It's been several months since I've actually made pureed baby food but I have had several new moms asking me for tips, advice, recipes, etc. While it's still fresh on my mind I figured I would share with you all.
First things first, make sure you have a decent food processor or blender. There is truly no need to buy one made specifically for baby food, instead I suggest buying one you can use for many years to come for things other than baby food. I was lucky enough to get a hand me down Cuisinart food processor, it's one my favorite kitchen gadgets but if I were looking for an affordable, easy to use gadget I would probably go with a hand blender. Nothing fancy, just one that would do the job.
Second, get several cheap ice trays. I went with a tougher more expensive ice tray and wish I would have went with them cheaper flimsier option as they are easier to pop cubes out of.
Third, get some gallon size freezer bags.
Last but certainly not least, go out and buy some fresh or frozen produce. What you choose is going to vary based on your little one's age. I used Momtastic's Wholesome Baby Food food charts as a fantastic reference for what to feed mine at each stage, as well as her awesome recipes and allergy information.
Some of A & S' first favorite foods were: butternut squash, bananas, avocado, applesauce (no sugar added) and sweet potatoes. The great thing about bananas and avocados is that you don't have to have a blender to prep them if they're nice and ripe, instead you can just mash them with a fork. The consistency isn't as smooth if you mash them but it's definitely doable.
Also, keep in mind that foods such as apples and sweet potatoes have to be precooked before pureeing them.
Once you puree the food, pour it into the ice trays and freeze. When the cubes are completely frozen, pop them out and separate them into freezer bags. If they are 2 different colors, toss more than one type of food into each bag but if they look similar it's best to use separate bags. Then, label each bag with they type food as well as the date it was made. The quality is best when used within three months of freezing but most foods are good for up to six months once frozen.
To thaw, grad what you need and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or pop the cubes in the microwave for 10 second intervals. Always remember, microwaves cook very unevenly, leaving hot spots that can and will burn. Please be sure to stir well and do not serve until it has cooled down throughout.
Also, we just recently discovered the convenience of squeeze pouches. I am not a fan of most store bought baby food, including the pouches because they are filled with too many unnecessary ingredients and preservatives but check out these awesome reusable silicone Squeasy Snacker food pouches! We're using them now for a great on the go snack for things like yogurt, applesauce, pureed fruits and veggies. I highly recommend them no matter you littles ones age, they even have a no-spill insert that is dandy!
If you have any questions about making your own baby food, please comment below or shoot me an email!