Is your baby starting solids?
While there are plenty of commercial baby food products on the shelves many mums like to DIY and make their own baby food.
By making your babies food at home you have full control of exactly what goes in (and what stays out) of their first solids.
Side note: it’s cost effective!
Key things to consider when you make your own baby food
When to start making your own baby food?
Starting your baby on solids can be an exciting (and messy) time! After relying on breastmilk or formula for up to the first six months of their lives, starting real ‘food’ is a huge milestone.
You can start to introduce solids to your baby when they can hold their head up and sit upright in their highchair.
Other signs to look for are significant weight gain (doubled birth weight) and when they weigh at least 5.8kg, can close their mouth around a spoon and move food from front to back of mouth!
What do you need?
- Blender or food processor – for blitzing decent sized batches of cooked or raw ingredients
- Stick blender – super handy for smaller batches of baby food
- Steamer basket or electronic steamer – the easiest way to soften up your ingredients before pureeing
- Potato masher – as your baby gets older, they’ll move from silky smooth puree to chunkier, mashed foods
- Ice cube or food storage trays – when you cook/puree in bulk, some will need to be frozen
- Reusable pouches – a mama’s best friend! Not only do they make it easy to transport baby food, but they also save plenty of money
What type of food?
Staring with a single-ingredient puree is a good option to get your baby used to eating solids. You can then move on to add in herbs and spices to excite their taste buds and ensure you limit a fussy eater later in life!
Iron: This is important as babies receive iron from their mothers during the third trimester of pregnancy, so they are born with iron stored in their body.
As babies grow older, their stored iron levels deplete. At around six months of age, they can’t get enough iron from breast milk or formula alone, so babies need to get iron and other nutrients that are essential for their growing bodies by eating other foods.
Fats: These are key to your babies brain and nerve development! Incorporate fats such as avocado, nut butter, seeds and dairy.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Again this is essential for brain development. Think fish and flaxseeds.
Foods to avoid: Don’t feed them honey until they are 12 months of age. Also avoid discretionary foods, foods that are high in salt, saturated fat or sugar, but low in fibre and nutrients, are not suitable for your baby and should be avoided.
Probiotics: Having a healthy gut from a young age can help to avoid common childhood illness or skin irritations. Food can include, kefir, miso, yoghurt, fermented vegetables, and sourdough bread.
How to portion
At first, start with about 1-2 teaspoons of food, then increase the amount according to their appetite.
Babies should eat around three times a day by the time they are 12 months of age, as well as continuing to be fed breast milk or formula.
See these 42 baby puree ideas to get you started.
How to set yourself up for success!
Be prepared for a mess when your baby is learning to eat food, it is natural for them to use their hands and fingers so don’t fret!
When you do have to feed them, it is advised you put the spoon 12 inches in front of them and let them lean in to eat.
Letting your baby play with their food is a huge part of their development so don’t be too quick to wipe up and clear away! Don’t worry, over time mealtimes will become less messy!
This Healthy Mummy made 142 serves of baby food, check it out here.
So give it a try, make your own baby food! It can save money and allows you to know exactly what your baby is eating.
Try out our Healthy kids cookbook eBook
This eBook provides parents with simple recipes which are delicious and nutritious for kids and parents alike.
All the recipes have been designed and cooked by a nutritionist and eaten by real kids and babies.
There are recipes for babies, breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas, and even treats for kids parties. All the recipes have been designed to be cooked in around 30 minutes.