When you're a mother, you understand the need to do anything and everything it takes to give your baby a happy and healthy life. If you aren't comfortable with the store-bought options of baby foods, why not make your own? It's the best way to know exactly what is going into your baby's system. Even if you love your usual baby food brand, you may find better results with some of these recipes! We've broken it down into three age categories, so you can find the best recipes for you and your baby!
Before you whip up your own baby food, however, there are a few things you should know. First, is your baby ready for solid foods? Typically, six months is a good time to start introducing solids, but that can vary. Next, be aware of allergens and foods that induce gas. The most common allergies are eggs, wheat, milk, soy, tree nuts, fish and shell fish. You should also stay away from honey in their first year of life because it could cause botulism. You should also wait until 10-12 months before you use gas-inducing foods like beans, broccoli, onions, fruit juice, wheat, cauliflower, garlic and dairy.
It's also a good idea to choose organic produce when making your own baby food. Babies' bodies aren't as good as handling toxins and pesticides as kids' and adults'.
FOUR TO SIX MONTHS
At this age, you should choose low-acid fruits and sweet vegetables in a single-food puree. You should wait four to six days in between trying out new ingredients so you can spot any allergies and easily identify the cause.
1. Brown Rice Cereal Puree: Packed with vitamins and minerals, this is a common baby food choice. In fact, moms are buying this by the box! It may not have ever occurred to you how easy it was to make your own! (via Weelicous)
2. Pureed Peas: We are gonna go ahead and say make this in bulk. Why? Because you can feed your baby the puree and get a recipe for a tasty quesadilla for you and the rest of the family! (via In My Sock Monkey Slippers)
3. Peach Puree: You can make this from a medium-sized peach or use the frozen kind. It's simple, easy and babies seem to love it! (via WikiHow)
Check out recipes for babies seven to eight months old on the next page!
SEVEN TO EIGHT MONTHS
You can now start to introduce more fruits and veggies, as well as things with proteins like lentils or meats in a thicker puree. As usual, wait a few days between new ingredients in case of allergies. Once you know you're clear of allergies, you can also start mixing ingredients.
4. White Peach and Banana Puree: This is a fun flavor combo to try out on your baby once you know there are no allergies! It's simple and you can even double the recipe and have a little for yourself! (via Baby Bullet Blog)
5. Red Lentil Puree: Lentils are a great way to provide some protein for your baby. It's a new change from all the sweet fruits and veggies but it's still very flavorful! (via Weelicious)
6. Chicken with Carrots and Apple Puree: This is the perfect way to introduce chicken. The apple and carrots give it a great flavor and a smooth texture, making it much easier for baby to swallow. Be sure that baby isn't allergic to any of the included ingredients, however! This recipe may not be suited for all 6- to 7-month-olds. (via Anabel Karmel)
7. Super Food Puree: this one is a great recipe! It may not be the prettiest, but it's super healthy. This recipe makes five servings and it's safe to freeze it, so you can prep this one ahead of time. (via Anabel Karmel)
Check out our favorite recipes for babies nine to 12 months old!
NINE TO 12 MONTHS
Around this time, your baby is ready to move on from the liquid lifestyle. She can now handle small, soft chunks! Try thicker purees and small, soft pieces of vegetable. You can also start to introduce whole milk and dairy product. It's important to include lots of textures in your baby's meals. You don't want them to get lazy about chewing! Mashed foods and finger foods are a good idea.
8. Bean Puree: Who doesn't like a nice thick puree of beans? Yummy. You can chill this recipe and serve it cold. It's nice because you can pick from a variety of bean types, so use whatever you can in the rest of the family's dinner too! (via Pop Sugar)
9. Chicken and Vegetable Puree: This is a thicker puree than the chicken recipe we suggested for the earlier months. It's still very simple but is a great way to get into heartier foods! (via What Caroline Cooked)
10. Tuna, Potato, Tomato and Spinach Mash: This recipe is for the advanced eaters out there! It's a great way to introduce a texture into food and takes about 20 minutes to prep. (via Anabel Karmel)
11. Chucky Applesauce: Your baby probably loved an apple puree when she was smaller, but now that she can handle some chunks, this is a great recipe! It's also a good way to test if she's allergic to cinnamon! You can make this in bulk and give it to your older kids as a snack too. (via Simple Baby Food Recipes)
1 Year +: Congrats! Your baby is ready to try out some adult food like honey, fish, citrus and small amounts of salt and pepper. Both you and baby can now finally move away from the puree's madness.