Our youngest girl is at that stage where she is wanting more variety & textures in her food, and eating quite large amounts, but our meals aren't really suitable for her yet.
We're vegetarians, we eat a lot of mexican food which can be a tad spicy for a bubba, and also because of our eldest's allergies we stay clear of the common allergenic foods for approximately the first year. When she was little that tended to mean that we often relied on the limited ranges of meat/egg/dairy/wheat free baby foods available around here, but those were often the most basic mush & quite expensive when she eats a lot!
So our solution is as follows...
She is way beyond 'the icecube stage', so we went for a roasting pan instead!
What we should have done first is to line the pan with baking paper. Turns out cooked rice sticks really well to roasting pans.
I cooked a whole heap of rice, gluten-free pasta, and red lentils (rinse these first!), to slightly past al dente, and spread them over the bottom of the pan.
Then I steamed a bunch of carrots & cauliflower, just using what we had on hand, and spread them over the previous layer -
Then same again with green beans, peas, corn & endamame -
Chucked the whole thing in the freezer, then when it was frozen I tipped it all out (ok, gouged it all out), broke it up, and popped it into little one or two portion containers!
The little containers live in the freezer, and just before her dinnertime I lift one out to defrost (doesn't take long), mix some pureed vegetables through it as a sauce, warm it up & it's ready to go!
It was a bit of cooking initially, but it makes HEAPS, and means your bub gets a good variety of foods every time, it's easier than making a little meal from scratch each night, is much cheaper than just using bought baby food (even though we do use the little 4-6m purees mixed in this), and it means you don't have to think about what to feed them if you are having something unsuitable!!
It's worked really nicely for us, so I thought I should share!