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DIY Baby and Toddler Food

Posted about 1 year ago by April S

Posted in Children and Parenting and Cooking, Garden and Home | Tagged with baby finger foods, baby food, baby food recipes, baby led weaning, Children - Nutrition, cookbooks, cooking - natural foods, food habits, homemade baby food, Infants - Nutrition, nutritional guidelines - babies, nutritional guidelines - toddlers, organic baby food, quick and easy cooking, toddler meal ideas and Toddlers - Nutrition

Making baby food is easier than you might think. A few years ago, I decided to give it a go and it was actually a good experience.

Introduce one food item at a time and watch for any allergic reactions. For example:

  • Mash or puree one banana.
  • Add a small amount of breast milk or formula.
  • Stir or puree until smooth.

Here's a quick and easy recipe that works for babies and toddlers:

  • Peel, core and chop up apples (3-6 apples for a small batch).
  • Cook until soft in a saucepan with a small amount of water to avoid burning.
  • Mash and add a touch of cinnamon.
  • Serve the chunky applesauce to your baby or toddler.
  • Puree if your baby doesn't have teeth yet.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Your Own Baby Food?


  • Expense: It's often cheaper to make your own baby food, because store bought anything is traditionally a little more pricey.
  • Quality: You control what goes into your baby food.


  • Time: It takes time to prepare and separate into small serving sizes.
  • Convenience: Prepackaged baby food comes in convenient pre-measured individual servings.

What's Bay-Led Weaning?

Basically, baby led weaning is letting your child feed themselves from the start - no mushy baby food. Typically, most babies start reaching for food around 6 months, so experts encourage parents to start introducing foods babies can reach for and mash with their teeth or gums (remember to cut into small pieces to avoid choking hazards). When using this approach, medical professionals strongly advise learning infant CPR. My husband and I took a short course at one of the local hospitals on infant safety and CPR and it covered quite a few things we hadn't really considered. When introducing solid foods it can be a bit nerve-racking, so preparation is key and consulting your pediatrician beforehand is strongly advised.

Even though it takes a little time and effort, preparing your own baby food can be quite rewarding, because you have control over what you're feeding your little one. Avoiding added salts, sugars, and whatever else might be in processed food will give you piece of mind as well. So, why not give it a try? Below, you'll find some great resources to help.

Baby & Toddler Food Cookbooks (Print)

The Pediatrician's guide to feeding babies and toddlers : practical answers to your questions on nutrition, starting solids, allergies, picky eating, and more / Anthony Porto, M.D. and Dina DiMaggio, M.D

The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers: Practical Answers to Your Questions on Nutrition, Starting Solids, Allergies, Picky Eating, and More by Anthony Porto, M.D. and Dina DiMaggio, M.D

A comprehensive manual for feeding babies and toddlers during the crucial first years of life, written by a team of medical experts who are also parents.

All Your Questions about Feeding, Answered.

The choices of when, how, and what to feed your baby can be overwhelming. With The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers, you have the expertise of a team of pediatric medical and nutritional experts—who also happen to be parents—in a comprehensive manual that takes the guesswork out of feeding. This first-of-its-kind guide provides practical, easy-to-follow advice to help you navigate the nutrition issues, medical conditions, and parenting concerns that accompany feeding. With recipes, parenting stories, and recommendations based on the latest pediatric guidelines, this book will allow you to approach mealtime with confidence so you can spend more time enjoying your new family.

The big book of organic baby food : baby purees, finger foods, and toddler meals for every stage / Stephanie Middleberg MS, RD, CDN

The Big Book of Organic Baby Food: Baby Purees, Finger Foods, and Toddler Meals for Every Stage by Stephanie Middleberg MS, RD, CDN

The Big Book of Organic Baby Food makes it simple for moms and dads to kick-start a lifetime of healthy eating without spending hours in the kitchen, without paying premium prices for organic baby food products, and without losing their sanity (or what s left of it) along the way. Created by nutritionist and mom Stephanie Middleberg, this nutritional guide and cookbook is the only baby food book any family will ever need, covering everything from first bites for babies through family meals with toddlers in a playfully designed, easy-to-use format. A wealth of recipes for the full range of stages without shorting any along the way, with recipes for 125 purees and 125 finger foods, snacks, toddler meals, and family dinners.

The baby-led weaning cookbook : 130 recipes that will help your baby learn to eat solid foods-- and that the whole family will enjoy / Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett

The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: 130 Recipes That Will Help Your Baby Learn to Eat Solid Foods-- and That the Whole Family Will Enjoy by Gill Rapley, PhD and Tracey Murkett

Baby-led weaning sets the stage for healthy eating habits in the years ahead by helping babies learn to feed themselves, to gauge appetite, and to love a variety of nutritious foods. Now, with this cookbook, cooking family meals that your little one can share will be a cinch. Contains 130 recipes plus advice on where to start, ideas for healthy snacks and meals, and tips on minimizing the mess and keeping food the right size for little hands, and more.

Also available in eBook.

Top 100 meals in minutes : quick and easy meals for babies and toddlers / Annabel Karmel

Top 100 Meals in Minutes: Quick and Easy Meals for Babies and Toddlers by Annabel Karmel

From a leading children’s food expert and bestselling author of Top 100 Baby Purees, this ultimate time-saving, stress-free cookbook offers fabulous recipes for keeping your children healthy and happy.

Meet Annabel Karmel, international bestselling author and leading authority on feeding babies and children. With over two decades of feeding experience and thirty-eight books which have sold over 4 million copies worldwide, Annabel continues to be one of the most trusted, influential, and inspiring resources for growing families.

Although feeding your children separately may seem like an easy solution to keeping everyone happy, all that extra time spent in the kitchen rustling up different meals could be spent eating together at the table—discussing the day, sharing stories, and enjoying each other’s company.

Cooking for the whole family doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming, and it shouldn’t feel like a chore. Top 100 Meals in Minutes features delicious, nutritionally balanced recipes that are simple to prepare. From chicken meatballs in barbecue sauce and pasta primavera, to jambalaya and sweet potato butternut squash soup, Annabel’s latest collection of easy-peasy recipes will leave everyone feeling full and satisfied.

201 organic baby and toddler meals : the healthiest toddler and baby food recipes you can make! / Tamika L. Gardner, author of 201 Organic baby purées

201 Organic Baby and Toddler Meals: The Healthiest Toddler and Baby Food Recipes You Can Make! by Tamika L. Gardner

Of course your child's food should always be made of the freshest, healthiest ingredients possible! With 201 Organic Baby and Toddler Meals, you can be sure your growing child eats the most nourishing meals nature can offer. With the wholesome recipes in this book, you can create well-balanced, all-natural dishes right in your own home. As simple to prepare as they are nutritious, these yummy baby and toddler meals include: Dutch Baked Apple Pancake, Creamy Spinach Pita Pizza, Orange Chicken Stir-Fry, and Cinnamon Pineapple Crumble.

Every recipe is built to make your life less complicated--whether you're freezing them for later or making a family-friendly dish that will satisfy the whole table. These delicious meals are easy on your child's tummy, the environment, and your schedule!

Baby & toddler on the go : [fresh, homemade foods to take out and about] / Kim Laidlaw ; photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy ; illustrations by Lorena Siminovich

Baby & Toddler on the go: Fresh, Homemade Foods To Take Out and About by Kim Laidlaw ; photographs by Thayer Allyson Gowdy ; illustrations by Lorena Siminovich

Whether you are at home, in the park, on an airplane, or anywhere in between, feeding your child wholesome meals is deliciously possible, even on a busy schedule.

Feeding your baby or toddler a healthy homemade meal while you are on the go may seem like a daunting task, but with the easy-to-prepare recipes and guidance found in this cookbook, you can make it happen without a lot of time spent in the kitchen. Life is busy, especially with a little one in tow, and it doesn’t leave much time to plan, prep ingredients, and prepare wholesome meals that are easy to take along, whether you are traveling by car or plane, heading to daycare or the park, or simply running errands. The more than 75 wholesome, yummy recipes found here, plus loads of tips and tricks for planning, prepping, cooking, packaging, and feeding, will set you up for any situation.

Baby & Toddler On the Go takes you through each stage of eating, from introducing purees at 4 to 6 months, to bite-sized mini meals packed with nutritious ingredients by 12 months, to sandwiches and finger foods appropriate for toddlers 18 months to 3 years and beyond. Plus, nearly all of the recipes found here can be made in advance and stored in the freezer, meaning that you can have a array of different meals at your fingertips, anytime. So, no matter where you are, it’s possible to feed your child tasty meals and snacks that are sure to elicit a smile.

Baby self-feeding : solid food solutions to create lifelong, healthy eating habits / Nancy Ripton and Melanie Potock

Baby Self-Feeding: Solid Food Solutions To Create Lifelong, Healthy Eating Habits by Nancy Ripton and Melanie Potock

Picky eating is a huge stress to parents. What if you could help negate overly choosey eaters from the day you introduce food? Baby self-feeding puts your child in the driver's seat from the moment food is introduced, helping to establish a positive relationship from day one and creating a willingness to try new things!

First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers by Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC

First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers by Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC

FIRST BITES is a "cheat sheet" approach to introducing 50 superfoods into baby and toddler diets, with tips and recipes to show parents how to raise healthy eaters for life.

FIRST BITES is the quick and easy reference guide that all parents can keep on hand to whip up tasty and nutritious meals for their babies and toddlers in no time. Recipes are designed to help to foster healthy eating habits and create a diet filled with 50 fresh, minimally processed superfoods that are just as delicious as they are healthy. In this book, fruit and veggies take center stage in new and exciting ways, yet parents will also learn to create healthy spins on classic kid favorites like mac and cheese, pizza, chicken fingers and cupcakes.

FIRST BITES offers all the tools parents need to turn the naturally healthy foods they have on hand into delectable breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks designed to encourage youngsters to become strong and healthy eaters for a lifetime.

Real baby food : easy, all-natural recipes for your baby and toddler / by Jenna Helwig ; with Natalia Stasenko, M.S., R.D

Real Baby Food: Easy, All-Natural Recipes for Your Baby & Toddler by Jenna Helwig; with Natalia Stasenko, M.S., R.D

Store-bought baby food is expensive and can contain artificial ingredients you don't want your baby to consume. And as a baby grows to be a toddler, it can be difficult to find nutritious and easy-to-fix foods that they will eat. Idiot's Guides: Homemade Baby & Toddler Food comes to the rescue with the solution to feeding dilemmas for parents of babies and toddlers from 6 to 24 months:

  • 100 recipes for appealing baby and toddler cuisine, from purees to finger foods to table foods even the pickiest toddlers will eat.
  • More than 100 full-color photos of finished dishes, preparation steps, and more.
  • Nutrition and development information, plus meal plans for five different stages from a registered dietitian.
  • Advice for encouraging picky eaters to try new things. Illustrated how-to steps for frequently used techniques.
  • Information on baby-led weaning, food allergies, and other high-interest topics.

Baby & Toddler Food Cookbooks (eBooks from hoopla)

Baby Food Universe by by Kawn Al-Jabbouri

Baby Food Universe: Raise Adventurous Eaters with a Whole World of Flavorful Purées and Toddler Foods by Kawn Al-Jabbouri

Cultivate adventurous eaters right from the start! Starting your baby on solids is such an exciting time. But where do you begin? Are some foods better to start with than others? Is it easy to make yourself? And when can you start combining different foods to develop your baby's palette? Learn all of that and more with Baby Food Universe.

Author and mom Kawn Al-Jabbouri, founder of the widely popular Instagram account of the same name (@babyfooduniverse) will walk you through everything you need to know for feeding your baby in the first year and beyond, including:

  • All the basics: equipment, cooking methods, how to get started.
  • What foods to introduce when-including charts and timelines.
  • Recipes for 1-, 2-, and 3-ingredient purées for those first months of weaning.
  • Recipes for textured meals and toddler foods full of flavor (including ingredients such as healthy fats, gentle spices, and more).
  • Step-by-step photos so you can make recipes at a glance.
  • Information on baby-led weaning and how to follow whatever method works best for you.
  • Tips and advice from registered dietitian Gemma Bischoff.
  • Suggestions on how to overcome fussy eating and cultivate a lifetime love of new and different foods.

Up, up, and away with Baby Food Universe - a world of flavor and fun awaits!

The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook For Baby & Toddler by Shazi Visram

The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook for Baby & Toddler: Wholesome Nutrition for the First 1,000 Days by Shazi Visram

Give your baby and toddler the best start in life by feeding them nutrient-rich superfoods in easy-to-prepare recipes created by Shazi Visram - the founder and CEO of Happy Family Organics, one of the fastest-growing organic food companies in the US - and Cricket Azima, founder and CEO of The Creative Kitchen and celebrated chef. With more than 70 easy-to-prepare recipes made with all-natural ingredients, The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook offers a fresh, nutritious, and accessible approach-and Shazi's enlightened nutrition philosophy-to feeding children from 4 months to 3 years.

Recipes for babies (4-12 months)-From single to multi-ingredient vegetable and fruit purees, including Happy Family's best-selling spinach, mango & pear recipe, to recipes with quinoa, chia, and kale -Shazi's and Cricket's superfood recipes will nourish and please every kind of baby.

Recipes for toddlers (1-3 years) - meals include:

  • Avocado & Chicken Whole Wheat Pizza
  • 3 Bean Farro Risotto
  • Baked Salmon with Peas & Rice Balls

Toddlers will love tasty snacks like:

  • Strawberry-Beet Pudding with Coconut Milk and Chia
  • Avocado, Melon & Mint Smoothies
  • Banana, Chocolate Chip & Quinoa Muffins
  • Grilled Nut-Butter Sandwiches with Smashed Berries.
Baby Nosh - Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Goodness For Baby's Food Sensitivities by Jennifer Browne and Tanya R. Loewen

Baby Nosh: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Goodness for Baby's Food Sensitivities by Jennifer Browne and Tanya R. Loewen

Caring for a baby or small child with food sensitivities is never fun—especially if you have no idea what the culprit is. Meet Jennifer and Tanya: two modern mamas with a combined seven children and twenty-five years’ worth of experience in navigating the problem of what to feed a baby with an uncooperative digestive tract.

Written in frank, humorous language displaying a boisterous passion for real food, this book schools readers on what some common food offenders are, why food sensitivities are more prevalent now than in the past, secrets to assembling the perfect pantry, and how to cook one meal that will nourish anyone from six months to sixty years with simple, wholesome ingredients.

Here are fifty plant-based, gluten-free, easily digestible recipes that are not only nutritious, delicious, and kind to your little one’s gut, but are also appropriate for the entire family. There are even a handful of natural food remedies for teething pain, fevers, cold and flu, and more. From yam medallions to strawberry-chia spread, carrot-ginger swirl pancakes to chamomile teething treats, Baby Nosh will simplify mealtimes and help your baby or toddler thrive!

The Baby & Toddler Cookbook - Fresh, Homemade Foods for a Healthy Start by Karen Ansel, Charity Ferreira

The Baby & Toddler Cookbook: Fresh, Homemade Food for a Healthy Start by Karen Ansel (MS, RD) and Charity Ferreira

Making fresh, homemade meals for your baby and toddler is one of the best ways to give him a healthy, happy start in life. And while every parent can appreciate the convenience of already-prepared foods, balancing them with wholesome meals you have prepared yourself not only provides better nutrition, but also teaches your baby good eating habits. Packed with over 90 recipes and loads of nutritional information, The Baby & Toddler Cookbook makes cooking healthy meals easy, even for busy parents. By setting aside only a few hours a week, you can make and store an array of nutritious foods to keep baby happy and fed. All along the way, this book will give you helpful hints, guidance, and plenty of recipes to ease your path to nutrition.

The Baby-Led Weaning Family Cookbook - our Baby Learns to Eat Solid Foods, You Enjoy the Convenience of One Meal for Everyone by Tracey Murkett, Gill Rapley

Baby-Led Weaning Family Cookbook: Your Baby Learns to Eat Solid Foods, You Enjoy the Convenience of One Meal for Everyone by Gill Rapley, PhD and Tracey Murkett

Yes, your baby can join in at family mealtimes-right from the start! Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett are the creators of baby-led weaning (BLW), a commonsense way to introduce your baby to solid foods. There's no need to struggle with purées and spoon-feeding! Instead, Baby can explore the same foods you enjoy-how they feel, smell, and taste; how to grasp them and chew them-all at his or her own pace.

The Baby-Led Weaning Family Cookbook includes 99 all-new recipes, many suited for families of 4 or more. Plus, Rapley and Murkett review all the benefits of BLW:

  • It's convenient: The whole family eats the same meal-together. No one puts Baby in the corner!
  • It helps Baby learn: BLW builds motor skills, coordination, and confidence.
  • It promotes lifelong health: By teaching Baby to love a variety of foods and to gauge fullness, BLW helps prevent picky eating, and overeating, later on!
The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet - Food Recipes-Includes More Than 60 Purees Your Baby Will Love by Karin Knight, Tina Ruggiero

The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet - Food Recipes-Includes More Than 60 Purees Your Baby Will Love by Karin Knight, R.N. and Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., L.D.

The Top of Its Class! The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet was nominated for the 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals annual Cookbook Awards competition. Considered the gold standard among cookbook awards and widely lauded as the most selective in the industry, the IACP has been presenting its cookbook awards for more than 25 years to promote quality and creativity in culinary writing and publishing. Past nominees include Julia Child, Mark Bittman, and Thomas Keller, among others.

Food Made with Love Is Food You Can Trust! Preparing simple, homemade food in the comfort of your own kitchen is one of the greatest gifts you can give your little one. Not only does it allow you to nourish your child with the most pure and wholesome ingredients, but it also gives you the peace of mind of knowing what has gone into every bite your baby takes. Full of recipes to suit every age and stage "from six months all the way to twenty-three months" The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet shows you how simple and easy it is to prepare food your baby will go absolutely ga-ga for.

From quick purées like Mighty Tasty Blueberry and Pear Mash and No-Cook Prune Purée, to new and nourishing meals like Sweet Omelet Surprise and Finger-Lickin' Good Lentils and Potato with Cheese, you'll find it a breeze to prepare any and all of the recipes you and your little one fancy.

And to make things even more easy-peasy, you'll find each recipe also contains:

  • Two methods for preparation - stovetop or microwave - wherever applicable, so you can whip up recipes in whatever time you have. Many microwave options make it possible for meals to be made in less than 10 minutes.
  • An easy-to-spot snowflake icon on all recipes suitable for freezing, so you can make baby's meals at your convenience, or in batches, to save time and money.
  • A complete nutritional analysis, so you can be sure you're giving your child the best possible start.

Make your own super-delicious, super-nutritious homemade baby food today - it's guaranteed to be the best thing that's ever crossed the high chair!

Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers by Anni Daulter, Shante Lanay

Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers by Anni Daulter with Sante Lanay

A cookbook with a conscience, Organically Raised shows parents how to replace bland processed shelf staples with flavorful, pesticide-free meals that babies will love, laying the groundwork for a lifetime of good nutrition and enthusiastic eating. Organically Raised shows families how easy it is to make safe, wholesome food at home and create lasting family mealtime rituals. The simple, seasonal purees for new babies and inventive recipes from around the world for toddlers and young children provide parents with all of the tools they need to raise adventurous eaters. The cookbook also includes important information about nutrition for children, common food allergies, a handy feeding journal, and inspiring "Mama Mantras" to help parents prepare meals that nurture their children's bodies, minds, and spirits. With photographs featuring delicious, healthy baby food and recipes that focus on a few basic fresh ingredients, Organically Raised makes cooking for babies and young toddlers easy and appealing to even the most inexperienced cook.

Looking for more baby and toddler food recipes?

Search the library catalog using the following terms:
  • Baby Foods
  • Infants -- Nutrition
  • Children -- Nutrition
  • Toddlers -- Nutrition
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