DIY Baby and Toddler Food

Posted on December 4, 2017

by April S

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 Books

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.

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

Builds on the author’s philosophies about families eating together while providing dozens of nutritionally balanced, fast-preparation meals, from chicken meatballs in barbecue sauce to sweet potato butternut squash soup.

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.

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

A colorful guide to preparing healthy, easy and transportable meals and snacks for babies and toddlers provides dozens of creative recipes and ideas as well as time-saving and packaging tips, in a chronologically arranged reference that includes a variety of purees, dips and finger foods.

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

A handy reference guide for parents of babies and toddlers offers more than 75 recipes using 50 superfoods that can be incorporated into nutritious meals masquerading as kid favorites—such as macaroni and cheese, pizza and chicken fingers—with minimal processing.

More Baby & Toddler Food Cookbooks

eBooks from hoopla

Baby Food Universe by by Kawn Al-Jabbouri
The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook For Baby & Toddler by Shazi Visram
Baby Nosh - Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Goodness For Baby's Food Sensitivities by Jennifer Browne and Tanya R. Loewen
The Baby & Toddler Cookbook - Fresh, Homemade Foods for a Healthy Start by Karen Ansel, Charity Ferreira
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
The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet - Food Recipes-Includes More Than 60 Purees Your Baby Will Love by Karin Knight, Tina Ruggiero
Bountiful Baby Purees : Create Nutritious Meals for Your Baby with Wholesome Purees Your Little One Will Adore by Anni Daulter
Natural Baby & Toddler Treats by Leigh Ann Chatagnier

Looking for more baby and toddler food recipes?

Check out these helpful online resources:

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

Did you like this blog post? Keep up to date with all of our posts by subscribing to the Library’s newsletters!

Keep your reading list updated with our book lists. Our staff love to read and they’ll give you the scoop on new tv-series inspired titles, hobbies, educational resources, pop culture, current events, and more!

Looking for more great titles? Get personalized recommendations from our librarians with this simple form.