How To Make Baby Food and Baby’s First Food

     How to make Baby Food. Recipe for Making Baby’s First Food. I was repeatedly given terrible breastfeeding advice from our old pediatrician including that my son should go 3 hours between breastfeeding sessions and sleep 4-5 hours at night from birth. He would maybe go 1-1.5 hours, nursed for long periods of time, and sometimes would only take a few minutes before going back to nursing. I later learned from other breastfeeding Moms that this was normal, and that my pediatrician was unrealistic. I remember one nursing session where he slow-nursed for 2 hours, took 15 min. off and then was back to eating. In hindsight it was a growth spurt, but at the time I searched for relief. I remember hearing the phrase “He’ll sleep once he starts cereal” over and over again. I couldn’t wait for the magical day! I looked forward to starting cereal and was utterly disappointed.

     When the Dr. told me it was time to start cereal I was excited. I purchased a box from the supermarket and was surprised at how light it was. It’s appearance was unappealing and it floated and really didn’t mix with breast milk. It was flaky, kind of shiny and reminded me of fish food. I tried feeding a little to my son a few times after nursing. It didn’t help him sleep. In fact, it made him very fussy, he didn’t sleep a wink longer…and was very constipated from the iron. Major fail.
     Next, our pediatrician recommended giving him prunes or miralax to counteract the constipation from the cereal. Luckily, I attended a La Leche League meeting and learned from other Moms that cereal didn’t have to be baby’s first food. I was so relieved, I had already given up on the highly processed product and was glad I listened to my instincts. My next move was onto yams. Our local supermarket carries organic yams that make amazing baby food. I subsequently used yams for my 2nd, 3rd and 4th son’s first food as well. Fortified with breast milk, yams are not only super digestible, but agreed well with my baby’s tummy! I’m proud to make this baby food at home and feed it to my little ones. No constipation, no fussiness and my boys love the puree I make.
     Many breastfeeding Moms practice baby lead weaning. As an Occupational Therapist I’ve always feared that giving whole foods, even soft, could lead to aspiration. For that reason I start with puree. What is pureed food? Basically the stage 1 food you buy in jars is a puree. The first foods, are super pulverized and totally smooth. The 2nd and 3rd foods have a little texture and spend less time in the processor being pulverized. Most companies add water to help out the puree process, otherwise it would be thick and pasty…but if you’re making it at home you can use your own liquid like breast milk! Awesome, right?! Here’s the recipe and some affiliate links so you can find the products.
Here’s what I use:
Organic Yams
Food Processor
Aluminum foil
Breast Milk
Ice Cube Trays
Plastic Wrap and/or
Storage Freezer Containers 
First, choose some good quality organic or regular yams at your local store. Make sure to scrub and wash all before baking. You can read more about saving money on organic groceries too. 

     Wrap each Yam individually in aluminum foil keeping the seam at the top, if you’re careful you can save, rinse and reuse the foil for more batches! Place directly on wire rack in oven. Make sure foil is free from holes or yam juice can bubble down into the oven and start to smoke.

     Preheat oven to 400. After yams have roasted 30-40 min. (smaller yams will take less time, larger yams more time) get your oven glove and poke through a larger yam with a fork. When yams are done, the fork will pass easily and the yam will feel very soft. You can squish the whole yam down nearly half with a fork when they’re ready. Once yams are done, remove with tongs and place in a safe space to cool. Once yams are cool, you can peel the skin and compost for your organic garden!

     Toss peeled yams into your food processor. The one shown here is a Hamilton Beach and is around $35 on my Amazon affiliate. I have one that I use just for baby food. Start the processor and mix in liquid adding a little at a time until the puree is a good consistency. I add 4-5oz of breast milk for a nearly full food processor, but you can also use water like the yams you would buy at the supermarket. If you’re pumping/nursing, here’s a list of my must have’s items for nursing Moms.

     Pulse the food processor a few times and slowly add breast milk. Once the consistency is to your liking (you can keep a jar of commercial grade baby food handy to compare the consistency if necessary) it’s time to portion it out. The puree should be free from chunks and lumps.
     For large batches I use ice cube trays. I also use glass baby food jars for fridge storage, and have containers designed specifically for this purpose too (but the ice cube trays work the best for us!). Carefully spoon puree into tray slots filling the entire tray one cube at a time.

     Carefully wrap plastic wrap around prepared trays. Try to avoid touching the wrap to the puree as much as possible. After cubes are frozen, transfer to a freezer storage container (glass preferably). Remove cubes as needed and warm in a glass baby food jar in a bottle warmer. If made with breast milk, microwaving baby food can lessen some of the amazing breast milk properties, so the bottle warmer has been the best for us. 

    With 1 bag of organic yams ($3.79 at our Wegmans) I can fill 4+ BPA free ice cube trays I found from Amazon. Not only is making baby food economical, but I know my baby is getting the best and I love fortifying the puree with breast milk. If I’m gone and baby doesn’t want a bottle from Grandma, I know he’s getting  milk in this puree!! Fantastic right?! Affiliate banners below where I purchased my trays.


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, not meant to provide individual recommendations for your baby. Please consult with your pediatrician about starting foods with baby. The internet is not a good place to diagnose, treat or replace doctoral care. The information here has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not meant to diagnose or treat any sort of condition etc. etc.

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Sandra Caballero
Sandra Caballero
3 years ago

I did this with my first daughter. I love to make homemade baby food and add breast milk. So healthy for baby.

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