4 Things You Need to Make Homemade Baby Food--Or Not
Between feeding three babies (with another coming this spring) and running a mommy food blog, I’ve made a lot of baby food. I’ve also figured out that it can be as high-tech or straightforward as you and your wallet want. From both ends of the budget spectrum, here are the best tools for the job.
Photo Credit: Beaba USA
Splurge on Something Special: Baby Food Maker
My baby food maker was the first baby gadget I bought, before my first daughter was even born. (At the time, I lived in Italy where such things weren’t easy to find, so I picked mine up on a babymoon in Paris. A now-or-never splurge I didn’t regret one bit.)
That was five years ago and things are even fancier now, like this model from Beaba where you can cook two types of baby food at once. You simply put in your raw ingredients and add water. The machine steams then purees. Tada! Nothing ever burns, everything is contained and cleanup is a snap because the cups are small enough to fit easily in the dishwasher without becoming a production. (Get more info about this baby food maker at Foodlets.com.)
Photo Credit: OXO
Splurge on Something Special: Food Mill
For a lower-tech option, a food mill works like this one from OXO wonders to puree cooked food. (You still have to steam, roast or otherwise cook the ingredients.) Crank the handle and out comes freshly pureed baby food.
Photo Credit: Bed, Bath & Beyond
Use What You Have: A Sauce Pan + Blender
You can also make baby food using kitchen gear you likely have at home. Steaming food on the stove isn’t hard and neither is throwing it into the blender. (Tons of parents love their Ninjas deeply, for baby food and everything else.) Bonus, you’ll be able to make big batches to freeze for later, which leads to…
Photo Credit: Pottery Barn Kids
Splurge on Something Special: Baby Food Freezing Trays
I love these Beaba freezing trays and bought one alongside my baby food maker long ago. (It still looks exactly the same as it did on Day 1, which is refreshing in the world of Things You Buy for Baby.) They’re silicone so nothing sticks, everything pops out easily and the lid fits snuggly on top so I didn’t worry about freezer burn or any random little bits working their way into the babies’ food. I liked making a batch, transferring the “cubes” to a large zip-top container to go back in the fridge, then using the tray again for something else. This way you have several varieties available any time.
Use What You Have: Ice Cube Trays
Some people swear by using the very same ice cube trays that come with your freezer. They’re smaller than the baby food freezing cubes and you’ll have to cover them in foil, but still, sometimes “free” is the best price tag a new mom can ask for.
Photo Credit: Amazon.com
Splurge on Something Special: Small Silicone Spatula
This sounds very specific but if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a new mom three times over, it’s that convenience counts. The silicone spatula is amazing for getting every last drop out of the blender or baby food maker, and if you get a miniature version, it works even better.
Photo Credit: Cuiller en bois - dessus
Use What You Have: Spoon, Spatula, Whatever
Yes, of course you can just use any spoon around. It won’t get EVERY last drop but again, it’s free and will certainly work well enough.
Photo Credit: Amazon
Splurge on Something Special: Baby Food To-Go Containers
This is one that I haven’t splurged for, but I can see why some parents do. I’m a big fan of OXO and this 12 Piece Baby Block System seems great. You store individual containers of food (in the freezer or fridge) then grab and go when you want.
Photo Credit: Kitchen Home Goods
Use What You Have: Twist Top Containers
Any small container with a twist top will work, and I’ve used these basic containers over and over and over with nary a leak or spill. Tip: If you bring frozen food with you, be sure to either wrap it in a clean towel or burp cloth or store it inside a zip-top baggie to prevent the condensation from getting the rest of your diaper bag wet (unless your bag has a special area just for potentially wet items).
Make healthy and fresh baby food at home, even in the winter when local produce is rare. Use these ideas for healthy baby food plus recipe options using the same produce for the rest of the family.view gallery
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