What do you need to make baby food at home?
Feeding your baby solid foods is a time filled with both excitement and apprehension. It’s common for your head to be flooded with questions, including whether you should make your own baby food at home.
When you’re juggling work, keeping the house clean, or performing one of the many other tasks parents are responsible for, preparing homemade baby food can feel like too much time. However, the process can be simple, especially when you are prepared. So if you’re looking for an alternative to store-bought baby food, here are 12 must-have tools for making baby food at home.
How to make baby food
Whatever the recipe, preparing baby food consists of a few simple steps. However, the methods and tools used will vary according to preference.
- Choose fruits or vegetables. When you start giving your baby solid foods, limit yourself to one fruit or vegetable at a time and only give this food for a week. If your baby has an adverse reaction, you’ll know exactly which food caused it using this method. Once they’ve been introduced to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, you can combine several items into one puree.
- Soften food. For the first few months, it is essential to steam or boil all fruits and vegetables, even if they are already soft. Steaming and boiling will break down fiber and sugars and make them easier to digest. After a month or two, you can stop cooking fruit and just steam or boil vegetables that need to be soft.
- Blend or puree to desired consistency. The younger the baby, the softer his food should be. You can add breast milk, formula, or water to thin the food.
Methods of preparing baby food
All-in-one baby food processor
An all-in-one food processor is great if you’re looking for a hands-on experience. Depending on the model and brand, some food-making systems steam, chop and blend with the push of a button. You can also find ones that defrost frozen food portions, reheat refrigerated baby food, and sterilize baby bottles.
Steam or boil
Steaming and boiling are two of the most common methods for softening vegetables. Although boiling is the most convenient and does not require additional tools, it results in greater nutrient loss. However, you can use boiled water to thin the purees to capture some of the nutrients. Steaming is the best way to retain all the nutrients. Plus, a dedicated steam pot can simplify the process.
Blender or pestle
Most kitchen blenders are powerful enough to puree fruits and vegetables. If you use a saucepan to steam or boil food, you can also opt for a hand blender for easy cleanup. However, if you don’t have any of these tools and don’t mind a bit of manual work, you can also use a potato masher or baby potato masher. However, a manual potato masher is best suited for older babies who don’t need a fine puree.
Tips for making baby food
- Babies are much more susceptible to foodborne illnesses, so be sure to wash fruits, vegetables, tools and the preparation area thoroughly.
- Don’t forget frozen fruits and vegetables. In some cases, frozen fruits and vegetables may be more nutritious than fresh foods.
- Instead of making a single serving of baby food each day, try making a few large batches and freezing them.
- Freeze baby food in baby food storage containers, making it easy to grab a single serving when your little one is ready to eat.
Indispensable tools for preparing baby food at home
Best Baby Food Making Systems
Beaba Babycook Solo 4-in-1 Baby Food Processor
This all-in-one food processor steams, sterilizes, chops, blends, defrosts and reheats, creating the easiest homemade baby food experience. As an added bonus, the steamer basket is elevated to allow for true steaming that retains maximum nutrients and flavor from fruits and vegetables. Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby
Complete NutriBullet Baby Food Making System
This food making system includes a mixing base, a batch bowl with a lid, a short cup with handles and a lid, six storage cups with lids, and a silicone freezer tray with a lid. Plus, all bowls and cups are made from durable, BPA-free and non-toxic plastic. Sold by Amazon, Kohls and Buy Buy Baby
The best products for steaming baby food
NutriBullet Baby Bullet Turbo Steamer
In addition to steaming fruits and vegetables, this turbo steamer defrosts frozen baby food, boils hard-boiled eggs, and sterilizes pacifiers, bottles, and toys. It is also simple to use with a few intuitive settings and a built-in indicator. Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby
Oster 3 Quart Stainless Steel Food Steamer
This steamer set includes a stainless steel base and a 3-quart steamer basket. Besides softening vegetables for baby food, you can also use it to steam salmon, boil pasta, or as a dutch oven. Sold by Amazon
Hamilton Beach 5.5 Quart Digital Steamer
If you don’t have time to constantly monitor the steamer, this digital steamer automates the process, so you can spend time with your baby or get ready for the day. It has two steaming bowls which means you can do two things at once or a big batch. Sold by Amazon
The best products for mixing baby food
Ninja Professional Compact Smoothie and Food Processing Blender
If you don’t want a product that only makes baby food, you can also use a powerful blender. This Ninja blender includes a 72-ounce capacity pitcher for large batches and two 16-ounce mugs for smaller portions. Sold by Amazon and Kohls
KitchenAid Variable Speed Corded Hand Blender
After steaming or boiling vegetables, use this hand blender to puree directly in the saucepan or included 3-cup capacity blending jar. Plus, with an included pan guard, you don’t have to worry about scratching your cookware. Sold by Amazon and Kohls
Oxo Tot Potato Masher
Making baby food doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, as this potato masher proves, ideal for creating thicker purees. Everything stores easily in the bowl and lid, so you can take it wherever you go. Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby
The best products for storing baby food
Baby Brezza Reusable Baby Food Pouches
When you’re on the go, these food storage pouches are ideal for ensuring your baby stays nourished all day. They are dishwasher safe, freezer safe and BPA free. It also comes with a filling funnel that holds the pouch open for mess-free filling. Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby
WeeSprout Glass Baby Food Storage Jars
These glass jars come in a 4 or 8 ounce size option with measurement markings, and they are BPA, phthalates, and PVC free. Plus, they’re safe to use in the freezer, dishwasher, and microwave. Sold by Amazon
Nuk Baby Food Flexible Freezer Tray and Lid Set
Whether you have leftover baby food or have prepared a large batch for later use, this baby food tray will keep purees fresh in the freezer. It holds nine 1-ounce servings and is flexible enough to pop out a single cube. Sold by Amazon
Oxo Tot Baby Blocks 2 oz Freezer Storage Boxes
This set includes a tray and six 2-ounce plastic storage containers that are airtight, leak-proof, and leak-proof, so they’ll be safe in a diaper bag. They are also microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe. Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby
Sign up here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.
Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.