5 Healthy Homemade Baby Food Recipes
Move over Master Chef… Get out of the way Gordon Ramsay, because parents everywhere are hopping on the homemade baby food bandwagon and whipping up some of the freshest, most nutritious and delicious fare for all the little foodies in their lives.
Proper nutrition is the basis for your baby’s health and temperament. DIY is the way to go! So, ditch the commercial stuff and puree your way to better baby food made with the most important ingredient of all - love!
Here are five of my favorite recipes.
What you’ll need:
- The freshest, highest quality hypoallergenic foods that have no artificial additives.
- A blender
- Filtered water
- Thoroughly wash vegetables and fruits both before and after removing the skin to avoid contamination.
- If available, use a steamer rather than a stove to cook vegetables and fruits so they retain their beautiful color, taste and most of the vitamins and minerals.
- If you use a stove, preferably use enamel cookware with so that it does not emit harmful substances.
- Do not overcook your vegetables and fruits so they retain their taste and useful properties.
- When preparing puree, use filtered water.
- To remove any potential nitrates, pesticides and other harmful substances from the store bought vegetables and fruits presoak them in water (potatoes - 12-24 hours, other vegetables - 1-2 hours).
- Use fresh low-fat meat (turkey, chicken) for meat puree. (Do not freeze more than one time)
- Comfortable serving temperature for baby is around 85 - 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remember that butter, sugar, salt and other additives should not be added until your baby reaches a year old
For babies transitioning from breastfeeding:
- The gradual introduction of solid foods usually starts when babies are four to six months old when they begin to require more calories, vitamins and dietary fiber which are not sufficient in breast milk.
- The best introductory vegetable is mashed potatoes. They are easier to digest and do not contain fructose.
- Avoid starting with sweet foods as the baby may refuse to try vegetables.
- Butter, sugar, salt and other additives should not be added until your baby reaches a year old
- Any allergic reactions should be carefully monitored!
After mashed potatoes, it is great to introduce squash and cauliflower puree. These vegetables are very easy to digest and rarely cause allergies. A little later you can introduce a pumpkin, broccoli and green peas into the baby's diet. Below are the recipes for our household favorites.
01. Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin puree has a pleasant sweet taste and babies generally will eat it with pleasure. In addition, the pumpkin is full of vitamins like iron, carotene, pectin, vitamins B, C, E, D, PP and even T - a rare vitamin, responsible for metabolism in the body.
- To make the puree you will need a smaller pumpkin (small pumpkins are generally sweeter).
- Carefully wash it and slice into two pieces.
- Remove the seeds
- Slice a few pieces of the pumpkin and dice them into cubes.
- Drop the cubes into boiling water.
- Cook for 20 minutes until completely softened.
- Run it through a blender until smooth.
- If the mashed pumpkin is too thick, add a little breast milk or water.
02. Broccoli Puree
Broccoli is a major source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin C. In addition, and is high in protein, which makes it very nutritious.
- Before cooking, wash the broccoli well several times.
- Then cook it in a steamer for 20 minutes or in a saucepan. In a saucepan frozen broccoli should boil for 12-15 minutes, and fresh broccoli for 5-7 minutes. Add just enough water to cook cover the broccoli in a saucepan.
- Run it through a blender until smooth.
Fruit purees are also an important step in transitioning a baby to a full meal. Generally, babies like fruits more than vegetables because they are sweeter and more pleasant to taste and smell. Fruits are necessary for normal metabolism, growth and development of the child. However, fruit purees should be treated with caution: some fruits, such as bananas, apricots, and berries, may cause allergies. Fruit purees should be introduced into the diet in small quantities, while watching for a reaction
03. Pear Puree
Pear is easy on your baby’s belly and is full of vitamins A, C, E, K and B (1,2,3,5,6). Pear is also rich in fiber, vegetable proteins and important minerals: potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. Pear puree can remove harmful substances from the body and facilitate digestion.
- Choose green, locally grown pears to reduce the risk of allergic reaction.
- Carefully rinse the pears in running water, then gently cut the peel and remove the core.
- Put the pear in a thick bottomed saucepan and cover with a small amount of water and cook for about 15 minutes.
- After the pear is cooked, cool and puree it in a blender, or for less cleanup, mash it with a fork
- Serve warm or cold.
- You can prepare the apple puree following the same instructions.
Once you have ruled out any allergic reactions to one-component purees, you can introduce a puree consisting of several components.
04. Squash + Apple
Squash is one of the most low-allergy vegetables and has many minerals and fiber. It is rich in potassium for heart health, and contains vitamins A and C. In addition, squash provides for a delicate consistency. Apple, in turn, is rich in vitamins A, B, B2, B6 and minerals: magnesium, iron, phosphorus, iodine and provides natural protection of the body against viruses.
- Carefully wash apples and squash before cooking.
- Remove the skin and seeds and cut into small pieces.
- Squash and apples should be boiled separately, because each of them has different cooking times: apples should be cooked for 20-25 minutes, squash - 15-20 minutes.
- After cooking, combine and puree the components with a blender and let it cool.
When vegetable and fruit purees are no longer a novelty for your baby, offer puree with the addition of meat. The general recommendation is not to introduce meat purees until the baby is almost a year old, when its digestive system is strengthened. Start with the low-fat options such as chicken or turkey. Meat for baby puree should be soft and fresh.
05. Turkey + Carrots
Turkey is rich in vitamins B2, B6, B12 and it contains phosphorus, iron, magnesium and selenium, necessary for the health and growth of the baby. Turkey also has a very low cholesterol content.
- Boil the turkey for 30 minutes
- Change the water and boil for another 40 minutes.
- Cut boiled meat into small pieces and then puree in a blender to a uniform consistency for about 7-10 minutes, adding a little water.
- Separately boil a few small carrots (for 20-30 minutes) and puree them with a fork or a blender. Combine and mix the ingredients thoroughly.