In general making your own baby food is quite easy and considerably cheaper than buying commercial baby food fruits, veggies and meats. It is probably more nutritious in many cases as well. In order to make it practical to do, you should usually prepare most of the baby food ahead of time and freeze it in ice cube trays, popping the cubes into a zip lock bag after 24 hrs and labeling with what they are and when they were made them (a lot of foods look amazingly alike after being pureed). The cubes are good for one month in the freezer, or you can keep the pureed food refrigerated for 24-48 hrs after being prepared. Because we are whipping air into the food and breaking down the fibers so much with pureeing, they should not be kept for longer times than these and if you heat them up over warm water or in the microwave (be careful to stir well after heating in the microwave to avoid hot spots!) do not keep them for more than 1hr after heating or defrosting.
There is nothing better than commercial dry baby cereal powder because of the special electrolytic iron which it contains and which adult or homemade cereals do not contain. We avoid wheat (in the mixed or high protein cereals) until 6 months of age, and always mix with breast milk or formula.
Some fruits are easily made from fresh ingredients, like banana or avocado which can easily be mashed with a fork. To save the extra banana, fold the peel over the top and put the banana in a baggie in the refrigerator. The peel will turn black but the banana stays fresh for several days.
You can certainly make most fruits from fresh ingredients, but apples, pears, peaches and apricots will require washing, cooking, peeling and pureeing. In order to save time use natural style applesauce which does not have added sugar. If your baby thinks it is too chunky, puree the applesauce with no sugar added apple juice or water and freeze the puree until the baby is ready to take it as if it came from the jar. For peaches, pears and apricots (only available part of the year) use Libbey's Lite canned fruit, which does not have any sugar added. Since it does not have pineapple juice added to the pear juice it is canned in, you may want to try made-from-scratch pears or baby food pears first to avoid introducing more than one item at a time. Put the fruit with about half of the juice in a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes and pour into the ice cube trays (or baby's dish if it is mealtime.) Save the extra juice if you are also making veggies, and use the juice to mix with the veggies you are making that day.
You can make veggies from scratch but that involves washing, trimming, peeling, culling out bad pieces, cooking and then pureeing. Instead you can use frozen peas, beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and asparagus, cooking an entire bag for dinner then putting whatever is left over from dinner into the blender with water or leftover juice from the fruit made earlier in the day, pureeing for 1-2 minutes, and then pouring into ice cube trays. It is necessary to add quite a bit of liquid to veggies to get a nice creamy puree. You can make squash, sweet potatoes or white potato puree from vegetables which have been washed, baked or boiled until soft, peeled, and then puree or mash the insides until smooth.
Use leftover chicken or turkey which has been deboned, or leftover roast beef, pork or lamb to make baby food. In order to make a nice puree which is not too grainy or chunky, put the meat through a meat grinder and then puree it with water or other liquid and cooked rice or pasta.
You can certainly make baby dinners as well, pureeing all the ingredients together, making sure that only one new food is being introduced in these combinations at a time. A little seasoning is perfectly acceptable as well.
You can view a printable version of this page for your convenience here: Making Foods.pdf