Making your own baby food is healthy, easy and saves money.
- Wash your hands and equipment with soap and warm water
- Clean your work area
What You Need
- Cutting board
- Strainer & spoon or baby food grinder or blender
When Making Baby Food
- Offer a variety of soft textures including lumpy, tender-cooked, finely minced, pureed, mashed and ground.
- Steam food because it keeps more nutrients in.
- The more you cook vegetables and fruit, the more nutrients are lost.
- Limit sugar and salt in food.
Note: Offer lumpy foods no later than nine months.
Preparing Different Type of Baby Food
Provide Protein, Iron, Zinc, and Vitamin B12
- Meat, chicken, fish, egg, tofu or legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
- Small amounts of breast milk or water
How to prepare meat, chicken and fish:
- Bake, roast, steam, poach or boil until soft and well-done
- If poaching or boiling, drain and keep the cooking water
- Remove bones, skin and trim fat
- Cut meat, chicken or fish into small pieces
- Mash, grind or blend with breast milk or water (use reserved cooking water if boiled or poached) to desired thickness
- You can also give your infant small, soft, cooked pieces of meat, chicken and fish as finger foods
How to prepare eggs:
- Cook eggs until well-done
- Cut egg into small pieces
- Blend, grind or mash eggs with breast milk or water to desired texture
- You can also give your infant small pieces of cooked eggs as finger foods
How to prepare tofu:
- Cook tofu if needed as per the instructions on the package
- Mash tofu with breast milk or water to desired texture
How to prepare legumes:
- Drain and rinse canned legumes OR cook dry legumes according to package instructions
- Mash to desired texture
If legume/lentils still has a semi-hard husk after cooking remove husk (pass it through a sieve) before offering
Vegetables and Fruit
Provide Fibre, Folate, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C
- Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and fruit
- Small amounts of breast milk or water
How to prepare vegetables and fruit:
- Wash, peel and cut fresh vegetables and fruit or use frozen or canned vegetables and fruit
- Steam, boil or bake vegetables and fruits until soft
- Drain (if necessary)
- Mash, blend or press food through strainer to desired texture. Add breast milk or cooking water as needed
- You can also cut the vegetables and fruit into small pieces and give small, soft, pieces of cooked vegetables and fruit as finger foods
Note: Soft or canned fruits, such as mango, banana, avocado, ripe pears and canned peaches do not need cooking
Provide Fibre, Folate, Iron and B Vitamins
- Iron-fortified (single grain) infant cereal, such as oatmeal, rice, or barley
- Small amounts of breast milk or water (as per preparation instructions on food label)
How to prepare:
- Add breast milk or water to cereal (as per preparation instructions on food label on iron-fortified infant cereal)
- You can also give small pieces of other cooked grain products such as bread crust, toast, pasta or roti as finger foods
Keeping Baby Food Safe to Eat
Baby food should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Store baby food in the refrigerator or freezer, to keep it from going bad.
In the Refrigerator (4°C)
- Place food in a shallow container. Cover, tightly seal and label food
- Store food for up to two days
In the Freezer (-18°C)
- Place baby food into an ice cube tray or put a spoonful on a cookie sheet
- Cover ice cube tray or cookie sheet with plastic wrap or wax paper
- Place in the freezer
- When frozen, put in freezer bags and label with the name of the food item and date
- Store in the freezer for up to one-two months
Learn more about proper food storage to prevent illness from food poisoning.
- Thaw the amount of baby food you are giving in the refrigerator or under cold running water
- For reheating: Once the food is thawed, place in a small pot on low heat or a double boiler until food is warmed
- Do not refreeze once thawed
- Always check the temperature of the food on the back of your hand to make sure it is not too hot before feeding
- Always stir the food to mix the heat evenly before feeding it to your baby
- Do not use the microwave to heat baby food. The food heats unevenly and can cause burns
Bacteria can grow in food.
- Heat only the amount of food the baby needs
- Throw our any food that the baby does not eat
- Keep frozen food in freezer bags
- Write the date and type of food on freezer bag
- Use the food with the earliest date first
Do not give honey or any food made with honey until your baby is older than 12 months of age as this can cause botulism, a serious type of food poisoning.
Get more information on proper food safety practices for children five and under and learn how to avoid food poisoning.