There is a lot to worry about when you’re a new mom or dad, and even more so once you enter the great big world of “what am I going to feed the little one”. If you’ve made the choice to make your own baby food, there seems to be a whole other set of concerns that parents experience: What equipment do I need, what foods should I use, how do I store it, etc…
After a year of making baby food nearly ever week as Little City Kitchen Co. has grown, I feel like I’ve learned a lot of shortcuts and tips along the way. So here are some of the most common mistakes one can make as they embark on homemade baby food, and some suggestions on how to avoid making them.
Mistake #1) Buying expensive specialty equipment:
So you’ve been eyeing the $150 Babycook at Williams-Sonoma or any of the other cook & puree baby food appliances. In general, I’m not a fan of buying any piece of equipment that only serves one purpose (especially one that you’re not going to need after six months of use). If you were ready to spend $150 for the Babycook, consider adding $100 more and buying a food processor that you’ll use for the next 15 years.
Those baby food makers have one thing in common: they steam and puree the food. Which brings me to my next mistake…
Mistake #2) Thinking you have to steam everything
You’ve heard me say it several times before, and I’ll keep saying it…There’s a whole world outside of steaming baby food! Remember what I said in a past blog about flavorful cooking methods. I do a ton of roasting, sautéing and braising, so don’t forget about these other cooking methods to get lots of flavor into the baby food.
Mistake #3) Waiting to stock up on the basics
One of the biggest joys for me is to hear how inspired people get after taking one of my baby food cooking demos. But…then they have to spend the day buying a few supplies that I recommend (I’m working on a solution for that by the way, so stay tuned).
There are some things you can buy ahead of time (say when the little one is between 3 and 4 months old) that you’ll need:
- Cans of Native Forest Classic Coconut Milk
- Either Ice cube trays or 4 oz glass Ball canning jars
- Different kinds of whole grains (black rice, quinoa, farro, etc…)
- $20.00 coffee grinder if making your own baby cereals is on your list
- Various dried herbs and spices, maybe 2 tablespoons of each
Mistake #4) Cooking separate food for baby
I always tell people, the time consuming part of making your own baby food is the cooking of it, not the making of it. If you want to spend a couple hours in the kitchen making special food for baby, then that’s fine, but there’s a better way.
I recommend that you incorporate cooking for baby into your normal family cooking. Within the first couple of months of eating, they can and should be eating just about everything you do, so just hold the salt and puree it up. Roast up four sweet potatoes: two for your dinner, two for baby food. Sautee up zucchini and onions with olive oil and parmesan cheese: half for your dinner, half for baby food. This will not only save you time, but (hopefully) it will also encourage you to continue cooking healthy family meals.
Interested in More?
If you’re interested in reading more about making your own baby food, check out a few of my favorite posts for information on baby food storage containers, cooking methods, equipment reviews and more…
Jill Epner is the owner of Little City Kitchen Co. is a Bay Area company making handcrafted, organic, frozen baby food with an International twist. Follow us on Facebook, or sign up to receive our newsletter with information on starting solids & making your own baby food.