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Making baby food with your food processor or hand blender

Giving your baby their first taste of solid foods is an exciting milestone. Using your food processor or hand blender to make your own baby food means you can be sure that you are giving them the best start, with nourishing, flavoursome food that is full of all the good stuff. It’s also usually a lot cheaper to make purées at home from scratch using fresh fruit and vegetables than it is to buy them.

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What equipment do I need to make baby food?

Your food processor or hand blender can help you at every stage of your baby’s weaning journey, from quickly whizzing up those first smooth single fruit or vegetable purées to creating more interesting flavour combinations and chunkier textures as they become more confident eaters. In this guide, we’ll share our easy-to-follow tips for making, storing and reheating homemade baby food, along with advice on what equipment you’ll need. The good news is that you probably already have most of the bits of kit you will find helpful to make tasty and nutritious food for your baby:
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Food processor
Using a food processor enables you to prepare large quantities of baby food quickly and easily, with minimal prep time and mess. Just throw your ingredients in the bowl and blitz. The pulse function gives you complete control over consistency, which comes in handy as you move on to making more textured foods for your baby, while the variable speed settings provide you with extra power when you need it. 

If you’re experimenting with different flavour combinations, some models like the MultiPro Express Weigh+ have integrated digital weighing, allowing you to weigh ingredients directly into the bowl. And using a food processor doesn’t just save you time prepping meals for your baby. With dishwasher-safe tools and parts, it cuts down on the washing up, too. 

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Hand blender
A hand blender is ideal to use when making smaller quantities of baby food, or puréeing leftovers from the family meal. Use it to blend foods down in the pan to save on washing up, or models like the Triblade XL come with a handy beaker, along with both a purée wand and masher for creating different textures. 

The Triblade’s foot is designed for faster blending and finer results, even when working with tougher ingredients. And when it comes to cleaning up, all the tools can be popped in the dishwasher, while its compact size means your blender is easy to store away when not in use. 

Steamer
Some firmer ingredients like sweet potatoes or apples need to be softened before being puréed. 

A steamer will help achieve the right texture, while still preserving essential nutrients (you can also use the Cooking Chef XL to steam food if you have one). 

For storing and freezing food
Ice cube trays or small single portion pots.

How to make baby food

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Whether you’re making a simple butternut squash or pear purée, or combining a few different ingredients together, follow this simple step-by-step guide to making baby food using your food processor or hand blender:
  • Steam, boil or roast your ingredients to soften first, if required. This applies to firmer ingredients like root vegetables.
  • Fit your food processor’s knife blade and add the ingredients to the bowl, making sure you don’t exceed the maximum mark. If you’re using your hand blender, ensure the bowl or pan that your ingredients are in is on a stable, flat surface before you start blending. 
  • Purée until smooth on a high, continuous setting for 30 seconds-1 minute. If you’re using a hand blender, start on a slower speed to avoid splashing.  Settings will vary depending on your machine model and the ingredients you’re using. For a coarser texture, use the pulse control. 
  • To thin out a purée’s  consistency for younger babies, gradually add a little of the cooking water or your baby’s usual milk as you blend. If you aren’t using  the purée straight away you can add the liquid when you prepare it for serving instead. This will save storage space in your fridge or freezer, and enable you to vary the purée's consistency as your baby gets used to different textures.

Storing and reheating food

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Batch-cooking large quantities of food that can be divided into portions and frozen means you always have something nutritious on hand to feed your little one.

Allow food to cool completely before freezing in ice-cube trays or small pots. When you’re ready to use, defrost thoroughly and reheat until piping hot throughout. Stir through and allow to cool. Always check the temperature before feeding your baby.

You can find more advice on weaning in this NHS guide.