Easy Baby Food Recipes
Making your own baby food at home is affordable and nutritious, but it can also be quick and easy (welcome news for busy parents!).
The American Academy of Pediatrics says babies between 4 and 6 months old can begin eating solid foods. Signs that your baby is ready:
- Can sit upright and hold up his or her head
- Is curious and looking around
- Has mastered tongue movement
- Seems interested in food and hungry after a day’s portion of milk
You can start with simple foods: soft, single-grain cereals (4 to 6 months), then moving on to pureed vegetables, fruits and meats (6 to 8 months). Pay attention to common allergens, such as eggs, soy, milk, wheat, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, as well as gas-inducing foods. Avoid certain foods like honey and citrus fruits until your baby is older.
When introducing a new food to your baby, serve it for four days, looking for signs of an allergy or intolerance. Then move on to a new single food, and keep expanding your little one’s taste buds. As your child grows, gradually introduce more complex flavors, such as herbs and spices.
Here are a few easy baby food recipes to get you started:
In a food processor or blender, grind brown rice until it forms a fine powder (this will take several minutes). Bring water to a boil, then turn down the heat and stir in the rice powder. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently until it’s a porridge consistency. Thin it out with more water if necessary. Store rice cereal in the fridge and reheat for up to a week.
Smashed Bananas or Avocados
If you’re on the go or don’t have time to cook, bananas and avocados are perfect for a quick meal. They require no cooking, and they have a mild, creamy flavor babies tend to like. Simply scoop out the fruit into a bowl, smash well with a fork or spoon, and lunch is ready.
Steam broccoli and cauliflower until tender. Puree in a blender or food processor, adding water or your baby’s usual milk to give it a smoother texture.
Cut an acorn or butternut squash in half, and scoop out the seeds, placing the pieces face up in a baking pan. Peel and dice apples, placing them inside the squash halves where the seeds used to be. Pour water in the pan and over the diced apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees until squash and apples are soft. Puree until smooth, adding water if needed.
Rinse and peel beets, chopping into small cubes. Place in a saucepan with fresh or frozen blueberries. Add enough water to cover both, then cook over medium-high heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, until beets are tender. Puree and serve.