DIY Baby Food

Adalaide feeding Joshua Jr.

I started making my own baby food with Adalaide and not only loved knowing exactly what was going in to the food that I was feeding my baby but kinda enjoyed experimenting with combinations of fruits, veggies and grains to see what she liked best. Adalaide has been a picky eater from the moment she started eating solids so she wasn’t really my best customer. To this day if I put a bowl of delicious homemade mac and cheese in front of her she’ll lean over and smell the bowl before taking a hesitant bite. As if she’s afraid I’ve slipped something unsavory in there! Maybe my baby food experimentation scarred her for life…or maybe she’s just a REALLY picky eater! Anyway, I’ve pulled my blender back out to start making Joshua Jr’s food now that he’s ready for solids and am so relieved with how much easier he is to please! I gotta say it really takes the pressure off!

DIY Baby food ingredients
The Baby & Toddler Cookbook

We were able to tell he was ready for more than the breast or the bottle when he started avidly watching every bite of food that went into our mouths and smacking his lips in anticipation. It was actually kind of hilarious! He’s had a voracious appetite from the very beginning downing 8 oz bottles after every nursing session from 2 months on. So I was really looking forward to seeing how he took to solids and boy did he take to them! He eats with an impatient fervor and intensity as if he’s afraid you’re going to stop shoveling the food into his mouth as fast as possible. If you slow down at all to say, open the next jar of food he starts hollering and shouting at you to get going. He’s a dream to make food for because he loves almost everything. The only foods he’s not as fond of our the blander veggies and fruits like squash and apples. He likes strong flavors and variety and I’ve been having a lot of fun going down this road of discovery with him

DIY baby food preparation

I have the very good fortune of having a steam oven that I only just figured out how to use a few years ago. It’s absolutely perfect for steaming large quantities of fruits and veggies for Joshua’s purées. For those without this luxury, here’s a great link that will tell you all the different ways to cook baby food and their benefits. Momtastic also has some great recipes, which I’m always looking for!

Steam oven

I have the Baby Bullet for puréeing which is great for smaller quantities, but Joshua goes through about 6-8 jars of food a day so I prefer to use my Ninja Blender  so I can purée much more at once. Baby Bullet also has a steamer that looks pretty great. I haven’t tried it but I figured it was worth mentioning.

And peeling...
And peeling...

The recipe book I used for Adalaide and am now using for Joshua has super simple recipes for every stage and great information about the nutrients and health benefits of the fruits and veggies you’re serving your little one. The baby bullet also comes with a recipe book full of useful info and great recipes as well. Here are a few other books I really like:

Because Joshua goes through so much food in a week I’ve decide to save myself a little extra time and by some of the fruits and veggies frozen. This way I’m not in the kitchen every other day peeling, coring and chopping dozens of peaches, carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes and squashes. I only do this though when I’m spread a little too thin. I prefer to make it all from fresh organic produce but occasionally compromises must be made to save my sanity! If I’m not using frozen and haven’t managed to buy organic for one reason or another I use this simple wash to make sure I get anything harmful off before cooking.

And peeling...
And peeling...
And coring and chopping. Next batch I'm using the frozen fruits and veggies to save this mama a little time!
And coring and chopping. Next batch I'm using the frozen fruits and veggies to save this mama a little time!

Once you learn the rules of homemade baby food and get a little experience under your belt it’s really fun to start coming up with your own tasty combos. I make single ingredient purées and then combine them and add a bit of spice before serving.

Joshua's Favorite Combos

  • Cinnamon/Cardamom Peachy Oat Purée
  • Cinnamon Blueberry/Millet Smoothie Bowl
  • Rosemary Quinoa/Acorn Squash Purée
  • Sage Sweet Potato/ Barley Purée
DIY baby food preparation

I purchased these Sage Spoonfuls baby food jars in plastic and glass to see which I prefer. When we’re eating at home I like the glass jars, finding them easier to clean and maintain but the plastic are perfect for traveling. Both are freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe which is great.

Sage Spoonfuls baby food jars

I can’t wait for the next phase of Joshua’s food education. It really is so much fun to cook for an enthusiastic eater! Though the challenge of pleasing a picky eater can be just as gratifying when you find that winning meal. I’m talking to you Adalaide! I will not be defeated!

Father and son
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  • Sandra Oranje

    This so awesome. I know that when I was little (a long time ago ) my mom always made my foio, never bought the already made stuff. First of all I think those stink and taste hortible. I tried some when feeding my niece and nephew when tehey were babies. I was glad that my sister saw the light and started making her own fresh baby food. And your darling daughter us just pickey. I have a niece who is just like that. When you put a plate if food in front of her she starts dissecting the food. Picking out pieces of bell pepper or other things she might see she believes are not to be eaten. Good luck with your picky eater.

    July 14, 2017 at 10:25 am Reply
  • Kaminski

    Great post as always! Joshua Jr has a little touch of french people We love eat ! We appreciate the good food ! It’s a really a good moment !

    July 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm Reply
  • marie

    Woaw, Joshua must be a very lucky eater with a cook mother like you … I also use some frozen veggies or fruits, it saves time. Thanks for all your advice. Kiss from the french riviera, Marie

    July 14, 2017 at 1:06 pm Reply
  • Lynda Chamblin

    Awesome❣️Awesome❣️Blog ❤️ Loved the line Adalaide not your best customer Such great food ideas I’m taking care of my Dad who decided he doesn’t want to use his dentures anymore !Grr. Anyway my Ninja is my favorite go to Thanks for the recipes you suggested❣️ Great segment❣️Even more would so love to see you publish some cookbooks or better yet take your blogs for a coffee table book ❣️❣️#thoseheavenlydays #badlandsranch

    July 14, 2017 at 2:50 pm Reply
  • Kay

    My oldest did not like baby food and having me feed her, but as soon as she could pick up the food and feed herself she was no longer picky. Today, she is willing to try anything. My next child, who happily ate baby food is now my pickiest eater of my kids. At 14 he will only go to a small handful of restaurants. Our family is like yours, we have two adopted kids (both from South Korea) and one biological.

    July 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm Reply
  • Syuzanna

    Dear Katherine,
    You are a true inspiration, super mom and extremely talented human being! Your post is exactly what I needed as I am currently pregnant with my second baby ( have a to be 3 in August boy) I’ve been digging into homemade baby food research! I love that you so diligently share each detail and personal experience!
    Thank you again, in a way it feels like you are my best friend that I haven’t met yet ( due to relocations all my friends are spread around the world). Please, keep posts coming!
    Love you all!

    July 14, 2017 at 3:23 pm Reply
    • Katherine Heigl

      Thank you for this! And congrats on your new addition! So happy I can help!! Xoxo

      July 18, 2017 at 3:23 pm Reply
  • amanda paffhouse

    My son Ash is almost 8 months and he is the same! That boy can EAT! We started puree at 4.5 mos, and then have done BLW and purees along side. Hes eating what we are most nights 🙂 I have to video it because he gets soooo upset if he doesnt get the food into his mouth!

    July 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm Reply
  • julie

    Its so nice to see you do this like a normal mother and not your personal chef or nanny!! 🙂

    July 14, 2017 at 6:15 pm Reply
  • Amie

    I’m a plain eater(I don’t like a lot of condiments on my sandwiches and such.) but I can usually eat a lot of different things. When I was younger I didn’t like a lot of things mixing. I’ve always loved vegetables and fruits. People are amazed at how many vegetables my 8yr old will eat. (She’s not into beans unless in burritos. I’m sure it’s texture.) I have a pretty sensitive nose. It may be partly why your daughter is picky about her food. If I’m eating next to somebody and they have something like mustard or pickles… I can taste it. And my daughter was like your son w baby food…anybody’s food she could get. She’s always liked spices and herbs.

    July 14, 2017 at 8:09 pm Reply
    • Katherine Heigl

      That’s so interesting! I think you may be right because Adalaide HAS to smell everything, from hand soaps to food to clothing. I bet she has a strong sense of smell like you! Thanks for sharing!

      July 18, 2017 at 3:22 pm Reply
  • Amanda

    The baby bullet steamer is wonderful!! It just can’t do tons at one time, but it’s so easy and spelled out! Just thought I’d put that plug in there!

    July 15, 2017 at 8:30 pm Reply
  • Suzanne

    This is great. My little is about to turn 1. I was so overwhelmed when it came time to feed her solids because there is so much “stuff” in store-bought food. Growing up, there wasn’t a big concern over ingredients and organic vs. inorganic. I always check labels now, but I want to give her the best so I’ve committed to mostly fresh fruit, veggies, and whole grains. It’s helped me be healthier, too, because I eat what she eats and preparing two meals isn’t as fun as preparing one

    July 16, 2017 at 6:39 am Reply
    • Katherine Heigl

      I totally agree! It can be so overwhelming and then when you want to do the right thing by making the baby food that can become overwhelming too! But I found the best cookbook for DIY baby food that has totally made my life so much easier. I mentioned it in the post but I think it deserves some extra love! It’s The Amazing Make Ahead Baby Food Book. So so worth the money!

      July 18, 2017 at 3:20 pm Reply
  • Irene Garcia

    Great ideas! My picky eater is now a mother herself but her kids eat everything. My daughter has become an excellent cook and shops wisely for fresh organic products. My son, much like your son, was easy to please. He’s our grill master! His toddler is on the picky side.

    July 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm Reply
  • julianne dempski

    How many ounces do you give Jj at each meal?

    July 18, 2017 at 4:18 pm Reply
  • Fiorella Applebe

    Thanks for your post! I use the sage spoonfuls baby jars and the baby/toddler cookbook too! I have six month old twin girls and am trying to constantly stay ahead of their eating. I also use the infantino squeeze station with some disposable and some reusable pouches. I was curious, how did you introduce spices? I really enjoy your blog-thanks for sharing tips and ideas.

    August 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm Reply
  • Christina Callaghan

    I loved creating different puree’s for my two little ones. I used to make batches and used ice cube trays to freeze them. I had 1 tray of fruit 1 tray of veg and another tray of mixed puree’s. They are so handy to reheat in a saucepan and if you get the right size trays its very easy to control the portions of each that your little one gets.

    October 8, 2017 at 1:28 pm Reply
  • Neve

    I love that you’ve made this article on baby purees! I have made all of my baby food, but my second child is proving to be a little bit pickier than his big sister so I am having to come up with new ideas and different purees! I love the idea of mixing cardamom with peach and oats, we will be trying it this week! Thank you!

    May 9, 2018 at 11:35 am Reply
  • Isabella

    I know everything about baby food from a guide „How to introduce solid foods to your baby.” but I was out of ideas for nice purees. Thanks for the article! It is really useful 🙂

    November 26, 2018 at 9:17 pm Reply
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    Family Friendly Smoothies

    July 4th 2017

    July 4th 2017