Blenders are great, but they’re not the be-all, end-all for making baby food. There are bound to be at least a few times when you need baby food, but you don’t have a blender to use. Luckily, it’s entirely possible to make baby food without all of the machinery.
The basic mash-up
The first thing you can do is just to mash up soft foods without any preparation or cooking. The key is to choose a food that can be mashed with a fork, or that is squishy enough to be chewed by a baby at this age.
- Bananas, cooked peas, and avocados: You can easily mash these foods up to a consistency that’s similar to baby food.
- Ripe pears, peaches, and melons: These fruits are softer and easier to eat than other kinds. They can be cut up to a size that is appropriately safe for your baby to eat.
Using the stove or microwave
In some cases, just mashing up foods won’t be enough; you’ll need to use the stove or a microwave to soften them. This is a good choice if you’re serving foods that aren’t as soft as the ones above, or if you’re planning on freezing some food to use later in the week. There are only a few simple steps to making baby food this way.
- Steam or microwave them: Boiling vegetables actually reduces some of their nutrients. When making baby food it’s better to steam them or to microwave them; they’re more nutritious this way as nutrients are not lost.
- Keep it simple: You might be inclined to add salt or seasoning (or even other vegetables) to the food. But right now, Baby won’t think the food needs salt or sugar, when they have never tried these strong flavors. Take advantage of the fact that their palate is not yet developed to let them appreciate the subtle flavors of each fruit and vegetable without the need to add anything.
- Add water and mash away: Once the food is very soft, mash it up like potatoes on Thanksgiving. Let it cool before you serve.
How to store homemade baby food
The best way to store homemade baby food is to freeze it in ice trays. Once it’s frozen solid, put the cubes in bags and only rewarm it when you’re serving it. Though homemade baby food can be frozen in other containers, ice cube trays mean that you can thaw and reheat food in small increments, depending on your child’s needs, while leaving the rest preserved and frozen. A freezer-safe ziplock bag around the ice cube tray will help ward off freezer burn. Homemade baby food can last for about a month in the freezer; after a month, though, it’s best to throw it away and make a new batch.
- Children’s Health Team. “From the jar or blender: Which baby food is best?” ClevelandClinic. Cleveland Clinic, Nov 5 2013. Web.