Recipes and Tips for Making Your Own Homemade Baby Food
These homemade baby food recipes will expose your baby to new tastes and textures.
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Chickpeas have a soft texture that mashes really well, and it serves as the pureed base for this toothsome meal. Freezing cooked quinoa in 2-ounce servings allows you to pull this meal together in a snap. Sweet potatoes add a light sweetness to the earthier flavors of the quinoa and chickpeas. You can also add greens to the chickpea puree, such as green bean or spinach puree.
- 2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice, or two (two-ounce) freezer tray cubes sweet potato puree, thawed
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- In a blender or food processor, puree the chickpeas and cinnamon until smooth. If needed, thin the puree with breast milk, formula, or water to achieve the desired consistency.
- If using thawed sweet potato, jump to step 3. If using fresh sweet potatoes, bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer in a small saucepan with a steamer insert. Place the sweet potatoes in the steamer insert. Cover and steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
- In a small bowl, combine the pureed chickpeas, sweet potato, and quinoa. If you like, gently warm a single serving of the mixture. Store any unoffered puree in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Do not refreeze if using frozen sweet potato puree.
Gingered Carrots and Cauliflower
Excerpted from REAL BABY FOOD: Easy, All-Natural Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler by Jenna Helwig.
Add a hint of spice with ground ginger, or sub in 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin for a smokier flavor.
Ingredients (makes about two cups):
- 5 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick coins
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer. Place a steamer basket over the water. Add the carrots. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, cover, and steam until both vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more. Cool slightly.
- Transfer the vegetables to a blender or food processor with the ground ginger. Pure?e until you get the desired consistency for your baby, adding a 1⁄4 cup or more water to the blender if needed to help it blend.
Guacamole with Peas and Cilantro
Excerpted from Make-Ahead Baby Food Cookbook: Meal Plans and Recipes for Every Stage, by Stephanie Van't Zelfden RDN CDN.
It’s not your traditional guacamole, but the green peas add a pop of sweetness and a new and challenging texture for your baby to enjoy. Green peas provide protein and iron to make this a complete meal all on its own.
Ingredients: (makes 32 1-ounce freezer cubes)
- 1 (13-ounce) package frozen green peas
- 3 ripe avocados (about 1 ½ pounds) pitted, with flesh removed
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- Juice of ½ lime
- In a medium saucepan with a steamer basket or insert, bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer. Add the peas. Cover and simmer over low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the peas are heated through.
- Remove the peas and transfer to a medium heat-safe bowl. Let cool slightly, then mash with a fork or potato masher until mostly smooth, adding a few tablespoons of water as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Remove and discard any tough peas that won’t mash and any large pieces of pea skin.
- Add the avocado, cilantro, and lime juice. Continue to mash with a fork until mostly smooth.
- Serve, refrigerate, or freeze.
TIP: For a smoother texture, blend some of the peas in a blender or food processor until smooth. For a chunkier texture, finley chop the avocado instead of mashing it.
Strawberry, Beet, Purple Carrot, and Chia Seeds
Excerpted from Stage-By-Stage Baby Food Cookbook: 100+ Purées and Baby-Led Feeding Recipes for a Healthy Start, by Yaffi Lvova RDN.
Purple carrots are great for both their color and their nutrients. They are deliciously sweet compared to their orange counterparts, although either can be used in this recipe. Beets enhance the sweetness of this dish, while strawberries add both color and a touch of tartness to balance the natural sugars. Experiment with different varieties of beets for different flavors. The chia seeds also make this recipe helpful if your baby is constipated.
Ingredients (makes six servings):
- 1 beet
- 2 purple carrots, peeled and quartered
- 1 kiwifruit, peeled, quartered, and white pith removed from center
- 4 ounces pear nectar
- 10 strawberries, hulled and cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut off the top of the beet, then cut the beet in half and poke each side with a fork.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the beet on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, until fork-tender.
- Let the beet cool to room temperature, then remove its tough outer skin. Cut into bite-sized chunks.
- Steam the carrots in a pot with shallow water until tender. Drain.
- Put the kiwifruit, beet, purple carrots, pear nectar, and strawberries in a blender. Pulse until smooth.
- Place the puree in a bowl, sprinkle with the chia seeds, and stir well to mix.
- Cool to room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
For more homemade baby food recipes and tips, visit Jenna Helwig's website or purchase her book Real Baby Food, or visit Stephanie Middeberg's website or purchase her book The Big Book of Organic Baby Food.
Main image credit: Shannon Douglas
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