I started by finding the best website to help with basic cooking methods of vegetables and fruit. After much research I came across this website. It has so much good information, ideas, and basic cooking instructions for vegetables and fruit. I baked or steamed everything and then pureed them. I then froze them in ice cube trays and popped them out and stored them in freezer bags. They can store up to 3 months; 3 cubes = 1 jar of baby food.
I started with the less sweet vegetables and moved my way up to the fruit. I steamed green beans, peas, squash, zucchini, carrots, and all the fruit (except bananas). I baked sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and acorn squash. I put all the meat, chicken, turkey, pork loin, and rump roast, in the crockpot to cook all day so it would get extra tender. I would spend about 2 hours cooking, pureeing and freezing everything. This doesn't sound like much time but as a stay at home mom, I had that time. For those who only have the weekends to spend with their precious children, 2 hours can be a decade. That is why I would simply buy baby food if I was a working mom.
The perks of making homemade baby food is the ability to change the consistency to gradually lead your baby into thicker more chunky foods. At 7 months, my daughter was chewing smaller pieces of her fruits and veggies and eating table foods. By 9 months, we no longer made baby food and she only ate what we had at each meal. The older my daughter got, the more she was wanting something different. So I started to mix the foods together and try new and different foods. Please talk to your pediatrician and make sure this is acceptable for your child. This may not be the case with your little one so do what is right for him or her.
Now that my daughter is eating table foods, I simply bake all my veggies in slices and then cut them into cubes and freeze them. Now they are finger foods made just for my sweet toddler.
Things I LearnedMy daughter preferred to eat the green beans and peas from a can instead of fresh or frozen. I just bought the no salt added cans.
When it was time for finger foods, I found that the frozen slices of carrots, squash, and zucchini, along with the frozen broccoli and cauliflower were easy when steamed in the Ziploc steamfresh bags. The bags are easy to use and really quick. It allowed me to put only the amount my daughter would eat for that meal in and steam in just a couple of minutes in the microwave. Then I lightly seasoned it in the bag and served it to her. She loved it and it wasted no time. I would choose to steam veggies in this bag if I lacked the time to steam it in a pot.
I had a baby bullet that I used to puree which was excellent. However, I received it as a gift and wouldn't have spent the money on it. Instead a blender or a food processor works just as well if not better. Try those instead.
If your little one won't eat some veggies, try steaming them in the microwave in apple juice instead of water. It will sweeten it and keep the nutritional value you're looking for.
I loved every minute of making baby food and will do it again for my future children. I hope you will enjoy this adventure and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Children are a blessing and enjoy every minute with them!