Making your own baby food is really quite easy. And if you’ve committed to paleolithic nutrition, you’re already doing most of the work just by cooking your own meals of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit at home. Homemade baby food has the added advantages of tasting way better than store-bought baby food and being much cheaper. Plus, because it’s fresher, it has a higher nutritional value. There is a method to making baby food and a couple of tools that will make your job much easier.
First, you’re going to need to be able to cook food. I’m kinda assuming you have this one covered.
Second, you’re going to need a way to blend up food. You can use a Conventional Blender, Immersion/Hand Blender, Food Processor, or something like a Magic Bullet (which even has a Baby Food Version!), which is great for the smaller quantities you will often find yourself blending up. I also recommend getting a Small Hand Mill, which is great for mashing up fresh bananas, avocado and whatever you are feeding your baby off your plate as he/she gets older (it’s faster than a fork, easy to clean, and can handle tougher textures like meat or fish).
Third, you are going to need some way to store your baby food. The cheapest and easiest way to store homemade baby food is using ice cube trays. When you make a batch of something (like a bunch of mashed sweet potato or if you mashed a whole banana but only fed a quarter of it to your baby), spoon your homemade baby food into the cubes of an ice cube tray. Cover the tray with tin foil and freeze. Once the baby food is frozen, pop the cubes out into a ziplock bag, label and throw in the freezer. Then it’s really easy to grab a cube of this and a cube of that to put together a great meal for your baby. I also really like the Ice Cube Trays with Covers for this. Then I can just throw a piece of masking tape right on the lid to label, the trays stack brilliantly, and my freezer stays organized. A few things: Never store the food leftover from your baby’s bowl. Never refreeze thawed baby food (so if you made a mash with steamed frozen veggies, don’t put those back in the freezer). Most baby foods will last 3-5 days in your fridge, about 2 months in a regular freezer, and about 6 months in a deep freezer.
Fourth, you are going to need Bowls, Spoons, Sippy/Straw cups and some liquid to thin out your baby’s food (at least for the first few months). Pumped breast milk is the healthiest, but formula or water work well too.
So, how do you actually do this? Yes, it really is as easy as you cook something without seasoning, you blend it up, you thin a small amount of it out to feed to your baby, and you freeze the leftovers for easy meals later on. You don’t need to make six different things all at once. I found the most efficient use of my time was to make a baby version of whatever else I was making for supper, focusing on making one big batch of something every day or every few days. For example, if I was making roasted butternut squash for dinner I could reserve some of the squash before seasoning. I would take that plain squash, wrap it in tin foil with a tablespoon of water and bake it with all the other squash (the tin foil and water would keep it from browning). I let the squash cool while we all eat our meal. Then, when I get a minute, I can throw all of that squash into the Magic Bullet, blend it up, spoon it into a covered ice cube tray, label and throw it in the freezer. My time commitment is something like 5 minutes and I’ve got thirty meals of squash for my baby out of it. The next day, I might mash up two whole avocados with the Hand Mill and do the same thing. The next day, I might cook some peeled and sliced apples in the microwave, then blend them with the Immersion Blender for applesauce for the baby (and take some to add cinnamon to for applesauce on the side of our pork chops). When you approach baby food this way, the time commitment is really quite small. When your baby is ready to eat, grab a few cubes of different meats, fruits and veggies from the freezer, thaw them in the microwave (mix well and make sure the temperature is appropriate for you baby), and spoon feed away!