HOW TO MAKE MONTHS WORTH OF HEALTHY BABY FOOD [FOR UNDER $25]

When my daughter was ready to eat solids I had intentions of making her food, but never ended up making any.  She ate a TON of those little jars and pouches.  In addition to breast milk + formula as well with her, she consumed a lot of puree.  So with my son, I decided I totally wanted to do a bunch of baby food prep when the time came! Not only is it WAY cheaper- there are so many recalls for the jars, pouches and boxes of baby snacks and food.  I decided to give it a try knowing what is exactly in his food and when/where I bought the groceries for it.  I wanted to experiment to see how to make baby food on a tight budget. In fact I wanted to make months worth of healthy baby food for under $25.

My son got the go-ahead to start trying out solids last appointment.  He’s been showing major interest in food for a while, but we just recently started him on cereal.  Now it’s time to start with the good stuff!

So with a budget in mind, I went to Walmart and picked up my groceries for this project.

Below I’ll show you how to make these baby foods so you can do it too!

How Do I choose My Recipes?

That part is actually easy.  They’re babies.  That’s why they’re great to cook for, they don’t complain! They’ll either like what you give them, or not.  So get creative and make up your own recipes.  I included a sweet item (fruit or vegetable) in most of the combos.

There really are no rules, beside the fact that you have to try out each food individually first for a few days to be sure your baby doesn’t have allergies.  After that, sky’s the limit.

These are the combinations I ended up doing:

  1. Banana + Avocado + Ground Flax
  2. Broccoli + Apple + Quinoa
  3. Banana + Coconut Milk + Cinnamon
  4. Sweet Potato + Blueberries + Plain Yogurt
  5. Mango + Butternut Squash + Coconut Milk
  6. Pear + Butternut Squash + Quinoa

Plain Foods:

  1. Broccoli
  2. Sweet Potatoes
  3. Mango
  4. Butternut Squash
  5. Apples

Make a Grocery List

I already had a bag of ground flax, so that was discluded from my grocery list, but otherwise here is what I had to get at Walmart, minus the Quinoa I got at a local grocery store-

  • Large Bag of Broccoli
  • Butternut Squash
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 Mango
  • 2 Apples
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Ripe Pear
  • 1 Box Blueberries
  • 1 Box Quinoa
  • 1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Small Container Plain, Unsweetened Yogurt

These groceries actually ended up costing under $25 since I only used half the broccoli, yogurt, blueberries and quinoa.  If you are doing baby food yourself since you’re on a budget, try Walmart!

What Else Will You Need?

Obviously beside pots/pans and baking sheets if you’re roasting anything, you need to puree and then store your foods.  If you have a baby bullet system, great!  If not, no problem.  I already had some ice cube trays and a mini food processor, and they worked perfect.  So here are the other items I used:

  • Mini Food Processor
  • 5 Ice Cube Trays (I had to do two rounds of freezing)
  • Large Freezer Ziplock Bags
  • Mini Ziplock Bags
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Chopping Board

How Long Will it Take To Make All of This Food?

This was a full afternoon or morning project including all of the prep (steaming, baking, peeling).  It was actually fun to come up with baby food combinations (this doesn’t mean he will eat ANY of them haha, but I will certainly try).  Do NOT attempt if you are alone with a fussy baby.  He napped while I got through the cooking/steaming/baking portions and then he was awake for the rest.

How Long Will the Food Last?

I would imagine the food I made will last more than a month, even more so for a baby who doesn’t have the appetite Hunter does (he weighs over 20 pounds at 6 months).  But frozen food should stay good up until the 3 month mark. So if your combinations make months worth of healthy baby food, make sure to use it up before then.

Start the Prepping and Cooking

You could start this part of the process the day before so it’s all ready for you to puree and store or you could tackle it all in the same day.

Cooking Methods

Steaming:  steam any veggies you’re able to (I steamed the broccoli, apples and sweet potatoes).  For steaming the sweet potatoes I literally threw them in a few inches of water in a large pot with the lid on. They took a while to cook this way, but it was so easy.  When they’re cooked the skin slides right off.  And that sounds gross.  But it works.

Baking: I baked the butternut squash, and that’s it.  Sliced it in half, scooped out the seeds, and then cut in half again.  Then I baked it at about 375 on greased tinfoil inside a pan for probably 45 minutes.  Just make sure you can pierce it easily with a fork to be sure it’s done.

How to Make Baby Food on a Budget

Mango + Butternut Squash + Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Large Mango
  • 1/4 Large Butternut Squash
  • 1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk

Instructions:

  1. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Cut each half in half.  Place tinfoil over a pan and spray with olive oil.  Roast at 375 for around 45 minutes.  Check it with a fork to be sure it’s soft enough.
  2. Scoop squash out of skin and add into processor/bullet.  Do the same with the mango and add coconut milk.
  3. Purée, adding water if needed to thin out consistency.

Broccoli + Apple + Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 Apple, Cored and Sliced
  • 1/4 Large Bag of Broccoli
  • Half Cup Cooked Quinoa

Instructions:

  1. Steam apples in a few inches of water in a pot on the stove top until tender.
  2. Steam broccoli in separate pot.
  3. Prepare quinoa as instructed on box or bag.  Add all of these ingredients into food processor or baby bullet and purée
  4. Add water if needed to any of the recipes to smooth out.

Avocado + Banana + Ground Flax

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flax

Instructions:

  1. Add all of these ingredients into food processor or baby bullet and purée.

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Coconut Milk + Banana + Cinnamon

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Add all of these ingredients into food processor or baby bullet and purée.

Sweet Potato + Greek Yogurt + Blueberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Blueberries
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato, Steamed
  • 1 /2 Cup Plain Yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Fill large pot with a few inches of water, place sweet potato in the pot.  Bring to a boil and then simmer with the cover on, until tender.  This may take 45 minutes or so. You could speed up the process by cutting the sweet potato into cubes, but you would have to peel it beforehand.
  2. Once the sweet potato is cooked, add it into processor with blueberries and yogurt.

Pear + Butternut Squash + Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Cooked Quinoa
  • 1/4 Large Butternut Squash
  • 1 Ripe Pear

Instructions:

  1. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Cut each half in half.  Place tinfoil over a pan and spray with olive oil.  Roast at 375 for around 45 minutes.  Check it with a fork to be sure it’s soft enough.
  2. Scoop squash out of skin and add into processor/bullet.
  3. Prepare quinoa as instructed on box or bag.
  4. Peel pear and remove seeds/core.
  5. Add all to processor or baby bullet, mix adding water if needed.

Then I took parts of the steamed and baked veggies to process alone to test them on my son to make sure he isn’t allergic before giving him the combinations.

Broccoli

Sweet Potato

Squash

Apples

Some of the avocado and banana I mashed up and used for Hunter to try them out over a few days.  As far as I know, avocado may not freeze well, and it turns brown pretty quickly when exposed to air.  So I wanted to use some of that food while fresh.  He may not even like some of the combinations, but that’s OK.  If he doesn’t, our dog can have two suppers haha.

It’s nice to know exactly what went into what your baby is eating.  All of this cost under $25.  Each ice cube holds over 2 tbsp of food (I measured).  This means way more than 28-32 tbsp per ice cube tray, and it made more than 10 trays if you include the food I kept in the fridge not pictured.  Plus this food is way thicker, I hardly added any water.  If some of them end up being too thick,just add water before serving to thin it out.

You may even have a lot of the ingredients on hand, which makes it even less expensive.  But it’s nice that it’s fresh, and hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for months.

Just to add to the topic, here are some baby food safety tips as well.

How Do I Store My Baby Food?

Once the food is all spooned into your storage trays or ice cube trays- pop them in the freezer.  They’ll take a few hours, then label your ziplock bags and freeze each type separately with the name and date of whats inside.

Anyway, that’s it!  That’s how you make a SHIT TON of baby food, for under $25.  Let me know if you try it out!

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