Sustainable Homemade Baby Food Recipes That Use What You Already Have
Making your own baby food is easier than you think. Here are the best (and tastiest!) recipes to start with, using what you already have in your fridge.
If scanning the baby food aisle at your local grocery store has left you disappointed and wishing for more options for your little one, you're in luck. Learning how to make your own is incredibly easy, not to mention beneficial for your baby, wallet, and the planet.
At around a dollar each, the cost of stocking up on store-bought baby food adds up quickly. When making your own baby food, you're able to utilize what you already have at home—be it that bunch of ripe bananas on the counter or leftovers from last night's dinner—allowing you to save money and reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills. Considering more than 70 billion pounds of food waste reaches landfills every year, every bit saved makes a difference.
Another perk of going the DIY route? You're able to be picky about what goes into your baby's food—whether that's prioritizing organic produce or ditching questionable additives. You'll also cut down on packaging waste, as you can reuse the same jars over and over again—no new resources required. Plus, if you make extra food, pop it in the freezer in a silicone muffin mold to save for later. Mealtime will be a breeze.
Before making your own baby food, always check in with your pediatrician; they'll be able to verify when it's time to incorporate anything besides breast milk or formula into their diet. When you're good to go, start making the sustainable recipes below, based on the three baby food stages.
Stage 1 Baby Food Recipes (4-6 Months Old)
Stage 1 is all about purées. Between the ages of 4 to 6 months, babies generally start to get a taste of something besides breast milk or formula. Because they're newbies, it's important to stick to single-ingredient purées and thin consistencies that have no chunks. Since these purées are made up of fruits and veggies, they're naturally sustainable—plant-based foods have a lower carbon footprint than animal-based foods.
1. Sweet Potato Purée
Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A—plus, their natural sweetness makes this purée a real treat. Simply bake some sweet potatoes to soften them, then remove them from the oven and cool. Peel the skin, saving it for one of your own meals—or toss it in your compost bin. Add the flesh to a blender with a little water, breast milk, or formula and blend until completely smooth and thin.
2. Avocado Purée
Have an avocado that's about to go bad? The fruit makes for a heart-healthy and vitamin-packed purée. Add the avocado flesh to a blender with some water, breast milk, or formula. Blend until completely smooth and thin.
3. Banana Purée
Bananas make for the perfect purées: they're sweet, packed with vitamins and minerals, and easy for your baby to digest. This purée is also the perfect way to use up bananas that are about to go bad. Add a ripe banana to a blender with a little water, breast milk, or formula, then blend until completely smooth and thin.
Stage 2 Baby Food Recipes (7-9 Months Old)
Things get more exciting in Stage 2. You're now able to combine multiple ingredients to make thicker purées, still with no chunks. That means you can get more creative, making different combos of homemade baby food. Experiment with what you already have on hand, or try the following recipes.
1. Blueberry, Banana, and Avocado Purée
This fruity purée combines blueberries, banana, and avocado for a creamy and delicious treat. Simply add your ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth with no chunks. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash of water.
2. Asparagus Apple Purée
Asparagus is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and deliciously sweet apples are a great source of fiber and antioxidants. Chop up an apple into smaller pieces and steam with a handful of asparagus until tender. Add to a blender and blend until smooth with no chunks. If the mixture is too thick, add some water.
3. Peach, Mango, and Carrot Purée
This combo is so delicious you might want to snack on it yourself. Cook cut-up carrots, mangoes, and peaches in a saucepan with a splash of water until tender. Add to a blender and blend until smooth with no chunks. If the mixture is too thick, add water.
Stage 3 Baby Food Recipes (9-12 Months Old)
In Stage 3, babies can gobble up soft, chunkier purées. If you have leftovers from your own meals—like unsalted shredded meat or scrambled eggs—this is a great opportunity to incorporate them into the recipes, reducing food waste and adding additional flavor. The extra chunkiness prepares babies for table foods.
1. Strawberry Oatmeal
Strawberry oatmeal is a fun and delicious breakfast for your baby. It also only requires three simple ingredients: rolled oats, strawberries, and water. The strawberries provide the perfect amount of texture as your baby is moving away from purées.
2. Tofu Veggie Scramble
If you're looking for a more sustainable alternative to scrambled eggs, scrambled tofu is a great choice. Combined with veggies and protein-packed beans, it's a simple dish you can make in bulk.
3. Baby Spaghetti
This baby spaghetti recipe might become a new favorite. The tomato-based sauce can be made of whichever veggies you have on hand, helping to reduce food waste. It can also be frozen and saved for later, staying fresh for up to three months.
The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Own Sustainable Baby Food
Learning how to make baby food isn't just beneficial for your little one—it's also good for the planet. Here's everything you should know.
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