You've made the decision to try making your own organic baby foods, but do you really need a special appliance or kit to do it? Definitely not! Gather just a few pieces of kitchen equipment—most of which you probably already have—and you'll be ready to start creating your own healthy baby foods in no time.
1. Steamer Basket
Most veggies and some fruits become the perfect texture for baby purees with the application of just a little steam. A steamer basket fits easily in your favorite cook pot and keeps foods out of the boiling water. Bonus: Steaming is one of the best ways to cook foods when you want to retain all their vitamins and minerals.
2. Food Mill
A food mill looks like a small saucepan with a crank handle on top. With a turn of the crank, foods are pushed through the holes creating smooth purees. No need to buy one marketed as a baby food mill; in fact, a larger size will be useful for years to come. Bonus: A food mill can also remove skins and pits from fruits and veggies, saving you the time of peeling them before you process.
3. Ice Cube Trays
Scoop that food into an ice cube tray and freeze, then transfer the cubes to a freezer-safe bag to store. Fruit and veggie purees will keep in the freezer for up to eight months. Choose ones that have a lid and are BPA-free for safe baby food storage. Bonus: Regular ice cube trays make cubes that are roughly an ounce in size, making portioning out baby's dinner a breeze.
4. Small Containers
If you're not going to freeze your puree, or you need to take some food with you, small containers are a must. Glass is the best choice, and several choices exist that are the perfect size. Bonus: No BPA to worry about when you choose glass.
Seriously! Some foods are so easy to prepare for baby, all you need is a fork. Mash bananas, avocados, baked sweet potato and roasted squash for a quick and easy meal. Bonus: As baby gets a little older, the chunkier purees will prepare them for the texture of finger foods.
6. Measuring Spoons
Dole out baby's dinner with a tablespoon and you'll know exactly how much (or how little!) he's eating. Using the tablespoon as a serving spoon will help you and your tot keep track of portion sizes. Bonus: You'll be able to report accurately when your pediatrician asks how much the little one is eating.
7. Food Processor
Some foods are better finely chopped or grated than mashed. That's where your trusty food processor comes in. Although pricey if you need to buy one, it's a big help if you already own one. Chop cooked chicken thighs or turkey and grate your own cheese for older kids. Bonus: You'll save money preparing your own rather than buying these foods pre-chopped.