How to Make Your Own Baby Food - Equipment
Making homemade baby food is simple - cook it, puree it, and store it. There is, however, certain pieces of equipment you need if you are going to commit to making your own baby food. Most parents can find suitable equipment in their kitchen to make the experience more economical. But if you want to invest a bit of money, there is baby food making equipment available that makes the process quicker and easier.
See the Beaba Babycook in Action
There are several all-in-one baby food making devices available for the serious baby food maker. Most of these steam and puree food conveniently in one container. The most popular of these devices is the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker. It has all the bells and whistles, with a price to match.
The advantages of the all-in-one devices is simplicity and ease. Cooking and pureeing the food in one device is definitely a time and mess saver. There are, however, several drawbacks to these devices. First is the price. Most of these devices carry a hefty price tag. But, if you are serious about making baby food, the convenience may justify the price. Second is the small size. Most of these devices do not allow you to make a very large amount of baby food at once. And the small cooking/pureeing container requires you to cut the raw food into small pieces, which is not convenient when you are cooking something like a butternut squash.
In conclusion, if you plan to cook small batches of baby food and can spend a bit of money for convenience, the all-in-one devices may be the way to go.
Equipment for Cooking Baby Food
If you do not want to purchase an all-in-one baby food maker, you will need equipment to cook, puree, and store the homemade baby food. Don't worry - most parents will find what they need in their kitchen.
When cooking food to make baby food, you typically need to bake, steam, or simmer the food. This simply requires basic kitchen equipment such as pots and pans. For example, you can bake a butternut squash in the oven in a shallow dish of water, or you can cut up the flesh and steam it on the stove top. A universal steaming basket that fits into your pots is especially handy.
Baby Food Grinders
Equipment for Pureeing Baby Food
The pureeing step seems to be the step that causes the most anxiety in parents. How do you achieve the smooth texture of commercial baby food?
You can start by using any kitchen appliance that purees, such as a food grinder, a blender, or a food processor. You can also purchase an inexpensive hand-crank baby food grinder such as the Munchkin Baby Food Grinder. Depending on the age of your baby, and the desired texture of the food, you can add a bit of water and grind to the desired consistency.
If you are attempting to puree a food with a husk or tough parts (such as peas, which have a husk), you may need to strain the food after pureeing to remove the tough parts. Simply push the food through a simple kitchen strainer or collander.
Baby Food Storage
Equipment for Storing Baby Food
One of the conveniences of making homemade baby food is the ability to make large batches. This not only reduces the frequency of making baby food, but also reduces the cost of homemade baby food. So how do you store a large amount of baby food?
The most convenient way to store baby food is in small quantities. This allows you to freeze your extra baby food and thaw only what you need for one meal. The most economical way to freeze baby food is in ice cub trays. Each section of a standard ice cube tray is approximately one ounce. You can freeze the baby food in ice cube trays, and then transfer the baby food cubes into a labeled freezer bag. Don't forget to add the date so you know when to discard unused food. Frozen baby food typically stays fresh for a couple months.
You can freeze baby food in any practical containers, including plastic storage containers. If you want to invest in convenience, you can purchase storage containers specifically designed for baby food. These include ice cube-style trays with lids, and other sectioned specialty trays.
Always talk to your child's pediatrician about nutrition and any health concerns when making the decision to make your own baby food.