Looking for easy baby food ideas? You’re in the right place! Ensuring your baby gets all the nutrients they need — from both solids and the continued use of formula or breast milk — is key for healthy development. But store-bought baby food is often packaged in single-use plastic squeeze containers, which are far from gentle on our planet. So to nurture your little one and the planet, we’re sharing a handful of low-waste, healthy and nutritious baby food ideas that you can make in bulk, then freeze and reheat in individually portioned, endlessly reusable Stasher bowls and bags.
Besides being a little more planet friendly and a total time-saver, the beauty of these easy baby food recipes, made from common first foods, is that you can easily tailor them to your baby’s needs. Each recipe can be adapted to align with either stage 1 or stage 2 texture requirements: stage 1 baby foods (age 4-6 months) are single ingredient foods blended into a watery puree, while stage 2 baby foods (age 6-9 months) have a denser consistency, more like a thick paste, and can combine combine different flavors.
So if you’re looking for healthy and nutritious baby food recipes, read on!
Pro tip: Any recipe that calls for baking, boiling, or steaming can be done in your Stasher bags and bowls — they're heat safe up to 425°F!
Helpful Kitchen Tools
To make homemade baby food, you’ll need:
- A blender, baby-food blender, hand-held stick blender, food processor, or food mill to ensure that your fruit and vegetable purees are nice and smooth and aren’t a choking hazard for your baby. (Although some foods, like avocados and bananas, are soft enough that you can mash with a fork.)
- Veggie peeler
- Saucepan, baking sheet, and/or steamer depending on if you’re simmering, roasting, or steaming
- Stasher bowls and bags for storing, freezing, and reheating purees in individual portion sizes
- Ice cube tray for freezing food into individual-sized portions and storing in bulk in bowls or a half-gallon bag
If this is your first time making vegetable purees, start simple with a single ingredient baby food recipe, like carrot puree.
Using a veggie peeler, peel 2 pounds of whole carrots. (If you’re using baby carrots, you can skip this step.) Chop your carrots into chunks and place them in a steamer basket over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of boiling water. Cover and cook for around 10 minutes, or until the carrots are super tender. Let the carrots cool, and then blend them in a food processor or blender with ½-1 cup of liquid. (Pro tip: start with less liquid than you think you’ll need and then slowly add more to achieve the desired puree consistency.) You can also add a pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, or cloves. Dole out single servings of your homemade carrot puree baby food into Stasher 1-Cup bowls and freeze.
When it’s time to serve, thaw the frozen puree by using the defrost setting on your microwave, by moving the frozen baby food to the fridge the night before, or by submerging the Stasher bowl of frozen baby food into hot water.
Avocado puree is one of the fastest and easiest first baby foods, because it takes less than a minute to make (busy parents, rejoice!). And besides being easy to whip up, avocado puree is packed with nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to support your baby’s development.
As with all of the recipes on this list, the texture of the avocado puree can be easily adjusted to meet your baby’s needs: it can be fully blended to a smooth, creamy whipped consistency or mashed for a chunky texture. To make avocado puree baby food, peel a quarter or half of an avocado, place it on a cutting board or inside a Stasher bowl, and mash it with a fork till you reach the desired consistency.
Like avocado puree, banana puree is quick and easy to prepare because all you need is a fork and a Stasher bowl! Banana puree is super nutritious for your baby because of its high potassium content, which helps regulate the body’s water balance, maintain healthy blood pressure, build muscle, support nerve cell function, and support overall growth and development. Serving your baby fruit purees is also a useful way to start introducing them to sweeter flavors and expanding their palate.
To make stage 1 baby food banana puree, peel a ripe banana, place it in a Stasher bowl, and mash it with a fork until it’s super smooth. For added creaminess, add a little bit of breast milk or formula and stir till fully combined. If the banana isn’t quite soft enough to mash well with a fork, use a baby food blender or food processor.
For stage 2 baby food, you can put chunks of the peeled banana inside a Stasher bowl, close up the bowl, and knead it with your hands until it reaches a chunky consistency. For this stage, you can also mix together other nutritious and delicious baby foods like avocado and banana puree for an ultra creamy snack your little one will love.
Sweet Potato Purée
There are tons of different ways to make sweet potato baby food! One classic way is roasting. Wash and scrub the sweet potato, and then pierce it all over with a fork. Bake for about 45 minutes at 400°F until the skin is wrinkled and you can smoothly insert a fork. Once the sweet potato has cooled to the touch, remove the skin and put the sweet potato flesh into your food processor and blend. If the puree is too thick, add a little bit of breast milk or formula to thin it out. You can also add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon for extra flavor.
Sweet potato puree will keep in an airtight Stasher bowl in the fridge for three days, or you can dole it out into ice cube trays, freeze, and then transfer the frozen cubes to a large Stasher bag or bowl, like the Quart, Half-Gallon, or Stand-Up Mega bag, or the 6-Cup or 8-Cup bowls.
Pears are an excellent choice for your baby because they’re full of vitamins, potassium, and fiber to support healthy growth and digestion. To make pear puree, chop pears into chunks, being careful to remove the seeds and stem. Place the pear chunks into a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for about 25 minutes until the pears are super soft. Remove the pears from the pot with a slotted spoon, let them cool slightly, and blend them up with a hand-held stick blender or food processor until smooth. For additional flavor, add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, or allspice.
For a thinner consistency, you can add a little bit of the leftover cooking water, breast milk, or formula. Dole out mixture into single serving sizes by pouring it into an ice cube tray or into our 1-Cup bowls, and freeze.
Broccoli & Cauliflower Purée
Broccoli is one of the most nutritionally dense veggies that you can serve to your little one, because it’s rich in several vitamins and minerals that are critical to development and it supports healthy digestion.
To make this vitamin-rich veggie puree, start by roasting, boiling, or steaming bite-sized pieces of broccoli and cauliflower until they’re soft. To steam, place broccoli and cauliflower in a steamer basket and steam over 2 inches of boiling water for about 10 minutes. To ensure that your puree will keep its vibrant green color, blanch your veggies by rinsing them with cold water after cooking. Next, add your cooked broccoli and cauliflower to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding cooking water as needed to adjust the consistency.
To make pea puree, steam fresh or frozen peas in a steamer basket over a pot filled with a few inches of boiling water. Cover and steam for about 4 minutes. Remove the steamer basket and let both the peas and the steamer water cool. Next, add the cooked peas into a blender or food processor with a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of mint, and blend to puree. If the puree is too thick, you can add a dash of the reserved cooking water to thin the mixture.
A great stage 2 food with lots of nutritional value, mangoes are beneficial for babies because they support healthy digestion and are good for the eyes, brain, and skin. Whip up this tasty mango puree by blending fresh or thawed frozen mango chunks into a food processor, gradually adding liquid to reach the desired consistency. You can also add in a banana or avocado for an extra creamy puree.
Red Pepper & Potato Purée
Like mangoes, red peppers are also good for your baby’s eyesight, and they’re packed with other necessary vitamins and minerals your little one needs to thrive. To make red pepper and potato puree, peel, wash, and chop ½ cup of white potatoes. Place the potato chunks in a steamer basket over a couple inches of boiling water, cover, and steam for 10 minutes. While the potato steams, wash, deseed, and chop one or two red bell peppers. Add the bell peppers into the steamer basket with the potatoes and steam for another 6 minutes or so. Remove the steamer basket, and let the potato and bell pepper chunks cool off. Add them to a blender or food processor, or use a hand-held stick blender to blend until smooth, making sure to leave some chunks for your stage 2 baby. If you’d like to add spices, try ¼ clove of garlic or a small pinch of cumin.
Green Bean Purée
For an iron rich baby food option, try whipping up this green bean puree, which can be made from either fresh or frozen green beans. To prep your green beans, trim off the stems and transfer them to a steamer basket. Place the steamer basket on a pot of two inches of boiling water, cover, and steam for about 10 minutes or until the green beans are nice and tender. Let the green beans cool slightly, and then blend them in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding cooking water, breast milk, or formula as needed to adjust the consistency of the puree. You can also add a pinch of fresh mint or basil for extra flavor and nutrients.
Foods to Avoid
There are several foods that are more likely than others to cause an allergic reaction or digestive issue in your baby and should be avoided when making homemade baby food. Importantly, this doesn’t automatically mean these foods will make your baby sick, but experts believe that these are nevertheless foods to avoid or be cautious about.
- Wheat, oats, and barley
- Fish and shellfish
- Cow’s milk
- Eggs, especially egg whites
One of the best things about making homemade baby food is that you can get creative and puree nearly anything! So have fun, experiment, and remember to tailor these healthy baby food recipes to your baby’s stage 1 or stage 2 texture needs. So snag some Stasher bowls, clear out a little room in the fridge, and get to blending.