Homemade baby food is getting trendier and trendier. Some moms love it because they know exactly what’s going in their baby’s tummy. Others love it because making your own baby food at home saves money over store bought. Whatever your reasoning may be, and if you get the go-ahead from your pediatrician, making your baby’s food at home has many benefits. That’s why we came up with this handy guide for getting started. Read on for helpful tips and advice from experts and moms alike.
Step 1 - Consult a Pro:
Before you start feeding your baby anything, check with your pediatrician and allergist. New studies show that high-risk allergy foods (like nuts and dairy) should be introduced in some form before 12 months of age, but you don’t want to do it in a way that could harm your baby if you have a family history of food allergies. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, self-diagnosis of common allergens is very problematic, as symptoms could be less about an allergen and more about another or more serious issue. If your baby has any kind of adverse reaction to a new food, consult your pediatrician or call a paramedic right away.
What You’re Going to Need:
Like any homemade food endeavor, there will be a bit of a startup cost, and equipment can range from very basic, to professional grade. Regardless of how much you decide to spend, you’ll end up needing the same things. At the minimum, we recommend getting:
- Something to puree the food, like a Magic or Baby Bullet, blender, or food processor.
- Containers to freeze food in. Ice trays, plastic bags, or containers designed for holding baby food will work here. You can also opt to reuse containers from store-bought baby food if you have enough stockpiled.
- Fresh foods of your choice, depending on what your baby can eat.
- A high chair! Now that your baby isn’t bottle-only, it’s time to sit them at the table with the rest of the family.
Part of the reason why homemade baby food is becoming more and more popular is because it’s very easy to make. It typically takes an afternoon to make a whole month’s worth of baby food! You can make a big batch of sweet potatoes or carrots and peas or peaches, stick them in your freezer, and be set for a month. Most of the time, all you need to do is steam or boil the vegetable of your choice and stick it in your food processer or blender. There are many recipes and meal plan ideas available from a variety of publishers. Figure out what types of foods your baby likes, and what’s available in your area, and create monthly and weekly meal plans. How easy is that?
What They can Eat and When:
Your baby will be able to eat more and more foods as their mouths develop. As mentioned before, you should be aware of common allergens, like dairy, wheat, soy, nuts, and shellfish, and proceed with caution when introducing these foods. Though each little one is different, here’s an approximate breakdown of what they’ll be able to eat and when:
- Sweet Potato
- White potato
- Red meat
- Black Beans
- Nut butter
Do you make your own baby food at home? If you do, share a favorite recipe in the comments below!