I cook up baby's foods in bulk. Right now my little one really likes butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and bananas. I've been working in blueberries, peas and green beans and I'll be introducing apples soon.
The squash and sweet potatoes can just be stabbed by a fork a few times, put in a pan and then put in the oven at 350 for a couple of hours. Let it cool, remove the skins and then puree it in the blender (I love our vita mix for this).
Blueberries were just washed and then put in the blender, these are so easy!
I cut, cored and peeled apples, put them in a crockpot and cooked them on high for a few hours. Once they were nice and soft I just stuck them in the blender to puree them too.
Freeze your puree in ice cube trays and once frozen transfer to a container.
I try to remember to take these cubes out ahead of time and set them on the stove where it is nice and warm (from other baking/cooking I'm doing). I don't want to use the microwave and would rather avoid actually using the stove to defrost these since I want to be sure they are not too hot for baby when he is ready to eat.
Bananas are so easy to just mash up with a fork for baby and usually well liked. I've been adding just a bit of blueberry to my little guy's bananas this week and he seems to be enjoying that. I think I'll try avocado soon using this method as well.
Dry grains and rice can be ground in the blender, then just add hot water, mix and let it sit a bit to "cook" and cool. I just make up a tiny bit of this and add it to the fruits of veggies.
By the time babies are old enough to be spoon fed they are usually grabbing at everything and interested in feeding themselves. I love to have plenty of "teethers" on hand at this stage. Just make up a loaf of healthy banana bread (or any other kind you like to make like pumpkin or zucchini). Cut into thick slices and cut those slices in half (or thirds depending on the height of your loaf). Arrange these on a baking sheet in one layer and put in the oven at 170. Get these nice and hard so it will not fall apart while baby is chewing on it. This takes a few hours and you will need to turn them regularly, maybe once an hour or so. Your baby will love chewing on these!
*Always watch your baby closely with these and use good judgement. If chunks are falling off easily don't give them to your baby!
I don't put too much effort into baby food. I try to get my little ones eating table food as soon as possible. I want them to be used to what we eat so they will have a good attitude about their food. There have also been seasons where even this much effort has been too much, then I just make the best choices I can in purchasing foods for my baby. Jars of organic baby food were a blessing on a recent trip. Organic teethers were a blessing the last month or so when I was struggling and baking these up was not a high priority.