It’s that time in our house again! Kallos is actually eating solid food, so I thought I would put together this post on how to make healthy, homemade baby food! I feel like I was just making baby food for Aria-how does time go by so fast?! I’m really happy with our breastfeeding journey so far, and if you’ve checked out my instagram, you can see that Kallos has plenty of rolls! However, the time has come, whether I feel ready or not!
Be on the lookout out for my next post about my Top 5 Ways to Establish & Boost Milk Supply if you’re continuing to breastfeed as well. Just because your baby is starting on solids doesn’t mean you want to dip your milk supply! Your baby still needs those valuable nutrients, and now is a great time to boost your supply so you can start freezing and storing milk to have on hand for when you stop nursing all together! (Or for that first weekend getaway without the kids- 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep… that still exists somewhere right?!)
In this post I’ll go over how to make your own homemade, healthy baby food! What our children eat is absolutely crucial to their health, mental and physical development, and behavior. You can start your baby on the path towards good health by what YOU eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as what food you allow them to eat when they first start eating solids.
Why Homemade Baby Food
Not only can it be very cost effective to make your own homemade baby food, but it is also oftentimes the safest choice for your baby. There are all kinds of toxins and chemicals hidden in the processed food found on many of our store shelves. Even the packaging can be harmful by containing BPA and other toxins. I highly recommend reading the book “The Vaccine Friendly Plan” by Dr. Paul Thomas and Jennifer Margulis to learn more about toxins and how you can make healthy choices for your children from pregnancy through the teen years! For more information on clean, non-toxic living, check out my blog post “Your Simple and Comprehensive Guide to Non-Toxic Living” where I go over all the basics of what everyday items could be harming your health and how you can easily incorporate healthy alternatives into your daily life.
Homemade baby food is so simple- the only ingredient you need is the fruit or vegetable you would like your baby to eat! I recommend choosing totally Organic, non-GMO vegetables to keep your baby from being exposed to pesticides and other harmful contaminants. For some liquid when cooking, you can use water or I like to use organic bone broth to add some extra nutrients.
How to Make Homemade Baby Food
Wash, peel and cut your vegetables (I peel and cube vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets and carrots. For green beans, simply washing and snapping the ends off is sufficient.)
Cook with desired amount of liquid in an instant pot or oven safe covered pot until soft. In an oven, I cook it at 450 for 25-30 mins. In my instant pot, I cook it on the veggies setting, which takes 20 mins.
Once the veggies are tender, I simply blend them in in my nutribullet until they are a pureed consistency. Next, I pour the puree into an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer. One frozen, I pop the ice cubes out and store in a freezer bag! Easy as that!
When it’s time for supper, I take out the desired amount of cubes and unthaw them (you can heat them in the microwave, or on the stove if you prefer to avoid microwaves.)
Sometimes I like to add some organic, non-GMO baby rice cereal or superfood baby mix to it to make it thicker, but it’s certainly not necessary. I usually have several bags of frozen baby food already made and ready in my fridge- each one labeled differently. Sometimes I like to mix different combos together, for more variety once I know that baby has already safely been introduced to each food individually.
Introducing Baby Food
When should you introduce your baby to solid food? What food should you start with? How much or how little? Those are all the questions I had when I first started my daughter on solids, so let me simplify it for you with some helpful guidelines!
When Should You Start?
Normally your doctor will recommend waiting until 6 months to start on solids. You can think about starting your baby on solids between 4 and 6 months, depending on if they are ready for solid food or not. Questions to ask are: can your baby hold their head up and sit up straight? Is he or she interested in food? Be sure to talk with your doctor about your baby’s weight and your milk supply and make sure your baby is getting enough nutrients for his or her age.
What Foods Should You Start With?
There are some foods that are easier on the digestive system than others, so I would recommend starting cautiously and determining how your baby responds to each individual food. I always start my babies on green beans first because green beans are gentler on the tummy. Click here for free printable on which foods are best to start your baby on and in what order!
Introducing one individual vegetable at a time will help you know which food is responsible if your baby has any food allergies or doesn’t react well to a particular food.
How Much Should They Eat Right Away?
That depends on their age and appetite. However, it is important that their main source of nutrients is still breast milk or formula. I always nurse my baby before I feed Him solid food so that he fills up on those needed nutrients first and also so that my milk supply doesn’t dip.
Each cube of baby food equates to about 1 ounce, give or take. I always start with one ounce of baby food and increase from there once I know my baby doesn’t have a bad reaction to the food and if they still seem hungry.
What Combinations Are Best?
As I mentioned before, I usually have several bags of individual baby food cubes in the freezer- for example, right now I have a bag of green bean cubes, a bag of sweat potato cubes, and a bag of carrot cubes. However, eventually I mix and match a bit based on what tastes good together and what nutrients I want them to eat for a more well rounded diet. Check out my Free Printable on my favorite homemade baby food combos for a healthier, well rounded diet!
Other Ways to Make Homemade Baby Food
In addition to cooking vegetables, there are some foods that don’t require being cooked! (Win, win right?!) Mashing up bananas and avocados for example are super easy, simple, and nutritious meals for your baby. I love these options especially if we’re eating at someone else’s house and I don’t want to bother packing a freezer bag for the baby food. Throwing a banana or an avocado (or both!) and a spoon into the diaper makes for easy supper prep on the go!
I hope this post simplified the process of making healthy, homemade baby food. Starting the journey of feeding solids to your baby can be so fun- and messy! Giving your baby a running start on the path towards good health and clean eating is one of the most rewarding and important things you can do for your child- so way to go mama! Keep up the amazing work!
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I’m always hanging out on the gram– feel free to stop by and say hi, and if your baby makes any funny faces while trying their first foods, I’d love for you to tag me so I can see it! Those videos and pictures are the BEST! Happy baby food making!