Essential Tools for Home Made Baby Food

Starting your baby on solid food is an exciting time in your life as a parent and it can be fun to introduce new flavors and foods to your little one. If you're looking to introduce your baby to many of the same foods and flavors the rest of your family enjoys, or just save a few dollars, you might look into making your own baby food.

How do you get started? Like any good recipe, it starts with making sure you have the right tools for the job.

Unlike breastfeeding or formula feeding, making baby food might take a little bit more prep work.

When it comes down to it, all you really need to make baby food is a banana and a fork. However, if you're starting with purées, a fork won't cut it for most puréed fruits and veggies—not to mention meats.

That said, you don't necessarily need fancy kitchen implements to make baby food at home. In fact, you might already have the essential tools you need on hand.

Before you invest in a $400 food processor, try these common kitchen tools first. If you decide that you want to commit to making homemade baby food, you can always invest in complementary pieces.


Using a Blender, Food Processor, or Hand-Held Stick Blender

Man making a smoothie at home.

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Obviously, you're going to need something to mash your homemade baby food into a fine purée. To start you off, your basic blender, food processor, or hand-held stick blender will work just fine.

If you intend on making most of your baby food, you might consider investing in a decent food processor or a small blender dedicated only to baby food. Repeated daily use could cause you to blow out the motor of smaller accessories.

The popularity of smoothies means there are a lot of great individual blender options on the market. Tools like a NutriBullet are also perfect for making baby food.


Using a Vegetable Steamer

Peeled beets in steamer basket
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Once they've been blended or puréed, you'll need something to cook your baby food. Try a basic steamer, cooking pot duo, or an electric vegetable steamer.


Ice Cube Trays and Plastic Wrap

Stacked ice cube trays in a freezer
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While you can find products meant specifically for freezing homemade baby food, all you really need is an ice cube tray and a roll of saran wrap. Just portion out the mashed foods into the individual compartments of the tray and cover with plastic wrap.

Making baby food cubes eases the task of thawing and portioning out servings (most ice cube trays are the equivalent of a one-ounce serving).


Ziplock Freezer Bags and Permanent Markers

Close-up of disposable plastic bags
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Once you've frozen your baby food, you can transfer it into a ziplock freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Then, grab a permanent marker and get ready to start labeling.

When you're labeling baby food to store, make sure you write the date the food was prepared as well as what the food is on the bag or container. When you pull them out again you won't be wondering if you're looking at peaches or sweet potato.

Most baby foods can be stored safely in the freezer for about a month. When it's chow time, just thaw and heat the desired number of ounces.

By Jennifer White
Jennifer White has authored parenting books and has worked in childcare and education fields for over 15 years.