I am not going to tell you that it is imperative that you start making your babies food from the first time that they try “solids”; I found that a bit impractical. Just like adults, babies are picky; they have preference and their taste buds differ, especially if you have introduced formula or only breast-fed up to that point. It’s known that breast milk is much sweeter than formula, so your baby may have trouble stomaching green beans on the first shot. Making a months worth of green beans homemade and then discovering that your little one won’t eat them is an expense and frustration that’s not necessary.
At the sign of Elliot wanting to eat, I carefully read the ingredient list and purchased organic baby food. I didn’t buy any that had added preservatives, which was actually easier to find than I had anticipated. Once she and I figured out what she liked I made those same combinations at home and knew that in a jam, I could buy store brands that weren’t filling her up with unnecessary preservatives.
I use the Infantino baby food bags and crazy filling contraption rather than freezing them in ice trays, but do what you like or what is affordable for you. You also don’t need a baby cookbook, but remember that you do need to heat everything that you make. Babies can’t have raw food, so initially, even banana puree needs to be cooked and cooled before serving.
Another tip that I took advantage of really quickly was frozen fruits and vegetables. They are seriously picked at the peak of freshness (I recently watched a “How it’s Made” and it’s super cool) and are much more affordable with (obviously) a longer shelf life. Just be careful when tempted by things like strawberries; some fruits and veggies have a higher possibility of allergic reaction so always check with a doctor if in doubt.
To some of you it may seem like a lot of extra work and it is, but for me food is a love language and I felt such gratification when I made Elliot her first baby food. It’s something that you can do in bulk and freeze quite far in advance which is nice, but can also puree some of the veggies that you may be making for the rest of the family!