A Well-Stocked Kitchen

A lot of tools aren't necessary for making your own baby food, but here are some products that can help.

A lot of tools aren't necessary for making your own baby food, but you will need a steamer (steaming preserves nutrients better than boiling); a food processor or blender to puree the food; extra ice cube trays for freezing individual portions; freezer bags to store the food cubes in; and recipes. Here are some products that can help:

BabySteps Complete Natural Feeding System Includes a how-to guide on food preparation as well as an electric food mill, a manual food mill with carrying case, freezer trays and a feeding dish. $65; kidco.com.

Cuisinart SmartStick Hand Blender Want to cut down on the mess? Puree your baby's food right in the bowl or pot. Different models are available. $50-$55; cuisinart.com.

Feeding Baby (Ten Speed Press, 2003) by Joachim Splichal and Christine Splichal This book by a noted chef and his wife/business partner features 90 easy-to-make recipes for babies and toddlers, including roasted acorn squash puree, sweet potato risotto and banana peach compote. Even the pickiest eater will be won over. $15; amazon.com.

Top 100 Baby Purees (Atria Books, 2006) by Annabel Karmel In addition to tasty recipes suitable for the whole family (minus the blending), this book includes helpful hints on popular substitutions and ways to maximize a food's nutrients. $14; bn.com.