What kind of gear should I buy for making and serving baby food? Gear You Didn't Know You Needed

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baby food in tray
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Now that baby's eating solids, you're ready to become a master baby food chef -- or maybe you'd rather buy baby's food and want to get some good gear to make feedings less messy. No matter your strategy, stocking up on baby feeding supplies doesn't have to be complicated.

A Cookbook & Freezer Trays

"There are baby food steamers -- which are probably great -- but if you have a regular pot and a blender or masher, that's all you need to make baby food. And some things, like bananas, you don't even need to cook. You can just mash them up.

"I should warn parents about carrots and spinach -- be careful cooking these yourself because they have nitrates in them. Store-bought baby food versions of them are made without the nitrates.

"There are some really great baby and toddler cookbooks with...

"There are baby food steamers -- which are probably great -- but if you have a regular pot and a blender or masher, that's all you need to make baby food. And some things, like bananas, you don't even need to cook. You can just mash them up.

"I should warn parents about carrots and spinach -- be careful cooking these yourself because they have nitrates in them. Store-bought baby food versions of them are made without the nitrates.

"There are some really great baby and toddler cookbooks with fun puree ideas for mixing ingredients. It never occurred to me to mix avocado and mango until I saw it in a baby food cookbook!

"Since babies eat such a small amount at each meal, either get little ice cube trays, or baby food storage containers to put the food in the freezer and use them as needed. Once you make and cook the food, it's only good a couple days if stored in the fridge, but if you make a big batch and freeze it, it's good for a while.” -- Lauren Levine, MD, pediatrician at ColumbiaDoctors and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY

Keep It Simple

"For solids, I just have an affordable high chair that straps to a regular chair, a few bibs, and rubber-coated spoons. I've given my baby some store-bought baby food just to get her started, but honestly I'll just mash up some avocado or fruit or veggies cooked in the microwave with a bit of water. I've been hearing about baby-led weaning -- just giving them soft solids they can pick up and eat on their own and would like to try that when she's ready."

Pocket Bibs & Spill-Proof Bowls

"I highly recommend getting bibs that have the pocket for catching food. Also, I got my daughter bowls with little suction cups on the bottom so she couldn't knock them off the high chair tray."

You Don't Have to DIY

"High-quality organic baby food converted me from that mom who had to make everything.  There are lots of good and affordable organic baby foods at the store now, and I quickly realized making my own baby food was one more 'chore' that took away from my time to just enjoy being with my kid."

Baby Food Blender

"I have a special baby food blender set that comes with a medium blender and a small blender with two different blades that puree the food perfectly. Last night, I baked chicken and sweet potatoes, added a little water, and blended it. The baby can enjoy what the rest of the family eats for dinner."

To-Go Containers

"My son started day care around the time we started solids. I got a bunch of small BPA-free containers with lids to send him to 'school' with different purees. I'd make them over the weekend, freeze them in cubes, and then defrost them in different combinations in those containers for his lunches. My son is eight now, and I still use those containers to pack snacks for him for school!" 

Baby Food Makers Make Light Work

"For my first child, I just steamed or roasted food in a pot or pan and then blended it for my son. For my second, someone gave me a baby food maker. I have to say, this appliance wasn't a necessity but it sure did make the process easier. I'd just put the food in and it'd cook it. When it was done, I'd press a button to puree it and voilà! There was only one thing to clean and it did feel like less work."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.