I made all of Jessica's baby food when she was little, and now that John is 6 months old (or will be in a few days), I am making baby food again. I have five reasons for doing this: 1) I make most of our food from scratch so why wouldn't I make the baby's food from scratch? 2) It is cheaper to puree up a bit of our dinner before adding the seasonings than buying a jar of baby food. 3) I know what's in it! 4) I have learned a lot about how to cook different types of vegetables that I don't typically use! 5)I have heard some people report that children are more likely to be good eaters if they have been introduced to the huge variety of foods/textures that you can create when you make your own baby food --- I am not entirely certain that is accurate, but Jessica has been an excellent eater, so I am going with it!
I have started both kids out teething on carrot (and sometimes celery) sticks. Jessica went straight to rice mixed with breastmilk and loved it! John was a little uncertain of the texture (I am guessing), so we switched gears and started him on carrots since he was already familiar with the taste. He LOVES it!!! After having a couple successful meals of carrots, then we will try adding the carrots to the rice and see if we can't get past the odd texture! My absolute favorite resource for making baby food is www.wholesomebabyfood.com It has all kinds of information on how to cook all types of vegetables, at what age different foods will be comfortable for baby's sensitive tummy, and even how to make baby cereal! For the most part it has followed very closely to the recommendations I have gotten from pediatricians and nutritionists. On a side note: I do try to make sure I give my babies Poly-Vi-Sol at this age to make sure they are getting enough iron since I do not use the fortified, prepackaged cereals.
One of the things most people wonder is "Do you need any special equipment to do this?" The answer is no. That being said, I do LOVE my magic bullet, but you don't need anything. You can use a fork or potato masher, which is what I do when I go to a restaurant. We often pack a bowl with a banana and avocado to mash up in the restaurant! You can see in the picture that I have some special baby food freezer containers that my mom bought me. You don't have to have those either. I like having them for the first couple months before they start eating much, but once they start eating more, I just use regular freezer containers! I enjoy cooking tasty, healthy meals for my family, and it is fun for me to be able to provide homemade "first meals" for my little ones!