One Hour for One Month’s Worth of Homemade Baby Food- with 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.

*We have you completely covered for all 3 stages of making baby food! If your baby is 8-10 months old, make sure to check out the stage 2 plan! For 10-12 months old, you start cooking easy and healthy baby finger foods.  If you are in the right age group, make sure you save them and come back later! 

Homemade Baby Food Recipes Stage 1, Month Menu, Sample Menu, Meal Plan

A couple of disclaimers before we start!

*Make sure to scroll to the end of the article to subscribe and get your resource guide for making homemade baby food!  Complete with shopping lists and recipe ideas for all 3 stages, a first foods log and meal plan tracker!

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.  (Consult your doctor so you know what is best for your baby!)

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.

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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, meaning I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

You will need:

*** 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.  Or 1 cube with baby cereal.

*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!

UPDATE! I’m sorry I didn’t include these before!  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:

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, yellow squash and carrots into pieces.

Arrange in steamer with 3 cups of water on the bottom.

All of these cook in 10-20 minutes in my Aroma rice cooker. Steam Carrots Zucchini Yellow Squash Baby Food

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.  Cut Apples and Pears Baby Food

Step 4:

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.  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 homemade baby food using just one.

Step 5:

While everything is cooking, puree blueberries- pour into ice cube tray.

Peas will be done cooking first so puree them when they are done- pour into tray.

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.

Step 7:

Zucchini, yellow squash and carrots will be done next. Blend them separately and pour into trays.

Step 8:

Scoop out the butternut squash and mash it up a little bit and add a little water.  Blend afterward for a more smooth consistency. Pour into trays.

Do the same with the sweet potato.Baby Food Freeze in Ice Cube Trays

Step 9:

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.)

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!Baby Food Labeled in Ziplock Bags for Freezing

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!  If you don’t want to use the microwave, many people use a lilly pot to defrost their food on the stove.

This is a sample two week menu of my favorite baby food recipes (after your baby has tried all of these foods):      ** You can make food with 1,2 or 3 ingredients! I also reference this amazing book for even more recipe ideas.

*Make sure you scroll down and sign up for your complete baby food resource guide! Includes a first foods baby food log, baby meal tracker, shopping list and recipe ideas for all 3 stages.

Two Week Menu for Homemade Baby Food Recipes

And of course, my latest happy customer!

first baby food sweet potato
Yum! Sweet Potatoes!

Happy Cooking!

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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.

43 thoughts on “One Hour for One Month’s Worth of Homemade Baby Food- with 40+ Stage 1 Recipes!

  1. Hi! I would like to congratulate you! It seems pretty easy! How many oz do you get for each prep? The trays in the pic are those all or half??
    Thanks

  2. Hello!!!
    I was so excited to find your site! I love that you give example weekly feedings! Question though. You say that you pop out two of the frozen cubes to make 2 ounces. Is that 2 ounces of carrots and 2 ounces of apples in one feeding or are you only giving them 1 ounce carrot and 1 ounce apple to make a total of 2 ounces for the feeding? Or does it just depend on the how much the baby will eat?

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Hi Corinne! I’m excited that you find the site also! 🙂 To start, I did 2 ounces total- so 1 ounce carrot and 1 ounce apple. But then yes, you start to see how much your baby eats. So if they are hungry after 2 ounces, give them one more. If they are always hungry after 2 ounces, then start giving 3 ounces at each meal. And so forth!

  3. Kenzi Strain says:

    When fixing the apples and pears … are you actually putting the fruit into the water to be boiled or are they also steamed ?

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      I boil them in water with a lid so that the steam is blocked in and also cooking them.

  4. Shantall, I have been searching for weeks and watching every video I could find on how to make my babies food and freeze it safely. Your website is the best I have found so far. You have broken it down and made the whole process simple and easy to follow. I’m looking forward to making the first batch of baby food this weekend.
    Do you recommend using organic fruits and veggies or is the regular fruits and veggies okay?

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Hi Beth! Thank you so so much! That is so sweet and I’m glad the instructions are clear and useful. 🙂 It really depends on your situation- if budget is not an issue than I would 100% buy everything organic because why not? If budget is part of your decision making, buy the items that are part of the dirty dozen organic (http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214) and the others not. This is what I have done in the past.

  5. I don’t have a steamer or rice cooker so wondering how else I can steam zucchini and yellow squash.

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Hi Martina! You could steam in a covered pot on the stove or in a covered microwavable bowl. On stove- bring a 1/2 inch layer of water to a bowl, throw in vegetables, cover and steam for 5-7 minutes. In microwave, add a 1/2 inch layer of water, add vegetables, cover and microwave for 5 minutes. Keep adding more time as needed, until vegetables are soft but a little crunchy. Hope that helps!

  6. I cooked the peas and the skins didn’t really do a good job getting pulverized in the food processor. It’s chunky. Is this okay to use starting out as a stage 1?

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Hey Emily! There have been times that happens to me, especially with carrots. I usually add a little bit of hot water and try to blend it at the highest speed to get them a little more pureed.

  7. Hi Shantall! I really love your post. So easy to understand your steps and you make preparing baby food sound so easy! I have one question. If I puree banana, can I freeze it too? You mentioned to have them on hand but require cooking. Just wondering. Thanks!

    1. Sorry, don’t require cooking. Just want to know if I can freeze them too. And also the avocado.

      1. Shantall Bond says:

        Thank you so much Michelle! I haven’t frozen them, but they can be mashed and put into trays as well. The only thing is they might turn brown, but that is a natural occurrence for avocados and bananas, not a sign they have gone bad.

  8. I am SO GLAD I found this. Thank you for making such a complete guide. My only question was how long they last but I saw you answered that already. Thanks so much. My 6 month old is currently just eating oatmeal but I think he’ll be ready for fruits and veggies soon, so I can’t wait to try this! And i love the smoothie idea!

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      No problem! It’s fun seeing them try new foods- enjoy!!

  9. Danielle Dawson says:

    How long can you freeze baby food before it goes bad and unable to use?

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      3 months to be safe! Some may keep longer, but I use the 3 month mark as my cut off.

  10. I’m a huge meal prepped for my family. So I LOVED reading this post. I have a newborn so I’m trying to learn all I can by the time he’s old enough to start eating foods. How long do the items keep in the freezer, no longer than the month?

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Thank you! 🙂 They actually last up to 3 months. It’s a fun milestone when they start eating solids, enjoy!

  11. When it comes to blending the squash and zucchini you don’t have to shave off the outside? You just blend it all together and it mushes good?

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Just blend! They get softer than any of the other vegetables. 🙂

  12. Hi! First time mommy here so excuse my ignorance. Since you’re supposed to only introduce 1 ingredient at a time, does cooking the apples/pears and steaming the carrots/squash together pose a risk? I know you separate them before blending, but doesn’t cooking them together means it might get a little mixed? Thanks for your post, I hope to follow your instructions.

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Not ignorant at all! This is a great point. There are a few ways you can go about this. 1) I had done just sweet potato, apple and carrot for the first round of food (with also banana). This will get you through about two weeks of food since you are doing one new food every 3 days. Then after those two weeks, you could follow this plan. Since you already introduced apple for example, it won’t matter if you cook it with pear because you have already ruled apple out as a potential allergen. To be honest, my son had not tried zucchini or yellow squash when I made this, I just kind of went for it. 2) You can cook all the same foods, but separately. This will just add a little bit of time to your food prep. 3) Make more of just a few foods. For example, double the apples and carrots- while eliminating the other fruits and vegetables for the first month. Hope this helps!

  13. How did you prepare the blue arrows? I must be overlooking that step.

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Hi Kim, I’d love to help but not sure what you mean by blue arrows.

  14. Thankyou so much! I’ve tried this today and loved every second so easy and fun to do wish i had seen it with my 3 year old!:)

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!! That was exactly what I was going for- fun and easy. 🙂

  15. This is also a great way to make smoothies too!

  16. This is fabulous. I can’t wait to try. Thank you so much! Just wondering: In Step 6, will the apple and pear require some blending before putting into ice cube trays?

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Yep! Sorry, just realized I didn’t write that. I cook them in the same pot but blend separately. 🙂

  17. Shantall,

    Finally did this yesterday. Really happy with results! Baby tried sweet potatoes for the first time this morning 🙂 also got a bullet and am loving it!

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Oh yay! Ellis is obsessed with sweet potatoes- I use them to sneak in anything green. 🙂

  18. Great recipes! You couldn’t have said it any clearer… a variety of foods with no hassle what so ever will be trying these out thank you so much. 😊

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Thank you Ana! It definitely made my life easier, so hoping that for all of you as well!

  19. Mehwish Salman says:

    Thnk u soo much, I will surly try these yummy recipes wid my LO. Keep posting more recipes. And kindly give some cheese recipe for my 7 month baby

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Thanks so much! Will do. 🙂

  20. Thank you so much!!!! I am heading to the store as soon as naptime is over to get started on this! Your links and steps are on point!!! 👌🏼 Great job, Mama!!

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      I’m so glad I could be helpful! Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  21. Thanks Shantall! I’m gonna do this for my little girl! Great ideas !

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      Thank you! 🙂

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