Family and Consumer Sciences
Making your own baby food is a healthier, cheaper choice than buying baby food. It is also very easy to do.
- You will need something with which to mash or grind the food, such as a food grinder, blender, potato masher or fork.
- Use quality food without added sugar, salt, spices or fat.
- Use storage containers such as clean jars, plastic storage containers or ice cube trays.
What to Do
- Wash your hands and equipment well with hot, soapy water, then dry thoroughly.
- Wash fruits and vegetables, and remove the skin and the seeds. Remove the bones and all the visible fat from meat.
- Bake, boil or steam food until tender. Be sure meats are cooked to a safe temperature.
- Use a food grinder, blender, potato masher or fork to mash the food until it's smooth. Throw away any lumps or hard pieces.
- If necessary, add liquid (breast milk, formula, liquid in which the food was cooked or water) to thin out thick foods.
- Pour into labeled, dated containers, then store in refrigerator or freezer until ready for use. If using ice cube trays, cover the trays with plastic wrap. Foil is not recommended, because tiny foil pieces may freeze to the food. Freeze, then pop the frozen cubes into labeled plastic bags to store.
- To prepare the stored food, thaw by one of the following methods:
- Place the food in the refrigerator overnight in a closed container.
- Microwave the food, but be sure to stir it, making sure no hot pockets are left. This is important so you do not burn baby's lips, mouth or throat.
- Place the food in a small bowl, then put the bowl in a larger bowl or pot filled with hot water. Thawing should take 10–20 minutes depending on the size of your food.
|Food||In Refrigerator||In Freezer|
Fruits and Vegetables
|2 Days||Up to 1 Month|
|Meats or Egg Yolks||1 Day||Up to 1 Month|
|Meat-and-Vegetable Combinations||1 Day||Up to 1 Month|
Smith, Dr. Michelle Annette. (2011). "Homemade Baby Food—Make it Safely." Accessed at foodsafety.gov/blog/homemade_babyfood.html.
This fact sheet is a revision of the original, written by Lisa Pescara, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences.