Instant Pot Baby Food: a quick and nutritious way to make baby food purees or finger foods for baby-led weaning! Up to 6 different baby foods made in 3-minutes! Great for 4 months and up!

graphic for post - instant pot baby food - 15 puree and baby-led weaning recipes. Images are of fruits and veggies inside of an instant pot and then shown in ramekins cooked and pureed into baby food.

Instant Pot Baby Food

Making your own homemade baby food couldn’t be easier with the Instant Pot!

Using this time-saving kitchen tool, we are able to cook 6 different baby food purees or finger foods for baby-led weaning in 3-minutes – with only the touch of a button #mindblown!

If you are looking to save time and money, while making your little one delicious and nutritious baby food – then you are in the right spot!

If you are just starting out making your own homemade baby food – welcome! I’m so happy you are here! On this blog I have everything you need to know to get you started making homemade baby food — from the guide to baby food stages, the ultimate guide to baby food purees and baby-led weaning, 10 best first foods for baby, the best baby food storage and more! Great for 4+ months as well as baby-led weaning!

6 ramekins filled with pureed fruits and vegetables in an instant pot.

Reasons to Love Using the Instant Pot for Baby Food

  • great Stage 1 Baby Food
  • also great for Baby-Led Weaning
  • small batch cooking
  • saves time
  • easy hands-off approach
  • saves money
  • can cook multiple fruits and veggies at the same time
  • can mix and match purees for stage 2 purees

What Fruits and Vegetables Can You Cook for Baby

You can cook almost any fruit or veggie in the instant pot that you would steam on the stovetop. Here are list of my favorites.

Vegetables

  • sweet potato
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • zucchini
  • squash
  • beets
  • red pepper
  • peas
  • green beans
  • asparagus

Fruits

  • apple
  • pear
  • peaches (frozen or very firm work best)
  • mango (frozen or very firm work best)
  • cherries (frozen work best)

Baby Purees vs. Baby-Led Weaning

Let me be clear here – there is no right or wrong to feed your baby!

Purees are the more traditional way to start feeding baby and include cooking and blending down fruit, veggies and grains into a smooth puree that you feed to your baby. On the other hand, baby-led weaning is a newer concept where you give baby chunks of food and let them feed themselves.

Both feeding techniques are driven by the simple principle of introducing baby to new foods to develop eating skills and expose baby to different flavors and consistencies – they just go about it different ways.

Read: if you want more information check out my Guide How to Make Homemade Baby Food Purees or my Guide on Finger Foods for Baby.

How to Use the Instant Pot to Make Baby Food

Here is a quick step-by-step overview of how to make baby purees or foods for baby-led weaning. You can find more in-depth instructions below.

  1. Prep Instant Pot: pull in the Instant Pot and add the trivet to the bottom.
  2. Prep Produce: peel and chop produce according to directions. Add the prepped produce to separate ramekins. If making a bigger batch of a baby food, you can use a steamer basket.
  3. Water: add in water to the bottom of the instant pot.
  4. Layer: if using ramekins, place 3 ramekins on top of the trivet and then place another layer of 3 ramekins on top of the bottom row.
  5. Cook: lock the lid on tight, place the valve in the sealing position. Selection the Manual High Pressure and set the time for ____ minutes.
  6. Quick Release: Once the timer is up, quick release the pressure, turn off the Instant Pot and remove lid. Let the ramekins cool for a few minutes.
  7. Puree for Baby Puree: transfer the cooked produce to a blender, food processor or larger bowl and puree. Since the produce is very tender, you can also just mash it with the back of a fork.
  8. Strain for Baby-Led Weaning: if you are serving the produce whole for baby-led weaning, you will want to strain out any liquid that is at the bottom of the ramekin.
  9. Eat: serve the puree or store for another meal.

How to Store Baby Food Purees

Here is a quick guide on how to store baby food, for more detailed information, including my favorite storage trays, check out my Best Baby Food Storage post.

REFRIGERATOR

You can store these purees in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

  • Let the puree cool. 
  • Transfer puree to an airtight container and place in the fridge. I like using these smaller 4-oz containers so you can have a single serving at your ready. 
  • If using larger containers, make sure you use a clean spoon to scoop out the amount of puree needed for a feeding, do not warm up the entire container if you don’t plan on feeding it all to baby.

FREEZER 

These purees can be frozen for up to 4 months.

  • Spoon puree into a freezer storage container (these are my favorite freezer trays and these are my favorite glass storage containers) – do not overfill. 
  • Place the lid on the storage container or cover with a piece of saran wrap and label with date and recipe name. 
  • Place the tray into the freezer and let freeze completely – preferably overnight. 
  • Pop-out the baby food cubes and place in a zip-lock baggie or stasher bag – don’t forget to re-label the baggie or stager bag with the name and date of the puree for future reference.

Label Tip: Don’t forget to label your purees before you place them in the fridge or freezer with the name and date you made them. Take it from me, you will completely forget when and what is in your freezer by the end of the week;).

How to Store for Baby-Led Weaning

REFRIGERATOR

You can store these finger foods in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

  • Let the finger foods cool. 
  • Transfer to an air-tight container and place in the fridge.

FREEZER 

Some finger foods can be frozen for up to 4 months. The hardier vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, beets, squash, etc, are super easy to freeze. Tender fruit and veggies such as pears, red peppers, zucchini are a little tougher as they tend to get mushy when frozen. But if you are freezing a bunch of other veggies from this cooking batch, I would give it a try to see what your baby will eat.

  • Place the produce you want to freeze on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for 2-4 hours.
  • Take out the baking sheet and transfer the produce to a zip-lock baggie, stasher bag or air-tight container. Flash freezing the produce will help it from sticking to each other.
6 different pureed fruits and vegetables made in an instant pot.

Stage 2 Combinations

While these single purees as delicious as is, it’s also super easy to mix and match with other nutrient-dense baby food purees. When baby is ready, give these fun flavor combos a try!

  • Sweet Potato + Beet + Banana
  • Broccoli + Pear
  • Peas + Mango + Avocado
  • Green Beans + Peas + Banana
  • Red Pepper + Sweet Potato + Mango
  • Squash + Peach
  • Beet + Banana
  • Asparagus + Avocado
  • Sweet Potato + Carrot + Mango
  • Green Beans + Peas + Broccoli
  • Beet + Carrot + Pear

Adding Spices: if you would like to add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mild curry powder, cumin, etc, I would add it to the puree while you are mixing together your combination purees, not while coooking. This gives you more flexibility on which spices you can add in.

Tips for Making Baby Food in an Instant Pot

  • Ramekins: I love these 10oz ramekins as I can easily fit 6 of them in my instant pot at the same time. The size and depth of your brand of Instant Pot and ramekins will determine how many will ultimately fit in there. If you don’t want to invest in a set of ramekins for just this recipe, you can use any bowl or jar labeled as “oven-safe” and some popular brands are Pyrex, CorningWare, Anchor Hocking and canning jars.
  • Chopping: if you are going to puree your fruit and vegetables, then I would roughly chop them into cubes as you will be able to fit more produce into each ramekin. If you are going to serve as finger foods – then I would slice them into 2-3″ strips. Exceptions: for beets, I would chop into smaller chunks and then once cooked I would either mash with a fork (creating a pancake of sorts) or dice into “pea” size shapes. For zucchini, I would slice into rounds, cook and then before serving cut into “pea” size shapes. I have found that strips of beets and zucchini don’t always hold up as well and can get super mushy. 
  • Blending: since you are making such a small quantity of baby food with this method, I have found that using a food processor or handheld emersion blender work the best to get a smooth puree. You will want to also drain any liquid from the ramekins before transferring them to another bowl or food processor to blend. If the puree is too thick, you can add the liquid back in a little at a time.
  • Chunky – Stage 3 Puree: since this method makes the produce super tender, you can easily mash the produce with the back of fork for a chunky stage 3 baby puree.
Cooked fruits and veggies cooked for baby in an instant pot.

More Baby Food

Tools Needed

Instant pot filled with ramekins filled with fruits and vegetables for baby food.

Get the recipe: Instant Pot Baby Food

5 stars (1 rating)
Using an Instant Pot is a quick and nutritious way to make baby food purees or finger foods for baby-led weaning! Up to 6 different baby foods made in 3-minutes! Great for 4 months and up!

Ingredients 

Vegetables

  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-3" strips for BLW or cubes for puree
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3" strips for BLW or cubes for puree
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into rounds, peeling is optional
  • 1 1/2 cups squash (butternut, acorn, winter), fresh or frozen works – peeled and cut into 2-3" strips for BLW or cubes for puree
  • 2 medium beets (red or golden), peeled and cut into 2-3" strips for BLW or cubes for puree
  • 1 red pepper, cored and cut into 2-3" strips for BLW or cubes for puree
  • 1 1/2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans, fresh or frozen, trimmed and cut into 2-3" strips for BLW or small strips for purees
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, fresh or frozen, trimmed and cut into 2-3" strips for BLW or small strips for purees

Fruit

  • 1 medium sweet apple, leave the skin on and cut into 2-3" strips for BLW or peel and cut into cubes for puree
  • 1 medium pear, leave the skin on and cut into 2-3" strips for BLW or peel and cut into cubes for puree
  • 1 1/2 cup peaches, frozen or very firm work best, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup mango frozen or very firm work best, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup pitted cherries, frozen work best

Base of Instant Pot

  • 1 cup water

Instructions 

  • Prep Instant Pot: plug in the Instant Pot and add the trivet to the bottom.
  • Prep Produce: peel and chop produce according to directions. Add the prepped produce into separate ramekins. If making a bigger batch of baby food, you can use a steamer basket.
  • Water: add in 1 cup of water to the bottom of the instant pot.
  • Layer: if using ramekins, place 3 ramekins on top of the trivet.
    Instant Pot with one layer of produce ready to get cooked for baby food.
  • Second Layer: you can either add another row of ramekins or a steamer basket filled with additional food.
    Instant pot filled with ramekins filled with fruits and vegetables for baby food.
  • Cook: lock the lid on tight and place the valve in the sealing position. Selection Manual High Pressure and set the time for 3 minutes.
  • Quick Release: Once the timer is up, quick release the pressure, turn off the Instant Pot and remove the lid. Let the ramekins cool for a few minutes until you can safely touch them, they will be hot.
  • Puree for Baby Puree: using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked produce to a blender, food processor or larger bowl, leaving any liquid in the ramekin. Puree until smooth adding liquid to the puree in small quantities as needed. Since the produce is very tender, you can also just mash it with the back of a fork for a chunkier puree.
    6 different pureed fruits and vegetables made in an instant pot.
  • Strain for Baby-Led Weaning: if you are serving the produce whole for baby-led weaning, you will want to strain out any liquid that is at the bottom of the ramekin.
    6 ramekins with different fruits and vegetables for baby food.
  • Eat: serve the puree or store for another meal.

Notes

Age: 4 months and up
Yield: roughly 30-40 ounces depending on how much you add to the ramekins or steamer basket. 
Note on Chopping: if you are going to puree your fruit and vegetables, then I would roughly chop them into cubes as you will be able to fit more produce into each ramekin. If you are going to serve as finger foods – then I would slice them into 2-3″ strips. Exceptions: for beets, I would chop into smaller chunks and then once cooked I would either mash with a fork (creating a pancake of sorts) or dice into “pea” size shapes. For zucchini, I would slice into rounds, cook and then before serving cut into “pea” size shapes. I have found that strips of beets and zucchini don’t always hold up as well and can get super mushy. 
Note on Ramekins: I love the 10 oz ramekins as I can easily fit 6 of them in my instant pot at the same time. The size and depth of your brand of Instant Pot and ramekins will determine how many will ultimately fit in there. If you don’t want to invest in a set of ramekins for just this recipe, you can use any bowl or jar labeled as “oven-safe” and some popular brands are Pyrex, CorningWare, Anchor Hocking and canning jars. You can also use any steamer basket in the Instant Pot if it fits. 
Blending: since you are making such a small quantity of baby food with this method, I have found that using a food processor or handheld emersion blender work the best to get a smooth puree. You will want to also drain any liquid from the ramekins before transferring the produce to another bowl or food processor to blend. If the puree is too thick, you can add the liquid back in a little at a time.
Storage: you can store the purees or the finger foods in the fridge – store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freezer – can be frozen for up to 4 months. See post above for more details. 
 

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