Easy ways to make healthy, inexpensive food your baby will love

Making your own baby food at home can be a cost effective and nutritious way to feed your child. At 6 months old, babies can be introduced to solid foods, starting with rice cereal, in addition to their breast milk or formula. You can introduce your baby to table foods at around 8-11 months of age.

Fruits, vegetables and meats all can be pureed at home to make delicious and nutritious food for your baby. To start, select the fruits, vegetables or meat you want to prepare. Fruits such as apples, peaches and bananas work well. For vegetables, try green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes or zucchini. For meats, chicken, pork or beef, cut into cubes before cooking, are all great choices.

Before you begin, make sure your hands and cooking surfaces are clean to avoid any germs getting into the food. Fruits, vegetables and meats need to be cooked until they are soft and have reached an appropriate internal temperature. You do not need to add any salt, sugar or seasonings. The easiest way to do this is by boiling in water in a saucepan on the stovetop. Soft fruits such as bananas do not need to be cooked.

Once the food is cooked, blend it in a food processor or blender until it is smooth. If you find that it needs more liquid, you can add a little bit of water until it is the appropriate consistency. If your fruits and vegetables have small pieces of skin or seeds left in the puree, you can run it through a sieve to remove any pieces.

Once it has cooled, pour the food into ice cube trays for easy freezing. If you will not be freezing it right away, the meat can store in the fridge for 1 day and the fruits and vegetables can store in the fridge for 2-3 days. When you are ready to serve the food to your baby, reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. Be sure to mix it well during heating and test the temperature to make sure that it is not too hot and that there are not hot spots.

For more information on how to make your own baby food, check out this video from University of Maine Cooperative Extension!


Extension Contributor / UNH Nutritional Sciences Graduate Student