Introducing solid food can be overwhelming to begin with – especially if you’re a first-time parent. When we started our son, Koa, on solid foods I was, day and night, on the internet searching, reading and watching information about introducing solid food to your baby. Since his Pediatrician recommended we start early in solid food introduction, it meant that we had to start Koa on purees. He also recommended we only feed him with homemade puree to make sure we know what we are feeding our baby. This post will show you how to prepare homemade baby food for 4-6 months old babies on your own.
Here is a step by step guide on homemade baby food preparation from the start to serving it to your baby.
Peel and cut vegetable or fruit into cubes. The smaller the cubes the faster it is to cook it. You can steam or boil the vegetable or fruit. We decided to steam the vegetables for Koa. We used the rice cooker and the steamer pan it comes with. We just added boiled water in the bigger pan so it will not take long for the water to boil. You can also buy and use baby food makers that can steam vegetables or fruits and blend or food processed it. Some baby food makers may also come with a baby bottle warmer feature that may come in handy in warming baby food.
You will know when it is done if you can easily stab it with a fork. You can then remove the cubed vegetable and let it cool.
You can use any blender or food processor you have around. Place the cubed vegetable in the container and add distilled water.
Blend/process it for 5-10 minutes depending on the consistency you’re aiming for. If you want a thin puree you can do it longer and add more water to it to thin it out.
Place the puree in a baby food silicon mould or a baby food container. Make sure that the silicon mould you have or will buy has a lid or cover. This is to prevent freezer frost (ice crystals on frozen food) from forming on top of the puree. If you are just starting to feed your baby with homemade puree, you can put less puree in each cavity since the baby will not be able to consume the whole serving size in one meal anyways.
Remove the frozen puree from the silicon mold once it is frozen. Place it in freezer friendly ziplock bags and/or in airtight food containers. Make sure to label it with what kind of puree it is, serving size (gram or ml) and the date it was made.
Place the container in the freezer. Make sure it is tightly sealed to prevent freezer frost.
When thawing the puree. Place the serving size in a small container the night before you serve or feed it to your baby. Leave in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
Before serving or feeding it to your baby, warm the cold thawed puree in a hot water bath. You can do this by using a bottle warmer or place the baby food storage container in a bowl with hot water. We used the Phillips Avent Fast Bottle Warmer that you can warm breastmilk or formula with, as well as baby food.
Place the serving size on a baby bowl or any bowl you would like to serve the puree with. Since we were still spoon-feeding him, I used one of our regular bowl.
Depending on how thin the puree consistency is before you froze it, you can add breastmilk or water to thin it out even more to make it easier for you baby.
We use a baby silicon spoon and a silicon bib when feeding the baby. You can spoon-fed the puree to your baby or you can also let your baby use a training spoon so he can feed himself. We feed him once a day, during lunch time at least 2 hours from his last feed. After his meal, we give him his bottle of breastmilk right after.
Here are some tips or information you should know when preparing and serving homemade baby food:
- Any left over baby food from the baby food storage must be discarded or thrown away if not consumed on the same day.
- Do not refreeze thawed baby food.
- You can use breastmilk when you puree any thick fruit or vegetable while on the food processor or blender. I just choose not to do so because I knew that Koa will not be able to consume the serving portions. So I would just add breastmilk to thin out the thawed puree before it is served.
- The younger the baby is (4 months), the thinner the puree should be. You can start with thin puree and eventually thicker one to help baby transition from liquid (milk) to solid food.
- Some vegetables like carrots, sweet potato and squash and some fruits like berries may discolor the food storage, silicon spoon and bibs. Be mindful of washing off food remnants on cloth bibs to prevent staining.
- Some moms would defrost the frozen puree in the microwave, I personally do not want to do this but this could be an option if you are comfortable doing it.
- Babies 4-6 months old is recommended to eat a single kind of vegetable/fruit puree for at least 3 days. This is to make it easy to identify if your baby is allergic to it. His doctor recommended we serve him one kind of food for the whole week. Ask your Pediatrician how many days should you serve the single vegetable/fruit puree to your baby before serving another kind.
- The closer you get to 6 months you can start to thicken the consistency of the puree or even start mashing it instead of using the blender/food processor. Especially if you’re aiming to transition your baby feeding from puree spoon-feeding to baby led weaning.
Where you can find the baby items we use:
- Bollie Baby Baby Food Silicon Mold
- Avent Breast Milk and Baby Food Storage
- Phillips Avent Fast Bottle Warmer
- Mom’s Corner Baby Silicon bib
- 1st Choice Silicone Spoon for Infant