Making your own baby food is a simple way of offering your baby a variety of foods. There are many
benefits to making your own baby food:
Less expensive
Provides more variety
Allows your baby to eat the same foods as your family
Allows you to know what is in your baby’s food (store bought foods may have added salt, sugar,
spices and other ingredients that are not needed)
The texture can be modified as the baby progresses
To get started, you may choose to use any of the following equipment:
A potato masher or fork
A fine mesh sieve or strainer
A blender (tip: mason jars can fit most blenders) or a baby food mill (grinder) or a food processor
It is important to avoid any food borne illness by using proper food safety measures. Make sure to wash
your hands with soap and warm water before preparing food. Ensure that the equipment and utensils are
also properly sanitized. To sanitize, place equipment in your dishwasher, or fill your kitchen sink with warm
water and add a cap full of bleach, soak the equipment for about 1 minute and let air dry.
Suggested texture progression (based on developmental skills):
Baby is able to:
Sit with support
Sit without support
Pureed, mashed foods and semi-solid foods
Soft mashed foods without lumps
Ground or soft mashed foods with tiny lumps, soft textured foods, crunchy
foods that dissolve
Walk with assistance Coarsely chopped foods, soft to moderate texture, bite-sized pieces of food,
finder foods
By 12 months, baby should be able to transition to the same foods as the rest of the family.
Babies only need pureed foods for a short amount of time, progress to different textured foods as needed.
See example below.
There is no need to add salt, sugar, butter, spices or any other additive.
Meat and alternatives
Examples: chicken, pork, beef, beans, lentils, fish, whole egg, tofu.
(Avoid deli meats)
*Drain and rinse canned legumes before using
To soften, boil, bake, stew or steam
If required, remove fat and bones
Cut into small pieces
Mash, blend or grind. Add water or breast milk gradually to reach the texture
that you want.
Vegetables and fruit (fresh, frozen or canned)
*Rinse canned vegetables before using
Wash, peel, remove seeds, pits, and cut vegetable or fruit
Cook until soft (steaming is recommended to preserve nutrients)
Mash, blend or press into the strainer
Add water from cooking
Baby food can be served as soon as it is prepared; or can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 3 days.
(Refrigeration slows down the growth of bacteria but does not kill bacteria.) It can also be frozen for later use for up
to 2 months if stored in the refrigerator freezer, and up to 6 months if stored in a deep freezer. Foods that are
prepared with infant formula should not be frozen.
Freezing guidelines:
1. Portion 2 Tbsp of food into each cube in the ice cube tray
or drop 2 Tbsp of food onto a baking sheet
2. Place in the freezer cover with a wax paper
3. Once frozen, put frozen food into a freezer bag
4. Write the date and the food item on the bag
1. When the food is needed, take out the amount required and defrost in the refrigerator or in a plastic bag
under cold water. Do not thaw at room temperature.
2. Foods can be heated using a saucepan or a double-boiler
3. Check temperature before serving
4. Do not refreeze thawed food
Content adapted from the Registered Dietitians at EatRight Ontario. For more information visit www.ontario/
Photos: All rights reserved by Ottawa Public Health, City of Ottawa. Permission is granted to print and copy this work for
educational and non- commercial purposes. No part of this information may be reproduced for any other purpose
without the prior written permission of Ottawa Public Health, City of Ottawa.