Making Baby Food


Post by community member:

For the first time in a long time, I have a baby in my house. It’s fun and exciting and tiring and….it’s a grandbaby!

Three decades ago I was expecting my firstborn and determined to feed him in the best ways possible. I knew breast milk was all that the baby needed for the first six months, so I focused on what to do about solid foods. I canned vegetables such as carrots and green beans from my garden without salt. And I figured out the easiest ways to process and store the food so it was ready to eat.

And here I am, using what I learned then–again. And happily, for my granddaughter!

Before I even knew that this little one was on her way, I had canned organic baby carrots found at my local produce place.

That was her first solid food just a few weeks ago. I processed the carrots into a puree in my old trusty food processor.

And we put some in these little food grade containers to freeze for later meals.

THEN I bought one of these sweeeet little contraptions!

Just exactly like the grinder that I used three decades ago–they are still made and easy to buy.

I carried my first one everywhere–now my second-born has one to use at home and take with her wherever she goes. The grinder leaves more texture to the food than the food processor.

We broke in the new grinder with freshly cooked summer squash…..

….and packed it up for the freezer also. Next came beets, green beans. The stacks are growing and baby loves every one of them so far.

Fresh bananas have been through the grinder the past two days and there are plums stewing in the crockpot as I type. We are freezing food that she hasn’t tried yet and are staying ahead of the game. A container or two can be taken out of the freezer and thaws safely in the refrigerator or the insulated formula bag in a few hours, or quickly in the microwave. I also used to freeze the food in ice cube trays. Then I would pop out the frozen cubes and store those in ziptop plastic bags. I would toss a cube or two in a glass jelly jar to thaw.

Making safe and nutritious food for a baby isn’t difficult and isn’t expensive. And just like canning, I really like knowing what’s in the food that my family eats–especially the smallest family members.

Oh, and my firstborn? He’s going to be a parent, too–in seven months!

And the baby food grinder goes back to work again next summer.

You can also find Dede at Yahoo’s Canning2.

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  1. Jennifer Robin says:

    Yep. I had one of those too, and still give them as gifts to every new mom I know. I almost never bought baby food; they ate what we ate. Has to be one of the handiest gadgets ever invented!

  2. Deborah R says:

    Congratulations on your new grandbaby!

    Do you have an estimate on how long the frozen food can keep without getting that icky freezer taste?

  3. trudy says:

    The containers may be food grade, but I would be concerned about any type of plastic. I was reading just the other day that girls are now often starting puberty at 7-8 years old due to the estrogen-like stuff plastic gives off, plus who knows what it does to boys. I don’t trust a “food grade” certification an inch.

  4. CindyP says:

    We were doing that earlier this year, too! And juice…..gerber baby juice is 1/3 juice, 2/3 water…make your own!!! If you’re making your own juice, I’m sure it will be even less juice, as it’s so concentrated.

    Great post, Dede!

  5. tsmith says:

    I also made the majority of my baby food. You know exactly what goes into it and it is much cheaper than buying it. Also, there is more of a variety if you make it yourself. Although, I did keep a few jars on hand to use in a pinch.

  6. CindyP says:

    Oh, and we used baby food jars saved from another friend 🙂 worked great in the freezer.

  7. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Jennifer, I love these grinders! The are wonderful! Deborah, the NCHFP recommends only 1 month in the freezer for baby food. Mine is in and out quickly – a week or less. And the containers are now fully packed – less headspace = less frost build-up room. If I was storing a month or a bit more I would use the ice cube tray method and then vac-seal the cubes in bags. Anything planned for baby food further down the road will only be canned.
    Trudy, thanks for your concern. Plastics are all around us from every phone we use to car parts, IV lines, food packaging, etc. There are many hypotheses about their effect on our environment and our bodies, and I am watching those discussions as well as the research.
    Of course, Farm Bell isn’t the place for debating 😉

  8. Pete says:

    It’s very easy to get around any hesitancy one might have about using plastic for storage – just use glass instead!

    We don’t heat anything plastic in the microwave ourselves, but I do store things in the freezer in plastic. We just take whatever out of the plastic before nuking it.

  9. rileysmom says:

    What a beautiful baby! You must not get much done; I’d bet you spend lots of time enjoying her1

  10. kellyb says:

    You must read minds. This is a fantastic post and that little one is beautiful. What a joy.

    I just drove my new granddaughter home from the hospital yesterday and I was already thinking about making her food. I checked in with CiTR and this is what I found. I made all the food for my kids but without that nifty contraption. I’ve got to get one of those. What a fantastic gift to give you family, wholesome, safe food. Your granddaughter is one lucky little girl.

  11. DonnaTN says:

    You have a beautiful granddaughter!

  12. Astrid says:

    Great post, I so agree with you, knowing what you eat, specially for the little ones.

    And what a beautiful little grand daughter you have.

  13. Ulrike says:

    Best baby food:
    1) Wait until baby is actually ready for solid foods (if you have to puree his/her food, he/she isn’t ready).
    2) Make food for yourself.
    3) Share with baby.

    Seriously, “baby food” is a myth. You don’t have to buy expensive slime in a jar. Just wait until your baby is ready to eat real food, and share your real food with him/her.

  14. trudy says:

    Excuse me, Dede. Of course, I didn’t mean to point out a possible danger to babies from your method.

  15. BuckeyeGirl says:

    I’m definitely going to keep the baby food grinder in mind for any upcoming baby showers dede. That and some containers, and a few other supplies in the same vein will make a great assortment for any new mom. Maybe I’ll print your post out for them too! Thank you very much for the information.

  16. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Deb, great gift idea for sure. My original one was called the Happy Baby Food Grinder. The name has changed but that search will still find lots of sources to buy this one or similar ones. Very affordable – this one now comes with a carrying case, spoon and extra gasket for around $15.

  17. Razzintaz says:

    I love my “Happy Baby Food Grinder”!! I also used it for lasagna! And soups when the veggies were still a little firm.

    I haven’t bought baby food since 1994! I only used it on my first two, because I didn’t know any better. My other six kids have not had jarred baby yuck. I make it for them and freeze it.

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