10 Healthy Homemade Baby Food Ideas

10 baby food ideasMaking your own baby food offers a number of advantages. It saves money and shopping time. Making baby food can be messy, but it’s lots of fun. Most importantly, homemade baby food can be super-healthy. There are so many fruits, vegetables, and grains that babies can have in their first year of life, many of which aren’t found in common store-bought baby food. Here,

Healthy Homemade Baby Foods

Here are my top ten favorite sources for homemade baby foods. All of these are healthy in terms of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. When possible, I have a link to the nutritional information page for these vegetables, grains, and fruits. Have a look, get yourself a blender/steamer (read our baby food grinder reviews), and start making your own baby food today!

Avocado Baby Food

1. Avocado

Did you know that avocados take a full 2 years to grow before they’re harvested? They’re worth the wait, though. A favorite food in the household, avocados make for a creamy, bright-colored baby food that’s sure to be a hit. It’s a natural source of folate, vitamin K, and other nutrients.

They also provide monounsaturated fats and, in my opinion, are quite yummy. Use ripe, unbruised avocados and serve fresh for the best results.

Winter Squash Baby Food

2. Squash

Once, when our daughter had started solid foods, I obtained a 20-pound winter squash at a farmer’s market. It made a huge quantity of delightfully bright orange baby food that she ate all winter long. Winter squash is a vitamin A superfood! It’s easy to grow and inexpensive with a mild, sweet taste similar to sweet potato.

Sweet Potatoes Baby Food

3. Sweet Potatoes

I knew that sweet potatoes, or yams, were a good choice for baby food because of the sweet taste, but I was surprised to learn how healthy they are. With the skin on, sweet potatoes provide 438% of daily vitamin A and 37% of vitamin C. They’re inexpensive, easy to cook and puree.

Babies love the bright color, smooth consistency, and of course the sweet taste of yams.

Pumpkin Homemade Baby Food

4. Pumpkin

The jack-o-lantern isn’t just for Halloween. Pumpkin makes a great baby food. Dark orange vegetables like carrots and pumpkins are loaded with Vitamin A & many other important nutrients. Canned pumpkin makes baby food making super-convenient, and will warm your baby up for future treats like pumpkin bread.

Sweet Peas Baby Food

5. Sweet Peas

Peas are a great example of baby food that’s SO much better when you make it at home. One cup of peas provides calcium, Vitamin A and C and Iron; it has more protein than a tablespoon of peanut butter (which you can’t give baby for a couple of years anyway).

Fresh peas are best, followed by frozen peas, but you can even used canned peas to make your own baby food. When they’re older, your babies will enjoy eating them as finger foods / throwing them down from the high chair.

Whole grain Oatmeal Baby Food

6. Whole-grain Oatmeal

If there’s one solid food that seems to help babies sleep better at night, it’s single-grain cereal. Most pediatricians recommend starting with rice because it’s the least allergenic, but oatmeal is usually #2. Whole-grain oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber and a great choice for thickening normally-runny homemade baby foods like sweet potatoes and carrots.

Plus, you can buy whole-grain oatmeal from Amazon on the cheap. Another reason to try it!

Barley Homemade Baby Food

7. Barley

I wanted to feature a second grain on this list, and I chose barley because it’s not what you think of first when it comes to baby food. You want a serious whole grain to thicken baby food? This one’s for you. It’s naturally rich in dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber which was shown in clinical trials helps fight diabetes.

Unlike some grains, barley has fiber throughout the kernel, so removing the husk doesn’t remove all of the nutritional value. Another great thing you can buy from Amazon.

Sweet Corn Baby Food

8. Sweet Corn

How could I forget America’s favorite crop? Sweet corn is another baby favorite in our house; I’m surprised it’s not used in more baby foods. One cup of corn contains 51% of your daily fiber and 37% of your daily vitamin C. It’s tasty on its own as well as blended with a stewed meat such as chicken.

Mango Baby Food

9. Mango

The mango is a great fruit for making homemade baby food because it’s not over-the-top sweet. Sure, it has sugar as all fruits do, but it’s naturally free of fat, sodium, and cholesterol. One cup of mango has 20 different vitamins and minerals, most notably vitamin C (100% DV) and vitamin A (35% DV).

It’s a “creamy” consistency so ideal for blending, and available year-round.

Plums Homemade Baby Food

10. Plums or Prunes

Last but not least, I put one of the healthiest but under-used fruits for making your own baby food at home: plums. You can get these fresh plums in the summer and fall, and dried plums (prunes) you can get year-round.

Prunes are especially nutrient-rich; one cup has 3 grams of fiber, 293 mg of potassium, and 16 mg of magnesium, all for less than 100 calories.

5 Reasons To Make Your Own Baby Food

Baby food maker reviews

Best baby food makers

With those ten yummy reasons above, you probably don’t need any more motivation to start making your own baby food. But if you need one last push, consider these things:

  1. It’s easy to do. No special cooking skills are required to make most baby foods. Some (like corn, peas, squash, and pumpkin) you just need to steam or boil. Then you puree in a blender. We’ve reviewed baby food makers that help you do both. 
  2. Save money. You’ll be surprised at how much food you get (especially from larger vegetables like squash and pumpkin), and it really saves money compared to buying baby food in the store.
  3. Go green. One thing I hate about buying baby food is the packaging — the jars or plastic tubs, cardboard boxes, etc, — and when you make your own food, you avoid all of that.
  4. Super health kick. When you choose what your baby eats, you not only know what it all is, but get to choose the healthiest of foods (like the ones above) and that’s a very good thing.
  5. Fun family activity. When you start making your own baby food, it becomes lots of fun. Something the whole family can enjoy. Try it and you’ll see.