Homemade Baby Food: Raise a Good Eater
Jarred baby food may win on grab-and-go convenience, but many parents enjoy making their own baby food. By making it yourself, you can control the source of your ingredients and develop your baby’s palate for a wider variety of foods. Plus, shop smart, and you can save on cost.
How do you know if your baby is ready to start with solids? Take a look at this page from the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s a great guide to what babies can eat when.
Ready to try it? Here are three de-lish baby food recipes that are so good, you might even sneak a spoonful for yourself. All of these recipes can be portioned and frozen in ice cube trays for future single servings.
1. Oatmeal and Baked Apples
2 cups cooked plain oatmeal
4 sweet apples
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the apples in half (leave the skin on), core them, and roast for 20-25 minutes on a roasting tray, cut-side down. Scoop out the flesh and discard skins. Cook oatmeal in water according to package directions. Combine apple, plain oatmeal, and cinnamon in a food processor and puree until smooth, adding filtered water to achieve desired consistency. (Makes about 2 cups)
2. Baked Banana and Squash Puree
1 sugar pumpkin or butternut squash
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees F. Halve the pumpkin, de-seed, and place the halves flesh side down in a baking pan with 1-2 inches of water. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until skin is puckered and flesh is very soft. To bring out the flavor of the bananas, you can also place them skin-on in a roasting tray for 30 minutes. Use a large scoop to remove flesh. Puree the pumpkin, bananas, cinnamon, and enough filtered water to create a smooth, creamy consistency. (Makes about 3 cups)
3. Sweet Pea Puree with Mint
1½ cups shelled fresh peas
1 sprig of fresh mint
Put peas and mint in a saucepan and add 1/4 inch of water. Set over medium heat and steam for 3-4 minutes until beans are just tender. Dump vegetables in a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking, and then drain. Puree vegetables in a food processor, adding water if necessary to achieve desired consistency. (Makes about 1½ cups)
Looking for more? We highly recommend Start Fresh: Your Child’s Jump Start to Lifelong Healthy Eating by super chef Tyler Florence. (Makes a great baby shower gift, too!)