Get Started: Basic Equipment for Making Baby Food
Contrary to what many companies would have you think, you do not need any new fancy baby food making equipment to get started making your own baby food. Most kitchens are already stocked with the basic equipment you will need. In fact, I think its preferable to simply use what is already on hand, it saves both money and storage space. After all, do we really need more kitchen gadgets to store and maintain? I don’t know about you, but my kitchen cabinets are already packed so I think its great when I can use what I already have on hand!
So, what are the basics? I’ve detailed six basic pieces of equipment that you’ll need. Some of these you may not have, but there are some great alternatives that you may already own that will serve the same purpose.
The Basic Equipment for Making Baby Food
Making baby food involves lots of slicing and dicing so you’ll want a good knife or two. Some things you may be able to chop using a food processor if you have one, but there really is no alternative to a good knife. Personally I prefer to use a chef’s knife to do my chopping but love my paring knife for coring apples, peeling vegetables, and other tasks that require greater precision.
Most baby food purees (with the exception of some fruits) require cooking before pureeing. You may prefer to steam some of your fruits and vegetables but boiling in a little water is always an easy option.
Once your foods are cooked the easiest way to make your puree is in a food processor or blender. While you don’t need one of each, many kitchens already have both. When I was making baby food for my kids I found that I used the food processor more than the blender. I like the food processor because it chops up the food better and requires less liquid to make a puree than the blender does (at least in my experience).
4. Food mill
A food mill can be used in place of a blender or food processor and is particularly handy for vegetables that have a tough skin. Running your cooked foods through the food mill allows you to extract all the goodness and leave any peel, pulp, and seeds behind. Don’t have a food mill? You could also use a fine wire mesh strainer, a potato masher, or a potato ricer.
Using ice cube trays to freeze baby food portions it into convenient portions for use during mealtimes.
6. Freezer bags
After your cubes have frozen solid, you can transfer them to freezer bags, label, and pop back in the freezer for long term storage (general freezing recommendations say you should use the food within three months).
Your turn! What kitchen tool have you found to be essential for making baby food?