It’s easy today to get lost in the Instagram squares of beautiful kitchens and perfect families, but the reality of #momlife is usually far from the tidy countertops we see on social media. For any of you moms making homemade baby food – you know just how messy the kitchen can get! Homemade baby food is the golden standard when it comes to baby food, but it can be intimidating when you first start solids with your baby. When your baby is given the okay to start solids, often times there are so many questions that come up:
- What are the best baby food combinations for my 6 month old?
- What’s the right texture for my baby?
- How long is homemade baby food good for?
- How to make easy homemade babyfood recipes?
These are just some of the questions that come up when you’re starting your solids journey with your baby. That’s why the founder of Amara baby food, Jessica, came up with 5 tips for making homemade baby food when you’re in a rush.
- Make big batches of each recipe or baby food blend and put into freezer trays – cooking in blocks like this (ie Sunday cook) makes it easier to manage when the middle of your week gets busy.
- Use reusable pouches – freeze some homemade baby food ahead of time in the actual reusable pouches so you can take them out as you need them. Can’t decide what reusable pouch to use? We did a deep dive on the comparisons between all the different kinds of homemade baby food storage here.
Pro tip: Once you prepare homemade baby food, you either want to freeze it right away (it should last up to 3 months in your freezer) or keep it in the refrigerator and eat it within 24 hours.
- Stick to simple blends – just sweet potato puree or a simple pea puree go a long way. You can add spices or texture when you’re ready to serve it to your baby to give it some variety or even combine different blends. Some spices you can use for homemade baby food are: cinnamon, mint or parsley. A small pinch can introduce your baby to the world of spice and flavor.
- Homemade, Made Possible: Amara baby food brings all the benefits of fresh, homemade – ready in seconds. Just mix with breastmilk, water or formula and your nutrient rich meal is ready to go
- Use a rice cooker or slow cooker to steam your veggies. The rice cookers make it easy to chop your veggies and then just put them on a timer and forget about them while you do something else.
When we started Amara, we wanted to bridge the gap between homemade baby food and the super processed jars and pouches we found at the grocery stores. Homemade baby food was more of a dream than a reality for us (I mean, let’s be serious) but there were so many benefits to homemade baby food that we had to find a better way than the packaged baby food. That’s why we created Amara, we use a nutrient protection technology that locks in the taste, texture and nutrients of fresh and brings you all the benefits of homemade without starting from scratch. Just mix breastmilk, formula or water and your nutrient rich meal is ready to go.
Now that you know how to make homemade baby food, fast and easy, here are my personal best homemade baby food recipe combinations:
- Sweet Potato and a kind of berry (raspberry, blueberry or strawberry are great) – the savory sweet potato combines perfectly with the tart taste of a berry
- Peas with mint – you can buy frozen peas and lightly steam them with mint herbs to create a delicious savory baby food recipe for your little. If you’re making it at home – I would use 1-2 leaves of mint, hopefully organic if you can.
- Pumpkin and pear – this savory vegetable makes a great first vegetable for your baby. You can combine it with a bit of fruit to create a really nice smooth texture. If you want to introduce spices for your baby – you can also add a pinch of cinnamon spice in the blend.
These homemade baby food recipes are really easy to make quickly because a lot of the vegetables you can find cut and frozen in the supermarket. Just make sure to lightly steam or blanch the vegetables before you blend them.
As you’re blending homemade baby food – you want to get to the right texture for your baby. Most babies are ready to start baby food when they are about 6 months old and show the signs of readiness. If your baby is 6 months old, you want to leave the puree more runny as your baby is just starting to learn how to swallow.
As you make baby food specifically for your 7 month or 8 month old baby, you will start to make the puree a bit thicker as they will already have experience with foods and swallowing textures. Don’t forget to watch your baby as they are eating to understand how comfortable they are with swallowing and with eating different textures. It can take up to 10 tries to introduce a different flavor or texture, so start slow but don’t give up!
As your baby gets older, the texture of your homemade baby food will start to get thicker and more developed. One of the big reasons why homemade baby food is better than store bought baby food is the texture you’re able to introduce your baby to with homemade baby food. Real food has different textures but store bought brands are generally all similar textures – runny applesauce. It’s critical to introduce your baby to the taste, texture and smells of real food early so they can develop healthy eating habits later in life.
So, whether you’re making homemade baby food (you super mom you) or, like 99% of us – using a mix of convenient baby food purees and homemade – we hope this helps make homemade baby food easier (and faster!).
At Amara, we know sometimes homemade is more of a dream than reality. That's why Amara baby food brings you all the benefits of fresh, without starting from scratch. Shop our organic, 100% whole fruit, vegetable and plant based protein meals here. Designed for an easy transition from boob to spoon – just mix with breastmilk, formula or water. We got you.
Jessica Sturzenegger, Founder @Amarababyfood