Head to any supermarket and you’ll find zillions of tiny jars and pouches to feed your baby – so many choices!
But there’s one healthy, tasty, and infinitely adaptable option you can’t find on the shelf.
We’re talking about homemade baby food recipes, straight from your own kitchen.
While you might think that it would be easier to go for the store-bought option, making your own baby food doesn’t have to be hard, and it comes with its own unique benefits.
Maybe you’ll end up doing a bit of both!
Here, we’re sharing eight baby food recipes to try and then adapt however you like.
In this article: 📝
- Why make your own baby food
- How to make baby food for beginners?
- What to avoid in homemade baby food?
- What do I need to make my own baby food?
- What easy food can I give my 6 month old?
- 5 of the best baby food recipes 👩🍳👨🍳
Why make your own baby food
Many mamas find that there a couple of important benefits to making baby food yourself:
- It’s cheaper: Sure, a tiny jar of baby food only costs a couple dollars… but homemade baby food costs just a few cents for the same serving size. Over time, that adds up.
- You know exactly what’s going in there: Giving you extra peace of mind.
- It’s more flexible: If you want baby to try lots of different foods beyond what’s typically in store-bought baby food, you have the freedom to experiment.
- You can add in extra nutrition boosters: Think hemp, chia, or flax seeds to boost each bite a little more.
- Baby eats what you’re eating: Just in puree form. This can make life a lot easier.
That said, store-bought baby food obviously has its own list of benefits, including convenience.
Do what works for you!
There’s no single right way to do this.
How to make baby food for beginners?
The beauty of making your own baby food is that you can use pretty much anything you have in the kitchen:
- Fruits and veggies: Any of these will work as long as they are soft, steamed, or small enough to puree easily. 🥦🥕🍠🍌🍓
- Grains: Think brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, farro, and barley – blended or cooked until very soft. 🍚
- Meats: Yes, you can blend up meat! Doesn’t sound too appetizing to adults, but babies often find it quite tasty. And that includes fish. 🐠 🐟
- Stock: Rather than adding water to foods to make them into purees for the little one, try a homemade stock instead. This is a super easy way to add nutrients and flavors from all sorts of vegetables. Just watch the sodium content – yep, that means skipping the bouillon cubes. 🥣
What to avoid in homemade baby food?
On the other hand, there are some things that you should leave out of your wonderful recipes, for now at least:
- Salt: It’s not great for baby kidneys. Make sure to avoid salt in store-bought purees, too.🧂
- Sugar: Sugar doesn’t need to be added to any baby food recipe. This includes honey, especially because it can be toxic to children under 12 months. 🍯
- Unpasteurized cheeses: Gorgonzola, brie, the stinky cheeses. These guys might have bacteria in them that can cause stomach upset but check the labels. In the US, these types of cheese are also offered pastuerized so you may not have to avoid them all. 🧀
- Raw shellfish or big fish: Marlin, shark, and swordfish are not usually on a baby menu. There’s a good reason: mercury. 🦈
What do I need to make my own baby food?
To make your own baby food, you’re going to need:
- A pot or steamer: Steaming keeps all the nutrients intact.
- A blender: A basic blender will do – no need for special baby food gadgets. For very soft foods, even just a fork or masher will be enough.
- Freezer bags and ice cube trays: Freezing baby food in batches can be very convenient. You can freeze the purees in ice cube trays then put the cubes in a freezer bag or tupperware and store in the freezer.
- Small glass storage jars and silicone pouches: You can use these to store or freeze extra, while silicone pouches are great for making purees like smoothies or applesauce that you can take on the go.
What easy food can I give my 6 month old?
Without further ado, here are 8 recipes for baby foods that your little one will love.
Homemade baby food for six months
These recipes are a great place to start.
If your six-month-old baby likes these, add a twist – like yogurt – to see how it goes down:
- Mashed banana: Not too challenging, mama! Mash a (ripe) banana with a fork and add some breast milk or formula to get it into a smooth consistency.
- Mushy peas: Start with two or three tablespoons of frozen peas. Cook, blend, and add formula or breast milk for consistency.
- Other veg or grain purees: Go for carrots, avocados, chickpeas, sweet or white potato, or winter squash. Cook til soft, then blend. If you want to store the avocado puree for later, add a touch of lemon juice to prevent browning.
5 of the best baby food recipes 👩🍳👨🍳
Some great expert-approved options for babies 6 months or older:
1. Butternut squash plus
Butternut squash is great because there is a very low risk of allergy.
And it’s a great base for adding different flavors.
Think herbs like thyme or sage – or other ingredients, like pear. 🍐
Soft cheese can be added too, and don’t shy away from a homemade salt-free stock for extra nutrients!
Peel the squash and bake or boil, then blend.
You can also add a little avocado oil or olive oil to give baby a boost of healthy fats – hugely important for their developing nervous system. 🥑🫒
2. White fish and veg mash 🍲
Buy the freshest white fish you can get your hands on, such as sole, cod, or haddock – preferably from a trusted fishmonger.
Frozen fish is also a good option too, since it is quickly put on ice as soon as it’s caught. 🧊
Wrap it in kitchen foil and steam it for 15 minutes, along with some garlic and bay leaf if you’re feeling exciting.
When cooked, take out the solid fish (keeping the fishy liquid), remove bones, and mash it, along with some options:
- A steamed potato and a teaspoon of olive oil
- Rice cereal and oil
- Wholegrain cereal and oil
- Some steamed veg, like zucchini, carrot, or squash
Add some of the fishy liquid or stock to the mix for consistency and flaves.
Baby’s got a beautiful protein-y meal! 💪
3. Beef stew baby-style 🍛
This one’s great if you want to rustle up a stew for yourself and feed baby at the same time. You’ll need:
- Half a pound of boneless beef, cut into small chunks
- Quarter small onion
- A carrot
- A small potato
- Herbs (optional)
- Homemade stock
Heat oil in a pan and brown the beef chunks.
Add the veg and homemade stock (or water) and bring to the boil.
Cook for an hour or so until soft.
At the end, you can blend – or if it is smooth and soft enough already, serve as is.
4. Veggie finger food 🥗
When baby gets old enough, you can move on from mushy meals.
You can also serve veggies from the start.
Steam hard veggies until they are soft enough to be mashed in between your fingers, and serve to baby in long, wedge-like spears that they can grasp in their palm and bring to their mouth.
See how they like cooked veggies combined with a livelier flavor:
- Cauliflower and paprika
- Green beans and garlic
- Broccoli and rosemary
These can be roasted or boiled, depending on what’s easier for you!
5. Lentil and mushroom baby burgers 🍔
These are great for babies and the rest of the family too. Just make the burgers for baby a little smaller!
- Finely chop an onion and some garlic and fry them in a pan.
- Add chopped mushrooms and let them reduce down.
- Put the mix into a blender with a can of pre-cooked lentils (watch the sodium content with canned lentils). Blend it all until smooth.
- Add breadcrumbs (again, watch the sodium content) to the mix so it all firms up.
- Shape into little patties (or bigger ones, depending who is eating!) and either fry them in a pan or bake them in the oven.
You can add whatever you want to the mix to make things a bit more interesting.
Tomato puree, chickpeas along with lentils, an aubergine with the mushrooms. So many options!
Remember, all baby food recipes can be changed to suit your tastes, dietary needs, and whatever’s in the cupboards.
And if making your own baby food seems like a lot of work at the moment, know that you don’t have to.
In fact, if you’re after some fresh, frozen healthy baby meals directly to your door, you can get 25% off your first 3 boxes of Mamamade purees with the code PEANUT25. Shop here.
Or if you’d rather make your own or dive into the weird world of baby-led weaning, we’ve got more recipes for you here.
Bon appetit, mama!