Homemade Baby Food

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2008
Homemade Baby Food
11
Mon, 11-05-2012 - 8:17pm

Anyone making homemade baby food or thinking about making it?

I made all of DD1's food, never bought a single jar, and I found it really easy and saved so much money.  So I am doing it again with Marissa.  I started tonight with sweet potatoes and Marissa loved them.  I bought 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled them, steamed them and then divided them up.  Those 3 potatoes made enough for me and DD1 for a side dish at dinner plus a little extra for DD1 to have tomorrow and plenty to mash up for Marissa for the next couple days.  For Marissa's, since sweet potatoes are so soft, I didn't even bother with the food processor and I just mashed them with a fork and added water until they were thin enough for her first attempt.

I'd love to get a discussion going for anyone else that is trying to make baby food to get people's experiences or questions or for anyone that is interested in learning more.  So what are your thoughts?

Cynthia

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2007
Tue, 11-06-2012 - 2:28pm
I'm delaying solids until December, but I plan on starting with sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, apples, bananas, and avocados. I'm probably going to blend them smooth with expressed breast milk. There's no reason for me to buy the little jars because I'm home now. I used jars with DS1 because I was working and going to school full time. We're doing things much more naturally now.
 BabyFruit Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2011
Tue, 11-06-2012 - 8:08pm
I've started making all of blake's baby food after realizing how much i spent on the jars. I did some searching online and called a friend that did it for her kids. I actually love doing it and blake seems to like it better than the jarred food. I just cnt quite get the hang of doing the carrots. We tried carrots again on blake and since he had no reaction this time we got the all clear to feed it to him...Yippee=) Do you have any suggestions on making carrots? I really would like to do them since he really liked them when we tried them again.
 Pregnancy Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2008
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 1:54pm

Hmm, not sure why carrots are giving you troubles. But glad to hear that you were able to try them again and he hopefully isn't allergic.

I plan to do those next week for Marissa but I have made them plenty of times for DD1.  I find the best way to make them is to use regular, large size not baby size, carrots.  I peel them and then cut them into small segments, about 1 inch long.  I then steam them until I can easily poke a fork through them.  Once the babies are older all you then have to do is cut it into bite size pieces and they are a great finger food.  But for now I cut them into small pieces and throw them in the food processor with some water.  You might need to keep adding water until your processor can break it down - I remember this being an issue with some foods as I didn't realize how much extra liquid was needed just to get the processor to work well.

When I started making DD1's food I spent the money on a Baby Bullet since I didn't have a good mini processor.  It was only $60 at Target and came with some storage jars which was helpful.  It isn't the best processor in the world but for the price it works for us, it is easy to use and I know I'll be able to use it for other stuff too.  I also got a steamer basket for my pans and I love that.  Instead of boiling the veggies which can take out nutrients I steam them and it is a great accessory for cooking my own veggies too.

Cynthia

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-14-2003
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 7:22pm

We will be making our own food again.  I did it with my son and it was fun... not to mention the money we saved.  I would spend a couple hours on the weekend to make up different kinds and then I froze them in ice cube trays.  I put the cubes in ziploc bags and stored them in the freezer.  We used a bamboo steamer to cook the veggies and then blended them in the food processor with some of the water we used to steam them.  We did carrots, peas, green beans, squash, sweet potatoes.  I would get the frozen veggies and fruit or fresh if we could.  For the fruits we had mango, peaches, pears, and whatever else we could find.  I had gotten a book from a girl who would send you a link to download the book... I can scan it and e-mail it to anyone who wants it (it will be next week though before I can scan it).  It's fairly large though... 100 pages... or I can put it online and put a link to it on here.  It was from wholesomebabyfood.com.  They would keep about 2 months in freezer, but I don't think we had any last that long.  We won't be starting food until December though, so we have some time.  We did buy some jar food, but it definitely saved us money, I wish I had done it for my oldest!

~~ Heather ~~
~~ Emma Michelle 7/27/03 ~~
~~ Brendan Frederick 9/29/05 ~~
~~ Jocelyn Martha 6/5/12 ~~

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2011
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 9:33pm
At first the pedi thought it was beta carotene allergy but then he didnt react to peas, they were not sure. Thankfully when we tried foods again everything was ok and no reaction. I think what i did wrong with the carrots was I used baby carrots and boiled them. I'm going to try using the big carrots and steaming them this time. I'm enjoying making his food alot, i find it very fun and relaxing:) Thanks for the help. If anyone has anymore suggestions I'm all ears=D
 Pregnancy Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-14-2003
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 10:51pm

If I remember correctly with the carrots we did the frozen sliced carrots and steamed them.  When we would puree the food we would use the water that was in the pot with the steamer since it has some of the nutrients from the veggies in it.  They were a little lumpier than some of the other veggies, but we were able to get them to a consistency my son liked.  To this day he is a better eater with veggies and fruit than my daughter... some times I wonder if it was the difference between the homemade food to start vs the jar food, but I don't know. 

~~ Heather ~~
~~ Emma Michelle 7/27/03 ~~
~~ Brendan Frederick 9/29/05 ~~
~~ Jocelyn Martha 6/5/12 ~~

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-07-2011
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 4:08pm
I think I'm going to try that too. With blake being on a pricier formula now I'm trying to find anyway to cut costs. I know buying the jar food isnt. Thnx again for all the tips.
 Pregnancy Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2011
Fri, 11-09-2012 - 1:39pm
I love the thought of making my own baby food. We make most of our food from scratch and try to eat healthy, so I hope it's not too big of a stretch to make our own food. I haven't done my research yet though. My doctor suggested rice cereal first and then when JB is used to eating a swallowing, then adding a food every few days. She said between 4 and 6 months. Is there any reason to start earlier vs later? Did/will any of you start with rice cereal or oatmeal before fruit and veggies? I also read somewhere that there were some veggies that weren't good to make at home but can't remember the reasons. Did any of you ladies find that to be the case? Did you try any lentils or meats or other proteins? I'm thinking I might start by using my blender, it's super powerful, but I'm wondering if I should get a baby bullet or something. Sorry for the long post and gagillion questions. This thread is helping to motivate me to look into it more :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2008
Fri, 11-09-2012 - 2:25pm

This is exactly why I started the post.  I remember doing so much research before starting to make food for my first baby and it turned out much easier than I ever imagined.

I did start both my kids with the rice cereal only because you can make that really thin and it will just taste like the milk/formula that you put in it so you don't have to worry about the shock of introducing a new taste and you can focus on them learning how to accept a spoon.  I also used the rice and oatmeal to thicken up some foods since DD1 preferred her food thick versus thin and watery but some foods got too thin in the processor.  Also, I eventually would make the oatmeal as a breakfast meal and either add in some mashed fruit or a little cinnamon for flavor.  That wasn't until a ways down the line but it mixed up her day a little and started a good routine of breakfast versus lunch or dinner.

My dr suggests starting a new food every 5-7 days.  With DD1 I found it easiest to prepare a week's worth of food on a weekend so she got a new food every week until she had tried almost everything and we started mixing it up more (more than one food at a meal).

In my opinion there isn't a big difference between starting at 4 vs 6 months but I'm sure you could find pros and cons out there for both sides.  DD1 I started right at 4 months but only because i was excited to be able to give her food.  For DD2 I have been much more laid back about it mostly due to having the time to sit her down and feed her.  At this stage it is entirely for learning purposes as all of their nutrients are still coming from milk/formula.

I believe you will find warnings about some foods not being good to make at home but from what I have seen that is based on old data about nitrates which has been found to be incorrect.  So unless you are trying something out of the ordinary, I wouldn't worry about that.  But you can also talk with your dr.  At Mari's 4 month appt they gave me a printout with a bunch of foods and the best ages to start feeding them to her.  But it is all pretty flexible depending on how your baby likes to eat.

Regarding meats, the idea of sticking a chicken breast (or other meat) into the processor just did not sit well with me.  A friend of mine used ground meat that she made into meatballs at around 8 months old but I waited a little longer.  By around 9 months old DD1 was able to eat small pieces of boiled chicken since it gets really soft.  So I plan to hold off on meat until Mari can handle some finger foods.  There is plenty of other foods for her to try to last her until that point.

Lastly, go ahead and try your blender.  I think the benefit to a mini food processor (or the baby bullet) is that the blades are smaller and close to the bottom of the bowl so there is less food that can get stuck under them and miss getting mixed.  But my blender is terrible so if you have a good one it might be enough for you.

Cynthia

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-14-2003
Sat, 11-10-2012 - 5:13pm

We started with rice cereal mixed with breastmilk and we also did oatmeal as well.  We did that for a couple weeks to get my kids used to swallowing food then moved on to veggies.  We did the jar food with my oldest and then I made food for my son.  I spent a couple hours on the weekend steaming the veggies and then blended it in my food processor.  We had a kitchen aid one we had gotten as a wedding gift.  It worked great to puree the food.  Then I put it in ice cube trays that I picked up at the dollar store.  I did a about 4 trays of each kind.  We would introduce a new veggie each week and then trade off between the flavors once we went through about 3 weeks with no issues.  Then we moved on to the next round.  I think we would give one cube of food at first and worked up to 2 cubes, if it was a litte runny we would mix in a little cereal with the vegetables too.  My son loved the veggies so it didn't take long.  His first food was squash! We used either fresh or frozen fruits and veggies and steamed the vegetables using the water in the pot to help blend them smoother.

This site has a lot of good info.  http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/  We started at 4 months with my daughter and then when we had my son I had done more research and we delayed until 6 months.  My pediatrician said that as long as Jocelyn can sit up without leaning to the side and she was ready and we could start.  I'm waiting until close to 6 months with her as well.  We might start at Thanksgiving and give her a little cereal, I would just pump a little milk for her and mix that in.

We never did meats as puree, the jar meats were a little scary looking to me and we just waited until they were one to start with meat and then we started with chicken because it woud shred easier.  My son has texture issues and still doesn't really eat meat today (he's 7) unless it is ground beef or chicken. 

~~ Heather ~~
~~ Emma Michelle 7/27/03 ~~
~~ Brendan Frederick 9/29/05 ~~
~~ Jocelyn Martha 6/5/12 ~~

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