Tommee Tipps

We’ve put together a list of the benefits of homemade baby food, as well as some handy hints on how to get started with making your own healthy baby food.

Our Guide to Homemade Baby Food

When it’s time to transition their little one onto solid or puréed foods, many parents wonder whether going homemade is better than opting for commercially produced baby food.  

In truth, there's no real right or wrong answer to this question. What’s "better" – as always – depends on what makes you feel most comfortable!

We’ve put together a list of the benefits of homemade baby food, as well as some handy hints on how to get started with making your own healthy baby food if you do decide it’s the right thing for you and your baby. 

What are the benefits of homemade baby food?

  • Adventurous eater – Making your own food can help expose babies to more flavours, which may help them be more comfortable with exploring new foods.
  • You're in control – When your make food at home for your baby, you're able to manage added sugars and salt, and keep a close eye on their nutrition because you know exactly what's going into their meals.
  • You can avoid a sweet tooth – Babies have an innate preference for sweet foods and breast milk itself has a sweet taste to it. When it comes to weaning, however, you have a great opportunity to encourage your little one to expand their palate. By making your own baby food, you're able to offer a range of tastes, textures, and flavours, meaning that they're less likely to want sweet foods later in life.
  • It's cost effective – Making your own baby food is generally less expensive than commercial options, particularly if bought and cooked in bulk. You can make sure that you get exactly what you pay for.
  • It's fresher – With non-processed fresh and healthy food, you don’t have to wonder about how long your baby’s food was sat in the shipping factory or on the supermarket shelf for. Plus, you know exactly what your baby is eating without having to worry about any unexpected ingredients.
  • There's less single use plastic – Making your own baby food means no single use plastic packaging to deal with. Most store-bought baby food now comes in plastic rather than the old school mini glass jars, and these pouches can be difficult to recycle.

Is shop-bought baby food bad?

Not at all! Commercial baby foods are nutritious options for feeding baby, too. They're made to provide balance and variety with carefully controlled and consistent nutrient content, so don’t worry if you supplement your baby's intake with commercial baby foods.

Plus, they're really convenient – especially when you’re pushed for time or travelling with your baby!

Be sure to talk to your baby's health care provider about which foods are best for your baby and if any dietary supplements may be recommended.

Homemade baby food FAQs

  • Can I give my baby both shop-bought and homemade food?

Of course, mix and matching gives you the best of both – convenience, and culinary creativity!

Most people find their own combination of homemade and shop-bought baby food. A pouch or two in your nappy bag for those on-the-go moments can be a real lifesaver and a stock in your fridge of freshly made mushes for at home dinners feels great. But whatever you choose, homemade, shop-bought or a bit of both, it’s whatever works for you and your baby that matters. 

  • How can I store homemade baby food?

After you've prepared the food, either serve it or refrigerate it right away. Keep homemade baby food in a covered container for one or two days in the refrigerator or one to two months in the freezer with a label and date.

It's a good idea to freeze baby food in small portions in a clean ice cube tray. Once frozen, put the cubes into clean, airtight, freezer-safe food containers for single-serving portions. You can also use the so called "plop and freeze" technique. Simply, plop meal-size spoonfuls of pureed food onto a baking tray, freeze, then transfer the frozen baby food to clean freezer-safe containers for storage in the freezer.

  • How should I defrost or heat baby food?

Defrost frozen food thoroughly before reheating. The safest way to do this is in the fridge (never do it at room temperature), or by defrosting it in the microwave (using the defrost setting). Once food has been defrosted, eat it within 24 hours.

When reheating food, make sure it's steaming hot all the way through, then let it cool before giving it to your baby. If you're using a microwave, give it a good stir to get rid of any hot air pockets – always check the temperature before feeding your baby. Any cooked food you are feeding your child at mealtimes should only be reheated once.

  • Can I offer my baby homemade food again for another meal if there's leftovers?

In short, no, it's not recommended.

To avoid food waste, decant the amount of food you think your baby will eat – you can always offer more if they're still hungry. Small portions of baby food served in separate dishes are ideal! That's because any food that was served, but not eaten, must then be thrown away. Bacteria thrives in the mouth, so if a spoon goes into the baby's mouth and then touches the food, that food shouldn't be saved for later.