Making your own baby food is easy, fast, and saves money.
It also means you know exactly what you’re feeding your baby, and it can even be more nutritious than buying it in the store.
First and foremost, make sure your baby is ready for solid foods.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says to wait 6 months before starting on solids, but that can vary. “When the baby can sit upright, hold her head up, and is interested in food, she’s probably ready,” says Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN.
Be aware of common allergens and gas-inducing foods.
Common allergens include eggs, milk, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.
Honey is also best avoided the first year because it can cause botulism.
Wait until your baby is ten to twelve months old before trying gas-inducing foods such as beans, broccoli, onions, fruit juice, wheat, cauliflower, garlic and dairy.
“It is best to check with a pediatrician before introducing these foods into your baby’s diet,” says Middleberg.
Choose organic produce whenever possible.
“Babies have smaller digestive systems and body masses, so they can handle less toxins, like pesticides, than small children or adults can,” Middleberg says.
And, finally, make sure the foods you’re making are age appropriate.
Stick with thin, single-ingredient purees from low-acid fruits and sweet vegetables. Space new foods 4 days apart so you can spot and identify an allergy.
1. Sweet Potato Puree
Sweet potatoes are also a great source of protein. Recipe here.
5. Pureed Peas
Recipe here. (FYI, this puree is also perfect for putting in an adult quesadilla.)
7. Brown Rice Cereal
Making your own rice cereal is just as simple as the fruit and vegetable purees. Recipe here.
Start testing other fruits and vegetables and proteins such as lentils and meats in thicker purees. Still go one new ingredient at a time, but now mix a few together once you know your baby isn’t allergic.
8. For something quick, mash up soft fruits and vegetables with a fork.
No machinery necessary. Specific instructions here.
10. Green Bean, Potato and Kale Puree
11. Apple Pear Butter
Once you know your baby isn’t allergic to apples or pears, try this recipe to test cinnamon.
14. Parsnip, Pear and Fig Puree
15. Basil and Ginger Infused Peach Compote
Forget the baby. Eat this one yourself. Recipe here.
17. Spiced Lentil and Apple Puree
“Adding flavorful dried and fresh herbs and spices is a wonderful way to set the tone for a more mature and adventurous palate,” says Middleberg. (Still go one new ingredient at a time, though.) Recipe here.
Your baby is probably ready for chunkier purees, small pieces of soft cooked veggies, whole milk and dairy.
20. Dried Bean Puree
Pick your favorite bean, blend, chill, serve. Instructions here.
21. Blueberry + Chickpeas
This is the perfect summer recipe: Using canned chickpeas means the recipe is heat-free. Recipe here.
27. Introduce interesting flavors if you want, one at a time, like a little cinnamon with sweet potato puree, or a few leaves of parsley in a white bean puree.
Congratulations! Your baby is one year old! You can now start to introduce him/her to adult food, if you haven’t already. Honey, fish, citrus, and small amounts of salt and pepper are all on the menu. Just be sure to cut it up into small pieces.
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