Homemade baby food barley, asparagus, edamame, blueberries and mango are 5 easy, healthy baby foods that can all be made in just 20 minutes!
Hi to all the mamas! (And daddy’s - cause they can make baby food too!)
I’m back again with another easy round-up of homemade baby foods!
Today we’ve got 5 more healthy homemade baby food purees that you can crank out in just 20 minutes! That’ll leave the rest of nap time for reading magazines, watching a show, or just getting in some sleep or a shower!
And if this sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve brought you several other round-ups of 5 baby foods in 20 minutes. Homemade baby food broccoli, zucchini, squash, black beans and yogurt, as well as my homemade baby food peas, green beans, applesauce, butternut squash and oatmeal and my homemade baby food quinoa, peaches, avocado, pumpkin and cottage cheese.
Yes, fast and easy is the name of the game here! 👍
Today we’ve got barley, asparagus, edamame, blueberries and mango on the menu for your baby.
Oh, and if you’re not sure when to introduce various foods, you can check out my introducing baby food schedule for a run-down of different foods to try at different stages. Be sure to also talk to your baby’s doctor about introducing solids and any questions you may have.
(Yes, that’s totally a disclaimer. 👆 I’m just sharing my experience here with making ALL of my own baby food for my kids, after having researched the heck out of it.)
We are going to be super efficient with our time and have a few things happening at once. Here’s the strategy:
Step 1: First up, get your baby food barley puree going.
I get a box or bag of the 10-minute barley, which makes this oh so quick. Follow your package directions and cook it up on the stove, then puree and portion out for immediate eating and put the extra in ice cube trays for freezer back-ups. (Or put some aside, before you puree it, to have on-hand for the grown-ups this week.)
I think it’s important to introduce your little one to a wide variety of whole grain goodness. You have the opportunity to influence – for the better – their taste buds to appreciate whole grains instead of more processed and less nutritious grains like white rice or pasta or white bread. Barley has a great flavor and can be pureed early on, then used whole when your baby has adapted to having more texture.
(Note: You can use regular barley instead of the quick-cook kind for the full nutritious benefits but it will take longer to cook.)
Step 2: Next up, start your asparagus on the stove.
I simply steam some chopped asparagus in a steamer basket for about 5-7 minutes, until very tender. Then use an immersion or regular blender to puree it up. Like green beans, pureed baby food asparagus can be a bit stringy, so be sure to scrape down your bowl/container as you puree so that it gets nice and smooth for baby.
(By the way, if you’re wondering, I kept thinking I would detect the smell of asparagus in their baby diapers, from their pee, but I never did.)
Step 3: Cook your edamame at the same time as the asparagus and barley.
I use frozen, shelled edamame, which I always have on hand for veggie burgers, Buddha bowls, my quinoa salad with edamame and broccoli slaw and just as a quick snack. And for babies, you can’t beat the goodness!)
Just throw your desired quantity – 1 cup? 3 cups? – into a pot of boiling water and let it cook for 6-7 minutes. I like them a bit al dente for myself, but for the babes, you want to cook it until very tender.
Drain and puree the edamame, adding some of the cooking water if needed. Whole, tender edamame will make a great finger food down the road.
Step 4: Prepare your blueberries.
You can use fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries (thawed). All you have to do is puree them in a blender, being sure to scrap the sides well several times so you don’t get blueberry skins stuck throughout. Then it’s ready to serve!
Note: In addition to regular blueberries, my kids both LOVE frozen wild blueberries as finger foods. When you’re ready, try them out. They are smaller and sweeter than regular blueberries and oh so scrumptious. (And yup, we eat them frozen.) Just be prepared, they make a big ole mess. Stains the hands, the face, the clothes and anything else. I’ve taken to stripping my kids down to eat these. They don’t mind a bit: (this picture from April 2015)
Step 5: Last up is the mango.
Again, you can use fresh or frozen mango. If using fresh, cut open the mango, scoop out the fruit and puree. If it’s frozen, let it thaw a bit then puree. Scrumptious!
And we are DONE! You totally rocked that! See, you can absolutely make your own baby food. 🙌👍😊
- Blueberries and mango go great together (alone or mixed into some yogurt)
- Blueberries or mango can be mixed with barley for a fruit-grain combo.
- Asparagus and barley make a great veggie-grain combo.
- Barley and edamame can also be mixed for a tasty and super nutritious combo.
I’ve got a ton of other ideas for homemade baby food combinations here.
Now, for some storage tips cause that's important too.
Homemade baby foods will store for 3-5 days in the refrigerator and 3-5 months in the freezer. I use baby ice cube trays or small containers to portion out individual servings of baby food and freeze it, then I pop the little cubes in a labeled freezer bag.
Tons more tips, tricks and on my homemade baby food page.
I hope you give these foods a try! And don’t be worried if your baby seems to reject certain foods at this point. My pediatrician always said, “Food before one is just for fun!”
They are just trying to get the hang of eating, the idea of flavors and textures and the experience of food. Their tastes will change and develop for years to come. Just keep offering and trying!
And have fun with it!
P.S. For reference, here are all of my other baby food batch cooking round-ups all in one place:
Homemade baby food round 1: peas, green beans, applesauce, butternut squash, oatmeal
Homemade baby food round 2: sweet potato, brown rice, chicken, pears, banana
Homemade baby food round 3: quinoa, peaches, avocado, pumpkin, cottage cheese
Homemade baby food round 4: broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, black beans, Greek yogurt
Homemade baby food round 6: apricots, prunes, egg yolks, chick peas, blackberries
- 1 (8 to 10 oz.) box or bag quick cooking barley
- 1 bunch of asparagus spears, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
- 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries
- 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) mango, chopped
For the barley:
- Follow the package directions to cook the barley then drain and puree, adding extra cooking liquid as needed to get it to the right consistency.
For the asparagus:
- Steam the chopped asparagus in a steamer basket for 5-7 minutes, until very tender.
- Use an immersion or regular blender to puree it up. The asparagus can be stringy so be sure to scrape down your bowl/container as you puree to make sure it gets nice and smooth for baby.
For the edamame:
- Cook your edamame while the asparagus and barley cooks. Add the frozen, shelled edamame to a small pot of boiling water and cook for 6-7 minutes, until very tender.
- Drain and puree, adding extra cooking liquid if needed, to get it to a smooth consistency.
For the blueberries:
- Puree the blueberries with a blender, being sure to scrap the sides well several times so you don’t get blueberry skins stuck throughout the puree mixture.
For the mango:
- The mango also just requires a run through the blender to puree it until it’s nice and smooth.
Blender: I have always used and highly recommend a hand-held immersion blender for making homemade baby food. It's lightweight and easy to use, as well as easy to clean and store.
Storage: Homemade baby food can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or packed up in freezer-safe containers to store in the freezer (I use ice cube trays and small containers like these and these) for up to 3-5 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Blueberries and mango (alone or with yogurt)
- Blueberries or mango with barley (or another grain)
- Asparagus and barley
- Barley and edamame
I’ve got a ton of other ideas for homemade baby food combinations here.
Note: This post has been updated with new photographs and revised text. It was originally published in June 2015.