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What is Homemade Baby Food?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Homemade baby food is just as it sounds, baby food you prepare at home for your baby. There are books devoted to the art of making homemade baby food, and lots of tips online for making your own baby food. Sometimes companies sell food that is called “homemade,” which may simply mean that there are fewer ingredients.

There are lots of advantages to making your own food for a baby. You can strictly control ingredients, including where the ingredients are obtained and what if any additional foods you want to use. When you’re first starting to feed a baby solid food, the key is simplicity, and only introducing about one new food a week. Since some babies have food allergies, it may be a good idea to not make huge batches of homemade food. Once the baby has been introduced to most solid foods, it can be easier to make up bigger batches.

The simplest way to make homemade baby food is with a food grinder. You can purchase hand operated ones designed for grinding baby food, and some food processors will also grind or puree food. If you’re cooking for yourself and stick to baby friendly items, there isn’t a need to make large batches. Instead, simply grind up or process any foods that you’re preparing. If a baby can eat chicken and that’s your dinner entrée for the night, grind up a bit for baby. Add anything else like applesauce, winter squash or peas to provide different tastes.

Some people do make batches of homemade baby food, and usually freeze them in things like ice cube trays, which does provide perfect portions. Exercise caution when storing food — make sure to carefully wash all food preparation items, and if you plan to can baby food, be certain to observe safe canning practices. Babies are much more vulnerable to illnesses when food is improperly prepared or stored, and food safety is particularly important.

On this subject, homemade baby food for children under the age of one should not contain honey. Honey contains botulism spores to which infants are extremely vulnerable and should never be used, even in cooked form, in baby food. In fact, one thing to remember regarding homemade foods is that babies tend to have very simple tastes. You don’t need to spice or sweeten foods for a baby to enjoy them. If you start with very plain foods, your baby will be better for it, and will tend not to develop the need to have food that is overly salted or sweetened in the future.

Many people feel that one particular advantage of homemade baby food is that it can be less expensive to prepare, even when using high quality or organic ingredients. This is mainly true — high-end baby foods in stores can be pricey, and you’ll usually be able to make equivalent foods at home for less money. Of course, it may help to have a jar or two of commercial baby food on hand for when you don't have time to prepare a meal for baby at home.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By wesley91 — On May 31, 2011

@dinoleash- I make baby food at home, as well. I have twins and we need all of the cutbacks we can get. One of their favorites is oatmeal cereal and it is so simple to make.

The recipe that I use calls for ¼ cup of ground oats (not instant). They need to ground very well in a food processor. The only other ingredient is ¾-cup water. Boil the water and then add the ground oats. Let it simmer for about ten minutes, stirring constantly. You can also add a little fruit, baby formula, or breast milk if you like.

By DinoLeash — On May 29, 2011

I talked with my pediatrician about making my daughter’s baby food at home. She said that it was a wonderful idea. I went to several different web sites and found some great baby food recipes. She absolutely loves it. Most of what I make are pureed and are pretty tasty! Yes, I tried them out first! It is a great idea and can be very cost-effective.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia...
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