Adding Calories into Your Baby's Food

Ways to Add Calories in Baby Food

  • Prepare dry, iron-fortified baby cereals with liquid infant formula (or breast milk), not water.
  • Pureed meats, poultry and mashed egg yolk have more calories than strained fruits and vegetables. To prepare the egg yolk, start with a hard-boiled egg, mash the yellow yolk with formula or breast milk and mix until smooth. Offer pureed meat, poultry or mashed egg yolk at least twice a day. If your infant will not eat these foods alone, you may mix them with other foods that your baby likes.
  • Add one teaspoon of butter, margarine or vegetable oil to every 4 ounces of fruits, vegetables, iron-fortified baby cereals, or meats.
  • Add dry, iron-fortified baby cereal to pureed meats, poultry, egg yolk, fruits, and vegetables. Use 1 teaspoon of dry cereal for every 4 ounces of pureed food.
  • Sprinkle powdered baby formula into strained meats, poultry, egg yolk, fruits, and vegetables. Use 1 teaspoon of dry formula for every 4 ounces of pureed food.
  • Home-made pureed fruits and vegetables have more calories than purchased baby foods.

To make your own baby foods:

  • Use fresh, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables.
  • For fresh fruits and vegetables: Wash thoroughly and remove peels and tough skins.
  • Use canned or frozen vegetables with no additives and low in sodium.
  • Use canned fruits packed in natural juice or frozen fruits without added sugar.
  • Cook the fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables until tender.
  • Puree foods in a baby food grinder or food processor using a small amount of fluid to achieve the right consistency. Fluid should be formula or breast milk, not water. For every 4 ounces of prepared food, add one teaspoon of butter, margarine, or oil. OR you can add 1 teaspoon of dry iron-fortified baby cereal or powdered baby formula to every 4 ounces of your homemade baby food.


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes
1500 Owens St., Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 514-6234
Fax: (415) 353-2811

Neuromuscular Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-7596
Fax: (415) 353-2400