How to Make & Store Homemade Baby Food (Part 2: Cooking & Freezing!)
Check out my first post, Part 1: Prep, to read about the best places to find baby food recipes, storage options, and more!
After youve read through this post, if youve ever felt intimidated at the thought of making your own baby food well, I guarantee youre going to feel differently. At the very least, youll see how truly simple it is. If I can do it, anyone can!
I stocked up my freezer supply of baby food in one day and it didnt take that long at all, didnt make a horrible mess, and was very rewarding!
The first thing I did was figure out what I had on hand to make into baby food and how it would need to be cooked. I consulted this list of stage 1 baby food recipe ideas and decided on:
You can find recipes and suggestions for cooking each fruit and vegetable at that link, too!
Phase I: Baking, Steaming, Boiling
I decided to roast as many veggies and fruits as I could in one pan. First, I peeled and cut up carrots and placed them in the bottom of a casserole dish.
I topped that with a sweet potato, halved (not peeled).
Then I put foil on top of the carrots and sweet potato, and put apple halves on the top.
This went into a 400-degree oven for about 45 minutes.
Heres how it came out:
Youll know when its done everything will be very soft when you poke it with a fork.
That combination of fruits and veggies smelled SO good coming out of the oven!
Next up, peas and bananas! I boiled the peas and the bananas I left uncooked. I just mashed them.
Phase II: Puree and Mash
For pureeing baby food, I use a Magic Bullet, but you can also use a hand grinder or a regular blender. The apple and sweet potato can be scooped out of their skins and the insides are so soft you could actually mash it with a fork if you wanted to. Its so much quicker to throw it in your blender or bullet, though. Add a bit of water and blend to the consistency you want, then pour them into your storage containers.
Phase III: Storage and Freezing
As mentioned in my first post, there are a few different options when it comes to the containers used to store your baby food. If you have baby food jars, you can use those. Or there are many companies that sell baby food containers, plastic or glass, especially made for storing and freezing. You can also use your ice cube tray, something Ill also demonstrate in a minute.
These Green Sprouts Containers are the containers I use:
They are the perfect size, 2 ounces each. I can pull the containers out of the freezer the night before using them and let them thaw. The next morning theyre ready to go!
When using your ice cube tray, pour the pureed or mashed food into each cube.
Let it freeze for a few hours or until its solid, then dump the frozen cubes into a freezer bag. Now its all ready to thaw later on! Another great idea for these cubes is to stuff one frozen into a mesh baby feeder. An easy way to give your baby a popsicle!
Baby food will keep in the freezer for 3-6 months, but I recommend using it sooner than that if possible. If your baby is as hungry as my little guy, you wont have any trouble with that. 🙂 You can keep the food in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
Dont forget about making homemade rice cereal, too! I dont freeze this because its so easy to make up on the stove whenever you want it, but it can be done. It doesnt freeze quite as well as pureed baby food, though it can be a little grainy. However, if you run it through the food processor before freezing itll freeze better.
I hope that this series has encouraged you to start making your own baby food! If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments, or share your own experiences!
I highly recommend Momtastic for baby food recipes and information. There is a wealth of information there on freezing baby food, what to store it in, what kinds of foods are best at which stage, and much more!