$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!

I spent almost $20 for everything. I went to Stanley’s produce in Chicago; look around your area to find the best value on produce. Also, buy the produce that is in season and/or on sale.  Baby food is usually a little over a dollar per jar, which would add up to $60-$100 dollars a month!  After you complete this plan, pat yourself on the back for making your own baby food, planning a whole month in advance and saving money. Done and done!Homemade Baby Food, 1 Month, Stage 2 Baby Food Recipes, Free Printable of 60 Recipes

Around 8 months, your baby food takes an exciting turn! Your baby’s palate continues to develop as you introduce new foods and consistencies, getting them ready to transition to table food.  The food is more chunky, a necessary step in learning to “chew” food.

My favorite part is the addition of spices, which helps them develop a taste for flavors outside of salt and sugar.  Trust me- this is a lot harder to introduce after they are toddlers! Since there are a couple more foods in this age group, it will take a little longer than the stage 1 plan.  Still can be accomplished in about 2-3 hours for a whole month of food!

What does stage 2 mean?

  • Purees are more chunky instead of completely smooth
  • Introduce proteins (beans or meat)
  • Add spices (Apples with cinnamon! Yum!)
  • Small finger foods and teething crackers
  • Yogurt, cooked pasta and cheese as part of meals or snacks
  • More food per meal (especially if you have a very healthy baby like mine!)

My favorite spices to add:  

  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Ginger

*Scroll to the end of the article to subscribe and get a complete Homemade Baby Food Resource Guide with a printable shopping list, meal tracker and 60+ recipe ideas!

A couple of disclaimers before we start!

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 8 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 and 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 afternoon, you can make one month worth of food with 60+ different stage 2 recipes!

This article is not to convince anyone to make your own 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).  

It’s important you follow the initial plan of introducing baby food if your baby has not started to eat solids.

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Okay, back to cooking!

I’m sorry guys, this will cause even more dishes than the stage 1 monthly batch of baby food.  🙁 But only a couple!  As I’ve mentioned, that is my least favorite part- but still very worth it. Have the dishwasher empty before you start and save yourself a big headache.  Or be like me- put it off and regret it later (not a good idea). 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.  

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, 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.

*** Why ice cube trays?? Each cube is 1 ounce so it’s a perfect amount for baby food.  For 6-8 months, I combined 2-3 cubes per meal. Now I consistently do 3-4 cubes.  With baby cereal, I use 2 cubes or a quarter of a banana.

Lots of trays are key so you can freeze each fruit and vegetable separately, this is how you can get 60+ recipes in one meal prep afternoon! I also do two rounds of freezing, with 8 trays.

UPDATE! 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 you’ll be all set for easy to go food.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Stage 2 Homemade Baby Food Recipes

Grocery List of Fruits and Veggies:

  • Bag of Lentils (or 2 chicken breasts)- Protein source
  • Sweet Potato
  • Butternut Squash
  • 3 Apples
  • 3 Pears
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • Carrots (4-6)
  • Green Beans (About a pound)
  • Blueberries (A pint)
  • 2 Mangos

You don’t need to cook the following, but essential to have on hand:

  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Iron fortified cereal (¼ cup suggested daily)
  • Finger foods for snacks- cereal puffs, rice biscuits, teething wafers
  • Yogurt
  • Spices (cinnamon, garlic, basil, oregano, ginger, nutmeg)

Step 1:

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. baby food butternut squash sweet potato

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, carrots, and red bell peppers into pieces.

Arrange carrots, zucchini with green beans in steam tray.  Pour 3 cups of water on the bottom.

Set timer for 25 minutes. Baby Food Steam Green Beans Zucchini Carrots

After 15 minutes, take out the green beans and zucchini. Put in the red bell peppers with the carrots for the last 10 minutes.Baby Food Steam Carrots Red Bell Peppers

Step 3:

Pour half of the bag of lentils into boiling water.  I got overzealous about this whole “get it done in one afternoon” thing and made the whole bag.  Ellis will probably hate lentils by the end of the month, because I have so much!

Follow instructions listed on bag, but most likely you will cover the lentils and have them simmer for 15-20 minutes.

*This is the protein source for the month.  If you don’t want to use lentils, you can also do chicken or another meat or bean.  For chicken: cut 2 chicken breasts in half horizontally.  Put in ¼ inch of water and simmer for 8-12 minutes.  Then cut chicken into small pieces.

Step 4:

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.  

Step 5:

The next step is blending. 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.

There are a few things you can use: a food processor, a baby bullet, hand blender or a ninja (any kind) blender.  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 the baby bullet.  For the ninja, I use the main large blender and both individual cups to speed up time. Remember what I told you about the dishes? Using everything saves me time, because I don’t have to wash it out after pureeing every single food.  But it is definitely possible to make baby food using just one.

While everything is cooking- peel and cut mangos. Then puree them and pour into ice cube trays.  Do the same with the blueberries.

Step 6:

As apples and pears finish cooking, separate the pieces.  Apple is more yellow and pear is white.  You can keep them together, but I prefer to use apple at one time and pear at another for taste and texture varieties.

Pour into ice cube trays.Cut Apples and Pears Baby Food

Step 7:

Green beans and zucchini will be done next. Blend them separately and pour into trays.

Then red bell peppers and carrots.  (You need to add about ¼ cup of water with the carrots to get them to blend properly)

Step 8:

Pour lentils with a little bit of water into blender.  Then scoop into ice cube trays. One strategy to pour the baby food in a non messy way is to put in a ziploc bag and cut the corner of the bag.  (Same process for chicken) 

Lentils Baby Food in Trays
I promise they are better than they look 🙂

Step 9:

Scoop out the butternut squash and mash it up a little bit and add ¼ cup of water.  Blend for a more smooth consistency (you could also skip the blender this month, depending on how well it mashed). Pour into trays.

Do the same with the sweet potato.

Step 10:

Freeze it all!  (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.) This is what I do and it works out perfectly. 

Stage 2 Homemade Baby Food Frozen in Ice Cube Trays
Round 1 Freeze!

Voila!  

Pat yourself on the back.  You have a month’s worth of baby food, 60+ different meal options AND you saved money! It’s pretty satisfying to see that huge amount of food all ready to go.  🙂 Stage 2 Homemade Baby Food Frozen In Ziploc Bags

Defrosting

I put 3 cubes in a small bowl and put in the microwave for 45 seconds.  Stir and check temperature- add more time in 5 second intervals to avoid food getting too hot.  Make sure to test it! 

Like in 6-8 months, I still do cereal in the morning but I also add yogurt some days.  There is now an addition of a snack after lunch, as well as spices, yogurt, and cheese. 3-4 ounces (cubes) is standard now as your baby is growing up! (Every baby is different though, just observe and see if they are eating all 3 or if they are still hungry after it’s done)

Make sure to save the meal plan for 10-12 months old, you start cooking easy and healthy baby finger foods!

Scroll down to subscribe to our newsletter and get 60+ recipe ideas, a shopping list and a meal planning tracker!

How much should I feed?

My son is eating 4 ounces per meal.  If a recipe has two ingredients, put 2 cubes of each. Or 1 and 2 if your baby is eating 3 cubes per meal (3 ounces). If I have a 3 ingredient recipe I add two cubes of whatever my son likes most and 1 each of the other two (For example, 2 sweet potato, 1 green bean, 1 butternut squash).  Especially if there are peas or green beans, because I have to disguise them so Ellis will actually eat. If you are nearing 10-12 months, make sure you check out the finger foods meal prep!

Happy Baby Meal Prep! Let me know how it goes!

 

Get Your Free Baby Food Resource Guide!

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Subscribe and get your FREE resource guide for making homemade baby food! All 6-12 months! Includes shopping lists and recipes for all 3 stage plans, a first foods log and a meal planning tracker.

Powered by ConvertKit

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About Shantall Bond

Hi! My name is Shantall and I’m here to share all things parenting, handling change and tales through the city with my boys.

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

  1. I’m wanting to transition from store bought food to making it at home. The Gerber Stage 2 has mixed ingredients (ex. Sweet potato turkey and grains). Is there a science to combining these individual ingredients to make them yummy? Knowing me I’d waste a lot of time and money throwing out bad combinations that my baby won’t eat.

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Hi Dana! There isn’t an exact science for mixing. Not sure if you downloaded the resource guide, but you can track the combinations that your baby tries and whether they like it or not. There are definitely some that your baby won’t like- just based on preference, my two boys had different likes and dislikes. The resource guide also has a list of recipes that have worked well for me in the past so you have some ideas to start with. Hope that helps!

  2. Wow! Such easy and customizable ideas! My sis’s daughter is about to turn 6 months, I think she gonna loves these.

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      That’s great Catherine! Thanks so much for visiting and sharing the recipes. 🙂

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Thank you!! 🙂

  3. I almost squealed out loud when I found this. Must search for a Stage 1 post immediately – this is PERFECT!!! I just discovered how similar off-brand formula is to name brand, so now I’m on a huge money-saving kick. Thank you for this!!
    Sarah | Baby Brain recently posted…What’s The Best Double Umbrella Stroller?My Profile

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Thank you Sarah! And I completely understand about off-brand formula. We switched to the Costco brand because it was the exact same ingredients as Similac Advance at half the price!

  4. Thank you so much can’t wait to get my guide seeing how I signed up and seeing what else is in store !! I have a 6.5 month old. And I have been making her food for about 2 months know she started early lol but I have been doing it day to day I’m so excited to try this!!! Thank you so much!!

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      SO glad you find it helpful! Thanks for being here! 🙂

  5. This is amazing! My little one has terrible allergies and we have been battling eczema since he was 3 months old. I’ve been looking for a way to make sure that I know everything that he eats is quality made. Thanks so much for your tips, can’t to see more since I subscribed!

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Thank you for being here! 🙂

  6. Hello ma’am. I see that you are incorporating cereal in your lists but I don’t see where you use it? I am just starting out and my sister and I are going to do the stage one plan and stage two plan together. (She has a 5.5 month old and I have a 4 month old.) I am already mixing some cereal in with his nighttime bottle at our dr’s recommendation. And we are both about to start solids together (again at the dr’s recommendation.) just wondering how you incorporated that?

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      That’s so great that you and your sister have babies of similar ages! And that you are doing baby stuff together, I would have loved that! I included recipe ideas in the resource guide, but I pretty much always gave my babies cereal for their first meal of the day. Sometimes alone but our favorite mix ins were a cube of apple or a quarter of a banana or a cube of blueberries. After they have already started eating those fruits of course. When you are first just starting solids, it will be small amounts to just get your baby used to eating new foods. It’s a fun milestone, enjoy!

  7. What do you do with blueberries??

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Hi! I puree them raw. They get a little watery, but when mixed with something more dense- it’s perfect!

  8. So wonderful, easy, and customizable. Thank you! I made it all today and it made me feel so accomplished! Not gonna lie though, it took me 3 hours 😉

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Yay! That’s great Kristin! This plan took me almost 3 hours also, longer than the 6-8 month plan. BUT, it actually lasted longer than a month because I integrated things like yogurt, cereal and finger foods into the meals. 🙂

  9. trying this for our kiddo this weekend. I’d been making one week’s worth of fresh food each week, but this is a much more efficient approach! Recipes look amazing too!

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Oh yay! That’s great! It is really nice to just have one busy afternoon a month and free up your other weekends. The spices have really helped Ellis eat green vegetables! He wouldn’t touch them without a fruit before. LOL

  10. I LOVED making my son his food when he was a baby and these are some awesome and yummy ideas! ❤

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Thank you! It really is satisfying. 🙂

  11. Simone Smith-Gillette says:

    This is such an awesome idea. I have a 6 month old and I’m definitely going to try it out.

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      That’s great! It’s been a real life saver when I started prepping in one day instead of every few days.

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