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Best Homemade Baby Food

Homemade baby food provides an essential complement to your baby’s diet from around six months of age. Your baby is actively exploring their world by this time, and most are ready to start exploring food! While milk (either breast milk or formula) will still form the backbone of your baby’s nutrition until they reach 12 months, introducing quality homemade baby food will help your little one develop optimally.

Why Homemade?

Cooking at home takes time and effort. However, it offers several advantages for your family. First, it puts you in control of your child’s nutrition. Second, it’s cheaper to prepare baby food rather than buy it pre-made. Third, you can avoid overburdening the environment with one-use packets that will either need to be recycled or thrown out.

Which Ingredients Are Best for Babies?

Most baby foods that are sold today are based on cereals, fruits, and sugar and are cooked or ultra-pasteurized for stability. Interestingly, traditional cultures rarely start babies with rice — preferring nutrient-dense foods like egg yolks, liver pate, and avocados. In the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon [1], it’s actually recommended to hold off on the grains until your baby is at least 12 months old, as these foods are more complex and difficult to digest.

Some parents are afraid that introducing eggs “too early” could cause an allergic reaction in the child. Fortunately, there is no evidence that the early introduction of allergens is harmful. In fact, an early introduction of foods like eggs and peanuts might actually help to prevent allergies from developing.

Adult feeding baby

Easy First Meal Ideas

Making baby food doesn’t have to be hard. And with many families spending more time at home these days, maintaining a healthy home is accessible (and important). When preparing a meal for your family, you can often feed your baby one or more ingredients from the family meal to avoid cooking separately for your baby. Here are some suggested foods from Nourishing Traditions.

Six Months

Breast milk is 50-60% fat, so a baby’s first foods should be high in fat as well (NCBI).

You can give your baby the following foods from around six months of age:

Animal Foods

  • Egg yolks (pastured, high omega-3 varieties if available)
  • Minced and puréed meat
  • Liver (raw frozen and grated or cooked)
  • Cod liver oil (½ teaspoon per day)


  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Papaya

Vegetables (served with butter)

  • Steamed carrot
  • Steamed sweet potato
  • Steamed beets

banana on wood background

Eight Months

You can add cream, plain yogurt and/or kefir, creamed vegetable soups, cooked stone fruits, and small amounts of cheese at eight months of age.

Foods like cheese, sliced fruit, and steamed vegetables make for great beginner finger foods!

12 Months

You can add grains and legumes at around 12 months of age — always soaked overnight and cooked thoroughly.

You can also give your baby very small amounts of honey at this age.

Before one year, there’s a risk of infant botulism from the Clostridium botulinum bacteria in honey, so you should never give honey to younger infants.

Putting It All Together

As we’ve seen, it’s easy to create a diet for your baby that’s high in fat, iron, and Vitamin C — using simple, whole ingredients that are often part of the family meal.

Suppose you’d like to prepare special meals for your baby. In that case, you can do this easily using pressure-cooker and baby-friendly blender recipes, making sure to combine fruits and vegetables with fats (butter, cream, coconut oil, or milk). (check out for recipes)

Many easy baby meals can even be made by puréeing ingredients from the garden with a little bit of breast milk or formula, says The Grow Network. Home-grown produce is typically high in micronutrients, and your baby will love the unparalleled taste!

baby Exploring Food

Remember: It’s All about Exploring Food

The most important thing to remember is that babies under 12 months of age are still exploring food and don’t yet use it as their primary source of calories.

Many babies don’t start eating regular meals until they’re nine or ten months old.

After a milk feed, try one new baby food from the list and see how your child responds.

Soon, they will be eating meals with the family and thriving with your delicious, homemade food!


  1. Fallon, Sally. Nourishing Traditions. NewTrends Publishing. 1999

Author bio

Katie Tejada is a married mother of six (and an animal mom of 12). She enjoys writing about the unique world of motherhood, pet care, and marriage in her spare time.

About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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