From the time I was pregnant with our daughter Alice (Also known as A for short), I knew that I wanted to make her baby food. This decision was the best fit for our family for a variety of reasons. I really wanted to introduce A to a ton of different flavors early on in hopes that when she eventually hits the inevitable picky stage, we would hopefully get through it as easily as possible (I can’t speak to how to handle that phase yet, but check out this post of Tips For Picky Eaters for advice). I’m also extremely passionate about food and really love cooking. And I couldn’t justify spending extra money on food items that are so easy to make for our baby with what we already have on hand.
So when the time came, I began making and feeding A homemade purees. It’s been an awesome ride and I’ve learned a lot of things so far. One big thing that I learned is that making your own baby food doesn’t have to be hard. Based on our experience, here are 5 tips for making your own baby food:
- Don’t feel like you need to invest in special items for this purpose.
I never even ended up using the fancy baby food maker that we received because it was just so simple to use the equipment I already had on hand. While I made a list of the items that worked best for me, you could always work with whatever you have available. It’s really all about personal preference, but like most things, it’s best to keep it simple.
- If you don’t use locally-grown, organic ingredients, it’s fine. Our pediatrician emphasized that before your baby hits the twelve month mark, their primary source of nutrition will be either breast milk, formula or a combination of both, so your kid will be just fine if you use regular grocery store produce. This will save you a lot of money!
- It doesn’t have to be extremely time consuming. Like every other parent out there, I understand how busy life gets when you add a kid (or several) into the mix. Believe me, we have more than our fair share of we-failed-at-dinner-lets-go-
to-the-diner nights. What I found to be best for us was creating a time each week that I would devote to food prep, including baby food. I did this on Sunday afternoons. I would take an hour (or less) and steam/puree/freeze a couple of different fruits and veggies for quick meals during our busy work week. It was super easy and when they are a little older, we just give them some of whatever we happen to be eating.
- Don’t be afraid to venture outside of the box. While she was a huge fan of the old standbys (sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, apples sauce, bananas, etc.) I was and continue to be pleasantly surprised by all of the different varieties of flavors that she has not only tried, but loved. Some of her favorite things that we introduced early on include beets, parsnips, leeks, brussels sprouts, and asparagus. Now that she’s older, she has embraced a variety of different types of cuisines and is open to trying new things.
- Herbs and spices are your friends. While I encourage to do your research and heed to your pediatrician’s expertise when introducing new foods, I also encourage you to experiment with different herbs and spices once your baby is old enough and has proven to tolerate the foods on their own. Now I’m not telling you to dump salt or Frank’s Red Hot all over their food, but maybe throw in a little basil here or some black pepper there. Work your way into it. That old fable about how babies will only ever eat bland foods is pure fiction.
One other bonus tip: Have fun. Seriously. No pressure for you or baby. They may not always like things, but eventually they will learn to eat. If they take one bite and reject it, no big deal. Move on to something else and try again another time. Cut yourself some slack. Whether you are making your own food, or picking up the prepackaged food, you’re a great parent!
You can read more about our journey of introducing table foods here.
Jessy is the founder of thelifejolie.com, which celebrates all of the pretty things in life. She has the privilege of being a wife to her husband Justin and a mother to her daughter Alice and dog Macie. Jessy is a financial professional by day. She has a passion for cooking (eating!), home design, crafts, theatre, singing, travel, laughing, and learning. She aims to spread positivity and build a community through The Life Jolie and to continue growing, learning and evolving as a person.
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