OK, in the interest of full disclosure, this list isn’t really everything you need for starting solids because it doesn’t actually include any food. BUT! It does cover all the gear I’ve found useful for making, storing, serving and transporting food for babies!
I started my baby on solids a little before she got to the 6 month mark because she refuses to take bottles or sippy cups while I’m away and I didn’t want her to go hungry when I have to volunteer at preschool or go to the dentist. She was showing interest in solids by staring at my food and making chewing motions with her mouth while I ate. She was also sitting up securely and has head control so I felt confident introducing solids to her. Since we started, I’ve been slowly adding new foods to her repertoire. I’ve been buying pre-made food for the first taste test then, if she likes it, I go ahead and make a batch myself and freeze it to have on hand. Fresh fruits and veggies work well for making homemade baby food, as do frozen or canned if you can’t get the fresh stuff for whatever reason. Just look out for salt content on canned veggies and pick fruits canned with juice, not syrup.
My arsenal of tools for making food, storing it and feeding it to my baby are a combination of stuff I’ve bought and stuff I already had on hand. Though I’m always tempted by the special made-for-baby products like all-in-one steam-and-puree gadgets and cute storage containers, my practical side always wins out when I look at the price tag. You can bet that the cuter and more baby-specific it is, the pricier it will be. Usually, there’s another product that will work just as well for a lower price if you leave the baby section and go on over to general housewares.
Here’s my list of inexpensive, practical and baby-approved feeding supplies!
Microwave Steamer 1 of 7A steamer basket is a great tool for softening up fruit or veggies before pureeing them for baby. It can also cook rice and pasta!
Purchase from Target for $7.99
Mini Food Processor 2 of 7Those fancy gizmos that steam and puree cost over $100 each. Team up an inexpensive food processor with a steamer for the microwave for half that amount!
Purchase from Bed bath and Beyond for $39.99
Baby Spoons 3 of 7Sure, you can get fancier spoons but these old standby spoons are a great size and shape for not much money.
Purchase from Babies R Us for $6.99
Mesh Feeders 4 of 7My baby already loves feeding herself. These basic feeders let her suck on mashed fruit by herself.
Purchase from Target for $6.99
Containers 5 of 7Baby brands make cool little containers for storing baby food or you can hit IKEA for this awesome set. They're BPA free and come in a variety of sizes. Great for stashing finger foods in your diaper bag too!
Purchase from IKEA for $4.99
Ice Trays 6 of 7Any veteran baby food making mom will tell you a plain old ice tray is perfect for freezing purees. Cove up with some tinfoil and pop out a cube at a time for baby to eat!
Purchase from Bed Bath and Beyond for $2.99
Glass Bowls 7 of 7I've had a set of these for ages and I love them for warming and serving baby food. A great size and totally safe in the microwave.
Purchase from Williams-Sonoma for $24.99
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