As a mom who likes to feel that I’m practicing greener living, I love making my baby homemade purees. I used to think it was something I would never have time for. I’m an extremely busy mom – working inside and outside the home, going to school full time, and taking care of three little kids. But as it turns out, making baby food isn’t nearly as time consuming as I originally thought, so I’m here to share what works for me.
*Note – some choose to practice exclusive “BabyLed Weaning” – which is a philosophy of going straight to table food and bypassing purees completely. I practice some BabyLed Weaning with my daughter, but we also like purees. I am not dogmatic in my views about the consistency of the food my baby eats. Investigate your options and do what works for your family, whether it’s BabyLed Weaning, purees, or both. It’s up to you and your baby.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to quickly make 3-4 servings of a Sweet Potato & Pear Puree for freezing. For more food combination ideas, visit WholesomeBabyFood.com, which is a wealth of information and arguably the best resource on the whole internet for info on making baby food. They even have a chart to show you how much money you save by making baby food instead of buying jars.
TIP: Buy organic produce whenever you can so your baby isn’t getting pureed pesticides – but some inorganic produce is much safer than others. The Environmental Working Group has this handy, free downloadable wallet card to help you remember what’s on the Dirty Dozen list, and what’s on the Clean 15 side when you’re at the market.
What You’ll Need:
- A Rice Cooker/Steamer. (I own this one, and it was the best $25 my family has ever spent. We use it daily.)
- A Food Processor or Blender.
- Ice Cube Trays
How Long Will This Take?
- Exactly 10 minutes of YOUR time.
- 15 Minutes of the Steamer’s Time.
Really, that’s it? Ten minutes of my time? Yep! I promise – and that’s including clean up! Steps 1-4 will take FIVE minutes. Steps 5-10 will take exactly another FIVE minutes. I pinky swear.
Step 1: Peel 1 Sweet Potato and 2 Pears
Step 2: Chop Into Small Pieces (with a denser veggie like Sweet Potatoes, be sure to cut them up small so they steam faster.)
Step 3: Toss them into the steamer basket of your rice cooker/steamer. Pour in approximately 3/4 cup water (for this amount of produce.)
Step 4: Turn on your steamer and walk away! Have a cup of tea, put up your feet, do whatever.
(While I was waiting for the food to get steamed, I did some dishes, and let my baby gnaw on a bagel. See, I told you we practice BabyLed Weaning sometimes!)
Step 5: When the food is soft, the machine will automatically shut off. This batch takes approximately 15 minutes. Use a fork to squish it to check and make sure it’s soft. (If not, put some more water in and turn it back on, no biggie.)
Step 6: Transfer it to your food processor or blender. (I personally prefer the food processor – it’s easier to scrape stuff out of.)
Step 7: Select Chop, then Puree, until the mixture is smooth. This only takes about 30-60 seconds. To thin the puree, you can use approximately one tablespoon of breastmilk, formula, or the water left over from the steamer pan (which adds some nutrients back in.)
Step 8: Portion out the puree into an ice cube tray. Each cube is approximately 1 oz of food. This batch made 9-10 oz of food, which equals 3-4 meals for my baby.
Step 9: Freeze your cubes, then pop them out and store them in a baggie for quick, easy meals.
To thaw, I microwave 3 cubes for approximately one minute (but all microwaves cook differently so test out timing with yours.)
Step 10: Rinse out your food processor. DONE!
Of course, you can make bigger batches than I’ve made here. I just happen to like to make 3-4 servings of several mixtures so I have many cubes to choose from, then I freeze them for the next week or two.
Wanna try something that needs NO steaming? Check out this recipe:
- 1 Can (or jar) Organic Pumpkin
- 1 Banana
- Puree, then portion into ice cube trays just like we did above.
- Bam! Makes approximately 12 oz of baby food!