27 Easy DIY Baby Foods

Travel back in time, to a world before Gerber. / Sweet Louise Photography
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

If buying organic produce isn’t realistic for your family, try to avoid the most pesticide-laden foods, aka The Dirty Dozen Plus. Go with the Clean Fifteen instead.

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And, finally, make sure the foods you’re making are age appropriate.

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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.

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1. Sweet Potato Puree

Sweet potatoes are also a great source of protein. Recipe here.

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3. Butternut Squash Puree

Recipe here.

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5. Pureed Peas

Recipe here. (FYI, this puree is also perfect for putting in an adult quesadilla.)

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7. Brown Rice Cereal

Making your own rice cereal is just as simple as the fruit and vegetable purees. Recipe here.

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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.

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8. For something quick, mash up soft fruits and vegetables with a fork.

No machinery necessary. Specific instructions here.

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Bananas are another easy masher.

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9. White Peach and Banana Puree

Recipe here.

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10. Green Bean, Potato and Kale Puree

John Green, from START FRESH by Tyler Florence

Recipe here. (Full cookbook available here.)

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11. Apple Pear Butter

Once you know your baby isn’t allergic to apples or pears, try this recipe to test cinnamon.

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12. Raw Blueberries + Mango + Avocado

Recipe here.

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13. Beets & Blueberry Mash

Recipe here.

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14. Parsnip, Pear and Fig Puree

John Green, from START FRESH by Tyler Florence

Recipe here. (Cookbook available here.)

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15. Basil and Ginger Infused Peach Compote

Forget the baby. Eat this one yourself. Recipe here.

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16. Apple & Oats Porridge

Recipe here.

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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.

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18. Chicken with Carrots & Apple Puree

Recipe here.

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19. Zucchini, Potato and Turkey Puree

Recipe here.

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Your baby is probably ready for chunkier purees, small pieces of soft cooked veggies, whole milk and dairy.

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20. Dried Bean Puree

Pick your favorite bean, blend, chill, serve. Instructions here.

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21. Blueberry + Chickpeas

This is the perfect summer recipe: Using canned chickpeas means the recipe is heat-free. Recipe here.

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22. Quinoa Ratatouille

Recipe here.

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23. Baby Food Lasagna

Recipe here.

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24. Chicken and Vegetable Puree

Recipe here.

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25. White Bean, Sweet Potato & Carrot Puree

Recipe here.

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26. Chicken and Corn with Cilantro Puree

Recipe here.

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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. / Sweet Louise Photography

Recipes here.

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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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