Transitioning your little one from a liquid based diet to a solid one can be very exhausting for parents. But! Not when you have these homemade baby food recipes, which are both, nutritious and preservative free, unlike the pre-made ones that one can easily find at any super store.
Now, before we move to the recipes, you should keep in mind that no two infants are alike. One may transform to eating solids at 4 months of age while the other might reject it until they are 6 months old. Assure yourself that both of the situations are normal!
Make sure you are not forcing your little one into eating solids.
Either look for signs such as – the baby can hold his head, sit without support, shows interest in what you eat, has mastered the pincer grip – or ask his/her pediatrician, about when you can introduce them to solids.
So without further ado, let us jump straight to the recipes, which for your ease, have been categorized according to age;
Beginning with homemade baby food recipes, Stage 1:
(Suitable for 4 to 6 months old babies)
We like to call this stage the mashed-up stage.
This category consists of very basic recipes since the baby is too young to have any complex food.
Avoid mixing of different fruits and vegetables but rather stick to one fruit or vegetable a day, to keep things light.
Make sure the food has been mashed thoroughly and the consistency is not too thick. Keep it soft and runny so it is easier for the little one to digest.
So, be it mashed fruits, vegetables, rice or grains; your baby is now ready for some nutritiously mashed treats.
Here are my top picks:
Apple-sauce : Surprisingly, my 3-year-old munchkin still loves this nutritious treat.
- For some extra flavor and nutrition, add half a cinnamon stick to the boiling pot of water before chucking in the apples. Make sure to remove it before blending.
Avocado pudding : This pudding requires no cooking and is probably the simplest of homemade baby food recipes to help you during hectic work hours.
- Slice open the avocado, scoop out the yummy goodness and mash it up with a fork. Buttery, mushy avocado pudding is ready for your little one.
Avocado and mango mush : If you are looking to amp things up a little, try this recipe, which is great when it comes to nutritional values. In addition, it tastes yum. Yes, I have tried!
- Peel and cube a mango and blitz it with avocado mush in a blender. Add water to it to attain a consistency that best suits infants.
Banana blitz : This one is an extremely nutrient filled baby food recipe.
- All you need is a ripe banana and around 2 tbsps. of breast or baby milk. Blitz it together in a blender until it forms a smooth and runny consistent paste.
Next up, Stage 2:
(Suitable for 6 to 9 month olds)
At this stage, the baby is now old enough to try out foods that are thicker and chunkier in consistency, as compared to the mushy stage.
However, I would still suggest you to keep the complexity of foods, at bay.
Instead of making them try different variety of foods at this stage, work on giving them a different variety of consistencies and textures.
In fact, you can use the very same recipes that you have been using for the past two months; just keep the consistency a bit thicker.
Here are my and my baby’s top picks, out of the many homemade baby food recipes we have tried in the past three years:
Pear and butternut squash puree : This recipe requires minimum effort, yet is a full meal, which includes a variety of vitamins that help keep your baby’s energy levels charged.
- Grab a medium sized butternut, squash and one pear. Cut, peel and dice both.
- Begin by steaming the squash for 12 mins, then add to it, diced pear; let steam for another 5 minutes, or until both of them have tenderized.
- Whiz in a blender along with a dollop of butter.
Spinach and yam puree : This homemade baby food recipe is power packed with nutrients. From a healthy dose of calories, iron to vitamins and anti-oxidants, this dish is an all-rounder.
Yam n Cheese mash : This one is not just my little one’s favorite, but mine too. A definite pleaser, when you are bored of the usual Mac n Cheese. In addition, this is the right time to introduce dairy, such as cheese and yogurt into your little one’s diet.
- You will need one yam and 25 grams of cheese. Preferably cheddar, or if you are looking to keep the flavor mild then cottage cheese is a good alternative.
- For extra nutrients, you can also add one carrot to the meal.
- Begin by peeling and dicing the veggies.
- Boil in a pan until tender.
- In a bowl, add boiled veggies, cheese and mash it up with a fork.
Papaya mush : This has been a constant during my baby’s first year. The anti-constipating properties of this particular fruit helped keep my baby’s digestive system on track. Since this recipe requires no cooking, it turned out to be my baby’s snack staple when in a hurry.
- Peel, cut and deseed the papaya. Mash it up with a fork and its ready!
Lastly, Stage 3:
(Suitable for 9 to 12 month olds and above)
At this stage, your little one is old enough to start complex foods, such as beef, fish and the likes.
In addition, it is the right time to introduce finger foods.
At this stage, try to introduce adult-foods, such as stews, risotto and the likes to your child, in order to develop a habit of eating family-friendly foods. This not only results in enjoyable family meals but also cuts down your work, as you no longer would require preparation of mushy, pureed food for your little one.
Here are some of our fav, baby adult food;
Baby version of Beef stew : Needless to say, this is one of the most nutrient packed recipe due to the high doses of iron in red meat and also it tastes YUMM! Though, the recipe requires a lot more effort and time than most baby food recipes, but the end product is worth it. Plus, you can freeze the stew in batches, for future use.
Baby Lasagna : The name alone makes me drool. I mean, my baby! This has to be one of the most loved homemade baby food recipe. From all sorts of nutrients to amazing taste, this dish has become a weekend constant. Moreover, both my baby and I enjoy it! Do you want to know how?
- Well, double the quantity of ingredients and puree just half of the prepared pasta. While keeping the other half for yourself.
Potato pancakes : This recipe is another hit in our house.
- Grab 2 cups of mashed potatoes and half a cup cheese, 1 egg and 3 tbsps. of flour.
- Mix them together in a bowl and form small patties.
- Coat with flour in another bowl.
- On a heated pan, fry in a tbsp. of butter until golden brown.
Sweet potato fries : This dish is a lifesaver. Especially when you are looking to introduce finger foods. Unlike the usual potato fries, this one is not only filled with far more nutrients but also helps cut down on the extra fat from deep-frying.
- Cut sweet potato like you would a normal potato, for making fries.
- On a baking sheet, spread parchment paper and lay the cut sweet potato over it.
- Make sure they do not overlap.
- Drizzle olive oil and bake for 30 mins., flipping midway, at 425F.
Fish and leek puree : This another favorite which is great when you are looking to introduce fish in your baby’s diet. The recipe may not be as hassle free but both taste wise and nutrient wise, it is 10/10!
Just make sure to use organic and fresh products when making baby food so they get 100% preservative free food every time.
Look out for any food allergies and strike that food off your baby’s list immediately.
Some of the common allergens are; eggs, fish, nuts, soy and wheat.
Therefore, after giving any of them, be vigilant if incase of any signs of allergies show up.
Do you have any homemade baby food recipes to share that you vouch by?
Feel free to share with us in the comment box below!