Making your own baby food

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Little Brother (who just turned 6 months) has now entered the realm of solids, which means it’s time to start whipping up batches of baby food again. I’m always amazed at the reactions I get from people when I tell them we make our own–it seems some people think it is quite the undertaking, but I assure you, it’s not.

Here are the two most common “myths” that I’ve heard about making your own:
  1. You need a food processor or those expensive baby food machines. Not so!!  I don’t own a food processor (though I would love to! 🙂 ), nor do we have any of those fancy baby food machines. I have a hand blender that I use, but you could even use your regular blender.                       
  2.  It takes a long time to makeAgain, not so (well, depending on your definition of long I guess)!  It took me less than 5 minutes to prep the foods (sometimes prep can take longer depending on what & how much you are making) and I baked them while I was making dinner anyway.  Then, it took me less than 30 minutes to puree, fill my trays, and clean up.                                                                            

So, for little brother’s first foods (other than plain ‘ole rice cereal of which he was decidedly not a fan) we are doing orange “veggies” (yes, squash is technically a fruit), then green, then fruits.  Squash was on-sale for 49 cents/pound.  So I grabbed a couple acorn (I really wanted butternut, but they were out) and a yam.

I cut the squash in half & scooped out the seeds. (The yam wasn’t cut when it went into the oven, just holes poked in it…it got cut in half when I was checking to see if it was done).   I baked them (on convection bake so it was a little faster than usual) at 350 for about 35 minutes (baking time can vary greatly depending on the size of the squash).

Once everything was fork tender, I took it out and let it cool just until I could handle it safely.  Then, I scooped out the insides of all the squash and placed it into a medium sized mixing bowl. To puree, I use a hand blender. (In these early stages of baby food eating, I add a little water to make the texture smoother).

 Once you have the desired texture, scoop out & into your containers to freeze.  With Big Brother (3 years ago), I used ice cube trays.  This time around I wanted something a little more functional and I found the solution…Wilton’s Bite-Size Squares Silicone Baking Pan! Love it!!  It’s much more versatile than ice cube trays (since we have an ice maker & don’t need them) and the food comes out MUCH more easily.  If you fill each well completely full, it is 1 oz.  So, you can fit about 24 oz. in each pan.

 After filling the pans, put them in the freezer (it only took mine a couple of hours to be solid).  Then, pop them out and place them in baggies.
Then, just take out however many you need.  Right now, he’s eating about two at a time.  
So easy and healthy!  I love how vibrant the colors are compared to the baby food in the store.  And, it is SO much cheaper than store bought!!  I got the squash and yam for $2.40. It yielded 44 ounces of baby food–equivalent to about 12.5 servings of the large Gerber containers at the store.  Even if you found them for 50 cents each (on sale), that would still be $6.25–so that’s a savings of almost $4 for just this batch alone!  While $4 doesn’t sound like much on it’s own, if you consider how much baby food they go through, that savings can really add up! And, that works for me! 🙂

Do you make your own baby food?

(And, just in case you were wondering…Yes, I have purchased store bought baby food–especially for long distance travel situations and for a few fruit flavors that are a little more difficult to do yourself because of the season & availability of the fruit.  Also, I am only recently a “stay-at-home” mom.  I did this when I worked full-time outside the home with Big Brother–I just did BIG batches on weekends.)

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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6 Responses

  1. I use the Wilton pan too and I love it!!! They need to advertise it for baby food because the other trays out there are totally the wrong size. These are perfect!

    1. Hi Heather! I don’t know that I’ve ever kept track, but it certainly keeps for a fair amount of time. As long as it doesn’t get defrosted & refrozen or freezer burnt, it should be good in the freezer up to a couple of months (just like any other food would be).

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