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Homemade Baby Food: It’s Easier Than You Think

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When my first child was born, I had grand ambitions of making all his food from scratch. I figured that since I cooked meals for my husband and I, of course my son should have homemade food as well. But soon after he began eating solids, the challenges of being a time-strapped working mother set in and he started getting store-bought baby food. Through it all, I always felt like I could be doing better for him, especially after I tasted the food.

With my second child, I decided to give it another go. Maybe it was the three previous years of feeling like a short-order cook for my first child that made me feel like cooking for one more child would be no big deal, but somehow this time I stuck with it. And you know what? It’s super easy. If I can do it, so can you.

I started by doing some pre-planning on the weekends and cooking some basic foods that could last me a few days. Each week, I would make a big batch of applesauce. Just peel a bunch of apples and throw them in a pot, close the lid, and simmer for about a half hour. An immersion blender right in the pot helps puree the applesauce. I did the same thing with sweet potatoes.

Once my daughter had moved onto meats, I’d make a big batch of chicken soup on Sundays. These three staples — applesauce, sweet potatoes, and chicken soup — became the basis for a bunch of meals throughout the week.

In the morning, I would mix the applesauce with some yoghurt and rice cereal. For lunch, she would get sweet potatoes, chicken, and chicken broth with a little applesauce – all mixed together. For dinner, I would steam some spinach, throw in some blueberries, and puree that with any or all of the staples in a mini food processor.

We always kept bananas around. I would add pureed bananas into anything just to give it that added bit of sweetness for her. Peas, green beans, broccoli – you name it. She at it all up! In a nutshell, I would just grab whatever fruits and vegetables I had around and mix them up with whatever else was around.

If we were eating turkey or fish, I would throw that in for her as well. It really doesn’t need to be complicated. Flavor combinations that might seem odd to us (spinach, bananas, chicken and blueberries, anyone?) were a big hit for her. I didn’t struggle for big culinary inspirations – I just served what I had around.

If you are struggling for inspiration, there are a ton of great cookbooks out that make it very easy for you. Give it a shot for a week or two. I promise your baby will thank you for it.

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  • http://www.babyfood101.com Lisa Cain

    I feel exactly the same way. Making baby food is not hard – just feed your baby the same stuff your eating (just mushier). I wrote a whole website about this concept.

    I hope this is helpful.
    Lisa

  • Donna

    When my daughter was born 32 years ago. I was making homemade baby food. It was all the rage. My favorite book was called Feed Me, I’m yours. It had some great recipes from babies first foods to snacks for toddler and beyond. Very good book. I gave a friend a baby recipe book with her first child. She in return gave it to a friend of hers.
    Donna A.