Making homemade baby food is easier than you might think. Before starting your baby on solids, speak to your baby’s pediatrician first to make sure that they are ready.
With a pediatrician’s approval, many babies are ready to start trying solids somewhere between 4-6 months of age. Before Margaux was born, my plan was to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months and then to slowly start her on solids. Well, none of that actually happened. At 4 months, Margaux appeared to be very interested in what Marquis and I were eating but I wasn’t quite ready to see my baby grow up and start eating food. Eventually, I decided to go ahead and start trying solids the day that she turned 5 months. Read on to see how we started Margaux on solids and my tips for other parents looking to do the same.
*Things you need when starting solids (please read full disclosure at end of article):
- High Chair: we use the Ingenuity Smartclean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair
- Silicone Bibs: we use BabyBjorn bibs but PandaEar is a more affordable option with great reviews
- Baby Spoon: Munchkin has nice colorful spoons at a great price
- Wipes: I like Pampers Sensitive
*Things you need if you’re making your own baby food (please read full disclosure at end of article):
- Baby Food Maker: Having a baby food maker is more convenient but I actually just use a steamer basket and blender. If I were to purchase one, I would probably get Evla’s Baby Food Maker.
- Steamer Basket: to be used with a pot
- Blender: Any blender will do but I like my Nutribullet
- Baby Food Containers: Some people use ice cube trays since portion sizes are small when you first start out. I decided to go ahead and get these containers so that I can put as little or as much as I would like and be able to easily refrigerate or freeze the quantity that I wanted.
When you do start making your own baby food, here are 5 important considerations:
- Try one food for a little bit before switching to something different in order to see if your baby has a bad reaction or food allergy.
- Do not add any extra seasonings. Babies don’t need it and they don’t miss what they have never tried.
- Separate the food into smaller servings. Any food that your baby has started to eat directly from but did not finish will need to be thrown out.
- Don’t worry if your baby rejects the food. It’s better to not force them to eat if they’re not ready. Try again the next day but perhaps use a smaller serving (no more than 1 Tbsp if you’re just starting out).
- It’s going to get messy. I knew this but I was a little too obsessed with trying to keep Margaux’s hands and mouth clean which can be a distraction from the experience.
The first three foods that Margaux tried were sweet potatoes, bananas, and avocado. She was so excited and even opened her mouth so wide with anticipation (see video at the end). Then she halfway closed her mouth and stared at us with great disappointment. It was kind of funny but I did feel a little bad after spending almost 30 minutes preparing her sweet potatoes. The next day seemed to go a little better and I think she enjoyed how fun her daddy was because he would make funny noises and movements with the spoon before feeding her.
Easiest Baby Foods to Prepare
The easiest foods to prepare were the bananas and avocados because they didn’t require as much preparation. I just used a fork to mash up small amounts until it was pretty smooth with only a few very tiny chunks. However, neither one of these foods look too nice after being stored. I did read that it was okay to still serve but I would rather incorporate the extra food into something the rest of the non-baby family members can eat. For example, I made tacos the same time I served Margaux avocados. I made one serving of avocados for her to eat right then, one for her to eat later, and the rest of the avocado I used for us to eat with the tacos.
Best Baby Food that Holds Up Well
While the sweet potatoes took the most time to prepare, I do like that it holds up pretty well and doesn’t start to turn colors like avocados and bananas. The sweet potato will need to be peeled and cut up. I cut up one potato and steamed it for about 20 minutes as this is one of the best ways to keep all of the rich nutrients that sweet potatoes provide. While the potatoes were steaming, I prepared a small 4 oz bottle of formula. You can use breast milk instead but I always feel so weird about wasted breast milk. After the potatoes were finished, I put them in my blender, added a little formula, and blended. I kept adding a little more formula until I reached my desired consistency. I went ahead and poured the sweet potatoes into individual containers and let them cool before storing. They can last up to 48 hours in the refrigerator so I only put two containers in the fridge since we are only doing one serving of solid foods per day at this point. The rest I put in the freezer.
You can buy special baby food makers that will steam and puree for you without having to use so many different tools like I did but I decided to just use what we already have on hand (steamer basket, pot, and blender). If I were to get a baby food maker, I would probably buy Evla’s baby food maker.
All in all, it has been a pretty good experience with making Margaux’s food. It’s actually easier than I thought it would be especially if you go ahead and make plenty at one time and then freeze it. I did find that Margaux seemed to like the taste of the food the next day after I made it. While I’m not exactly sure why, I think part of it is she is adjusting to the taste and texture of the foods. It feels good knowing what is going into my baby’s food. Let me know how your experience is going and any tips that you might have for making baby food in the comment section below.
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