First Attempt at Making Baby Food
I tried to make baby food for my first daughter, Emily, in 2016. I thought I’d be that mom who makes everything from scratch, uses cloth diapers, and sings lullabies in other languages. But then the realities of being a new mom set in.
I did some of those things, but the baby food situation was a disaster. Our blender was not up to the task. And, I wasn’t prepared for all the conflicting information online about what babies should eat and their nutritional needs. The research, planning, and resulting mess of spinach slime all over my kitchen counters had me running for store-bought food pouches. It was all too overwhelming for me as a new sleep-deprived mom.
And, let me be clear. Store-bought baby food pouches are great. They were what I needed at the time, and my now 3-year-old is happy, healthy, and still eats her broccoli—for now. But, I was ready to try homemade baby food again when I had my second baby.
After I had my second daughter, Molly, I purchased a Deluxe Cooking Blender. I had heard so many good things about it from consultants and in customer reviews. Its powerful puree setting cooks food up to 220˚F as it blends even the toughest veggies completely smooth. And, the self-cleaning feature made a huge difference to me when I needed to make a variety of purees for the week. The whole experience was so much better than my first attempt.
It also helped to have some basic baby food recipes I trusted as a starting point. I learned from Tim Hagedorn in the Test Kitchen that during their recipe research, they used a viscometer to test the viscosity of several major baby food brands. The Test Kitchen then set a high standard for baby food recipes that taste good and have a similar consistency to familiar brands. So, when I followed those recipe proportions, I felt reassured I was making “stage-one”, single-ingredient baby foods with a very thin consistency and no large pieces.
Once I got these few recipes down, and Molly got past stage-one foods, I started to adjust the recipes by using less water, swapping in formula, and mixing up my own flavor combinations, which was really fun.
Baby Food Recipes
You don’t need to have littles at home to make homemade applesauce in a blender, but these recipe portions are perfect for six servings in 4-oz. portions. It’s just ¼ cup of filtered water and 6½ cups of peeled organic apples. Then, select the Heated Puree setting and press start. Let the baby food cool to room temperature, uncovered, before refrigerating or freezing. That’s it!
When your child is ready, here are more applesauce recipes with delicious hidden veggie combinations!
Pear Puree Baby Food
Carrot Puree Baby Food
Carrot puree was a hit and tasted so good that I added it into pasta sauce, soups, and mac & cheese for the rest of my family. You use ¼ cup of filtered water and 3¼ cups of organic carrot cut into chunks. That’s about a 1-lb. bag.
Sweet Potato Puree Baby Food
Sweet potatoes, especially Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a staple weeknight meal at our house, so when I started feeding sweet potato puree to Molly, her older sister immediately wanted a little dish of it, too. It’s ¼ cup of filtered water and about three peeled organic sweet potatoes, which makes about 3½ cups.
Once my baby moved past basic flavors, sweet potato became a good base to build onto with other flavors like applesauce or squash. I made a layered sweet potato and corn puree that looked very pretty when it was frozen. I did a separate black bean puree and would mix all three flavors together, so Molly could have her own version of the family’s favorite sweet potato dinner.
Green Pea Puree Baby Food
This recipe is just ¼ cup of filtered water and 4 cups of frozen organic sweet peas. If unthawed, it measures to 3¼ cups, but I just went with frozen peas. This is another great base puree for combinations with pear, green bean, or chicken puree once your baby is ready.
Baby Food Favorites
These days, I’m only in the baby food aisle taking pictures to get inspiration for flavor combinations. A couple of big wins for Molly were garlic chicken with spinach puree, broccoli with applesauce puree, and frozen mango puree that I made into ice shavings for teething relief. I’m a little sad my baby is moving past purees, but my 3-year-old loves frozen smoothie pops, so more blender experiments to come!
Have you made baby food? What tips and ideas have worked for you? Share them in the comments below!
Jenny Domine, Pampered Chef Senior Copywriter. Jenny has worked at Pampered Chef for 10 years writing and editing emails, webpages, promotions, and video scripts. She believes cooking should be a playful experience, and never makes the exact same recipe twice.