NO shame in buying jar foods - I don't judge at all! I refused to make homemade meat baby food, yuck, so I used jars, too. I just encourage moms to try making some baby food at home because it's easy and not a ton of extra to do.
So where do you start? I waited until my first was 5 1/2 months old and the last two were 6 months old before feeding them solids. There's lots of research out there about waiting until babies bodies are more developed in order to digest solid foods, that recommendation is 6 months old. I also personally saw no need to rush into adding one more thing to our busy days with a baby- once you start feeding you have to continue and it gets busy! So wait until you and your baby are ready, and consult with a pediatrician first.
For us, we started with rice cereal for about a month, about a teaspoon mixed with breastmilk, once a day. It doesn't matter if you start with breakfast, lunch or dinner. With my first we started with breakfast because I was home in the summer from work and it was easy for us. With my third we did dinner because I was working full time and wanted to be the one to give him his daily meal. Whatever works for you!
After about a month of rice cereal, we moved into sweet potatoes, then a week later we did apples. I did that for all three babies. I then alternated veggie, fruit, veggie, fruit, and kept track of what he'd tried on my phone. The first few foods I waited about a week between trying more, then after the first couple of foods we would wait about 3 days between foods.
To make homemade baby food here's all you need:
- food processor, Magic Bullet (this worked awesome and was super cheap to buy!), blender (used a blender with my first two kids, worked fine)
- ice cube trays
- ziplock bags
- bowls to steam veggies in microwave
That's it! It's SO EASY.
How to make homemade baby food:
- Peel veggies or fruits.
- Cut up.
- Put into bowl to steam. Depending on what it is, maybe add a little bit of water (fruits don't usually need extra water, but something like green beans does).
- Process in blender, etc. until smooth consistency.
- Use spoon to put into ice cube trays. Freeze overnight.
- Pop ice cubes of food into ziplock bags, and label bags. Voila!
At first I'd give my baby 1 cube at a time, sometimes half a cube, depending on baby's interest. After a few months, maybe around 7-8 months old, I'd give my baby 1 veggie and 1 fruit cube. For daycare, I'd send a small ziplock bag or tupperware container of a variety of fruits and veggie cubes for breakfast and lunch.
It's always best to get fresh fruits and veggies. With my first, he started solids in the summer, perfect timing for us to go to the farm store! With my third, it was winter so we had to get creative. There are great frozen options for veggies and fruits when you can't buy fresh.
We eventually moved on to things like yogurt, oatmeal, Mum Mums, puffs, pancakes, etc.
A few great foods to try making in the first couple of months of baby eating solids:
- sweet potatoes
- white potatoes
- bananas (don't freeze)
- butternut squash
- watermelon (don't freeze)
- avocado (don't freeze)
- cucumbers (don't freeze)
- yellow squash
- kiwi (don't freeze)
- green beans
- cantaloupe (don't freeze)
For me, I'd make baby food one weekend a month. It would take a few hours on that weekend and then we'd have plenty of food for the month. I had to do this about 3-4 times, then they move on to more solid foods like table stuff we ate. It's not a huge commitment, but so rewarding and actually I found it relaxing once I got cooking.
The biggest thing with making homemade baby food is to pace yourself, have fun and realize there aren't any rules to follow, just try. If you search my blog under "baby food" you'll find great books I've read about making baby food. My favorite Web site is wholesomebabyfood.com.