On busy days is definitely tempting to throw a bunch of junk food in your grocery cart that doesn’t require cooking or peeling. It’s also tempting to buy your baby those tiny tubs of baby food, and I have bought them on several occasions. The other day I loaded 10 tiny tubs of baby food into my shopping basket, only to look down and evaluate the small amount of baby food I was paying $12 for. I put the baby food tubs back, went to the produce aisle, and instead spent about $15 on a whole acorn squash, a bunch of bananas, several sweet potatoes, apples, and whole carrots. I got a lot of fresh produce for my $15 and best of all, my baby got to enjoy healthy baby food purees that were straight from raw fruits and veggies packed with nutrients and even a little fiber. Happy baby!
This post was sponsored by Diapers.com. All opinions are our own.
It’s Worth Making Your Own Baby Food
Making your own baby food is not as hard as it may sound. It requires a bit of planning but it’s completely worth it! I have 3 young children and my youngest is currently in the baby food stage. I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks so my little man can eat just as deliciously as the rest of the family. My favorite “tools” for making baby food include my Nutri Ninja Auto IQ blender and my Beaba BabyCook Pro, which allows me to make my baby smaller batches of baby food or a personal meal while I’m cooking the rest of the family’s dinner!
Beaba BabyCook Pro is an all-in-one appliance that allows you steam cook, blend, and reheat up to 4.7 cups of baby food in 15 minutes or less. You can refrigerate or freeze leftovers and simply defrost and reheat baby food right in the BabyCook. Steam cooking locks in vitamins and nutrients, a multi-purpose mixing blade provides just the right texture, the timer has an audible alert to tell you when meals are ready, and all of this with total one-handed operation.
I really appreciate the convenience of being able to throw a handful of raw sweet potatoes and have them fully steamed and ready to blend in 15 minutes.
Related Post: See our Beaba Baby Cook Pro Review »
Related Post: See our See Our Nutri Ninja Review »
Yummi Pouch Brights combine style and convenience in an Eco-friendly portable baby food pouch you can fill with your fresh and homemade baby food purees. These reusable baby food pouches have a side spout with screw on cap and top zipper opening for easy cleaning and filling. You can fill a Yummi Pouch with homemade baby food, freshly steamed applesauce, yogurt, and smoothies. Moms can feed a baby directly from the pouch and older kids can hold the pouch to feed themselves, no spoon required.
You can store filled Yummi Pouches in the freezer for quick grab-and-go snacks. I recommend freezing baby food purees that don’t include foods that will go brown such as avocado or banana. Squash, sweet potato and yogurt combinations all freeze wonderfully and last for multiple days.
A frozen Yummi Pouch reusable food pouch will also stay cool for up to two hours during travel time between activities.
Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches are a convenient way to store your baby food in the freezer to grab when you need it. I put Sweet Potato Mango baby food and Apple Butternut Squash baby food in my Yummi Pouch reusable baby food pouches. If you take a frozen Yummi Pouch along in your diaper bag, after a few hours it will be soft, cool and ready to enjoy! These reusable food pouches also have a feeding spout built in so you can conveniently feed your child on the go without taking a spoon along. Just position the food spout in your baby’s mouth and gently squeeze some of your homemade baby food into their mouth. Older kids can hold their own food pouch and feed themselves yogurt and healthy smoothies.
Just because a baby’s diet is limited, doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a yummy variety of delicious baby food combinations. Check out my hearty baby food recipes below and tips for creating lots of baby food combinations.
Related Post: Homemade Baby Food with Quinoa »
Gourmet Sweet Potato and Pasta Baby Food Recipe
- 1 peeled sweet potato
- 1/4 cup cooked pasta
- 1 tbsp. heavy cream and parmasan alfredo sauce (optional, ideal for babies 12 months +)
- pinch of salt
Peel a sweet potato (or several) and slice it up into chunks. Place it in a baking dish and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until soft and golden brown.
Boil the pasta until extra soft, drain and coat with the (optional) Alfredo sauce. Make your own Alfredo sauce by mixing warm heavy cream with shredded Parmesan cheese until smooth. To be honest, I just grabbed a spoonful of Alfredo noodles from our own dinner for this baby food recipe.
Mix together a few chunks of baked sweet potato, a spoonful of cooked pasta, and a pinch of salt; blend until smooth. Don’t add too much pasta or it will suck up all the moisture and make your baby food thick and goopy.
Tip! I often make a whole pan of baked sweet potatoes and save the cooked chunks in a container in the refrigerator to use for specific baby food combinations. This allows me to make baby food that’s fresh and ready to go. Baked sweet potato can be mixed with banana or applesauce for quick and fresh baby food combinations.
Homemade Chicken and Apple Baby Food Recipe
- 1 piece of soft cooked chicken
- Several pieces of steamed apple, or scoop of apple sauce
- Honey, agave nectar, or salt.
This is another baby food combination that was inspired by dinner. Blend together 1 piece of well cooked chicken that’s soft and a spoonful of apple sauce. You can add a spoonful of honey (for older babies) or agave nectar to sweeten it, or a pinch of salt to make a more savory baby food combination.
Babies less than one year old shouldn’t eat honey due to allergy sensitivities, so I often substitute agave nectar as a baby food sweetener. Many foods like sweet potato or butternut squash are naturally sweet enough. It’s easy to take parts of your own dinner and blend them together to create tastefully delicious baby food combinations.
If you like to have baby food on hand and not have to make baby food from scratch every day, make a large batch of single food purees that you can mix together. With these single food purees and fresh mix-ins, you can create all kinds of interesting combinations! My little guy loves diversity and gets tired of eating the same thing, so I try to make baby food meals interesting for him. Offering a diverse selection of baby foods is a great way to encourage my baby to try new things too!
Single Baby Food Purees for Mixing
- Steamed sweet potato
- Steamed carrots
- Steamed and shredded chicken
- Baked acorn squash
- Baked butternut squash
- Baked peeled and sliced apples for homemade applesauce
- Pumpkin Puree
Fresh Baby Food Mix-Ins
- Mashed banana
- Fresh berries
- Peach slices
Is your baby too young for baby food?
One of the most emotionally fraught issues surrounding pregnancy and the newborn stage is the debate about breastfeeding vs. baby formula. While there’s no denying the health benefits of breast milk, many families find themselves turning to formula, either by necessity or choice. All baby formulas are regulated and safe to feed your baby but there are differences between formula brands that affect taste, consistency, and ease of digestion.
A product review research team spent six weeks researching over 90 popular infant formulas to create a detailed guide for new parents, including top picks for those seeking soy, organic, or generic store brand options that offer the best match for breast milk. You can find the full details of their top baby formula research here.
Best Baby Formula
The top baby formula verdict? Enfamil Enspire powdered baby formula is one of the only formulas that is enhanced with lactoferrin and MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane), bringing it compositionally closer to breast milk than other formulas. Plus, lactose is its only sweetener and it doesn’t contain any corn. Learn more about Enfamil Enspire at diapers.com.
Katie enjoys all things creative; DIY projects, photography, decorating and family adventures. She feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids and many artistic outlets.