by Katie Trudeau

Is your baby ready to start trying solid foods? There’s no doubt about it - this is one of those super exciting milestones. Watching your baby’s facial expressions as he tries new flavors and new textures is undeniably precious and even hilarious at times.

But here’s the thing. Baby food has come a long way in recent years, and some of it is quite delicious. (Of course, I tried it!), but the organic versions can cost a pretty penny. And if your baby likes to eat (like all three of mine), the grocery bill can get a little out of hand.

So what’s the solution? Make your baby food at home! Not only does this save money in the long run, but you’re in control of the ingredients, and you can make high quality baby food right in your kitchen!

1.Baby’s First Mash

I skipped the rice cereal for a variety of reasons, and I used this recipe as my daughter’s first solid food. (Tip: Check with your pediatrician if you’re unsure when your baby is ready for solids).

To make this easy recipe, you need:

  • 1 ripe avocado or 1 ripe banana (make sure it’s soft and even has brown spots)
  • Formula, breastmilk, or water

Use a fork and mash the avocado or banana; add your desired liquid until it’s thinned to the right consistency. Start with just one food at a time, but once your baby has tried both avocado and banana, you can start to mix the two together.

2. Egg Yolk Mash

Egg yolks are another great first food; they are easy to prepare, easy to feed, and loaded with nutrients.

To make this recipe:

  1. Boil an egg
  2. Remove the white
  3. Use a fork and mash the egg yolk. It can be pasty so thin it with breastmilk or formula to get to your desired consistency.

3. Spinach Mango and Pear Puree

This recipe provides greens without being overwhelming. The mango adds a tropical flavor and the pear keeps it sweet.

What you need:

  • Fresh spinach
  • Mango (fresh or frozen)
  • Fresh pear

 

What to do:

  1. Quickly steam your spinach on the stove. If you are using frozen mango, toss it in with the spinach to get it warmed up.
  2. Drain the spinach/mango.
  3. Add spinach, mango, and pear to the food processor.
  4. Add breastmilk or formula if needed.

4. Sweet Potato and Chicken Mash

Although store bought baby food is generally pretty tasty, there’s one type of premade baby food that I never buy - even if I’m in a time crunch - and that’s the baby food meat purees. Instead, we use this recipe for sweet potato and chicken puree.

This is what you need:

  • One chicken thigh (you can do breast, but I like dark meat so that’s what I use)
  • One sweet potato
  • Ghee
  • Breastmilk or formula

This is what you need to do:

  • Stew the chicken and sweet potato together; once they are both fully cooked and tender, remove from the pan
  • Place in food processor (you could fork mash it though) and add breastmilk or formula, and a tiny bit of ghee; blend until you read the desired consistency.
  • (optional) If your baby has the pincer grasp, skip the food processor step. Pull about the chicken into tiny pieces and let your baby practice picking them up with the pincer step.

To introduce single meats, use ½ pound of meat (lamb or beef work well too) and ½ cup of broth. Stew the meat, then add the meat, the broth, a dab of ghee, a pinch of salt into your food processor. This can be a standalone recipe or serve as a base for adding other veggies.


5. Cinnamon Oatmeal

What’s more cozy than a warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning? Your whole family - the baby included - will love to partake in this tasty breakfast.

To make cinnamon oatmeal, you will need:

  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Chia seeds
  • Liquid of your choice: breastmilk, formula, or cow’s milk, etc
  • Cinnamon

On the stovetop, cook the oatmeal as directed, using water. Once the oatmeal is fully cooked, add a sprinkle of cinnamon, a sprinkle of chia seeds, and milk until you have the right consistency. For toddlers, I also add currants to the oatmeal.

Tip: If you have concerns about your baby’s allergies/nutritional needs, check in with your baby’s pediatrician first.

6. Lamb and Barley

This recipe is a little more involved than the others, but it’s delicious and incredibly nutritious.

To make lamb and barley, you will need:

  • Cooked ground lamb (½ pound)
  • Cooked barley (½ cup)
  • Peas (1 cup)
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Beef broth
  • (optional) Fresh rosemary leaves

Once all of your components are cooked, you just have to add them to the food processor. Add beef broth until you get the consistency that’s right for your baby.

7. Chia, Fruit, and Rice Bowls

Wonder why chia seeds are in so many recipes these days? Chia seeds are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for your baby’s brain development.

To make a chia, fruit, and rice bowl, you will need:

  • Fresh spinach or kale leaves
  • Chia seeds
  • Cooked brown rice (about ¾ cup)
  • Cinnamon
  • 3 cups of fruit: Choose a mix of banana, blueberry,

Add all ingredients in the food processor and voila! Easy peasy!

8. Salmon and Spinach with Yogurt

Just like the chia seeds, salmon is another great source of omega 3 fatty acids.

To make the salmon and spinach, you will need:

  • Salmon filet
  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • Currants
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Dried dill

To make the salmon:

  1. Bake the salmon filet in the oven. Once the fish is cooked, remove the skin, and place the salmon in a bowl.
  2. Steam the spinach and currants.
  3. Add all ingredients together and use a fork to mash.

9. Beef and Broccoli

We love beef and broccoli stir fry, and this recipe lets your baby get a taste of the magic too!

To make beef and broccoli, you will need:

  • Ground beef
  • Sweet potato
  • Broccoli

What I like about this recipe is how easy it is; brown your meat, steam the veggies, toss it all in the food processor, and that’s it! Add a pinch of salt and a dollop of ghee for extra flavor.


10. Stewed Apricots

I must confess: I made this recipe long before I ever had kids!

To stewed apricots, you will need:

  • A bag of dried apricots  
  • Water

Stew the apricots until the water is absorbed and the apricots are soft and tender. Serve as a puree, mix some in oatmeal, stir it into yogurt. It also pairs really well with meat purees.


Tip: If you have concerns about your baby’s allergies/nutritional needs, check in with your baby’s pediatrician first.


What about you?

What is your favorite homemade baby food recipe?

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Kathryn is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum movement, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy. Read more at  www.katietrudeau.com 

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