If you have made the decision to make your own baby food, then there are some tools that you will need to do so. Some of them you may be able to find around your house, and others you may have to, or want to purchase. When looking for any of these products, I strongly suggest you do some bargain hunting online at websites like Amazon.com and Ebay.com for some great deals that are much cheaper than what you will pay in stores. So read on to find out more about these must-have tools for making your own baby food at home. If you're unsure of whether or not you want to undertake this project, first read my article entitled, "Should I Make My Own Baby Food?"
Baby Food Mill or Food Processor
The most helpful piece of equipment you'll need is some sort of grinder, food mill, blender or food processor. You can use the blender or food processor you probably already have, but chances are that these appliances will not give you a smooth enough texture for young babies that are just starting solid foods and you'll have to do some additional work. Not to mention that food mills don't require an electrical outlet as they are powered by you! Probably the best product will be a stainless steel food mill like the Oxo Good Grips Food Mill. While this grinder comes with a fairly hefty price tag of around $50, it is an excellent product with some great features. It comes with 3 different grates that can be used to achieve different textures. This allows you to make fine textured food for the new eater, medium texture for a young toddler, or coarse textures for a child around the age of 2. The grates and the food bowl portion are stainless steel so they will last for a long time and all the parts are dishwasher safe. One of the neatest features of the Oxo Good Grips Food Mill are the rubberized feet that will help to keep the grinder in place while you are grinding your baby's food!
Some mom's opt for the cheaper option of purchasing a baby food mill. I have actually owned 2 of them and while they are more travel-friendly and lightweight, they often don't work quite as well and are more for doing very small, single-meal amounts rather than to grind up a stock of baby food for the freezer. They are, however, quite handy to keep in the diaper bag wherever you go so that you don't have to worry about bringing along your baby food and keeping it cold! A good example of a nice baby food grinder is the Baby Steps Hand Crank Food Mill by KidCo which has a much smaller price tag of $11.00. So if you're planning on making your child's food one meal at a time, the Baby Steps Hand Crank Food Mill is a good option.
Baby Food Freezing And Storage System
Another product you may want to invest in if you're going to be making your own baby food is a freezing and storage system. A popular example of these are Baby Cubes. Baby Cubes are these handy little storage containers that you can get in either a 1oz or 2oz size and once you grind up your food, you place it into the individual cubes, close the lids, and place it in the freezer! Then you can take them out and feed your little one directly from the cube, or you can take them out of the cubes once the portions are frozen and keep them in freezer bags. These great little gizmos are reasonably priced, starting at around $7 and they are dishwasher safe. Also, the lid is connected to the container so you don't have to worry about misplacing the lids and having to tear up your kitchen searching for them! If you don't want to spend the money on a cube system such as this, you can also just use ice cube trays to save some cash!
Other Tools For Making Baby Food
The other tools that you will find useful when making your own baby food are things you likely have around your kitchen already. The first is a colander. You will want to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before preparing them for your baby, and a colander is a handy tool that will help you do that. The next helpful tool is a fine mesh strainer. This will come in handy when making foods such as peas or green beans that have skins on them. You will want to strain them so that only the softest parts of the food get into baby's meal. A strainer will also help to keep out unseen seeds or stems. A steamer basket will be extremely useful when steaming the fruits and veggies that you will be preparing for your baby. Steaming is the best way to keep the most nutrients in the food and keeps them tasting great too! A masher of some sort, like a potato masher, can also be helpful, especially for older children that can handle a slightly chunkier texture of food. You will also need a vegetable peeler for things like sweet potatoes and carrots. And never underestimate the power of the humble fork! You can use a fork to mash, smash, and otherwise smoosh any food into the appropriate texture for your baby's meals. Finally, you won't want to be without a Sharpie or other permanent marker. This will be a necessary tool for making baby food as you will want to label the type of food and also the date that it was prepared before storing it in the freezer.
Making your own baby food can be a great way to know exactly what your child is eating and it will also save you money in the long run. If you make sure to use these must-have tools for making your own baby food, it will be a much easier process and take you less time. So go ahead, play with your food!