Making Baby Food – An Update

by jessicaturner on April 20, 2009

As I made baby food for Elias this weekend, I thought I would write an up-date on how baby food making has gone the past few months. I puree about 40-50% of Elias’s food. Here is what I have made:

  • peas
  • green beans
  • asparagus (which made Elias constipated, but he loved it)
  • sweet potatoes
  • squash
  • mangoes
  • pineapple
  • peaches
  • bananas (well, I have mashed them, but Elias has no interest in them. Plus, they can cause constipation, so I haven’t pressed it)
  • broccoli (Elias only has in small doses, since it can cause gas, which in case you haven’t noticed the trend, can be a problem for the peanut)

I don’t puree the following:

  • prunes (which he has almost every day to keep him from being constipated)
  • pears
  • apples
  • carrots
  • meat (although I have debated it)

In addition to these foods, Elias also eats yo baby organic yogurt and cheese. I have tried giving him cottage cheese (mixed with fruit), and he HATES it. So we just break up little pieces of American cheese. He also likes to suck on cold pickles, just like I used to as a baby. He has brown rice cereal or oatmeal in the morning. I considered making the cereal (using the guidelines in Super Baby Food), but it seemed like too much trouble. To be honest, I am happy that I am able to puree as much as I do.

I have made the puree with breastmilk, formula and water. He seems to like water the best. I haven’t seasoned the food at all, although I recently learned from one of the founders at Jack’s Harvest that you can use certain spices, like mint and cinnamon.

He doesn’t seem to have much of an interest in feeding himself yet, but he does like playing with the spoon in between “courses.” I have tried cutting up some fruit or making the puree not quite as fine, but Elias does not like either. I know that will come though.

When did your kids start eating table food? How gradually did you introduce “real food” and move away from non-pureed/baby food? Any tips for me? (Elias is 9 months)
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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca Louise. April 20, 2009 at 10:28 am

My niece start eating table food around the age of one. My sister just gave her the pureed food but in table food style. So she gace Carys soft carrots and green beans etc. She was dubious at first but still at that age anything they can put in their mouth they will. Also, at that age my sister introduced pasta like spaghetti, bread to suck on and because she had a good set of teeth the paediatric nurse recommended finely cut up grapes and even soup (which she gladly made a mess of) but it helps to introduce them to hotter foods.

My sister found that eating her meals at the table with Carys helped her to eat independently as she wanted to copy what Mummy did. Tthat was around the age of one as well.

Hope that helps :) xxx.


junglewife April 20, 2009 at 10:52 am

My daughter never really wanted to eat the purees – I tried, but she just didn’t like the texture or something. Didn’t like baby cereal either. Aaaagh! So I waited a long time before transitioning her to solids, and then it was almost straight to table food. She did eat some things like homemade applesauce and smashed pumpkin, but the rest was a no-go. So ever since she was about 9 months old, I’ve been feeding her from the table – little bits of bread torn up into pieces, pasta cut up into little pieces, well cooked vegetables, small banana chunks, etc.


Andrea April 20, 2009 at 11:15 am

My daughter Amelia has been trying table food since at least her 8th month (I think). She just turned 10 months and she’s now actually started to prefer it to some of the purees and 3rd step foods. I tried to make her baby food but no matter what I did, she didn’t seem to like any of the stuff that I made for her! As it turns out, I think she really just likes to eat “like big people” and her Papa and I oblige her with whatever we eat by (and this is a little gross but the “old way” that my dad described he had when he was growing up in Vietnam) just chewing the food up for her and then taking it out of our mouth and putting it hers.

She’s tried and liked just about everything including guacamole (doesn’t like just regular ol’ avocado), Pho (it’s a beef based soup with rice vermicelli noodles), summer rolls (goi cuon), baked chicken with rice and vegetables, amd french toast (it’s just about her favorite). I’m careful about giving her peanuts and egg products but she has had and like different types of ice cream (fruit flavored only).


Faye April 20, 2009 at 11:21 am



sawin April 20, 2009 at 11:46 am

I’m pretty sure my guy (who is almost two!!!) started really eating table food around age 1. I remember thinking “Oh, how am I going to do this, how will he ever go completely to table food?” and then about a month later I looked at him and realized that he had done it!!! I just started gradually feeding him the stuff that we ate if it was small enough and creamy enough, you know casseroles and stuff!! I agree with the person that said have them eat when everyone eats, that way he feels like part of the family and can feed himself a little when you all sit down!! Before you know it- he will be eating on his own like a champ– and you’ll think “wow- I have so much free time now!!” :)


Kelli April 20, 2009 at 11:51 am

My daughter Caroline was VERY interested at finger food and real food at a very young age. My doctor said to watch her cues. When she started pumping her arms when we would put our dinner in our mouth, I knew it was time for the transition. By the time she was 10 months she was on all table food and nursing. Just watch for Elias’ cues! He will let you know when he is ready!


Julia April 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm

We started with Gerber Puffs around 8 months and Gerber teething biscuits too. Finely chopped table food came a couple months later, I believe. I would start to slowly give him foods that you are eating and he will make the switch on his own. My daughter had the spoon thing down pat by around 13 or 14 months… she loved it!

I think you’re on the right track. he’ll pick it up when he’s ready.


Timothy April 20, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Apples, pears, and carrots are really easy to puree if you want to try. I actually used to just peel the pear and put it in the blender with a bit of water, and that’s it. They are really soft to begin with. Also, with carrots, my son only liked it when I did baby carrots. I tried making my own rice and it really is too much work and he really didn’t like it. It doesn’t freeze well and you pretty much have to eat it as soon as it’s cooked. My son started table foods about 9 months. He like cooked carrots, bananas, cheerios, mangoes, and he loved avacadoes! Avacadoes are really easy to serve because they are so soft to begin with. Because they don’t keep well, whatever he didn’t eat, I made into a little guacomole for myself :) When he was about 9 months is when I started to add a bit of cinnamon to my apples and pears and he loved it. Really easy baked apples for baby recipe:
Cut up apples (I leave skin on) and lay in baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover apples with just enough water to cover them. Cook in oven at 375 for 30 min. Eat within 3 days or freeze. Makes great finger food or blend for purees.


Lauren April 20, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Great post!

I put cinnamon in A’s oatmeal every morning. He loves it.

I pureed his first meat this week. Beef roast with gravy and potatoes. A ate 2 helpings.

If I eat it, I give it to A to try….some works, some doesn’t.


Therese April 20, 2009 at 4:37 pm

All of my boys had their first french fries at 9 months-not a meal, and not healthy, but a fun one to see them eat!

My mom and dad always swore by making pastina (or orzo). Cook it in chicken broth and then sprinkle it with parmesan. It is a great table food for babies. My boys loved it, and it was apparently what my Nonna (your great Nonna) would make for the babies in the family.


Beverly April 20, 2009 at 7:06 pm

My grandson is your sons age. He visits every month and I have been able to watch him grow. He has 8 teeth and crawla all over the house . Walks around the furniture and now lets go and stands by himself. He never stops talking!! He eats basically what we eat when he comes to visit. I just don’t add spices to his food. He loves mashed potatoes. We don’t puree anything anymore he prefers his food to be lumpy so that he can chew it. He weighs 22 pounds and is very healthy!!
God bless!!


kidfoodie April 20, 2009 at 7:58 pm

You are doing an amazing job introducing all those different foods to your baby. He will be a great eater. I use to help me find great foods to introduce to my baby.
Happy eating!


Mom2Valerie April 20, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I’ve been doing sweet potatoes, applesauce, carrots, and pears for the most part, because I’m not really consistent with solid feedings. Thanks for the update – I will definitely be trying some of the other options you’ve done. I’m also going to try to make some oatmeal cereal for my daughter as soon as I go grocery shopping. We’ve done some table foods too, because she loves to grab things and is getting good at chewing food. (Plus they’re easy, because I don’t have to feed it to her and she LOVES to do it herself!) She loves graham crackers, cheerios, and the Gerber puffs you can get in the baby food aisle. She will grab a fistful of cheerios or puffs and shove them in her mouth. Too funny! I’ve also given her a piece of an orange and a pear to chew on, but have to keep an eye on her so she doesn’t shove it all in her mouth. She doesn’t really care for meat either, so I kind of avoid it now.

By the way, I just got the scrapbooking kit in the mail that I won from your Lucky Week and can’t wait to use it! Thanks so much!


gitz April 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm

yeah, I got nothing for you on this topic. it just felt weird not to comment.



Anonymous April 20, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I also made my own baby food for my kids ages 7 and 4 now! People thought I was crazy working full time, pumping, breastfeeding and making my own food–also used the super baby food book…I totally agree with you the ceral seems to be more hassle than it’s worth, but I also used the homemade baby wipes they are awesome!! I used the ice cube method and would freeze the food–BOTH my kids are great eaters…to this day! My mom always said it was because of the homemade food, but whether that is true I am not sure. People often marvel at the itmes my kids will eat, such as salads, all fruits/veggies…they are NOT picky at all!! yipee…I say play it all by ear, on advancing to other foods…He will let you know when he is ready…both of mine were totally different on when they moved to other foods, my boy started ceral way earlier than my daughter, etc. Sorry I couldnt’ be of more help—but you are truely doing the best for Elias!@ congrats


Heather April 20, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Yum…Elias is eating well! You make me want to have a baby just so I can make their food. You seem so organic & concious of money spending….I wonder, have you given any thoughts to cloth diapers? I am only 24, have no children but I really think when I have babies I want to try making baby food and using cloth diapers…hmm we'll see what actually happens though :)


Brooke April 21, 2009 at 2:04 am

My son Brian is only a couple of weeks older than Elias, infact he was due on 12 July.

I’ve been giving Brian sticks of food for a while now, usually at lunch times when we are home, due to mess and the fact that at dinner time he is too tired to feed himself = ) He has really learned how to chew and I only puree chicken now because the idea of cutting it up in tiny little pieces (I do 1KG at a time) exhausts me.

I hope that by the age of one Brian is eating what we are eating, our main problem is co-ordinating eating at the same time as him as he eats dinner around 5:30pm and often my husband doesn’t get home until 6:30pm.


Jen April 21, 2009 at 12:48 pm

My son started eating some “table food” around 9 months. Shredded cheese, cheerios and very, very finely cut up mango. He was also a huge fan of Mum-Mum cookies (rice cookies that melt in their mouths if they don’t chew it right, or don’t have teeth yet…My son had 8 by then). And he loved Gerber Graduates fruit puffs. They also melt in the mouth.
Around the one year mark I stopped offering baby food and my son ate what we ate, just cut up really well.


Anonymous April 22, 2009 at 5:29 am

Every baby is different, I guess. Mine wanted his hands in his food almost from day 1, so we only did purees for a *very* short time. From probably about 7 months on we did mashed and lumpy so he could grab at it and it would stick to his fingers. Once he was good at that, I did small bits that were easily mashed in his mouth. I made his food so there wasn’t much of a transition to table food, the chunks just got bigger and bigger. We introduced new foods methodically until 1 yr and after that, he eats exactly the same things my husband and I do.


Linny Best April 22, 2009 at 9:31 pm

I only make 2 things for Caedmon at this point (green beans and sweet potato) I plan on making him peas, since we just re-introduced them this week. I do give him mashed banana, he’ll eat a half of one with any given meal. But I haven’t branched out from there…

Do you ice cube freeze all the things that you make for him? I haven’t tried fruits…i.e. mangoes, pinapple, peaches,…


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