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Would you love to save a million dollars on supplies AND know your baby is getting the most healthy food? Try making baby food. It’s a great skill to learn for running a home daycare. It helps you to know your kids are getting the best diet possible while in your care.
It is not as hard as it sounds. It just takes a few minutes to make healthy, pure food for your baby that is so much less expensive than store-bought You know exactly what’s in it and you know it’s healthy!
Baby food costs a fortune if you buy it by the jar. It’s very inexpensive to buy a butternut squash, a couple of sweet potatoes, a bunch of spinach or even a package of frozen peas and make some fresh food.
I like to freeze the food in ice cube trays. Then I pop out the cubes when frozen and freeze them in containers. Then when I feed, I can just get out the amount I need and there’s no waste.
Making baby food
It’s recommended to make single foods until they are all introduced to baby’s diet one by one. Once they have tried everything, you are welcome to mix and match different combinations. You can also serve a combination of raw and cooked foods.
If you need more reasons to make your own baby food at home, click here to see why it’s so important!
Now that you know you can save five jillion dollars, how do we make it? It’s super cinchy.
You don’t need to add butter, oil, or salt and pepper. Babies have supertasting abilities unlike us adults so they don’t need flavor enhancers.
If your baby is super young, blend it very very well. For babies over 7 or 8 months, blend it less. And if they are over 9 or 10 months, you can even just smash it with a fork. As they grow, they need more texture to learn how to manipulate food.
Baby food guide
Storing homemade baby food couldn’t be more simple. Each cube in an average ice cube tray is two tablespoons or one ounce. That means if you need a 4-ounce jar, you need to thaw two cubes. Super easy to figure out!
I don’t like to have a ton of tiny baby food containers flopping all over my freezer, so the freezer bag cube idea works much better for me. It’s also easier to find a Ziploc bag or a big bowl with a lid than to find a million tiny 4-ounce containers. Again, less money wasted, less time wasted too.
You can use canned vegetables and fruits to make puree at home. Just take a can of peas, green beans, pears, peaches or carrots and toss them in the blender and follow the making baby pureed food procedures above. If you use frozen or fresh fruits and veggies, they will have more nutrients, so consider doing that if you can.
For butternut squash baby puree, you can slice the squash in half lengthwise (cut the stem off first for easier cutting). Next, scoop out the seeds. Then bake the squash, cut side down at 350 until it’s fork-tender. It will probably take about 45 minutes, but it really depends on the size of your butternut. This recipe works for any kind of squash baby food
Once the squash is cooked, set it to the side to cool. Once it’s cool, take a fork or spoon and scrape the flesh out of the skins.
For baby food peas, just cook them in a pan with about ¼ cup of water until peas are tender. Then follow the procedure above.
For carrot baby food, take a pound of whole carrots and wash them well and chop them into 2-inch pieces or grab a bag of frozen carrots. Put them in a pan with about ¼ cup water and cook until they are fork-tender. Then blend.
For apple, peach, pear, mango, and banana baby food, first, peel the fruit well, then chop into large pieces removing the pits or seeds. Toss them straight into the blender and follow the rest of the procedures. There’s no need to cook these. Eating raw foods is good for all of us.
For potato or sweet potato baby food, peel and chop potatoes into chunks. Then cover with water in a pan. Cook until fork tender and then drain. Follow making puree procedures. You can also bake the potatoes whole and then blend them.
To make green bean baby food, take fresh or frozen green beans and place them in a pan with about a cup of water. If using fresh, wash well and make sure to remove stems. Cook green beans until fork-tender, drain and blend.
For spinach baby food, wash spinach well and put in a pan with ½ cup water. Cook until all spinach is wilted down. You can also use a thawed package of frozen spinach. Toss in the blender and blend.
For avocado baby food, cut avocados and remove the pit. Scoop flesh straight into the blender and blend.
Homemade baby cereal
For rice or oatmeal, take the whole, dry brown rice or old-fashioned oats and grind them in a blender, food processor or even spice grinder until they are a powder.
You will have to cook the cereal for about 15 minutes with water to make the cereal which is a little less convenient than the ready to serve store-bought kind, but making sure what your baby is eating is good for them may be the deciding factor. We do what we can do. Not everyone has time to do something that takes longer, especially if you have more than one child to care for like me.
Homemade baby food meats
When they get older and need meat added to their diet, you can make your own meat baby food by taking cooked chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, or beef and chilling it in the refrigerator. Once it’s cold, chop it into small dice, about ½ inch and then blend it in the food processor or blender using the same making puree procedures we‘ve been using.
Add water, formula, or beef or chicken stock to thin it as you blend. Just add 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Of course, as they get even older, over 10 months, you can just take mac and cheese, spaghetti or casseroles and mash them up with a fork and freeze for later for baby to eat later. Then your choices are limitless. It’s wonderful knowing what’s actually in what your baby is eating!
Your baby’s diet can be as pure as you want it to be. Don’t think you have to use store-bought food for good quality. Our babies deserve the best we are able to give them. This is a super-easy way to do that.