Baby Food Recipes for Your 6 Month Old

One of the most common questions of  first time moms is “What should my baby eat first?”.  When your baby is about to turn 6 months, a whole new world of care opens up.  You know that they are going to eat solids soon,  and need to start prepping and buying new food.  So, what are baby food recipes 6 months old babies love?

After going through this transition with 3 babies now, I have compiled some of the easiest baby food recipes to start with.  My whole month prep of baby food is a popular post, but maybe you just want to grab a couple things to start off with.  That is where this post comes in- a few tried and true, healthy, easy and yummy recipes to start off with. You don’t have to jump into making baby food and prep a whole month of food. 

The first foods you give your baby can be the same, regardless if you go with baby led weaning or making your own homemade baby food purees.  I have 3 boys and have tried both methods.  I enjoyed making baby food puree recipes, but each one of my babies felt differently about them.  My first wanted all things pureed, well into his first birthday.  While my second son got over them pretty quickly and wanted baby finger foods around 9 months. 

My third son was started with a combination of some purees and some baby led weaning finger foods.  I realize that there are strict blw (baby led weaning) advocates who avoid purees all together.  I’m obviously not in that boat, and felt that transitioning between the two was a seamless venture.  As with most things parenting, decide what works best for your family. It doesn’t have to line up with anyone else’s ideals. 

Related Post: All posts and meal preps for making baby food!

When do you start baby food?

First things first.  Let’s go over the guidelines of feeding your baby  before we jump into our favorite baby food recipes. Per the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies still get the majority of their nutrition from breast milk or formula until 1 year of age (24-32 ounces daily).  Most babies start eating solids at 6 months, but your doctor may tell you that your baby is ready at 4 months.

*I’ve never started at 4 months, and there is new evidence that there aren’t nutritional benefits to starting that early.  Many parents have thought it helps with sleep, but working on sleep schedules is the most beneficial way to get your baby on a better sleeping routine. But again- this is one of those decisions you can make with your pediatrician and personal research.

How much baby food should a 6 month old baby eat?

Since the majority of nutrients still come from breast milk or formula, babies do not eat a lot of food initially. They’ll eat about 3 times a day. At 6 months it may only be about an ounce, which is two tablespoons. Conveniently, the size of one ice cube if you are freezing your baby food. As they get older, it’ll increase to 2 ounces and then 3-4 ounces around 10 months.  

If you are following baby led weaning, initially they might chew on one slice of avocado or banana- but not actually consume the majority of it.  They are mostly practicing the act of picking up food and how to eat it. 

Food is just a supplement at 6 months, and a great age to experiment with different baby food recipes.  It becomes more substantive those last two months of their first year (10-12) when they eat lots of finger foods and more of what the family eats. When your baby turns one, they start getting the majority of their nutrients from table food.   

Related Posts: Master List of Food Ideas for 1 Year Old Babies, 10 Simple Finger Foods Meals for a One Year Old

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, please refer to the disclosure policy for more information. 

What You Need to Make Baby Food

You can find a complete and comprehensive list of what you need to make baby food here.  These are a few must haves to get started:

  • Something to cook the food in– lots of steaming and roasting fruits and veggies: Steamer or Aroma Rice Cooker with steamer, pots and pans and/or Instant Pot.
  • Pureeing tools: Immersion hand blender like this  Cuisinart is one of my favorite pureeing tools as I can put it right into a pot or large bowl. Regular blender like this Ninja blender or any other kind you have work perfectly as well. 
  •  Storage Containers and Freezing: Ice cube trays with lids– 4 pack.  Made specifically for baby food:  Mumi&Bubi – 2 stackable trays with 42 total 1 ounce compartments.  Sage Spoonfuls container set has 12 plastic containers that can be taken in a diaper bag for a meal on the go- excellent quality and price.
  • Reusable Pouches: Infantino squeeze pouches– You can get packs of 50 or 100! Infantino squeeze station– To help fill baby food pouches with no mess.   

Stage 1 Baby Food Recipes

avocado baby food recipes 6 month old babiesAvocado

This has been my first food every time.  I always have some around for myself, they are healthy and don’t have to be cooked, making avocados a great first food. Make sure it’s ripe and ready to be eaten.  You can smush a slice with a fork for baby food puree, or give the slice directly to your baby for baby led weaning. Start with just avocado, but then expand to more advanced recipes. Perfect combinations: avocado with banana, avocado and apple (with cinnamon if you want), avocado, sweet potato and garlic, avocado and butternut squash

Avocado and Banana– No cooking! Just cut off a slice of avocado and a few pieces of banana and smush together with a fork. Easy peasy. 

Avocado and Apple- Steam apples in Instant Pot for 5 minutes or boil on stovetop for 10 minutes. Blend into puree. (full instructions below)  Mix 3 tablespoons with a smushed slice of avocado. Sprinkle cinnamon on top for some variation. 

Avocado and Sweet Potato (or Butternut Squash)– Avocado mixes well with either of these vegetables and they both are cooked similarly. After your baby has eaten all 3 in a few different combinations, you can mix all 3 together with a little garlic or other seasoning to add variety. Broil sweet potato or butternut squash for 45 minutes or cook in Instant Pot for 8 minutes. (Full instructions below). Combine a few tablespoons with a smushed slice of avocado. 

Banana

Same as avocado, all you need to do is have a ripe banana and a fork to smush it with. Recipes/perfect combinations are similar to avocado. Banana can be replaced in lieu of avocado in any of the recipes above. 

Banana and Blueberries– Another easy but tasty recipe. No cooking necessary. Just cut off a few pieces of banana and smush with a fork. Since blueberries have a skin, I blend them in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender in a bowl. Combine a few tablespoons with your smushed slices of banana.  Eventually add cinammon or other baking spices for variety and texture. 

Blueberries

6 month old baby food recipes blueberries

Blueberries are a great antioxidant and first food for baby.  Or any berry for that matter. I always start with blueberries and integrate the others when I transition to finger foods. You can choose whichever you like.  None of them need to be cooked. Just pick a ripe batch. Blend in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender in a bowl.  Voila.

Blueberries and Apple (or Pear)- Steam apples in Instant Pot for 5 minutes or boil on stovetop for 10 minutes. (full instructions below)  For one serving: mix 3 tablespoons with 3 tablespoons of blended blueberries. Or mix equal batches together for lots of meals. Sprinkle cinnamon on top for some variation. 

Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is always in my baby food and toddler meal rotation. It’s a perfect base for many recipes. All of my babies have loved the sweet and hearty flavor of sweet potatoes, and the consistency is smooth so no texture aversions if your baby is picky. (Butternut Squash cooks the same amount of time, so if you have both- cook them together.)

It also can be mixed with most fruits and vegetables, but here are some favorites. If you are doing baby led weaning or transitioning to finger foods- you must check out this recipe for sweet potato fries.

Sweet Potato and Apple- Roast or pressure cook sweet potato and blend. Steam apples in Instant Pot for 5 minutes or boil on stovetop for 10 minutes. Blend into puree. (full instructions below)  Mix 3 tablespoons of each together for one serving or entire batches for an easy go to recipe. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of a single serving for some variation. 

Sweet Potato and Banana (or Avocado)– Cook sweet potato as instructed and combine with smushed banana or avocado. It may sound weird, but they also taste great all together. 

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash– Cook them together as instructed below.  Perfect combination. You can add garlic powder and ground thyme for more savory or cinnamon for spice. These are obviously my go to spices, but you can play with any others you’d like.  

OVEN:

  • Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
  • Wash sweet potato and poke it with a fork all the way around.
  • Put on cookie sheet.
  • Cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

INSTANT POT:

  • Wash sweet potato and poke it with a fork all the way around.
  • Put one cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot. 
  • Place trivet on the bottom (you don’t have to, but will be helpful so that you can scoop the sweet potato out and decide how much water you want to mix in when blending)
  • Turn on manual high pressure for 8 minutes. 
  • Let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, then switch to quick release

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is another perfect base for so many recipes. Easily mixed with fruits and vegetables alike.  I use it as a staple in my house, just like sweet potato. They also are cooked the same amount of time so I often  buy both and cook together.  Any of the recipes made with sweet potato can be substituted with butternut squash. It’s not as thick and a bit sweeter, loved by all of my babies!

OVEN:

  • Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out seeds and lay flat on the cookie sheet.
  • Cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

INSTANT POT:

  • Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out seeds and cut halves into quarters.
  • Put one cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot. 
  • Place trivet on the bottom (you don’t have to, but will be helpful so that you can scoop the butternut squash out and decide how much water you want to mix in when blending)
  • Turn on manual high pressure for 8 minutes. 
  • Let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, then switch to quick release

Apples

apple sauce pouches for babies or toddlers

One of the best parts of cooking apples is trying different varieties- either separately or together. I love mixing tart granny smith apples with a more sweet red delicious apple.  It makes a perfect applesauce blend that all my babies- and now older kids love.  I always make extra- assemble some pouches and freeze the rest to use later. 

Favorite apple recipes listed in other sections, but apple is a staple fruit.  It’s perfectly combined with any other fruit or vegetable. 

STOVETOP

  • Peel and cut apples into slices.
  • When you are almost done, put two cups of water into the pot on high.
  • When water is boiling, place apples inside.
  • Boil for 8-10 minutes.

INSTANT POT

  • Put a cup of water at the bottom, insert trivet and add apples. 
  • Turn on manual high pressure for 4 minutes.  Natural release for 5 minutes, then switch to quick release. 

Pear

Cooking preparation and times are exactly like apples, so a harmonious cooking partner. Pears are similar to apples, but introduce a slightly different flavor and nutrients.

STOVETOP

  • Peel and cut pears into slices.
  • When you are almost done, put two cups of water into the pot on high.
  • When water is boiling, place pears inside.
  • Boil for 8-10 minutes.

INSTANT POT

  • Put a cup of water at the bottom, insert trivet and add pears. 
  • Turn on manual high pressure for 4 minutes.  Natural release for 5 minutes, then switch to quick release.

Peas

Stage 1 baby food recipes

Peas are naturally sweet so I love making them our first green vegetable.  Mix well with apple or pear (pictured above). Also a nice complement to the other vegetables in this list, particularly carrots, sweet potato or butternut squash. 

STEAMER:

  • Use a rice cooker or  steamer.  
  • Pour bag of frozen peas into the basket.
  • Arrange in steamer basket with 3 cups of water on the bottom.
  • Cook for 10 minutes.

INSTANT POT:

  • Put a cup of water into Instant Pot. 
  • Use steamer basket and pour bag of frozen peas inside.
  • Turn on manual high pressure for 4 minutes.  Quick release. 

Carrots

carrot apple baby food recipe

Carrots are so versatile! Naturally the round out this list as an essential vegetable to always have on hand. Love that I can chop some up for the rest of the family, and cook the rest for some baby food purees or finger foods for older babies.  Goes well with all the fruits and vegetables listed on this first foods list. 

STEAMER:

  • Use a rice cooker or  steamer.  
  • Cut carrots into pieces if bought full carrots. Baby carrots can just be thrown in. 
  • Arrange in steamer basket with 3 cups of water on the bottom.
  • Cook for 10 minutes.

INSTANT POT:

  • Put a cup of water into Instant Pot. 
  • Turn on manual high pressure for 6 minutes.  Quick release. 

Storing and Preparing Baby Food

Store your baby food recipes in airtight containers. In the refrigerator for 3-5 days or the freezer for 3-6 months.  You can check out the one month meal prep for freezing techniques. I use ice cube trays and take out a cube or two to defrost for each meal.  Microwave for 30 seconds to serve. 

Baby Led Weaning Sweet Potato Wedges Recipe

Sweet potato is one of the best first foods for baby! It’s stocked full of nutrients, super tasty and easy to cook in a variety of ways.  I’ve already included it in my baby food puree recipes, but with my third baby I decided to try some baby led weaning. The first foods I gave him are almost exactly as I did with purees. Started with avocado slices, then banana pieces followed by sweet potato and apples.  Baby led weaning sweet potato wedges is the first recipe I tailored specifically for him. It’s super easy and can be modified to a puree or served to your whole family.  baby enjoying sweet potato

What is Baby Led Weaning?

If you already know what baby led weaning is and are just interested in the recipe, feel free to skip this section!  I want to give a little context to the basics of blw (baby led weaning) and my stance on feeding babies.  Most importantly, feed your baby however you like. 🙂  There is no absolute right way to go about this and like most things, can depend on your baby and your family’s needs. 

Baby led weaning is essentially skipping purees all together and going straight to finger foods. “Weaning” is a little misleading, should be baby self feeding but the term was coined in the UK where it started. Babies have to be sitting up so essentially at least 6 months, able to grasp objects and have outgrown tongue thrust of pushing food out of their mouth. 

There are some moms that are 100% baby led weaning and never looked twice at a puree. That is obviously not my stance as I started with purees for both my other boys, and I’ve also done some purees with Rhys (my third) as well.  Originally I was going to skip purees this time, why not experiment since I had a whole other baby! 🙂 But he was not sitting up at 6 months, or 7 and did not have a general interest in feeding himself. So in addition to one meal that was a finger food he could self feed, I also did a couple meals of purees. Now that he’s 8 months and sitting up perfectly, he has a better handle on self feeding. 

How do I Know if I Should try BLW?

One of the biggest advocates for blw is that you don’t have to cook extra food, your baby gets exactly what you are already making and it’s easier for the whole family.  Since I prep my baby food a month at a time, it’s never been a huge chore for me.  Just one afternoon and I’m done for the next 30 days.  Easy peasy, as my 5 year old loves to say.

The other arguments for blw were enough for me to give it a try. First off, feeding babies purees originated when it was recommended that babies start getting food at 4 months. This age is too young for most babies to be sitting up and be ready for table food. That recommendation is slowly starting to go away, as more and more doctors and dietitians are saying there is no benefit for starting that early.  If you think about it, what were babies eating before the invention of blenders and mashed up food? They ate what their family ate.

Additionally, advocates for blw explain that babies can self pace and learn essential skills of feeding themselves.  I’ve always started this by 10 months, but with blw you can start earlier.  The food is cut into bigger pieces since your baby has not developed their pincer grasp at this point.  And since they are just getting used to eating food, biting off a big piece is safer than putting a small piece in their mouth that they can immediately swallow. 

Tips to Follow if using BLW 

  • Baby is sitting up at a 90 degree angle.  This position is important for them to chew, swallow and digest the food properly. So if you were advised to start feeding food to your baby at 4 months by their pediatrician, do not start with blw. 
  • Always monitor your baby while they eat. Do not leave them unattended while trying new foods. 
  • Don’t put the food in their mouth for them. If they are not eating, you can cut off a small piece and pre load it on a spoon. 

Baby Led Weaning Sweet Potato Wedges

One of the best things about this recipe, and sweet potatoes in general.  They can be modified very easily! You can mash them into a puree for your baby if they are not interested in the wedges.  Or you can sprinkle a little salt and feed them to your older children and spouse.  A variety of spices work well that helps introduce flavor variety, which is a great thing to do for babies! Just nothing spicy and no honey- after that, options are endless. 

Sweet Potato Wedge Recipe

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  

Step 2: Wash your two sweet potatoes. Grab a cutting board and knife.  Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise.  Cut those halves again.  Then again until you have 1 inch wedges. cut sweet potatoes

Step 3: You can do this step in a bowl or right on your baking sheet.  Lay out your wedges and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg all over. Toss to evenly coat. 

Other spice options: Only cinnamon, add a smidge of pepper, smoked paprika and cinnamon, cumin and cinnamon or an italian herb assortment (oregano, basil, rosemary).  *You can add a little salt after cooking for family members over the age of 1, but added salt is best avoided for baby as much as possible. 

The cinnamon and nutmeg remind me of Fall and Thanksgiving, they always come out delicious.  But feel free to play around with your favorite spice or herb combination. 

Step 4: Make sure you spread out the sweet potatoes evenly on the baking sheet- don’t overcrowd.

Step 5: Roast for 25 minutes. 

Step 6: Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.baby food first foods

Storage: Baby led weaning sweet potato wedges can be eaten right away, but also keep well for a later date. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months. 

Rhys is a fan. 🙂 

 

Enjoy! Would love to hear your thoughts or modifications below!

Baby Led Weaning Sweet Potato Wedges

Yummy sweet potato wedges for baby led weaning or a perfect toddler snack.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword: baby led weaning, sweet potato, sweet potato fries

Equipment

  • Baking Sheet and Oven

Ingredients

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1.5 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  
  • Wash your two sweet potatoes. Grab a cutting board and knife.  Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise.  Cut those halves again.  Then again until you have 1 inch wedges. 
  • You can do this step in a bowl or right on your baking sheet.  Lay out your wedges and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg all over. Toss to evenly coat. *Read Notes for other options.
  • Make sure you spread out the sweet potatoes evenly on the baking sheet- don't overcrowd.
  • Roast for 25 minutes. 
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Other spice options:
  • Only cinnamon, add a smidge of pepper
  • Smoked paprika and cinnamon
  • Cumin and cinnamon
  • Italian herb assortment (oregano, basil, rosemary). 
    • *You can add a little salt after cooking for family members over the age of 1, but added salt is best avoided for babies as much as possible. 
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months. 

 

How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce

This Instant Pot Applesauce is so easy to make! You can cook it up in minutes! Since there is no added sugar, it’s a perfect snack for anyone in your family- including babies and toddlers. Freezer friendly and easy to throw into yummy muffins as well. 

recipe instant pot applesauce no sugarIt’s mid October and beautiful in Chicago.  After living in Texas for years, it’s great to actually get a Fall- even though we won’t talk about what happens after. :-/  The fall activities are some of our favorites- pumpkin patches, getting ready for Halloween and seeing the leaves change colors. 

One of our favorites, that we’ve made a yearly tradition,  is to go apple picking.  It’s always a great time and the boys enjoy everything- from picking apples to corn mazes and petting farms.  This year we went with a couple other families. All the kids are running around picking apples and I’m engrossed in a conversation with the other moms.  Then, my 5 year old pops up from around a tree and shows me a bag FILLED with apples.  “Mommy, look! I’m seeing how many I can pick and fit in here!” 

Oh man, there were so many.  We didn’t want to burst his little heart so we bought all of them, and the huge bag his brother filled up.  If that wasn’t enough, guess who dropped by with tons more apples the very same day?! Their grandma.  Lol.  All good problems of course, but I knew we would have some spoiled apples if we didn’t do something with the majority of them.  That is how this Instant Pot Applesauce was born, and it was sooo easy to make. An instant classic with everyone from the baby to the parents. 

This post contains affiliate links, please refer to my disclosure policy for more information. 

Why use an Instant Pot for Applesauce?

applesauce recipeI’ve made applesauce a variety of ways. It’s been a favorite for all 3 of my boys, from babies to the present.  On the stovetop, in a steamer etc. – it’s always been included in my baby food puree meal preps. The Instant Pot applesauce version was just as good, if not better, and a lot easier.  I didn’t have to wait for water to boil and I could blend them right in the pot.  

There are some spices in this recipe, but no added sugar.  You can easily omit the spices if your family does not like them, but it adds a nice depth to the flavor.  Also, if you prefer to  sweeten with sugar, taste it first and add as needed.  I personally have never done that with applesauce I make, the added sugar in store bought varieties is a big reason why I like to make my own.  

The key to making applesauce great without extra add ins, is to use a variety of apples.  Mix some sweet Red Delicious, Gala and Honeycrisp with a few Granny Smith or Jonagolds for a more tart taste. Any variety would work well. We used 3-4 kinds that we had picked, but I love mixing Gala and Granny Smiths together.  Whichever are your favorites!

variety of apples for cooking

How to Prep the Apples

Don’t know why I haven’t invested in one of these! But if you have a johnny apple peeler, this step will be super easy. It will core, peel and cut your apples.  

Since I have an apple cutter, I peeled them first and then used it to core and slice all of them.  Which was pretty simple still. 

Cooking the Apples in the Instant Pot 

instant pot apples before cooking cinammonToss the apples into the water and lemon juice.  Top with your spices and set to high pressure for 5 minutes.  Let it release naturally for 10 minutes, before finishing with a quick release.  Smash with a potato masher or immersion blender.  That’s it! 

Storing Your Applesauce

storing instant pot applesauceThe applesauce will keep 7-10 days in the refrigerator or up to 2-3 months in the freezer.  I made a lot! So I put some in small containers, some in bigger and a bunch in reusable pouches that work well with all my children.  Some of them went in the fridge and I froze the rest to use in later weeks. I did use some of the applesauce in a muffin recipe and they were sooo good! I will share that recipe soon. reusuable pouches applesauce baby food

Instant Pot Applesauce

Simple assortment of apples and spices make the perfect applesauce, eat it as an afternoon snack or use as a base for muffins or cakes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish, Snack

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs apples Use any variety that is your favorite- or a mix!
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tblsp lemon juice preserves color

Instructions

  • Peel and core apples- using a johnny apple peeler makes this step super easy!
  • Add water and lemon to Instant Pot. (Apples release water so you do not need the usual amount of 1 cup. 1/2 is plenty.
  • Add apples and spices. Toss to mix.
  • Cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Release naturally for 10 minutes, then switch to quick release.
  • Mash the apples with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender for a smoother consistency.
  • Serve warm or allow to cool.
  • Store in the fridge for 7-10 days or freeze for 2-3 months.

Notes

This applesauce is naturally sweet, but you can sweeten with sugar if you like.  Spices can also be omitted or added based on your family's preferences. 

 

The Ultimate List of Everything You Need to Make Baby Food

If you are getting started on making your own baby food, I’m sure you are wondering what you need and how to get going.   Seeing the meal plan instructions with all the materials needed may be a little much to take in at one time.   So a good place to start is being prepared by getting everything you need in order. This is an all encompassing list of everything you may need to make baby food. Thinking about making baby food? This is the ultimate list of everything you need to make baby food- lots of options so you can find your perfect tools. things needed to make baby food, tools needed to make baby food, what do I need to make baby food

You do not need everything on this list, but there are options in each category based on different preferences.  For example, maybe you want the most budget friendly option, or only glass containers, etc.  

I’ve listed some of the materials in my baby food prep plans, but I have also discovered lots of new amazing tools. They make cooking baby food even easier and more fun!  

After you are done shopping, you are prepared to get started. Make sure you save the meal prep plan that best fits your baby’s age:

For Cooking

This is a comprehensive list, but you’ll probably have most of the tools already in your kitchen.

Pureeing Tools

For quick prepping, I like to use a combination of tools. My favorites are the ninja and hand blender.

  • Food processor – great for easy chopping but you may need something more powerful for carrots and harder vegetables.
  • Immersion hand blender like this  Cuisinart works well and it’s easily stored.
  • Regular blender like this Ninja blender is perfect because it also comes with individual cups. This is what I initially used because I already had it.   
  • baby bullet is a great option because it also comes with storage containers.

Storage Containers & Freezing

I’m all about making big batches of baby food, so a lot of trays is necessary to get a month’s worth of baby food. I have a variety of ice cube trays and also baby food specific trays.  These are some of my favorites and other great options loved by many moms.

Why ice cube trays?? Each cube is 1 ounce so it’s a perfect amount for baby food. Stage 1:  2-3 cubes per meal, or 1 cube with baby cereal. Stage 2: 3-4 cubes or 2 cubes with baby cereal.

  • You can start with just basic ice cube trays– 4-10 is ideal to freeze large quantities of food at a time, that will produce a variety of recipes.  
  • Ice cube trays with lids– 4 pack. Great for baby food, especially if you don’t want them exposed in your freezer. OXO Tot is a favorite brand for many and they also carry a covered freezer tray.
  • There are a lot of options made specifically for baby food:  Mumi&Bubi – 2 stackable trays with 42 total 1 ounce compartments.  Comes with a lid and more compact than ice cube trays.
  • Kid Simple-Budget friendly version of the Mumi&Bubi trays.

Individual Container Options

Pouch Systems

There are some amazing reusable baby food pouches! You can still have the best of both worlds. The convenience of buying pouches is a common reason many state for not making their own baby food.  This way is healthier, cheaper and just as convenient!

  • Weesprout Food Pouch– 6 pack, 5 fl oz- Great reviews and nice that you can see the inside.  Only downside is the small amount- so these are a good choice if you don’t think you’ll want a lot of pouches.
  • Infantino squeeze pouches– You can get packs of 50 or 100!
  • Infantino squeeze station– No mess here!  They have this homemade baby food pouch thing all thought out.
  • A pack of two infantino spoons that can be attached to the pouches.

Feeding

Many times, you can use one of the baby food storage containers as a serving bowl.  This way- you can put the lid on if your baby didn’t finish.  There are also some specific dishes for babies and accessories you and your baby may like!

Baby Finger Foods

Finger foods are a little bit different in terms of cooking and eating, which is why there are some new unique items for this transition. It’s an exciting phase though, especially when they are fully feeding themselves.  Can get very messy though!

Cooking

  • Regular Muffin Pan
  • Mini Muffin Pan (These are a perfect size for baby and toddler food. But if you don’t buy one, you can use a regular muffin tin and cut them in half)
  • A cookie sheet (2 if you don’t have mini muffin tin)
  • Parchment paper and aluminum foil
  • 2-4 mixing bowls
  • Optional for making bite size meatballs or oatmeal bites- Scooper
  • Plastic wrap and freezer ziploc bags

Storing

Eating

  • Silicone place mats with plates or get this super cute cloud design. They transition perfectly with your child to finger foods and self feeding.
  • Eating on the go: Disposable silicone mats are perfect for restaurants!

Resources & Recipes:

Besides the meal plans featured here, these are a couple great books for more recipes and ideas:

And that’s it! You are all set to get started, just pick the right meal plan for you:

Happy Cooking! Did I miss any of your favorite baby food cooking tools? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

1 Month of Easy & Healthy Baby Finger Food Recipes- Meal Prep Plan!

Take a deep breath.  You almost have a one year old.  Eek! It’s exciting and sad all at the same time!  As I write this my son Ellis is 11 months old and WOW, so many new things all the time.  Practicing walking (not quite there yet), saying “dada”, and learning to feed himself.  Lots of exciting milestones and creating a new toddler schedule. Just take them all in because time really does fly! Today we are going to prep an entire month of healthy baby finger food recipes in one afternoon! It’s an easy plan that will leave you prepared,  with stress free nutritious meals to feed your baby.Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

This meal prep plan is for stage 3 of baby food or baby finger foods, 10-12 months old. It can also be slightly modified for one year olds!   I feed my 2 and 1/2 year old some of the recipes so it can definitely keep growing with your child. 

 If you have a younger baby make sure you check out stage 1 (6-8 months) and stage 2 (8-10) baby food plans.  A little recap on the best reasons to make your own baby food. Saves money, no unknown additives and prepping the whole month in a day saves time!  What more do you need?

Related posts: easy no cook meals for one year olds or quick breakfast ideas for one year olds.  You don’t always have to prep and cook! It’s all about balance. 🙂

In stage 2 baby foods, we started to get them used to chunkier consistencies and a variety of flavors with spices. These last two months of the first year are all about finger foods!  You might have done some finger food snacks, but now you’ll integrate them into meals.  Your baby is starting to develop their pincer grasp to pick small things up- like food and put it in their mouth. After their first birthday, they mostly eat table food and start working on using silverware. Even if your baby is loovvving those purees, it’s an important milestone for them to learn how to chew and how to put food in their mouths.  

*Make sure you scroll to the end to subscribe and get a complete resource guide for making homemade baby food! Complete with 50+ recipe ideas for this meal plan, a shopping list and more!

What does stage 3 mean?

It means you almost have a toddler!  And the last phase of making baby food, but these foods are also perfect for one year olds.  The amount of purees you give these last two months will depend on your child.  My first son Miles loved his purees and wasn’t as interested in feeding himself- but we still added some finger foods.  My second son Ellis tries to dip his fingers in the puree and feed himself by licking it off his hand.  Sooo, yes he is all about feeding himself and is kind of over baby food!  I made a minimal amount of purees this month.

  • 3 meals and 2 snacks (in addition to breast milk or formula)
  • Use purees as a backup plan if your baby does not want the bite size food.  
  • Optional: This is debated whether you should start cow’s milk before first birthday. If you do, in the last month start giving about ¼ cup of whole milk (or water) in sippy cup.  Gets them used to using a cup versus bottle and drinking cold instead of warm like formula and breast milk.
  • Balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, dairy, grains and protein.
  • Choking is a huge worry for parents starting finger foods.  We’ll talk about no-no foods and the size to cut things up.  Don’t leave them unattended when trying these new foods, but also don’t worry too much because they are age appropriate!
  • No juice or honey until after first birthday.Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

A couple of disclaimers before we start!

Just like cooking for your family, planning is key and following this strategy is exactly that.  Meal planning 2.0- the baby version! If you decide to make your own healthy baby finger food recipes, you still don’t want it to be another chore or run out of certain foods mid week. Does this happen sometimes? Of course! We are human. But I always feel best after I prep for the whole month in one afternoon.  You can too!

Make sure you are in the right age group!  Follow the initial plan of introducing baby food if your baby has not started to eat solids (6-8 Months) or stage 2 baby food if they are between 8-10 months.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on the amount of sugar that is in all of our food and it’s out of control!  None of the recipes include added sugar and very minimal salt if at all.  For the same reasons it’s not recommended to give your babies juice before their first birthday, they do not need the added sugar. We may think it tastes bad without sugar but it’s an acquired taste! See if they like it, you may be surprised.

As someone with an older picky toddler, I made the mistake of giving Miles what I knew he liked a lot instead of focusing on exposing him to new foods and textures.  They may grow to love them.  That is the only way they learn to eat new foods.

Remember that babies still get the majority of their nutrition from breast milk or formula until 1 year of age (24-32 ounces daily).  A newer recommendation from the AAP is to introduce eggs, nuts and fish before a baby’s first birthday to prevent the development of allergies.

Since we are focusing on finger foods, make sure you watch out for these top 8 choking hazards:

  • Hot dogs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grapes
  • Hard candy
  • Big chunks of meat or cheese
  • Popcorn
  • Peanut Butter (can be fed in a very thin spread)
  • Raw vegetables

Okay, back to cooking!

This meal plan is very different than the first two plans because we are cooking more recipes and putting together nutritious and yummy bites that can be frozen and then grabbed on the go.  Don’t be alarmed! It’s still very easy.  If it seems long, it’s because I wanted to make sure the directions are super detailed and clear in addition to pointing out modifications you can do. Will take 3-4 hours to complete (that’s how long it took me, but I was stopping a lot to take pictures for you guys).

My goal is to always find recipes that blend in green vegetables because my sons usually eat around them if served individually. I’m not giving up completely for them to learn eating greenies alone, which is why cut up green beans is part of the plan!

What’s on the menu?

(*Original recipe links are in the steps below if you want instructions separated.  Check out my other meal prep for planning an easy Breakfast month!)

  • *Broccoli Bell Pepper Egg Muffins
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • *Baby Food Oatmeal Bites
  • *Chicken Zucchini Carrot Meatballs
  • Chopped and pureed green beans, apples, carrots and sweet potatoes
  • Chopped blueberries and strawberries

Other super easy finger foods to have on hand:

  • Bananas
  • Pasta
  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Plain Yogurt

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you!

You will need:

*Read a more extensive list of everything you need to make baby food.

  • Regular Muffin Pan
  • Mini Muffin Pan (I can’t believe I don’t have one, ordered after I finished this day of cooking. Perfect size for toddlers. You can use a regular muffin tin and cut them in half.
  • 1 cookie sheet (2 if you don’t have mini muffin tin)
  • Parchment paper and aluminum foil
  • Cutting board, knife, grater and peeler
  • 2-4 bowls for mixing
  • Steamer or Rice Cooker with steamer
  • 1 medium sized pot
  • Food processor or hand blender , regular blender, or baby bullet (or all 4!)
  • Ice cube trays– 2
  • Plastic wrap and freezer ziploc bags
  • Elacra 6 ounce baby food containers (or other freezer friendly brand)
  • Optional- Scooper

Grocery List:

This list is everything you need to make the four recipes and the fruit/vegetable finger foods listed above.  

  • 1 pound of ground chicken (I grinded chicken breasts myself because I got 2 pounds for the whole family)
  • 13 Eggs (you can get away with 12, just use 11 for egg muffins)
  • 2 and ½ cups of Oats- I used 1 minute Quaker Oats
  • 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onions- chopped
  • 3 Sweet Potatoes- 2 for sweet potato fries and 1 for puree or finger foods.
  • 1 Avocado
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1 floret of broccoli
  • 1 Zucchini- grated
  • A pound of green beans
  • 1/2 cup Carrots grated (About 2 regular)
    • The rest of the carrots are steamed and cut up. Since you most likely bought a bag of regular or mini carrots.
  • 6 Apples- Need 1 and ½ cups of pureed apples for recipes and the rest is used for finger foods.
  • 1 Banana
  • Pint of blueberries and strawberries (not for recipes, just cut up for finger foods)

Options and Modifications

  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs- for chicken meatballs- I omitted them because mine had added sugar which I don’t want baby to eat.
  • Zucchini is for chicken meatballs- can be subbed for chopped up Spinach. Perfect place for a green veggie! My toddler didn’t even know. I may have said “gotcha!” when he finished eating them.  Lol.
  • Baby Food Oatmeal Bites- had 1 cup of pumpkin with ½ cup of applesauce in original recipe.  I omitted pumpkin and did 1 and ½ cups of applesauce. I thought butternut squash may also be good.
  • Broccoli and red bell pepper are for egg muffins- there are many variations out there for these- again perfect place for green veggies.
  • Finger foods- can be subbed for what you want but may affect steaming times.

Pantry items

  • Cooking spray
  • Olive oil
  • Baking Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Parsley
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin

Download Your Free Baby Food Resource Guide!

Use this resource guide for all 6 months of baby food! Includes shopping lists and recipes for all 3 stages, a first foods log and a meal planning tracker.

Subscribe (free!) to my newsletter with 23K+ moms and get tips for mom life, projects, and meal preps PLUS get instant access to my resource library with ALL of my other free files and printables (including this baby food resource guide)! Once subscribed, I will send you a newsletter with all the details.

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Pre Step 1:

Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas
Ignore milk and flour, I deleted a muffin recipe that was just too much stuff!

Get out everything you need! Check list above. Clean off your counters and make enough space so you can cook calmly.

Step 1:

First up is the Broccoli Cheese Egg Muffins.  I loosely followed this recipe but I didn’t pre cook veggies, used garlic powder instead of nutmeg, I used 12 entire eggs (instead of just egg whites for 4 of them) and I used 1 green onion instead of a sweet onion.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop up 1 floret of broccoli, ½ of a red bell pepper and 1 green onion.Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Crack 12 eggs into a bowl. Mix together and add 1 and ½ cups of shredded cheese. Stir.

Mix veggies into bowl. Stir all together.

Get a regular muffin pan and coat with cooking spray or use wrappers.

Use a ½ cup measuring cup to scoop out mix and fill muffin pans. ( I thought this was the perfect size for filling the cups. You can also pour or use a spoon.  Whatever works for you!)Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

If oven is ready… Put them in the oven for 20-22 minutes.

If oven is not ready, move on to next step until it is ready.

Step 2:

This step is for steaming some veggies for finger foods and purees.

Peel 3 sweet potatoes.  Cut 1 into 4 even pieces.  

I use a rice cooker for steaming, because that is what I have but other people love this steamer.  

Arrange 1 sweet potato, 1 pound of greens, and carrots into steamer tray.  (All your carrots besides 2 or 6 mini ones that you will grate for other recipe)

Pour 2 cups of water on the bottom.

Set timer for 20 minutes.

Step 3:

There are a lot of sweet potato fry recipes out there- this one does not come out too crispy which I liked for baby purposes.  I reheat them in the toaster for my toddler to get that crispy crust.

Cut the other two sweet potatoes into “fries” or sticks. Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Arrange on cookie sheet. I line mine with aluminum foil for cleaning purposes. 🙂

Drizzle with olive oil, a little salt, garlic powder and parsley.  (Optional- season however way you want but easy on the salt)Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Are your egg muffins done??  If so, take them out to cool.  Reset oven to 425.

When oven is preheated, add sweet potatoes.  Set timer for 15 minutes. Flip over. Put back in for 15 more minutes.

*Every time you are waiting for oven to finish cooking or preheating, move on to next step of prep.  Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Step 4:

This step is all about apples- we will puree half of our apples for the oatmeal bites and the chicken meatballs.  The rest can be turned into finger food pieces or pureed as well.  We’ll talk more about that soon!

Peel and cut all apples into medium sized pieces.

When you are almost done, put 3 cups of water into the pot on high.

When water is boiling, put apples inside.

Boil for 8-10 minutes.  

Step 5:

Next step is the Baby Food Oatmeal Bites! Original recipe called for a cup of pumpkin and ½ a cup of applesauce. I did not have pumpkin so I did a cup and a half of pureed apples.  They came out great but I will try it again and either use pumpkin or another squash like butternut.  I also added extra cinnamon because yum!  

First take a bowl and put 1 banana and 1 avocado inside.  Mash them up with a fork.  Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

In another bowl, mix 2 and ½ cups of 1 minute Quaker Oats and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.  

Step 5B

Pause.  Do you need to flip your sweet potatoes?  Or are your apples done?

Take a minute to do both of those tasks if they are ready.  

* If your apples aren’t done, move on to the first part of step 7 (grate an entire zucchini and 2ish carrots) and come back. You need the apples to finish oatmeal bites.

Drain apples.  Take half of them out and put into blender. We’ll come back to the other half.  I used an individual cup of the ninja blender.  If you’ve made baby food in the past, you know there are many different things you can use to puree food processor, a baby bullet, hand blender or a ninja (any kind) blender.  I love my ninja for various reasons, but I am really dying for a hand blender to try other fun recipes.

Measure 1 ½ cups of pureed apples and add into your banana and avocado mix.  (Or if you are following original recipe- 1 cup of pumpkin and ½ cup of pureed apples)

Pour the mix of oats, cinnamon, and baking powder into the banana, avocado, apple bowl.  Mix together well.

Take a mini muffin pan and coat with cooking spray.  I didn’t have one at the time so I used a cookie sheet.

If no muffin pan, get a cookie sheet and line with parchment paper.  Coat with cooking spray.  Make oatmeal balls with your hands and arrange on sheet.Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Mine were huge! Still very delicious. They ended up being 15, but I cut them in half to give to baby Ellis.  Make yours smaller than I did for a perfect bite. Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Step 6:

When sweet potatoes are done, take them out to cool.  Change setting on oven to 350.Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Cook oatmeal bites for 10-12 minutes.  (Since my “bites” were sized for giants, I cooked them 20)

Step 7:

Up next is your Chicken + Carrot Meatballs!  Of course, I changed a couple of things from the recipe.  I used a zucchini instead of spinach, added garlic powder because I pretty much put garlic in everything, and I omitted the breadcrumbs because I only had Progress Italian crumbs- high fructose corn syrup are in ingredients and I wanted that nowhere near my baby food.  If I had some pure whole wheat bread crumbs I would have added those, but they were delicious nonetheless!

Cut the ends of your zucchini and grate the entire thing.  It ended up being more than half a cup, but since this is a way I can get my kids to eat green vegetables- the more the better!

Grate carrots until you fill half a cup.  

*If your oatmeal bites finish cooking in the middle of this step, take them out and put oven temp at 450.

Cut one green onion into small pieces.Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideasPut 1 pound of ground chicken in a bowl and knead in all ingredients with your hands.  Veggies, 1/4 pureed apples, 1 egg, light salt, pepper, ½ tsp of cumin and garlic powder.  

*Just like oatmeal bites, this can be done in muffin pans so if you have two use the other one! If not, they are a lot easier to form into balls than the oatmeal was.

Coat pan or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper with cooking spray.  

Make chicken meatballs with your hands and arrange on sheet or in tray.Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Step 8:

Your oatmeal bites should be done by now.  Take them out and change temp on oven to 450.  When preheated, put in your chicken meatballs for 12 minutes (maybe a few more minutes depending on your oven).

Step 9:

Go back to your apples and steamed vegetables.  I chose to make most of mine cut up finger foods because that is what Ellis is loving.  My first ate finger foods but still loved his purees until his first birthday. If you are following this plan for a one year old- do all finger food!    

This is what I did:

Cut up all of your apples and put some in the freezer and some in the fridge.  Do the same with carrots (make sure you can smush carrots with fingers- if not cook longer).

Cut up half of your green beans and puree the other half.  Puree your sweet potato in blender.  

Pour purees into ice cube trays.  

*Bonus step- I also cut up a few strawberries and put them in a container for easy meal times!  I’ve done it with cheese also.  Mealtimes are a little crazy at my house so any way I can make them easier is a win.  Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Step 10:

Freeze or Refrigerate!

Egg muffins- last in the fridge up to a week.  To freeze- wrap individually in plastic wrap and then put in a large ziplock bag. (I kept a few in the fridge and froze the rest). Defrost 1-2 minutes in microwave.

Oatmeal bites- same as egg muffins. Defrost 1 minute.

Meatballs- I put a few in the fridge and the rest directly in a ziploc bag.  Last 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in freezer.  Defrost 1 minute.

I got these absolutely fabulous containers from Amazon.  They are 6 ounces, sturdier than other tupperware- dishwasher and freezer friendly!  As you can see in the following picture, I split up a lot of the foods into two containers.  A little bit for the refrigerator, and the rest for the freezer. When I run out I take more from the freezer stash and transfer it over- this way they defrost slowly in fridge.

If you look at the bottom container on the right- it has a complete meal already to go!  An oatmeal bite, cut up carrots, green beans and strawberries.  Perfect to grab if you will be out with your baby or toddler at meal time.  Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas

Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas
Ready to Go!

Step 11:

Show all this hard work to your husband- how much you cooked and how easy it will be for him to feed the baby (and toddler!) as well.  

Drip some water on your face like you’re sweating, hold onto your lower back like it hurts and manipulate convince him to clean up this mess for you!  🙂  

Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas
Lunch! Cut up chicken meatball with strawberries and cheese.

As you can see in the pictures, this plate/mat is not a perfect fit on our Graco high chair but I still love it.  Especially great if you have a highchair that attaches to a table.  Perfect to practice eating on a plate!

Voila!  

Pat yourself on the back, especially if you have done a previous prep because you are rocking this baby food!  You have over a month’s worth of food! More than a month if you also include other things such as yogurt and other meals.  It may be under if your husband “steals” all the sweet potato fries or you are also feeding a toddler with this plan. 

Homemade baby finger foods, healthy baby finger food recipes, easy meal prep plan for babies, stage 3 baby food, freezer friendly baby finger foods, baby finger food ideas
He’s very passionate about eating!

FREE Resource Guide! Sign up below and get a shopping list plus 50+ recipe ideas for the month.

Happy meal prep! Let me know if you have questions and enjoy the rest of your cook free (at least baby) month!

$20 for 1 Month of Stage 2 Homemade Baby Food- with Free Printable of 60 Recipes!

This month is all about making baby food even more fun with spices, new ingredients AND showing how budget friendly it is! This plan is for one month of stage 2 homemade baby food recipes (8-10 months old).

*Make sure to read the intro to making baby food if your baby is younger than 8 months! Save this one and come back later :-). After your baby has reached 10 months, you can prep a month’s worth of easy and healthy baby finger foods. All 3 plans are included in the homemade baby food resource guide you can download at the end!

One Hour for One Month’s Worth of Homemade Baby Food- 40+ Stage 1 Recipes!

Making homemade baby food does not have to be another chore! It can actually be really enjoyable and I personally love making it. I have never bought jarred food for my first son Miles that is 2 and ½ and am now making it for my second son Ellis who is 7 months old.  I say that ONLY to tell you that I have gone through a lot of different ways of making it, until I figured out what I think is the best way to go!  

Just like cooking for your family, planning is key. You don’t want it to be something you have to do all the time or worry about having enough.  Does this happen sometimes? Of course! We are human. But I always feel best after I follow this strategy, and I don’t have to worry if I’ll have enough food or variety for the month.  If you have 1 hour, you can make one month worth of food with 40+ different recipes!  This meal plan is for stage 1 of baby food, 6-8 months old.

UPDATED on 9/20/19! New pictures and made a few changes to the steps, adding in options for an instant pot that made this even faster!

Related Post: If you want to start with easy, one and done recipes: Baby Food Recipes for your 6 Month Old 

Related: All posts on baby food,  If your baby is 8-10 months old, make sure to check out the stage 2 plan! For 10-12 months old (or baby led weaning!), some easy and healthy baby finger foods

A couple of disclaimers before we start!

This article is not to convince anyone to make your own homemade baby food, but to give you a great strategy if you have decided this is the route you want to go!  There is nothing wrong with buying baby food.  Personally this is something I wanted to do for several reasons 1) saves money 2) I know exactly what is in the food 3) I don’t have to lock into buying premixed jars and could play around with different baby food recipes.  

Per American Academy of Pediatrics, babies still get the majority of their nutrition from breast milk or formula until 1 year of age (24-32 ounces daily).  Most babies start eating solids at 6 months, but your doctor may tell you that your baby is ready at 4 months. I’ve never started at 4 months, and there is new evidence that there aren’t nutritional benefits to starting early.  But again- this is one of those decisions you can make with your pediatrician and personal research. 

When you first start feeding your baby solids, give him one new food at a time for 3 days before starting the next.  This ensures that you will catch any allergic reaction they may have.  Once you know that your child can tolerate a food, introduce another single ingredient and repeat the process.  You can mix in previously tolerated food.  For example, if you start with sweet potatoes first for 3 days and you try apple next- you can mix in the sweet potato because you already have fed your baby sweet potato.  You wait 3 days after introducing apple to feed them a new food, and so forth.

Download Your Free Baby Food Resource Guide!

Use this resource guide for all 6 months of baby food! Includes shopping lists and recipes for all 3 stages, a first foods log and a meal planning tracker.

Subscribe (free!) to my newsletter with 23K+ moms and get tips for mom life, projects, and meal preps PLUS get instant access to my resource library with ALL of my other free files and printables (including this baby food resource guide)! Once subscribed, I will send you a newsletter with all the details.

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Okay, back to cooking!

I’m going to be upfront- this will cause lots of dishes.  🙁  That is  my least favorite chore to do!  I like to have the dishwasher empty so I can load it as I  go.  Or when reality happens, I put it off and regret it later but I have to at least tell you the optimal way of going about it!  What makes this process so fast is that I use different methods of cooking at the same time and everything I own that can puree.  Of course, you can also split it up and do it the way that fits your life best.  

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, please read my disclosure policy for more information. 

You will need:

Related: A more detailed list of everything you need to make baby food.

*** Why ice cube trays?? Each cube is 1 ounce so it’s a perfect amount for baby food.  I combine 2-3 cubes per meal.  I need a lot of trays because I freeze each fruit and vegetable separately, this is how you can get 40+ recipes in one meal prep afternoon!

But just because you make your own food doesn’t mean you need to be envious of others when they pull out their easy breezy baby food pouches.  There are some amazing reusable baby food pouches!  If you know you’ll be out and about a lot during the week, just prep a few on Sunday and have some ready to go food.

Grocery List of Fruits and Veggies:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Butternut Squash
  • 3 Apples
  • 3 Pears
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Carrots
  • Bag of Frozen Peas
  • Blueberries

You don’t need to cook the following, but are always great to have on hand:

  • Bananas
  • Avocados

Update: I used to have baby cereal here.  I’ve never really used much of it, a little with my first and none with my second. There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby cereal, but there is no value either.  So if you leave it out, they aren’t missing out on anything.  If your baby is 6 months, then fruits and veggies are perfect first foods. 

Step 1:

OVEN OPTION: Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

  • Wash sweet potato and poke it with a fork all the way around.
  • Put on cookie sheet.
  • Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out seeds and lay flat on the cookie sheet.
  • Move on to next step until oven is preheated.  Then put them in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

INSTANT POT OPTION:

  • Wash sweet potato and poke it with a fork all the way around.
  • Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out seeds and cut halves into quarters.
  • Put one cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot. 
  • Place trivet on the bottom (you don’t have to, but will be helpful so that you can scoop the veggies out and decide how much water you want to mix in when blending)
  • Turn on manual high pressure for 8 minutes. 
  • Let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, then switch to quick release. 

butternut squash and sweet potato

instant pot squash and sweet potato baby food

Step 2:

  • I use a rice cooker for this next step, because that is what I have but other people love this steamer.  
  • Cut zucchini, yellow squash and carrots into pieces.
  • Arrange in steamer basket with 3 cups of water on the bottom.
  • All of these cook in 10-20 minutes in my Aroma rice cooker. 

INSTANT POT VERSION:

  • Steam zucchini and squash alone for 10 minutes. 
  • Carrots will go in Instant Pot in the following step. 

Step 3:

  • Peel and cut apples and pears into medium sized pieces.
  • When you are almost done, put two cups of water into the pot on high.
  • When water is boiling, put apples and pears inside.
  • Boil for 8-10 minutes.  

INSTANT POT VERSION: Since your butternut squash and sweet potato only took 15 minutes, your Instant Pot should be ready for the next step. You can put in as many of these fruits and vegetables depending on the accessories you have,  or split it into multiple steps.  I used a steam basket and a pyrex bowl to steam the apples, pears, carrots and frozen peas at the same time. 

  • Put a cup of water at the bottom, insert trivet and add apples. Arrange carrots in the steam basket.  In another small pot or bowl (if it is oven safe, it’s Instant Pot safe), add frozen peas.
  • Turn on manual high pressure for 4 minutes.  Quick release. 

Step 4:

* Skip for Instant Pot Version, unless you did not have an extra pot or bowl. 

  • Put the frozen bag of peas in a microwavable bowl with a little bit of water.  
  • Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • As you can see, everything cooks at varying times.  I put the longest items first and the shortest last.  This way you can start blending, while the other fruits and vegetables are still cooking.

The next step is blending.  I put a little bit of water with all of these to help them puree (sweet potato needs a little extra water than the others to get smooth).  There are a few things you can use: a food processor, a baby bullet, hand blender or a ninja (any kind) blender.  Hands down the hand blender with the Instant Pot makes it the fastest. But if you are saving money and not trying to buy new gadgets, use what you have.

With Miles, I used the baby bullet.  My husband gave me the ninja for Christmas last year and I am obsessed with it, so now I used that AND a hand blender.  For the ninja, I use the main large blender and both individual cups to speed up time. 

Step 5:

  • While everything is cooking, puree blueberries- pour into ice cube tray.
  • Whichever vegetable is done first, puree it, pour into tray and repeat process until you have blended all of your fruits and vegetables. Do every fruit and vegetable separately.  This gives you more options for recipes and combinations. 
  • Make sure to scoop out butternut squash and peel your sweet potatoes after cooking and before blending.  I keep the skin on zucchini and yellow squash and blend it together. 

blend homemade baby food butternut squash

Step 6:

Arrange all of your trays with lids if they have them, and put in your freezer.

Step 7:

Freeze it all!  Overnight if possible. (If you don’t have enough ice cube trays, put the rest in the fridge.  When the first round is done freezing, put them in pre labeled bags with the date.  Then freeze the next batch.)

Step 8:

After all of your homemade baby food is frozen, take out and put into ziploc bags. Label with the fruit or vegetable.  This takes less freezer space and makes it really ease to grab the food that you need. 

Voila!  

Pat yourself on the back.  You have a month’s worth of baby food and 40+ different meal options! It’s pretty satisfying to see that huge amount of food all ready to go.  Make sure to check out and save the stage 2 (8-10 months) baby food meal prep and baby finger foods (10-12months) for when your baby is ready for exciting new ingredients!

Defrosting

I put 2 cubes in a small bowl and put in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir and check temperature- add more time in 5 second intervals to avoid food getting too hot.  Make sure to test it!

The homemade baby food resource guide will give you all the tools and recipes you need! Scroll down and subscribe to get access. Includes a first foods baby food log, baby meal tracker, shopping list and recipe ideas for all 3 stages. 

And of course, my latest happy customer!

first baby food sweet potato
Yum! Sweet Potatoes!

Happy Cooking!