The last couple decades have led to this myth that you need to go to the store and purchase prepackaged baby food once your infant is weened. This is just not true; you can easily make great baby food that your baby will love at home, one that is healthier too.
As a general rule of thumb, all you need to do to make good baby food is use whole and organic foods that are easy to eat. If you want to try some interesting new recipes for your baby, and are tired of looking at the same the usual idli, and daliya in your casserole, here are a few baby food recipes to get you started right away –
1. Banana puree
Sometimes life gets hectic, and everything can get little bananas, including your baby’s food. Bananas make for great food for your infant because they’re basically natural food. They’re already soft and mushy when you peel them, so you barely have to do anything. You can realistically turn bananas into excellent baby food by simply mashing them up with a spoon. They have lots of essential nutrients every developing child needs including, potassium and fiber. Bananas are great travel food, all you need to do is pop in a few in your bag, and you are all set for one healthy meal of the day.
2. Beets and blueberry mash
This is sure to become your infant child’s favorite. Beets are sweet and blueberries are sweet, so they are less likely to refuse it. Children can be really picky eaters, and sometimes they only want to eat sweet things. Turns out babies are really just miniature human beings, so they want what you want. This combination doesn’t just taste sweet though; it is also pretty healthy for your child. The beets and blueberries contain fiber, essential vitamins, antioxidants to boost their immune system, and protein to help them develop.
3. Papaya puree
You’re not supposed to eat papaya while pregnant for a variety of reasons, so you may be surprised to find out that papaya makes for great baby food. Papayas tend to be a bit on the acidic side though, so it is best to wait for your child to be 7-8 months before you start serving it to them. But do serve it when you can; it has lots of fantastic enzymes that aid digestion and can be used to relieve constipation, something every parent is going to have to deal with sooner or later.
4. Baby stew
It’s never too early to start getting your kid interested in comfort food (well any time before 9 months is probably too early, but you know what we mean). Make sure you add tender chicken bits to make this stew really interesting. This baby food dish takes a little bit more work than some of the simpler ones that you just have to mash up or puree, so you will have to set some time aide for it. This dish is a great transition food because it is still somewhat mushy, but it requires a bit of chewing to get it down. Make sure you store this stew in an insulated storage container or a casserole, so it remains warm, just the way your baby would like to be fed!
5. Quinoa banana mash
This dish is another great transition dish that you will want to consider preparing for your infant. The banana makes for good mash, because it is naturally mushy, and the quinoa is somewhat mushy as well, but does require a little bit of chewing. The quinoa also has a lot of protein that your developing child definitely needs. It’s also a good dish to eat with your hands, so your little guy will really be able to have fun with it.
6. Cherry and mint Greek yogurt puree
Yogurt is one of the best things to include in any infant’s diet because it is a natural probiotic. Eating it will keep your infant’s stomach healthy and help prevent unwanted digestion issues like constipation. It is also a great source of calcium which is needed for building strong bones among other things.
7. Avocado puree
Avocadoes make for great treats that your baby is sure to love. They’re as much of a dessert as any infant has the right to expect. They have a natural buttery and creamy texture that can taste quite sweet. Avocadoes also have lots of essential nutrients that your infant definitely needs, such as healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids which help with neural development. Considering that fish is the best source of omega-3s and most infants can’t eat fish, avocado is a top tier baby food ingredient. A puree, smoothie or even a guacamole, there are quite a few interesting recipes that you can try for your baby!
8. Pea puree
Pea puree is classic baby food. This is probably because peas are extremely nutrient dense while also being extremely easy to mash up. They are packed to the brim with essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, protein, iron, and calcium. The skin of the pea can sometimes make the texture a bit unappealing for your baby. If that is the case, you can treat the issue by straining the peas to make them as smooth as possible. Because this is not one ingredient a lot of Indian mothers tend to try, and also because of the appetizing color, this is sure to become a hit with your baby!
9. Brown rice congee
Congee is essentially rice gruel, made by oversaturating the rice with water. It isn’t traditional baby food, but it makes for a great transition dish, to help your child get used to eating whole foods. Try to use brown rice instead of the more common white rice to make sure that your child is getting the majority of the nutrients contained in the grain. White rice has many of the nutrients processed out and is therefore something you want to avoid giving your developing child. Congee tastes best when served warm, and an insulated casserole or hot case is all you need to transfer this rice congee to, until it is time to feed your child.
10. Pumpkin thyme puree
This is more of a seasonal baby food option, as pumpkin is a seasonal vegetable. But when you can get your hands on some fresh pumpkin you should absolutely take advantage of it and make it for your developing child. Pumpkin has lots of essential vitamins and minerals that your body baby can utilize, such as beta carotene, iron, dietary fiber, and potassium. The best thing about this pumpkin thyme puree though is that it still tastes wonderful when you freeze it. You can make a big batch, and freeze it in ice cube trays; each cube makes an individual portion. It is a great way to save you time in the long run.
11. Spinach and white yams
Spinach and white yams make for fantastic baby food. The spinach has a sizable amount of essential vitamins and nutrients. It can be considered a superfood in a real sense because it is so nutrient dense. White yams are also great for your infant. Although they are called white yams, it is a bit of a misnomer, they are actually white fleshed sweet potatoes. There is really not much difference between using a regular sweet potato and a white yam sweet potato. The white yam is more of an aesthetic choice, as white blends well with spinach, while orange is not so much.
12. Avocado and banana baby food
Avocados and bananas go together like bread and butter, wheels and tires, puppies and affections, etc. They are just one of those combinations that seem natural. The avocado has protein, healthy fats, and dietary fiber, while the bananas have potassium and vitamin C. The nutrients meet the requirements of the parents, but the taste of banana and avocado together meet the requirements of the child because it is naturally sweet and delicious.
13. Apple pear butter
Apples and pears are another legendary combination that your child will absolutely love. They are both very sweet fruits that have some great texture to them. The sweetness is only amplified by the addition of cinnamon – your children will absolutely love it. You can serve this at any time of day for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and they will never grow tired of it.
14. Creamy chicken
This wonderful smooth and tasty chicken dish is one of the best transition meals for children. It goes down very easily and doesn’t require a lot of teeth to chew it up. The best thing about this dish is that the chicken is a good source of protein, one of the more important nutrients for a developing child. The dish also contains a little bit of calcium which helps your child to build strong bones. Store this dish in a hot box, and you can hand a portion to your child when he or she is hungry!
15. Chicken with carrots and apple puree
This is a delicious and important baby food option, that you should definitely look into learning how to make for your child. The carrots and apple provide this dish with just the right amount of sweetness to make the chicken even more palatable for your child. The chicken provides much needed protein and the apple and carrots provide dietary fiber to help with your child’s indigestion.
16. Dried bean puree
If you want to make sure your child is getting enough protein in their baby food without having to serve them actual meat products for some reason, look no further than this dried bean puree. It is a wonderful non meat-based protein option.
17. Chicken and corn puree
This is one that even you might find yourself wanting to nibble on. It is basically an entire meal in one pureed dish. The chicken and corn have lots of vital nutrients and minerals that your child will need in its development.
18. Chickpeas puree
Your little baby will definitely benefit from this dish. Chickpeas are great non meat sources of protein that also have lots of dietary fiber which makes them easy to digest. They also will help your little guy feel satiated for a longer period of time, so you won’t have to worry about over feeding them. Chickpeas can be kind of bland and not fun to eat on their own though, make sure to sue mild spices for flavor. Your kid won’t even know they’re eating healthy baby food.
19. Spiced lentil
This baby food dish is great for introducing your child to the wonderful world of spices and really start to work on maturing their palate. Lentils tend to be a bit flavorless on their own, so it is perfect for getting your kid used to something that they may not be familiar with. Mild spices will make this puree delicious, add a pinch of turmeric too to make it look appetizing. This puree is perfect to be carried in a food containers, so you can feed your baby while you are on the go!
All of these recipes are delicious and have quite a few health benefits thanks to their nutrient profile. Generally speaking, any fruit or vegetable can make great baby food so long as you can mash it up or convert it into a puree. Feel free to experiment so that you can find the food that your baby enjoys the most.