Easy Homemade Baby Food Recipes

You too can be a purée genius with these wholesome baby food recipes and tips from the new cookbook Real Baby Food. Whether you want to make a lot of baby food or just a little, our yummy recipes will have you blending for baby in no time.

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How to Start

Lauren Volo

How to Start

The great thing about making your own baby food is that it doesn't require a zillion steps -- just two! First you cook the food, then purée it. Here are a few tips to make the process go smoothly:

  • Make quick work of most vegetables by steaming them, but some -- like sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots -- are delicious roasted if you have time. And poaching is a good way to cook meat, fish, and poultry because the liquid keeps them moist.
  • Some fresh fruits require no cooking at all -- including bananas, avocados, and blueberries -- but apples and pears need steaming because their flesh isn't as tender.
  • Whether you're steaming, roasting, or poaching, cut all the food into similarly sized chunks, so the pieces cook at about the same rate.
  • You'll need to be careful when puréeing hot food. Let it cool slightly before adding it to the blender. Then remove the plastic insert from the blender top and replace it with a towel. This reduces the pressure inside the blender so your kitchen doesn't end up a spattered mess.

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Butternut Squash Purée

Lauren Volo

Butternut Squash Purée

The sweet taste of butternut squash is usually an instant hit with babies. This is a vegetable I prefer to roast, since I can avoid peeling its tough skin. Use a food processor or baby-food maker instead of a blender, because this is a denser veggie and makes for a thicker purée.

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Sweet Pea Purée

Lauren Volo

Sweet Pea Purée

You can feel good about the frozen peas in this silky, sweet purée. Picked and frozen at the height of freshness, frozen fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. Be sure to buy frozen produce with no added ingredients.

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Apple Purée

Lauren Volo

Apple Purée

Once your baby has mastered single ingredient purees, start mixing things up. Add pureed chicken, salmon, or beans to the apples for a protein power blend. And don't throw away this recipe as your child grows! Applesauce makes a perfect lunch-box food.

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Red Lentil Purée

How to Make Baby Food: Red Lentil and Spinach Puree

Red Lentil Purée

Full of protein, simple to cook, and inexpensive, lentils deserve a prominent spot on your baby's menu of first foods. For a creamy combo, puree with a thawed 10-oz. package of frozen spinach. For grown-ups, thin the purée with chicken or vegetable broth, salt lightly, and serve as soup.

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Savory Beef and Broccoli

Lauren Volo

Savory Beef and Broccoli

Give your little one a sneak preview of stir-fries to come with this tasty, protein-rich meal.

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Lauren Volo

Get more baby and toddler recipes, plus feeding tips and snack ideas in Real Baby Food.

Recipes and photographs from Real Baby Food by Jenna Helwig. Copyright © 2015 by Jenna Helwig. Photographs copyright © 2015 by Lauren Volo. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved.

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