Making your own baby food is easier than it sounds—and it’ll save you money, too.
: Don’t use beets, turnips, carrots, collard greens, or spinach to make baby food. They may contain nitrates, which can cause a type of anemia in babies.
Step 1: Prep the food Prepare the items you plan to turn into baby food. Scrub fruits and vegetables well. Remove peels, pits, and seeds; trim excess fat from meats; cut away tough or stringy parts; and remove skin from poultry.
TIP: Don’t peel potatoes and squash. Cooking them in their skins preserves nutrients. You can peel them after they’re cooked.
Step 2: Cook until soft Cook items individually until very, very soft. Steaming preserves more nutrients than boiling. Poach poultry and meats in water. Don’t add butter, salt, sugar, or other seasonings.
TIP: Don’t use a copper pot: This can destroy vitamin C.
Step 3: Puree Once cool enough to handle, finely puree cooked foods. Strain any food that has bits a baby could choke on through a sieve.
Step 4: Moisten if needed Add a little breast milk or water to thin out mashed bananas and potatoes.
TIP: A food mill is a worthwhile investment because it both purees and strains foods.
Step 5: Freeze portions Consider making big batches of baby food and then freezing individual portions. Just spoon the food into ice trays and pop them into freezer bags once they’re solid. Label bags with the contents and the date.
Step 6: Defrost and serve Defrost and serve. There’s no need to heat baby food. Your child will open wide for a delicious homemade meal at any temperature. Bon appetit!
FACT: Many species of birds regurgitate food in order to feed their babies.