When you’re a new parent the daily cost of taking care of your baby can be surprising and overwhelming. There’s a lot of ways to combat this and one is making baby food at home. Start off slow, cooking isn’t in everyone’s wheelhouse and time isn’t always on your side when you have an infant. We’ve compiled a few recipes to get you started, but first, let’s go over a few safety tips.
When preparing baby food be careful about cleanliness and sanitation. Children are more susceptible to food poisoning so make sure you have clean hands, wash produce thoroughly. If you’re venturing into making meat or other proteins, everything should be cooked until well done. Avoid adding any salts, honey or sugar. Instead, try to save the juices from fruits you’re using to add natural sweetness. Once made, food should be served or covered and refrigerated immediately. Depending on what you make, baby food can last two to three days covered in the refrigerator or up to three months if properly stored in the freezer.
This is a great recipe for when you are transitioning from breastfeeding/formula to solid foods. This is easier to make with a food processor or a blender but it’s not 100% necessary.
- 3 Tbsp Oats
- 3 Slices of Banana (mashed)
- ⅓ Cup Breast Milk or Formula
- Optional: Pinch of Cinnamon
- Put oats in either blender or food process until thinly ground
- This can be achieved by hand but takes a little while
- Put liquid into a sauce pan and heat to a low boil
- Keep an eye on the pan, whisking constantly, as milk/formula will burn easily
- Stir in ground oats and turn heat off
- Add bananas while oatmeal cools and continue stirring
- Let stand for ten minutes before serving
- Oatmeal will thicken as it cools so don’t fret if it looks a little watery at first
This one has a few more steps but is still pretty straight forward. Once you master applesauce you can apply this recipe to other stone fruits. Make sure to remove all seeds and avoid produce like strawberries which are pretty tough to de-seed.
- Wash and peel apples
- Stand apples up and cut in half starting at the stem
- Take the the apple halves, scoop out the center and discard
- Cut the cored apple halves into small pieces
- While prepping the apples put a medium size pot of water on the stove and boil
- Once the water has boiled, reduce heat slightly until water is no longer bubbling and add apple chunks
- Apples should stay in the low boil for about 10 minutes or until tender
- Drain apples in strainer and rinse with cool water for two minutes
- Place apples in a blender or food processor until smooth
- If you don’t have these items, or want a chunkier apple sauce you can mash the apples with a potato masher.
- You’re ready to serve!
- Applesauce is a great base because it has a natural sweetness so you can add a variety of pureed fruits to this mix (bananas, peaches, pears – you name it!)
Chicken & Rice
Once you’ve mastered the simpler items like fruits and veggies you can move on to things with a few more steps like protein. This is a great way to start incorporating your baby’s meals into your family meals. And don’t worry, it’s still just a few simple steps!
- ½ Lb Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast
- 1 Cup Basmati Rice
- Pinch of Cinnamon
- 2 Basil Leaves
- Optional: Peeled and Boiled Carrots
- Wash chicken and remove any additional fat
- Cut chicken breast in half and then into small slices lengthwise
- Cook chicken in oven at 425 degrees for twenty to thirty minutes
- A slow cooker is another great asset, like cooking protein in the oven it helps retain nutrients
- While chicken is cooking place rice in a pot of boiling water and cook until water has absorbed and rice is tender
- In a large bowl combine cooked chicken, rice (and carrot). Add basil leaves, cinnamon and one cup of hot water
- Blend items together with hand blender or emulsifier until smooth and creamy
Making baby food is basically a three-step process: prep, cook and blend. With just a few practice tries under your belt you’ll be whipping up delicious meals and making your own recipes in no time!