Category Archives: Baby Food

The Incredible, Somewhat Edible Egg

Eggs are a great source of protein and iron but unfortunately, some young children are allergic to them. The good news is, the common allergen is found only in the egg white, meaning egg yolks are an acceptable and nutritious food for infants. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, egg yolks can be introduced to babies as young as six months.

To do so, hard boil an egg and once cooked, remove the yolk from the white. You can then mash the yolk and add a bit of water, breastmilk, or formula to thin it to the desired consistency. Because of its mild flavor, mashed egg yolk can be blended in with many foods to add an extra boost of protein and iron. Try adding it to pureed apples, green beans, and spinach. You can even add it to yogurt and rice cereal.

If there is no history of allergies in your family, it is generally safe to introduce egg whites at one year of age. If allergies are a problem in your family, though, the AAP recommends waiting until age two.

Watermelon for Babies

I love summer fruits and vegetables and watermelon is pretty close to the top of my list. And why not? It’s full of water (of which you need extra during the hot summer months), it’s packed with nutrients, and, it is often very reasonably priced. Right now in my area, a couple of stores have watermelons for $2.99. For a five pound watermelon, that’s about 60 cents per pound.

Anyway, watermelon is also one of my favorite baby foods. Again, it’s packed with nutrients like Vitamins A and C, lycopene, and beta carotene. It also offers a bit of calcium and folic acid, too. Because of it’s natural sweetness, most babies love the stuff. Add to all of that the fact that watermelon is super easy to prepare and you have a real baby food winner.

To serve it to your baby, you can go one of two routes. You can put a chunk of watermelon into a mesh feeder or you can puree it like any other type of baby food.  The nice thing is, you don’t have to cook it and pureeing it only takes seconds. Just cut the melon into chunks and remove any seeds (even the white ones found in “seedless” watermelon). Then toss the melon into the blender and whir until smooth.

In addition to eating it plain, pureed watermelon mixes in nicely with rice cereal, yogurt, and other baby favorites.

Photo by Simona Balint

Freebie Roundup — Formula, DVDs, Baby Food, and More

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s nothing more frugal than free. And if you’re the parent of a baby, there are tons of freebies to be found. Freebie offers come and go so it’s a good idea to sign up as soon as possible for the ones you are interested in. Below is a list of currently available offers. Come back next month for the newest freebie offers!

  • Free subscription to American Baby magazine — Produced by the same folks who put out Parents magazine, this one often carries the elusive Amazon.com diaper coupons!
  • Free subscription to Baby Talk magazine – Another great magazine, Baby Talk is full of useful information for new (and even experienced) parents.
  • Pregnancy Alert Bracelet — This cute bracelet announces your mom-to-be status, which could be helpful in an emergency situation.
  • Free Pampers Cruisers sample — Proctor and Gamble is offering a sample of Pampers Cruisers with Dry Max upon signup.
  • Lite-Up Baby Clippers — These handy nail clippers have a built-in lite to make it easier to see your baby’s nails.
  • Beech Nut Baby Food — Get a couple of free jars of baby food, a box of rice cereal, plus coupons when you sign up.
  • Baby Formula Sample — Get a free sample of baby formula from Parent’s Choice.
  • Free Potty Training DVD — Get a free DVD to help you potty train your toddler from Huggies Pull-Ups.
  • Free Circus Ticket — Babies up to 12 months of age can receive one free ticket to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
  • Welcome Letter From the President — Receive a presidential letter in honor of your child’s birth. Just send a note with your request and include your baby’s name, age, and address to:
    White House
    Attn: Greetings Office
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington, D.C. 20500

Leftovers Make Great Baby Food

I have always made my own baby food and more often than not, I just tossed a few tablespoons from the family’s meal (usually before I added a lot of salt or seasonings) into the blender and pureed it. Done. It only takes a second and then my babies would get to eat the same food as the rest of us.

From time to time, of course, it’s a good idea to whip up a batch of baby food so that you have some on hand for a quick meal, travel, or for dinners out. One of the easiest and most frugal ways to do that is to simply turn your leftovers into meals for your baby.

How often is there a spoonful of veggies left at the end of the meal? Or what about those couple of bites of chicken that you just couldn’t finish? Often, there’s not really enough food leftover to save for another meal but it’s too much to simply discard. When that happens, turn it into baby food!

If your leftovers are heavily seasoned, you can actually rinse them in most cases. This is a good way to cleanse the food of excess salt, too. Then just puree them and freeze them in ice cube trays until needed.

As an added bonus, babies are more receptive to flavor combinations than we are. This means if you have a bit of tonight’s meal and a bit of last night’s meal, you can puree it all together. So sure, fish and spinach and peas, and pork may sound rather revolting to you, but your baby just might like it.

Beef Baby Food Recipes

Beef–it’s what’s for dinner. Or at least that’s what the slogan says. As an excellent source of iron and protein, beef can be your baby’s dinner, too. The easiest way to incorporate beef into your baby’s diet is by taking some of your own meal (a bit of roast beef, a piece of hamburger, etc.) and run it through the blender or food processor. If your own meal is too spicy or you want to make up something special just for baby, these recipes are a good place to start.

Cheeseburger and Fries
This recipe combines the classic tastes of a cheeseburger dinner–minus the fat and sugar found in a typical diner or fast food joint.
Ingredients
4 ounces lean ground beef
2 medium potatoes, cooked and cubed
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Directions
Brown ground beef and drain off excess grease. To get rid of even more grease, rinse the meat in hot water.
Add cooked beef and all other ingredients to the blender and puree until desired consistency is reached. Add water, breastmilk, or formula to thin as needed.

Pot Roast Dinner
Depending upon how heavily you season your own meals, you could simply puree the components from your own pot roast dinner and feed it to your baby. If you need something a bit blander, this recipe will serve the purpose well.
Ingredients
1 cup water
1/4 medium white or yellow onion
1 cup cubed beef roast
1 large carrot, sliced
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
Pinch of salt
Dash of pepper
Directions
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once. Check potatoes and beef for doneness and cook until tender. Drain water and remove garlic if desired. Add remaining ingredients to blender and puree to desired consistency. Add water, breastmilk, or formula to thin as needed.

Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie is already a good consistency for older babies and can easily be pureed for younger babies. For a quick baby-friendly shepherd’s pie, this is a good recipe. Feel free to substitute the vegetables of your choice to suit your baby’s tastes.
Ingredients
1/2 cup prepared mashed potatoes
1/2 cup browned lean ground beef
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots, steamed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons milk
Dash of black pepper
Directions
Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until desired consistency is reached.

Beef Santa Fe
This dish combines several Tex-Mex ingredients without any spiciness.
Ingredients
8 ounces lean beef (any kind–roast, ground, steak, etc.)
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup fresh or frozen corn, steamed
2 Tablespoons chopped onions
2 Tablesppons chopped bell pepper
Directions
Sautee onions and peppers in a scant amount of vegetable oil. Add beef to peppers and onions and cook until browned. Add all ingredients to blender and puree until desired consistency is reached. Add water, breastmilk, or formula to thin as needed.

Peas Baby Food Recipes

“Eat your peas,” I must have heard my mother say a zillion times as a kid. I didn’t like peas then and I don’t particularly care for them now. This is unfortunate because peas pack an impressive nutritional punch. They are a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin A, Folate, and fiber, to name a few nutrients. As an added bonus, many babies love their sweet taste and soft texture.

Below you will find easy ways to prepare peas for your little one. Keep in mind that plain pureed peas can be added to any number of foods for a variety of tastes.

Keema Matar
This Indian-style dish offers plenty of flavor and nutrients with none of the spice associated with traditional Keema Matar.
Ingredients
4 ounces cooked lamb, cubed*
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, steamed
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of onion powder
Directions
Add all ingredients to blender and puree to desired consistency. Add water, breastmilk, or formula as needed to thin the puree.

*If lamb is not a staple in your family’s diet, you could use beef instead.

Cheesy Peasy Rice
Pediatricians usually give the okay on dairy foods for older babies (8 or 9 months of age) with no history of allergies. If your baby can’t eat dairy yet, simply omit the cottage cheese from this recipe.
Ingredients
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, steamed
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup cottage cheese
Dash of onion powder
Dash of black pepper
Directions
Add peas, rice, onion powder, and black pepper to blender and puree to desired consistency. If puree is hot, allow to cool before mixing in cottage cheese, either by hand or in the blender.

Peachy Peas
Surprisingly, peaches work well with the mild flavor of green peas for a sweet but nutritional treat.
Ingredients
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, steamed
2 peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced
Dash of nutmeg or cinnamon
Directions
Add all ingredients to blender and puree to desired consistency. Add water, breastmilk, or formula as needed to thin the puree.

Savory Peas
This simple recipe adds a little extra flavor to ordinary peas.
Ingredients
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, steamed
1/4 cup chopped leeks
Dash of black pepper
Directions
Cook the peas and the leeks together in a steamer basket or by simmering in a few tablespoons of water. Add all ingredients to blender and puree to desired consistency. Add water, breastmilk, or formula as needed to thin the puree.

Garden Variety Dinner
With a bit of chicken for protein, this puree combines a variety of vegetables for a big dose of nutrition.
Ingredients
1/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas, steamed
1/4 cup diced fresh or frozen carrots, steamed
4 asparagus spears, steamed
1/4 cup chopped fresh or frozen cauliflower, steamed
1 small red potato, cooked and cubed
6 ounces of chicken, cooked and cubed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Dash of black pepper
Directions
Add all ingredients to blender and puree to desired consistency. Add water, breastmilk, or formula as needed to thin the puree.

Apple Baby Food Recipes

Apples make a great early food for babies. They are sweet and mild, they are a good source of fiber and vitamin C, and they are inexpensive. Because of their mild flavor, they blend very well with many other foods.

Below are some recipes for making your own apple baby food. Be sure to check the ingredients in each recipe to make sure they are appropriate for your baby’s age and dietary needs. Also note that you can use any variety of apples that you’d like, but I would suggest staying away from Granny Smith apples because they are more tart than sweet.
Just Apples
Ingredients
5 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1/4 cup water
Directions
Bring water to boil in a saucepan.
Add apples to the saucepan. Cover and reduce heat. 
Simmer until apples are soft.
Pour apples and juice/water into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Freeze unused apple puree in ice cube trays or baby food storage containers.

Orchard Delight
Ingredients
3 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 peach, peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
1/4 cup water
Directions
Bring water to boil in a saucepan.
Add apples to the saucepan. Cover and reduce heat. 
Simmer until apples are soft.
Pour apples and juice/water into a blender or food processor. Add peaches and blend until smooth.
Freeze unused puree in ice cube trays or baby food storage containers.

Harvest Pie (my babies loved this one!)
Ingredients
3 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1/2 cup canned pumpkin  
Dash of cinnamon
1/4 cup water
Directions
Bring water to boil in a saucepan.
Add apples to the saucepan. Cover and reduce heat. 
Simmer until apples are soft.
Pour apples and juice/water into a blender or food processor. Add pumpkin and cinnamon and blend until smooth.
Freeze unused puree in ice cube trays or baby food storage containers.

Apple Yogurt
Ingredients
1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup water
Directions
Bring water to boil in a saucepan.
Add apples to the saucepan. Cover and reduce heat. 
Simmer until apples are soft.
Pour apples and juice/water into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Allow apple puree to cool and then mix it in with the yogurt.
Freeze unused puree in ice cube trays or baby food storage containers.

Apples and Pork
Ingredients
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1/2 cup cooked pork, cubed
1/4 cup water
Directions
Bring water to boil in a saucepan.
Add apples to the saucepan. Cover and reduce heat. 
Simmer until apples are soft.
Pour apples and juice/water into a blender or food processor. Add pork and blend until smooth. Add water, breastmilk, or formula to reach desired consistency.
Freeze unused puree in ice cube trays or baby food storage containers.

Sweet Rice
Ingredients
1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 cup cooked rice (brown or white)
1 tablespoon raisins
1/4 cup water
Directions
Bring water to boil in a saucepan.
Add apples and raisins to the saucepan. Cover and reduce heat. 
Simmer until apples are soft.
Pour apples, raisins, and juice/water into a blender or food processor. Add rice and blend until smooth.
Freeze unused puree in ice cube trays or baby food storage containers.

Banana Recipes for Baby

I have never met a baby who didn’t like bananas. And what’s not to like? They’re soft, they’re sweet, and they’re easy to digest (although they can cause constipation in excess quantities!). They are also one of the easiest baby foods to prepare–just peel, mash, and feed. And while bananas do contain a lot of sugar, they are also nutrient rich providing fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. To top it all off, they are uber-frugal. I see them regularly for as little as $0.29 per pound!

But you don’t have to limit your baby to plain ol’ bananas. Instead, try mixing and matching bananas with some of your baby’s other favorite foods or use bananas to help introduce your baby to new flavors. Try a few of the palatable combinations below or make up some flavors of your own. Bananas are so mild that they go well with a variety of other foods.

Banana Yogurt
Ingredients
1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Directions
Add both ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Bananacado (Maya loved this!)
Ingredients
2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1 avocado, pitted, scooped, and cubed
Directions
Add bananas and avocado to blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Beans and ‘Nanas
Ingredients
2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup beans of your choice cooked (butter beans and northern beans work especially well)
water, breastmilk, or formula to achieve desired consistency
Directions
Add all ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Banana Cocktail
Ingredients
1 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1 apple or pear, peeled, cooked, and cut into chunks
1 peach, peeled and cut into chunks
Directions
Add all ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Banana Risotto
Ingredients
1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked until sticky
1-2 tablespoons plain yogurt
Directions
Add bananas, yogurt, and rice to blender or food processor and blend until creamy.

Tropical Chicken
Ingredients
1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks
3 oz cooked chicken, cubed
2 tablespoons crushed pineapple
water, breastmilk, or formula as needed to achieve desired consistency
Directions
Add chicken to blender or food processor and pulse several times. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Sweet Potato Baby Food Recipes

 

Sweet potatoes are the vegetable of choice for many babies. They are sweet and smooth (and bright orange, to boot!). Parents can feel good about feeding sweet potatoes to their little ones because these tasty tubers are full of nutrients including fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid, just to name a few.

If your baby readily eats sweet potatoes but shies away from some other foods, you can try mixing some of the rejected food into a serving of sweet potatoes, gradually increasing the amount until your baby begins accepting the other food.

I find that the easiest way to prepare sweet potatoes is by washing them, pricking their skins, and microwaving them until tender. Allow the potatoes to cool for a few minutes and then you can easily slip the skins off. Pop the potatoes into a blender or food processor with a little water and blend until smooth. Remaining pureed sweet potatoes can be frozen in ice cube trays or baby food storage containers.

If you want to add a little variety to your baby’s sweet potatoes, try the following recipes.

Spiced Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients
1 sweet potato, cooked and peeled
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
Dash of cinnamon
Directions
Cut sweet potato into chunks and add to blender or food processor with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Ingredients
1 sweet potato, cooked and peeled
3 oz cooked turkey (or chicken)
2-4 tablespoons water, as needed for desired consistency
1 tablespoon cranberry sauce (optional)
Directions
Cut potato and turkey into small chunks. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Peachy Keen Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients
1 sweet potato, cooked and peeled
1 peach, peeled and pitted
Directions
Cut potato and peach into chunks and blend in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Sweet Potato Pancakes
Ingredients
1 large sweet potato, cooked and peeled
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons apple juice
1 cup plain or Greek yogurt
4 eggs
1 egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions
Puree sweet potato until smooth
Heat a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat
Pour desired amount of batter into heated skillet (1 tablespoon for silver dollar pancakes, 1/4 cup for regular pancakes)
Cook until the batter bubbles on top, then flip and cook on the other side until cooked through.

Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Ingredients
1 sweet potato peeled and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch sticks
1 teaspoon olive oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 425
Drizzle olive oil over sweet potato sticks and toss to coat
Place potatoes on a foil-lined cookie sheet in a single layer
Cook in preheated oven for 15 minutes
Flip the fries and cook for another 15 minutes

Avocado Recipes For Baby

If you venture down the baby food aisle in the grocery store, chances are good that you won’t find a jar of pureed avocado. Nonetheless, this super food is great for babies and it has a mild flavor that may appeal to your baby. Maya, my daughter, loved avocado. She was perfectly content to eat it plain but I’m also going to share some of her favorite avocado recipes. First though, check out all these benefits of avocado:

  • They provide nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and iron.
  • They are low in saturated fat and rich in mono and polyunsaturated fat (good fat).
  • They are cholesterol and sodium free.
  • They can be mashed or pureed to a smooth and creamy consistency — without cooking.

With these benefits in mind, it is no wonder that more and more babies are being fed avocados from an early age. In fact, some parents are opting to start their babies on advocado instead of rice cereal! If you want to introduce avocado to your baby (age 6 months or older), the following recipes will get you started.

Just Avocado
Ingredients

1 avocado
Directions

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit.
Scoop the meat out of the shell.
Blend, puree, or mash the avocado until the desired consistency is reached.
For a thiner consistency, breastmilk, water, juice, milk, or formula may be mixed in.
Freeze unused avocado puree in ice cube trays or baby food storage containers. Note that thawed avocado may brown slightly but this will not effect the nutritional value of the food.

Bananacado (Maya’s favorite!)
Ingredients
2 bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1 avocado, pitted, scooped, and cubed
Directions

Add bananas and avocado to blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Green Mashed Potatoes
Ingredients

2 potatoes, peeled, cooked, and cubed
1 avocado, pitted, scooped, and cubed
Directions

Add potatoes and avocado to blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Spiced Avocado
Ingredients

1 avocado, pitted, scooped, and mashed/pureed
8 oz. canned pureed pumpkin
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Directions

Mix avocado, pumpkin, and cinnamon together until thoroughly blended. Note that the color of this mixture will be rather unappetizing but your baby shouldn’t mind.

Orchard Avocado
Ingredients

3 of either apples or pears (or a combination of the two), cored, peeled, cooked, and mashed/purred
1 avocado, pitted, scooped, and mashed/pureed
Directions

Mix avocado with apples or pears until thoroughly blended.

Avocado Yogurt
Ingredients

1 avocado, pitted, scooped, and mashed/pureed
1 cup plain or Greek yogurt
Directions

Stir avocado into yogurt and serve plain or as a dip for finger foods.

Meaty Avocado
Note — if your baby dislikes the grittier texture of home-pureed meats, the avocado will provide a creamy texture that helps to mask the grittiness.
Ingredients

1 cup cooked and cubed beef, pork, or chicken
1 avocado, pitted, scooped, and cubed
Directions

Add meat to a blender or food processor and blend until there are no large bits of meat remaining.
Add cubed avocado and blend until smooth.