Make Your Own Baby Food

CHOW tested, baby approved

Ever since Gerber put strained peas in a jar in 1928, baby food has been big business. There are lots of reasons to buy it: It’s quick; you don’t have to worry about adequate nutrition; it’s easy. Except it’s not so quick if it means an extra supermarket trip. And it’s not necessarily ounce-for-ounce nutritionally optimal—it’s got fillers and starches. It is, however, easy.

Making your own is pretty easy, too—and cheap. With a food processor or a fork, you can mash up your own cooked peas or carrots. It’s part of the joy, too: Revealing solid food to your kid, one green bean at a time, is one of the great experiences of the first year. (You won’t, however, be able to make a baby food flower garden or envelope licker).

There are a lot of rules about what a baby can eat when, so we’ve summed it up (very broadly) for you. Always turn to your doctor first. But remember, you’re raising a Chowhound: Eating is a pleasure.





Over at our sister site, UrbanBaby, there are lots of discussions on baby food, from what to eat when, to how to make it:
» Advantages of homemade
» Whether homemade food makes for less picky eaters
» Whether it’s worth it to make baby food from scratch
» How kids react to meat in baby food
» Coping with the guilt factor of buying baby food versus making it from scratch

And here are some books that we’ve found useful:
» Naturally Healthy First Foods for Baby: The Best Nutrition for the First Year and Beyond
» Super Baby Food
» First Meals (New Expanded Edition)
» Cooking for Baby: Wholesome, Homemade, Delicious Foods for 6 to 18 Months

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