Break out the blender! Whether you're looking to spice up your tried-and-true supply of Gerber or are planning to skip jarred baby food altogether, Circle of Moms members are a fountain of do-it-yourself baby food advice, with tips on everything from baby food recipes to storage tips to highly recommended cookbooks.
1. A Recipe for Healthy, Homemade Baby Food
The most commonly shared baby food recipe on Circle of Moms is also the most simple: Toss fresh fruits or steamed veggies in the blender, add a little water, and Presto!—dinner is served. Yep, it's that easy! And as September M.'s son proves, all kinds of fruits and vegetables are fair game: "Some of his favorites are butternut squash, broccoli, carrots, bok choy, celery, applesauce, mangos, bananas, grapes, all kinds of melons, and kiwi." Wondering what to try first? Tram K., a mother of one, recommends "single root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, and acorn squash, because they have a natural sweetness which babies enjoy."
2. A No-Fail Way to Introduce Poultry and Meat
As Katie S. explains, sometimes "babies don't like the thickness or the texture of meat." To make meat or poultry purees more palatable, Circle of Moms members like Kimberly P., a mother of two boys, suggest blending meat or poultry with fruit rather than, or in addition to, vegetables: "I found that my son really hated purees once I mixed in the chicken or turkey. I tasted them and they were really gritty and icky. So I started making a puree of steamed chicken, carrots and pears (or apples or peaches or any kind of fruit you like.) I found that the fruit sweetness and smoothness covered up the gritty texture and boring taste of the ground-up poultry."
3. The Best Way to Freeze and Store Homemade Baby Food
The most popular storage method among Circle of Moms members is pouring purees into ice cube trays and then freezing them. "Ice cube trays were my best friend for a few months," recalled Elina K. "I found the soft rubber/silicone ones (like the ones from IKEA) easier to deal with, especially with fruits and things that wanted to cling to the trays." After frozen, the cubes can be stored in freezer bags or other containers. Mother of two Karri C. wisely suggests labeling the containers: "I label each container with the contents and the date, so I am always sure of what I am using, and always sure to use the oldest date first...It really helps me to keep everything organized and visible, making it easier for me to keep track of what I have and what I need to make more of."
4. The Best Homemade Baby Food Books and Websites
In addition to experimenting on their own, many Circle of Moms member rely on homemade baby food websites such as Wholesome Baby Food, and baby food cookbooks such as those by Lisa Barnes. Many more, including Debz W., mother of six, sing the praises of Annabel Karmel's book: "It's like my Bible! It shows you foods from first purees through to toddler. It's amazing; it gives you really good ideas, and combinations that you would never think to put together. I swear by it and would 100% recommend it."
Looking for more information about baby food recipes? Got a great tip we missed?
Circle of Moms is a friendly, helpful place to swap food and cooking ideas with fellow moms. Whether you're looking for baby food suggestions, healthy breakfast ideas for kids, or healthy toddler snacks, communities like Recipe Swap, Homemade Baby Food Recipes, and Healthy Food for Kids are all great places to ask questions and trade tips.