How to Make the Best Homemade Baby Food

Do's and Don'ts and when to buy organic produce

by: Paula Roy

How to Make the Best Homemade Baby Food

Do's and Don'ts and when to buy organic produce to make your own baby food. | Nutrition | Parenting | YMCFood | YummyMummyClub.ca

Whether you make your own baby food or purchase commercial products is a personal choice. If you have the time and inclination to make it yourself, you can feel good about knowing exactly what you’re feeding your little one and get them used to eating things your whole family enjoys. 

Why should I consider making my own baby food:

  • It’s usually more economical than buying commercially prepared baby food.
  • You can create custom blends of flavours for your baby that you won’t find in commercial baby foods – mashed cantaloupe and avocado, for example, is a fantastic combination.
  • Homemade is often more nutritious because to make commercial, jarred baby foods shelf-stable for longer term storage, they are cooked at very high temperatures which unfortunately destroys vitamins and nutrients in the process.
  • It gets the baby used to eating the same food as the rest of the family -- just in pureed form.

When should I start introducing homemade baby food?

How should I prepare homemade baby food?

  • Cooked foods should be steamed, boiled or microwaved until tender, then mashed or pureed (use a blender, food processor or food mill, or just press them through a sieve) to get the desired consistency. Add a little water or breast milk if you need to thin them a bit.
  • Raw foods are a great way to introduce a little texture to baby’s diet later on. Use a fork to mash ripe bananas, avocado, pear, mango, kiwi, melon and papaya.

Organic versus conventional produce

While you may not be in the habit of buying organic produce, you may want to consider it because it’s a good idea to avoid pesticides in baby food. There’s a great video from a Canadian holistic nutritionist that explains which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are safest to consume (the “Clean Fifteen”) and which produce you should buy organically-grown because of pesticide residue (the “Dirty Dozen”). Here are the lists, in alphabetical order:

The Clean Fifteen

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onion
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet Peas
  • Sweet Potato

The Dirty Dozen

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Snap peas
  • Spinach, Kale & Collard Greens
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers/Hot Peppers

A few more tips about making your own baby food:


  • Make sure your kitchen is scrupulously clean before you start. If your baby has an adverse reaction to a food, you want to know it’s the food that caused it, not some bacteria from your counter, cloth or cutting board.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Don’t leave baby food out at room temperature for more than an hour. Be sure to throw out any leftovers that have been sitting out or any food that your baby has not finished, as contact with their mouth could introduce bacteria into the food.
  • Mark dates on containers of homemade baby food. It can be safely stored in the fridge for up to three days, and in the freezer for up to three months. Throw it out after these time windows.


  • Add salt to homemade baby food. Their little kidneys can’t tolerate it and babies don’t have a taste for salt anyway. Kids under one year of age should not eat ham or bacon because of salt content, and if be sure to thoroughly rinse canned beans before mashing or pureeing to rid them of excess salt.
  • Add sugar as most fruits contain enough natural sweetener to make them appetizing and delicious.
  • Add honey as infants under one year of age may be at risk of getting botulism from honey, so it’s best to avoid it completely.

Do's and Don'ts and when to buy organic produce to make your own baby food. | Nutrition | Parenting | YMCFood | YummyMummyClub.ca




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