There's a new way to make baby food, and chances are it’s already sitting on your counter. Yes, I’m talking about the megapopular Instant Pot and its many multicooker cousins.
A multicooker is genius at taking hard, raw foods and transforming them into soft, baby-ready meals in record time, no standing at the stove and stirring required. That leaves you with more time to spend on other tasks like playing with your baby or grabbing a ten-minute nap. (Yes, please!)
Most multicooker recipes require only one pot, and if you use an immersion blender or even a potato masher, there are no messy transfers to a food processor or a standard blender—meaning fewer dishes to wash and less fuss. And prepping baby food in a multicooker lets you make large batches that can be frozen and defrosted in individual portions on an as-needed basis.
If you’re practicing baby-led weaning—meaning you are skipping purees and moving straight to finger foods—you can put your multicooker to work cooking beef, chicken, lamb, fish, vegetables, and even fruit. One to three minutes in the multicooker makes many foods soft enough for your baby to self-feed. It’s also more than okay to mix and match purees with finger foods and homemade with store-bought foods.
- RELATED: How to Choose the Best Baby Food
Your goal is to nourish your child and expose her to all sorts of textures and flavors and, of course, have fun in the process. Ready to get cooking? Here are three simple Instant Pot baby food recipes to get your started. Happy feeding!
Peels-On Instant Pot Applesauce
Leaving the skins on gives this apple puree a subtle pink hue. This is one recipe to keep in your repertoire even when your baby is all grown up. Get the full recipe
Instant Pot Salmon
Go fish! Salmon is one of the healthiest foods you can offer your baby, thanks to its abundance of protein and brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. White-fleshed fish like cod are high in protein and are good sources of several B vitamins, such as niacin, B6, and B12. Get the full recipe
Instant Pot Herby Red Lentils
Fiber- and folate-rich red lentils cook so quickly and completely that they basically puree themselves. No need to break out the immersion blender! Get the full recipe
Excerpted from The Multi-Cooker Baby Food Cookbook: 100 Easy Recipes for Your Slow Cooker, Pressure Cooker, or Multi-Cooker © 2019 by Jenna Helwig. Photography © 2019 by Lauren Volo. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.