Making your own baby food is not only much cheaper but it
s super easy and better for your baby because your giving your child the fresh article!
Apparently 0-2 years is the most vulnerable time for pesticides so I only buy organic and with items that are really expensive fresh but reasonably priced frozen (especially items that don't loose a lot of nutritional value frozen such as peas, green beans & berries) I just buy organic frozen. And a lot of them you can steam in the bag so winning!
First time I fed him I let him try to feed himself, it was quite messy lol
I started at 6 months but many people start at 4 months. Start with individual items for a few days to watch for allergic reactions. My baby had an issue with broccoli straight way (horrible gas pain) and quinoa (blotchy red raised rash around bottom as passed in feces and trouble digesting).
Once the baby is ok with certain foods you can combine with one more item and monitor for reactions with the second item. Then you can add a third item etc.
Start with vegetables then add in fruits and then grains. I like brown rice and organic baby multi-grain cereal (which I mix with a little bit of formula and then add to a fruit/veg combination).
He loves peas!
I've got a list of combinations I really like (and that baby likes) at the bottom of the page :)
At the moment my baby at 9 months old loves everything I give him but apparently the fussiness kicks in around the 10th month+ so I will update on that. After 7-8 months depending on baby's progress it's fine to make the purees a little chunkier, especially with items that are easily mashed in the mouth such as bananas and sweet potato.
The easiest way to prepare apples, peas, potato, carrots, squash & spinach is to steam (or boil but retain some of the water - not from spinach though) then once cooled slightly add a bit of water (purified if you like) and blend.
For grains I cook as per instructions then add a small amount of water to puree. I bought a Rival "bullet" which was $10, compared with the Magic Bullet which is $30+ and it works great.
With bananas I usually just use 1/2 a banana and mash by hand.
Once pureed I spoon into ice cube trays and freeze overnight, then transfer into a labeled container.
Never add salt, sugar or seasonings as babies love the natural flavor of food. Variety is key, introducing a wide variety of colors and flavors to give your baby a well rounded palette.
For sweet potato just wash and prick with a fork then bake at 375F for 40-60 minutes turning half way through.
With apples, peel and slice, make sure none of the hard core parts are present before chopping and steaming.
At 9 months I am feeding my baby 3 solid food meals a day (including 3-4oz of breast milk/formula) and 4x 5-6oz bottles of breast milk/formula with rice cereal mixed in.
For the solid meals I usually contain 3 cubes, each cube is around 2 Tbls (so 6Tbls per serve). If I'm serving cereal that is mixed with formula then that counts as 2Tbls so I only use 2 other cubes (or one cube and 1/2 banana).
Roughly the schedule goes;
6:30 am - Bottle 5-6oz breast milk/formula mixed with 1-2 Tbls rice cereal
8:30 am - Solid meal in a bowl of 6Tbls food + bottle 3-4oz breast milk/formula
10:30 am -Bottle 5-6oz breast milk/formula mixed with 1-2 Tbls rice cereal
12:30 pm - Solid meal in a bowl of 6Tbls food + bottle 3-4oz breast milk/formula
2:30 pm - Bottle 5-6oz breast milk/formula mixed with 1-2 Tbls rice cereal
4:30 pm - Solid meal in a bowl of 6Tbls food + bottle 3-4oz breast milk/formula
6:30 pm - Bottle 5-6oz breast milk/formula mixed with 1-2 Tbls rice cereal
I microwave 1 cube 30 seconds, 2 cubes 45 seconds and 3 cubes 1 minute. That generally works for most foods but some need a little extra. Then I mash with a fork because some items like brown rice can stay solid.
These are the baby cereals I use. The rice is good for bottles because it doesn't get too thick. The multi-grain and oatmeal are good for the solid food.
L-R: Spinach, Peas, Brown Rice, Potato, Apple, Carrots, Raspberry, Blueberry
Some combinations that baby likes:
For 4-6 months
Apple & Potato
Peas & Carrots
Banana & Cereal
Sweet Potato & Mango
For 6-9 months
Green Beans, Sweet Potato & Apple
Pea, Carrot & Spinach
Sweet Potato, Mango & Carrot
Sweet Potato, Mango & Banana
Sweet Potato, Mango & Brown Rice (or Quinoa)
Apple, Potato & Spinach
Spinach, Pea & Apple
Raspberry, Banana & Cereal (or Brown Rice/Quinoa)
Sweet Potato, Carrot & Mango
Butternut, Apple & Banana
Sweet Potato, Apple, Carrot (and a cereal)
Potato, Carrot & Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato, Peas & Green Beans
Apple, Sweet Potato & Cereal
Peas, Carrots & Brown Rice
Apple, Carrot & Cereal
Banana, Blueberries & Cereal
These sites also are great resources;
This PDF from First Steps Nutrition is fantastic for information and recipes for vegan children birth to 5 years.