You know that baby shower game where you taste baby food and try to guess what food it is? I played that once while pregnant with my second son and it permanently turned me off store-bought baby food.
For the record, it was a jar of mac and cheese baby food (seriously, who buys that) and I thought it was chicken. Gross.
Fortunately, baby food is super simple to make at home and not only will you avoid all the extra preservatives that are in the store-bought kind, you’ll also save a ton of money in the process. A lot of moms have told me, “Oh, I don’t have time to make my own baby food.”
It takes no time at all. It takes more time to go to the store and buy baby food. I serve my babies variations of whatever we are having in our meal and, in many cases, it only takes me a few extra minutes to convert our table food to baby food. Simple. Cheap. Healthy. What’s not to love?
Mashed Avocado Baby Food
Avocado is one of my favorite first foods for baby . . . and all my babies have loved it. It requires almost no prep work and you can easily adjust it based on your baby’s skill with eating.
For young babies, mash the avocado up finely or puree it in the blender. I like to use a basic food mill, like this one from NUK, to get a fine mash for younger babies. If needed, add a small amount of breastmilk or formula to thin it out for new eaters. For older babies, simply dice the avocado and turn it into finger food.
For the Rest of the Family – Avocado will freeze with a little work but I prefer to serve it fresh. Take your extra avocado and serve it with this Black Bean and Avocado Topped Quinoa. It’s a favorite at our house and makes a great weeknight meal.
Homemade Pear Baby Food
Pureed pears are like a pear version of applesauce — delicious no matter how old you are. To make a quick pear treat for your little one, start by steaming a single pear. You can do this by using a steamer on your stove. I like the quick and easy version using the Infantino Fresh Squeezed Steam and Mush. Be sure to peel your pear well first so you don’t end up with bits of skin that are hard for your baby to chew.
Once your pear is steamed and squishy, mash it up finely for your baby. This will keep in the fridge for several days or you can freeze it in an ice cube tray and have individually sized servings ready to go.
For the Rest of the Family – Add a bit more flavor with this delicious recipe for Pear Sauce from Two Peas and their Pod.
Mashed Chicken Baby Food
Chicken puree makes for a great protein packed meal for your baby and the store-bought kind is . . .well, a little gross. I promise you though, it’s so easy to cut off a portion of a cooked, unseasoned chicken breast before you serve dinner to your family and turn it into a great little meal for your baby. Once my babies have a bit more experience with food and get a bit older (9 months+), I’ll feel okay about including some mild spice on their food. I like my food with a bit of flavor so I assume they do, too.
All you do is take a portion of cooked chicken and grind it up in a food processor or food mill. I like the Baby Bullet for meat because you get a really even grind on it. To moisten it up a bit, add in some cooked rice, prepared baby rice cereal, or a small amount of chicken broth.
For the Rest of the Family – Take the rest of your chicken and make these delicious Chicken and Mushroom Stuffed Breadsticks. My kids BEG me to make these all the time. They love them so much that they will even eat them cold for lunch the next day.
Baby food doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. What’s your favorite way to make homemade baby food?