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9 Yummy Healthy Baby Food Recipes

 

When your baby is transitioning from a liquid diet to real food, a shopping cart full of glass jar pureés may seem like the easiest option. But why settle for store-bought fare? Whipping up a decidedly more healthful and flavorful first meal at home is super simple. Onehungrymama.com's Stacie Billis shares her top 9  recipes for the gummy set -  you might even like some of them yourself.

1. Blueberry, Plum and Barley Purée

blueberry plum puree baby food

Makes about 1½ cups purée

  • 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries*
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 large fresh  plum, peeled, pitted & cut into 1” pieces
  • Dash of vanilla, to taste

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth or desired, age-appropriate consistency. Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

*Note: Blueberries are frequently ranked high on the list of high-pesticide fruits and vegetables (see the Environmental Working Group 2012 “Dirty Dozen” list). When possible, it’s best to buy organic. 

2. Carrot-Mango-Peach Pureé

Carrot-Mango-Peach Puree baby food

Makes about 1½ cups purée

  • 1 cup diced, steamed carrots
  • 1 fresh mango, peeled, pitted & cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 fresh peach or nectarine, peeled, pitted & cut into 1” pieces*

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth or desired, age-appropriate consistency. Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

*Note:  Peaches and nectarines are frequently ranked high on the list of high-pesticide fruits and vegetables (see the Environmental Working Group 2012 “Dirty Dozen” list). When possible, it’s best to buy organic. 

3. Vanilla-Cumin Carrots

Vanilla-Cumin Carrots puree baby food

Makes about ½ cup purée

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Dash of vanilla extract, to taste
  • 2 cups pitted fresh cherries

Instructions

Combine water, orange juice, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add cherries and cover saucepan; cook until cherries are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

4. Cardamom Almond Pear & Prunes Purée

pear puree baby food

Makes about 1 cup purée

  • 5 pitted prunes, quartered
  • 2 fresh pears, pitted & cut into 1″ pieces*
  • 4 tablespoons almond meal**
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Dash of cinnamon, to taste

Instructions

  1. Steam pear and prunes together.
  2. Purée steamed fruit with almond meal, cardamom and cinnamon until smooth or desired, age-appropriate consistency. (You may need to add water to reach desired consistency. I like to use the water in which the fruit was steamed.)

*Note: Though pears have fallen off of the list of most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables (where they’ve consistently ranked in the past), 28 different pesticides are typically used on them. When possible, it’s best to buy organic.

**Note: Almond meal is available at some health food stores. You can also make it by whizzing almonds in a food processor. Roasted almonds work best; a heaping handful should be enough to yield enough meal for this recipe. Though tree nuts such as almonds are a high-allergenic food, current guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics state that there is no proven health benefit to delaying their introduction.

5. Cuban Black Beans

Cuban Black Beans baby food puree

Makes about 1½ cup purée

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped fresh carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (you can substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1½ cups diced fresh tomato (you can substitute 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • Splash of cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. Sautee until vegetables are soft, onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.
  2. Add black beans and tomato. Stir to combine well and cook to bring flavors together, about 2 minutes. Add broth, brown rice, and vinegar cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer cooked beans to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth or desired, age-appropriate consistency. If necessary, add water, just a little at a time, to achieve desired consistency. Serve right away (these are great with a dollop of plain, whole milk yogurt!) or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

6. Gingered Pears and Quinoa

Gingered Pears and Quinoa baby food puree

Makes about 1½ cups purée

  • 2 cups diced fresh pear
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth or desired, age-appropriate consistency. Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

7. Coconut-Chai Oatmeal

Coconut-Chai Oatmeal baby food

Makes about ½ cup purée

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite sweetener*
  • Whole milk, optional, to purée

Instructions​

  1. Add oats, coconut, spices, and 1 cup of water to a medium saucepan set over medium heat and cook according to oat package instructions.
  2. Once cooked through, stir in your favorite sweetener.
  3. Transfer cooked oatmeal to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth or desired, age-appropriate consistency. If necessary, add water, milk, breast milk or formula, just a little at a time, to achieve desired consistency. Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months

*Note: For kids younger than 12-months-old, I like using small amounts of natural maple or agave syrup. For eaters over 12-months-old, I prefer honey. 

8.  Apricot-Basil Peaches

Apricot-Basil Peaches puree baby food

Makes about 1½ cups purée

  • 5 basil leaves
  • 1 cup diced fresh, pitted apricots
  • 1 cup diced fresh, pitted peaches or nectarines*

Instructions​

Add basil to a food processor or blender with a couple of drops of water and pulse until it’s finely chopped, adding more drops of water, as necessary. Add fruit and blend until smooth or desired, age-appropriate consistency. Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

9. Leftover Turkey or Chicken Picadillo

Leftover Turkey or Chicken Picadillo baby food

Makes 4 grown-up servings

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped*
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 ½ cups chopped leftover, cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 4 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven set over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, peppers, cumin, oregano, and coriander. Sautee until spices are fragrant and onion and garlic are soft.
  2. Push vegetables to the side of the pot, creating an open space in the middle. Add tomato paste and “toast” for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add turkey, broth, olives, raisins, and bay leaf. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, to bring all of the flavors together and all most of the liquid to cook off. Take off of hear and remove bay leaf.
  4. Separate baby portions from adult portions. Season the former with ground black pepper, if desired, and adult portions with salt and pepper. Transfer baby portions to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth or desired, age-appropriate consistency; add water if necessary to achieve desired consistency. (You can purée with brown rice or another whole grain, as well, if you like.) Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
 

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