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 and fork or baby food grinder or blender
Foods to Offer Your Baby
- Offer a variety of soft textures including lumpy, tender-cooked, finely minced, pureed, mashed and ground.
- Offer finger foods from six months of age. This helps your baby to learn how to feed themselves.
- Examples of safe finger foods to offer:
- soft-cooked vegetables and fruits
- soft ripe fruit e.g. banana
- finely minced, ground or mashed cooked meats, fish or poultry without bones
- grated cheese
- crackers, bread crusts or toast
- Make sure lumpy foods are offered no later than nine months.
- Steam food to help retain more nutrients. The more you cook vegetables and fruit, the more nutrients are lost.
- Limit adding salt and sugar to food.
- Do not offer honey or any foods made with honey until your baby is older than 12 months of age, as eating it can cause botulism, a kind of food poisoning.
Preparing Different Type of Baby Food
Vegetables & 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 with little to no added salt. If using canned vegetables, drain water from can and rinse. Steam, boil, or bake vegetables and fruit until soft and drain.
Note: Soft or canned fruits, such as mango, banana, avocado, ripe pears and canned peaches do not need to be cooked.
You may also:
- Mash, blend or press food through strainer to desired texture. Add breast milk or cooking water as needed.
- Cut vegetables and fruit into small pieces and give the small, soft pieces as finger foods.
Provide Iron, Protein, Zinc, and Vitamin B12
Meat, poultry, fish, egg, tofu or legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) • Small amounts of breast milk or water
How to prepare meat, poultry and fish:
- Steam, poach, boil, bake and roast until soft and well-done. Make sure that baked and roasted meat and poultry are soft after cooking and not dry.
- Drain and keep the cooking water if poaching or boiling.
- Remove bones, skin and trim fat.
- Cut meat, poultry or fish into small pieces.
You may also:
- Mash, grind or blend with breast milk or water (use reserved cooking water if boiled or poached) to desired texture.
- Give your baby small, soft, cooked pieces of meat, poultry and fish as finger foods.
How to prepare eggs:
- Cook eggs until well-done.
- Cut egg into small pieces.
You may also:
- Blend, grind or mash eggs with breast milk or water to desired texture.
- Give your baby the small pieces of cooked eggs as finger foods.
How to prepare tofu:
- Cook, if needed, as per instruction on package.
- Mash tofu with breast milk or water to desired texture.
- Give your baby small pieces of soft cooked tofu as finger foods.
How to prepare legumes:
- Drain and rinse canned legumes OR cook dry legumes according to package directions.
- Mash to desired texture. If legumes/lentils have semi-hard husks after cooking, remove husks (pass them through a sieve) before offering.
Whole Grain Foods
Provide Fibre, Folate, Iron and B Vitamins
- Iron-fortified (single grain) baby cereal, such as rice, oatmeal or barley.
- Small amounts of breast milk or water.
How to prepare iron-fortified (single grain) baby cereal:
- Add breast milk or water to cereal (as per preparation instructions on food label).
- Stir to desired texture.
You may also:
- Give your baby small pieces of other cooked grain products such as whole grain toast, cooked pasta and naan, as finger foods.
Keeping Baby Food Safe to Eat
Storing Baby Food
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 or 40°F)
- Place foods in a container. Cover, tightly seal and label foods.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to two days. Note: cooked meat, poultry, fish and eggs can only be stored for up to 24 hours.
In the Freezer (-18°C or 0°F)
- Place baby food into an ice cube tray OR put spoonfuls of baby food on a cookie sheet.
- Cover ice cube tray or cookie sheet with plastic wrap or wax paper.
- When frozen, put food in freezer bags or containers and label with name of food and date.
- Store in the freezer for up to one to two months.
Serving Baby Food
- Thaw baby food in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Do not refreeze once thawed.
- Reheat baby food thoroughly to “steaming hot” and then cool food before serving.
- Always check the food’s temperature on the back of your hand to make sure it is not too hot before feeding.
- 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.