Cooking baby food is pretty simple! But after making sure that the food is super soft (at the start).
The tools you need to prep, cook, mash, and puree aren’t that complicated. Of course, That said, there can be a lot of confusion about how to get started making your baby food, here are favourite kitchen essentials:
- Peeler: A sharp peeler speeds the process of peeling your fruits and vegetables. Most purees (at least at the start) are made without skin for consistency and digestive ease.
- Knives: Every kitchen needs one good chopping knife and one good paring knife.
- Pots And Steamers: All first purees start here. If you already have an assortment of pots, you can get a steamer insert to fit inside. If not, you’ll want to buy a set of pots in various sizes along with steamer inserts so that you can steam more than one batch of fruits or veggies at a time.
If you want to make things super easy and are okay with having another gadget on your countertop, you can get a combination steamer-blender device. These appliances work well for produce, but they don’t have the power to break down much more.
- Baking Sheets: Baked food adds a whole new level to your baby’s culinary experience. You’ll need to line your baking papers with parchment paper, so be sure to buy a few rolls of that as well.
- Mini Muffin Tin: This is an excellent pan for making small portions. You’ll need mini paper liners for lining the cups.
- Food Thermometer: Skip it if your family doesn’t eat meat, but I find this to be essential for testing when meat is ready.
- A Good Blender Or Food Processor: This appliance is going to be your best friend. Whether it’s purees, smoothies, or soups, your blender or food processor will get a ton of use—and that’s only for the little one! Invest in a good one, so it lasts a long time; you’ll know it was worth it when it’s still working in five years. The better products on the market are potent, which can cut your prep time in half.
Freeze And Thaw
- Silicone Storage Trays: These could be simple ice cube trays, or you can pay more for the fancy “baby food only” trays and create your own with plastic wrap to protect against freezer burn.
- Small Glass Bowls And Jars: These are perfect for thawing your frozen cubes of deliciousness. Many of them fit perfectly in a bottle warmer!
- Small Glass Lockable Containers Or Mason Jars: As food begins to take a more central role in your baby’s life, you’ll find her craving the real stuff at all hours of the day, so it’s essential to have this convenient storage and go-to containers.
- Storage Bags: Zip-top bags will be your second-best friend. After freezing food for about 24 hours in a storage tray, you’ll pop the freezer tray cubes into these bags for longer-term storage—and don’t forget to label. Frozen pea purees and frozen green bean purees don’t look all that different from one another. You’ll use these bags often, so consider reusable options.
- Mesh Food Feeders: If you’re nervous about putting even a small amount of food into your baby’s mouth, try a mesh food feeder. The food (fresh or frozen) goes in the bag, and your baby can suck on it, drawing out the flavours and even some nutrients, without any fear of gagging or choking. These are great developmental tools and a way for your baby to get healthy food on the go as she grows! Also, they’re good for teething if you use frozen produce or even ice.
- Spoons: Early on, I recommend a soft silicone-based spoon, and the shape of the spoon seems to make feeding a fidgety baby easier. As they get older and those teeth come in, a firmer spoon with a more bottomless bowl is best.
- Bowls: Part of the success of those first bites is getting your baby comfortable with the experience of eating. This means sitting down for a meal! Try to “plate” your baby’s food before putting it on her tray or spooning into her open mouth, to help her get used to mealtime.