred baby food and bought me a better used car. Yes, pre-jarred baby food was really costing me that much extra money.
I raised two kids on Tawra and Jill’s homemade baby food. I estimated we saved thousands of dollars and put the money in my kids college fund instead. Tawra and Jill have totally changed how we approach everything in life. We are now debt free, have no mortgage, have educational savings, and our car is paid off. We owe everything to Living on a Dime and cannot thank them enough.
Kelly way to go. I know sometimes I sound like a broken record but it really does make our day to hear success stories like yours. I really do feel like a proud mama whose child is getting the highest award in school for doing the best work. LOL I know sounds crazy but I am so tickled for you and especially because I know how good it feel to you being debt free. Good job truly.