Affordable Baby Foods

Written by Dietetics Masters student Courtney LeDuc

animated vegetablesFood for your little one doesn’t have to be expensive! When we think of baby foods, the first things to come to mind are most likely those little glass or plastic jars of pureed foods in the baby aisle of the grocery store. Store-bought baby foods may be really convenient, but they can be expensive!  Making food for your baby at home is a great way to save money and allows you to offer a variety of textures to your baby which helps them to practice and learn!  Variety is important (colors, flavors, textures) even in the early stages of introducing foods to your baby. Smooth purees are great for food group introductions, but your little one will soon advance to lumpy and chunky foods! 

Serve the baby the same foods as the rest of the family!

Remember, “baby foods” are just mashed up or pureed versions of the foods that adults eat! Serve your baby small portions of the meal you are already serving to yourself or the family. Puree, mash, or cut up everything into small pieces, depending on how advanced your baby is. By this point, your pediatrician or health care provider will have already discussed with you the steps of feeding advancement. Your baby would love to eat the same foods as the family and picking up pieces of food from their highchair tray is great for their development and coordination, plus it helps prevent picky eating!1 

Two tips: 

  1. Make sure the portion you are serving your baby doesn’t have any salt on it! 
  2. Remember to avoid choking hazards: If you can smush the food easily between your fingers, it’s safe to offer.

Try buying frozen produce instead

When fresh produce is not available or more expensive, using frozen fruits and vegetables are a great idea! Frozen produce is harvested and frozen at peak freshness so when it’s defrosted, its quality is high! 

DIY Squeeze Pouches

For toddlers aged 1-3, snacks on the go like fruit and vegetable squeeze pouches are extremely common and convenient, however they can be expensive. Did you know reusable squeeze pouches are available to buy online? Blend up your own fruit and vegetable ingredients and get creative!  

Adapted from:





This material is funded by UDSA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.