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Baby foods: homemade and shop bought

Baby foods - homemade

With homemade baby foods, you know exactly what your baby is eating. You have control over all the ingredients in the meals, especially added salt and sugar. It also introduces your baby to tastes and textures of family foods. 

Homemade baby foods are cheaper to prepare than buying ready-made baby foods.

Making baby food

You can use fruit, vegetables, pulses, meat or fish to make baby food.

Liquidise, purée, chop or mash the ingredients, depending on the stage of weaning.

Related topic

Weaning: starting your baby on solid foods

Follow these step-by-step guides when you're making baby food:

Fruit

  1. Wash fruit under cold running water
  2. Peel and cut into small pieces, discarding core, pips, seeds or stones
  3. Stew fruit in a small amount of water – ripe fruit requires less heat and water to soften
  4. Liquidise, purée or mash depending on the stage of weaning
  5. Add breast or formula milk if texture is too thick

Vegetables

  1. Wash vegetables under cold running water
  2. Peel, trim and slice
  3. Steam or boil vegetables in small amounts of water to minimise any loss of vitamins and minerals
  4. Liquidise, purée or mash depending on the stage of weaning
  5. Add breast or formula milk if texture is too thick

Meat, poultry, fish or pulses

  1. Make sure to remove all bones
  2. Stew, bake, steam, grill or boil until tender, as you would with family meals
  3. Ensure it is fully cooked and tender
  4. Liquidise, purée or mash, depending on the stage of weaning
  5. Add breast or formula milk if texture is too thick

Sterilise all equipment used to prepare foods for babies under 26 weeks (6 months)

Freezing homemade baby food

You can prepare batches of food and freeze in small portions in ice-cube trays. Cover the filled trays with a lid, cling film, tin foil or freezer bags before placing in the freezer.

Label and date with a waterproof marker. Ideally, use the meals within 1 month of freezing for better taste.

Preparing frozen food

Defrost the amount of food you need for each meal.

Reheat in a saucepan or microwave. Reheated food must be piping hot all the way through. Stir the food, allow to cool and then test the temperature in your mouth before giving it to your child.

If you use a microwave to heat your baby's food, stir the food well and test the temperature in case of hot spots.

Do not:

  • re-freeze food once it has thawed
  • re-heat food more than once, or
  • keep unfinished meals for later

Related topics

Finger foods and healthy snacks after weaning

Baby-led weaning

page last reviewed: 15/03/2018
next review due: 15/03/2021