You’re cruising home from the latest pediatrician appointment, grinning ear to ear because you got the green light to start your baby with their first bites of baby food. You imagine them sitting in their high chair with a huge sweet potato smeared grin on their face.
So you hit your local grocery store and decide to buy some baby food. You are overwhelmed with how many different options there are. What is the difference between a stage 1 and stage 3 puree? Are these preservatives in the baby food ok? What is citric acid? Does it seem weird that this banana baby food doesn’t expire for nearly three years from now? I can’t even keep the banana on my kitchen counter from going brown for more than a day.
You talk yourself into it, ok, it can’t be that expensive. So you grab as many jars as you can like a squirrel gathering nuts, and check-out with a price tag upwards of $50. Hmm, That seems expensive.
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Should I Make My Own Baby Food?
On your way home you start adding up the cost for the next 6 months, and wonder, “Should I just make my own baby food?!” GASP… You’re already stretched out thin in the time department and there is no way you will ever have enough time to make a ton of baby food to feed your growing baby. Plus you’re a terrible cook and have no idea how to make baby food.
What if I told you that baby food can be cooked in as little as five minutes? Also, it can be cooked in the same place at the same time in one pot (which means less dishes). Thanks to your pressure cooker, preparing and cooking baby food has never been easier.
Instant Baby Food
The Instant pot allows you to easily cook ALL different varieties and mixtures of the baby food all at once. Yep, all the baby food is made in one pot, in way less time, saving you on dishes and your sanity too.
Making your own baby food is also going to save you lotssssss of money. Using the method below I made approximately 40 servings for less than $20 in under an hour.
If you know how to plug in your Instant Pot, vaguely know how to use it, and can do some rough cutting and dicing you will soon become an expert baby food maker.
Preparing Baby Food In Instant Pot
Here we are, ready to make your first baby foods. Step 1- plug in your Instant pot! Congrats, we are almost done. We are setting our Instant pot up to act as a giant steamer.
Steaming the food helps aid in an easier digestion for your babies developing tummy. It is recommended that you cook/steam all fruits and vegetables for babies under 8 months old (with the exception of bananas, and avocados)
Wash and peel all of the vegetables and then roughly dice them. Nothing too fancy with the knife skills because it will all be blended later.
After the vegetables have been cut and diced, place them right into ramekins that you already have around the house. If you don’t have ramekins consider small glass pyrex containers. Anything that is safe for the oven will also be safe for your instant pot. If you don’t have any of those, you can also make separators using tin foil.
Also, if you are planning on making lots of food you will want to make sure that you have a steamer basket. I just used this one that I already had around the house and it worked out great. They also make specific pressure cooker steamer baskets which are nice because they have the longer handle. Either will work great.
The following fruits and vegetables work well at a 5 minute cook time:
- beets, apples, broccoli, zucchini, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, pear, peas.
The food is loaded into ramekins, and the steamer basket goes directly on top.
The fruits and vegetables are cooked on a manual high pressure for 5 minutes. Once cook time is complete, perform a natural release for 5 minutes, and. then quick release the remaining pressure.
Blending and Pureeing Baby Food
Once the time is up, its time to puree the fruits and veggies to their desired consitency. You have a few options when it comes to blending. Use a regular blender, food processor, or hand held immersion blender to blend the baby food to desired constancy. Many of the fruits and vegetables will be so soft that you can actually place them into a bowl and use a hand held potato masher to puree them up.
If your baby has already mastered single blends and you are ready to move onto more “advanced” blends, you can add a banana or avocado to the steamed food for mixing
No need for one of the fancy “Baby Food Makers” that are on the market. In fact, the Vitamix, Magic Bullet and Ninja kitchen system are all great tools for blending/pureeing baby food and can be used way beyond baby purees.
Storing Baby Food
Place a few fresh servings in small containers, like these and place them right in the fridge. Homemade baby food will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Next, place the rest of the purees and mixes in ice cube trays and let freeze overnight. Use a Tablespoon to help place into the ice-cube containers. This will also help you know how many servings are in one cube.
Once the baby food is frozen, remove them from the ice-cube tray and place the baby food cubes into a freezer safe bag. Make sure to label the bag with the date, and contents.
Baby food will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months. Don’t be alarmed if the baby food cubes develop ice crystals on them, this does NOT mean that they are freezer burned, it just has extra water in it.
Allergies And Baby Food
From personal experience, I highly advise you to wait to introduce a new food after three days, for allergy purposes.
Both my children have food allergies, and their symptoms did NOT present themselves until several exposures. Only introducing one new food at a time will help identify which food is causing issues.
Baby Food Blends
Once you know what your baby likes, run with it! Remember that babies need to try something at least 10 times before they can make up their mind. So if they keep pushing away the peas, just try again a different day.
Any easy way to come up with blends is to check out the baby food aisle at the grocery store. Some of my son’s favorite blends are:
- Sweet Potato + Banana
- Pears + Peas + Broccoli
- Zuchinni + Peas + Pears
- Carrots + Apples
- Sweet Potatoes + Mango + Carrots
- Green Beans + Pear
- Zuchinni + Apples + Peas
- Serving Size suggestions
- 3 Carrots, chopped
- 1 Zucchini, skins removed and chopped
- 3 Apples, cored and Skins removed
- 1 Beet, washed, peeled and chopped
- 1 Head of Broccoli, chopped
- 1 Head of Cauliflower, chopped
- 2 Pears, skinned and chopped
- Place the trivet inside the Instant Pot
- Place 1.5 cups of water on the bottom of the instant pot
- Use up to four ramekins and place your fruits and vegetables on top of the trivet
- Add a steamer basket on top of the ramekins for more vegetables (these work great for blends).
- Lock lid by placing valve closed
- Set Manual High pressure and select 5 minutes
- Once 5 minutes is up, perform a natural release for 5 minutes and then open valve to let remaining steam out
- Very carefully, remove the fruits and veggies from Instant pot and use your blender to puree to desired consistency.
- Add more water/breastmilk/formula to make puree thin and less to make it thicker