Want to whip up gourmet purees that will have your baby spoon-banging and squealing with delight? These tools will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time so you can kick your feet up and snuggle with your little one for hours on end while your homemade baby food tools are doing the work for you.
Read on to find out more about:
- The most efficient process for making purees
- The best tools that will maximize your efficiency process
- Storage solutions that won’t have you feeling like your freezer has been taken over by the ziploc bag lady
This post may contain affiliate links. I only recommend products that I personally use, trust, and love and think you will love too! Using these links provide me with a small commission and help support this blog, but at no extra cost to you. To learn more, read my Policies page.
Get Efficient: Your Homemade Baby Food Plan
Why Make Your Own Food
It may seem like a lot of work to make homemade baby food, but with the tools available today, it has never been easier. Yes, it may be more convenient to just pull out a jar or pouch from the pantry, but making your baby’s food has a whole bunch of benefits. Here are just a few:
1. Health and Nutrients
Jars of baby food are so processed and heated to extreme temperatures that they are basically leaving little to no nutrients left for baby? Jars contain a lot of preservatives or bulking agents that allow them to have a longer shelf life (and thus why they don’t need to be refrigerated). The fruits and veggies that are actually in jars are heated to much more extreme temperatures to kill off bacteria as well.
Both of these issues cause the nutrients to be killed off or less prominent as well. Consider jars not for nutritional purposes, but more for just the practice of eating. Your baby is better off with fresh purees that you make in your kitchen.
A lot of those bulking, preservative agents change the taste of the fruits and veggies that are in the jars or pouches. For example, you might find cornstarch or tapioca powder as an ingredient. Putting more of this in the jars/pouches takes away from the flavor of the fruits and veggies and gives baby a duller, blander taste instead.
3. Save Money
Have you checked out the prices of pouches lately? They are nearing $2.oo for just one pouch! Ouch! That’s $2.oo for just one meal on one day. So, 3 meals a day for 3 weeks can add up to $126. I can get a haul of fresh fruits and veggies and make 3 weeks worth of food for just $20. That’s a no-brainer.
4. Tailor to Baby’s Needs
What I especially love about making my own baby food is that I have a whole bunch of servings of different fruits and veggies in my freezer to choose from. So if my little one is sick, I can pick out some foods high in vitamin C and that are immune-boosting to feed him. If I know that he is going through a growth spurt, I can choose foods that are high in calcium to support his growing bones. I can give him what he needs whenever he needs it.
That’s why it is so important to be aware of the different superfoods and how they can help your baby.
Efficient Time-Saving Tips
One of the biggest complaints I hear about making your own baby food is the time constraints. Busy mamas have enough on their plate without having to think of how to fit in all this time making baby food from scratch.
Although making food does take more time than picking up a pre-made jar or pouch off of a shelf (I’m not going to lie…), there are a couple of tricks that can help you make sure you aren’t spending all day prepping food.
1. Batch Prep and Cook
A lot of the time that is needed to make baby food is spent prepping your fruits and veggies. That is, washing, peeling, cutting, etc. You can cut down on time by batch prepping your food.
Wash all of the food at one time. Then, start steaming foods that don’t need to be peeled first (stone fruits, leafy greens, berries, sweet potatoes) while you peel and prep other foods.
2. Have Multiple Ways to Cook and Blend
If you have multiple foods you are prepping at one time, you can get creative and cook them in different ways. For example, I boil my sweet potatoes, bake my squash, and steam my fruits in the baby food maker all at the same time. You don’t have to wait until one is done cooking before starting to cook another.
In addition, you can use multiple blenders (although this requires doing more dishes). You could use an immersion blender, nutribullet, and your baby food maker all at the same time.
However, I loathe doing the dishes so I prefer to only mess one container up, and just rinse it out before I reuse it for the next puree.
Money Saving Tips
Saving money is always a nice perk, so here are a few ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your baby food meal prep.
1. Shop in Season
Fruits and veggies are cheaper when they are in season because they are in greater supply and it costs markets less to transport them to their shelves.
2. Check Out Your Circulars and Weekly Ads
I am not a couponing person because I always end up spending more money when I clip coupons; however, I always browse weekly ads to see what kind of deals I can get. 99 cents for a carton of raspberries? Yes please!
3. Shop Local
Local markets and farmers markets cut out the middle man allowing them to charge less for their produce. Take baby for a stroll at your local market and get some fresh, local produce for less.
Your must Have Homemade Baby Food Tools
If you are serious about making your baby’s food at home, you definitely need to be prepared with the right tools. Below is my list of “can’t live withouts” when I am making my gourmet purees.
1. 8-in-1 Baby Food Maker
This gadget is truly a life-saver. I love how you can steam different foods at the same time and turn right around and puree them with the same machine. It also can sterilize your pacifiers and bottle parts and serves as a bottle warmer. This is a newer model than mine (they don’t sell my version anymore) so it can actually do more than mine can.
Although it is a little bit of an investment, you will get your money’s worth out of it almost immediately.
2. Freezer Cubes
Silicone freezer trays are a definite must. These 2 ounce molds are perfect to store a serving of a single puree or a combo. I freeze the bases of my purees (like sweet potato) in this 2 ounce serving and then my add-ins (like peaches) in 1 ounce trays like these.
Hint: Don’t try to pop the food out of the container immediately after taking it out of the freezer. Let it sit out about 5 minutes and the food will slide out and be ready for you to put into baggies or containers.
3. Food Containers
These containers were perfect for little man’s daycare. They are easy to label and were so convenient to bring back and forth with us. They are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe and free of harmful chemicals. There are two ways you may find helpful to use them.
First, put your food in them from the ziploc bags when you are ready to serve or defrost. So for example, the night before, I would take out what I wanted the meals to be for breakfast, lunch, and a small snack, put them in the container, and put them in the fridge overnight. Then, I was ready to go the next morning.
Second, you could put your servings right in there before you freeze or prep for the week. This way, you have everything mixed and ready to go for you when you need it.
4. Reusable Pouches
These give you the convenience of a pouch without spending a fortune! I love these reusable pouches because they are easy to clean (dishwasher safe) and don’t leak from the top or the bottom.
You can easily add any puree or combination you wish into the pouch for a convenient, on-the-go treat anytime.
5. Squeeze Pouch Station
You don’t necessarily need this squeeze station… but if you are looking to save time filling your pouches, this is something you will want to pick up. It comes with pouches, but the pouches aren’t reusable so you will end up having to purchase more if you don’t purchase reusable ones like the ones above.
6. Blender Spatula
Whenever I am blending, I always feel like I am leaving a full serving in the blender because my spatula can’t get a bunch of food out. This spatula has saved so much food and is a miracle worker. You won’t feel like you are wasting money or losing a full serving of food every time you use your blender.
Save Your Freezer! Homemade Baby Food Storage Solutions
If there is one thing that bugs me to no end about making my own baby food, it’s how it makes my freezer look like the ziploc bag lady lives there. I have bags sitting on top of bags and have to sift through cold baggies to find what I need.
I have tried two storage solutions that I have found that work and are able to appease anyone’s necessity for organization.
1. Freezer Storage Bins
Freezer storage bins are for you if you still prefer to keep your food in ziploc bags. If you feel more comfortable with ziploc bags because you feel they are more airtight and help keep food fresh longer, I get you. Pick up 2-3 freezer bins.
Freezer bins can help you organize your food by serving size, food type, or any other way that you like your things organized.
This is the method that I use now. I sort my baggies by vegetables and fruits. That also helps me see what I am low on and need more of. So all of my vegetable bags go in one bin and all of my fruit bags go in another.
I still have a ton of bags, but at least they are organized and not in a pile on top of each other. Now when I open the freezer, I see bins and not a mess.
2. Freezer Storage Containers
If you are just fed up with bags altogether, this method is for you. These freezer storage containers can hold a bunch of servings in them and are easy to clearly label. They are stackable and would make anyone craving organization and order a happy camper.
This did not work for me as much as I would have liked it to because there wasn’t enough room in my freezer for everything that I wanted to keep in the containers. However, if you have the room and are just fed up with baggies, give it a try. The containers won’t go to waste because you can always use them for leftovers or to pack lunches in for school/work.
Enjoy Your Free time, Mama!
Now that you have an efficient plan in place, all the tools you need, and a way to organize your homemade baby food system, you can sit back and soak in all the precious time you have with your littles. Because that is what matters most mama, enjoying that precious time making memories with your baby!