Not Your Average Baby Food

Thank you for joining us in this mini-series. This is the last of the baby food posts (at least for the summer), but come join us tomorrow for the Cloth Diapering 101 segment by a special guest.

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Whether you puree or not, make your own or buy at the store, one thing is almost always a certain… it’s bland and uninteresting.  Here are several baby and toddler recipes I found (on Weelicious, Homemade Baby Food, and Super Baby Foods) that are not so boring and bland.

A general rule to follow when trying to make baby food healthful and interesting is to mix foods that pack a nutritional punch (but maybe lack in the taste department) with other more tasty ingredients and spices (yes, I said spices) to make it visually appetizing and flavorful. If you think about it, many countries already incorporate spices into their babies’ foods, and when we breastfeed, the baby experiences different the spices we eat in our milk.

Now, don’t run off and douse your baby’s food in spicy curry or tabasco.  Be choosy on which spices, use sparingly (it should have a hint of mellow flavoring), and consult with your pediatrician to make sure it is right for your baby.

I also want to suggest that you check out Dr. Sear’s tips for feeding a picky toddler.

Baby’s Vegetable Curry 

8oz (1 cup) red lentils
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and diced.
8oz (1 cup) butternut squash, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
6 fl oz (3/4 cup) coconut milk
8oz (approx 1 cup) broccoli florets
pinch cumin
pinch turmeric
pinch paprika

Saute the onion in a little oil until golden. Stir in the sweet potato, squash, ginger and finally the coconut milk. Stir over a medium heat for a few minutes, then add the lentils, broccoli and spices. Simmer very gently for 45 mins, stirring from time to time.  Serve alone, or with rice!

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Rainbow Dice
1 tbsp diced kiwi fruit
1 tbsp diced papaya
1 tbsp dicedmango
1 to 2 tbsp wheat germ

Mix all the fruits together in a bowl and toss with the wheat germ until well coated. This makes a great finger food and – in addition to being nutritious – the wheat germ makes the dice easier to pick up.

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Sweet Potato Coconut Puree 

(serves 14 2 Tbsp Servings)
2 Medium Yams, washed
1/3 cup Coconut Milk (full fat or light)
1 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke several holes in the yam with a fork. Bake for an hour. (I put them on a piece of tin foil so they don’t drip all over the oven). When yams are cool to the touch peel off the skin and scoop insides into a food processor with remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Cool and serve.

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Carrot Snack Sticks 

(Makes about 30)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Carrot, finely shredded
2 Tbsp Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the first four ingredients and stir to combine. Using your hands, add the carrots to the flour mixture coating the carrot pieces with flour. Add the oil and work with your hands to bring the dough together. Form the carrot parmesan dough into a flat rectangular disk and roll out 1/2 inch thick. Using a knife, cut the dough into sticks, 2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide. Bake on a Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet for 15-17 minutes. Cool and serve.

** Recipe can be doubled**

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Fresh Pea Hummus 

(15 Baby Food Servings)
1 Cup Peas, fresh or frozen
1 Cup Garbanzo Beans
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
1/4 Cup Whole Milk Yogurt
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Tahini (don’t use this if your baby is under 12 months)

Put peas in a steamer over boiling water for 2 minutes if frozen, 4-5 if fresh.  Place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

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Mango, Apple and Carrot Puree 

(10 Baby Servings)
1/2 Cup Baby Carrots, chopped
1 Cup Mango, chopped
1 Cup Apple, peeled and chopped

Put carrots in a steamer pot over boiling water for 3 minutes.  Add mango and apple for 2 minutes or until everything is fork tender. Put in a food processor until smooth.  Cool and serve.

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Sweet Potato, Apple, Cheddar Purses 

(Makes 10 purses)
1/2 Sweet Potato (yams), peeled and cubed
1 Small Apple (about 1/2 Cup), peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/8 Tsp Cinnamon
10 Wonton Wrappers (found in the refrigerator section of your grocery)
*Bowl of water

Place the sweet potatoes in a steamer pot over boiling water and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the apples and continue to cook another 3 minutes or until fork tender. Place the apples, sweet potato, cheese and cinnamon in a food processor and puree until smooth. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a wonton wrapper on a clean surface. Place a tablespoon of the puree in the middle of the wonton. Take the four corners of the wonton and lift them up around the puree. Pinch the wonton together in the middle, just over the puree, to seal. Moisten your fingers with a little water and pinch once more to ensure a good seal. Repeat process with remaining wonton wrappers. When all 10 are formed into purses, place 3-5 at a time in the boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate, cool and serve.

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Fruit Teether
Bananas
Kiwis
Strawberries
Watermelon
Sweet Potatoes
Cucumbers

Set dehydrator to 135 degrees.  Slice fruit and vegetables into slices about 1/8 inch thick or smaller, lengthwise.  Place on trays and put into dehydrator (cooking time will vary, so check the dehydrator every few hours).

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Red Beet and White Bean Hummus 

(Makes 3 Cups)
1 Medium Beet
1 15 Oz Can White Beans, rinsed and drained
1 Large Garlic Clove, unpeeled
Juice of 1/2 Lemon (about 1/2 Tbsp)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tsp Salt

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Wash beet well and place with garlic clove on a sheet of foil. Bring up sides of foil and fold to make a packet leaving room for heat to circulate inside the packet containing the beet and garlic.  Bake for 45 minutes or until beet is tender when poked with a knife.  Remove skin off of the garlic and the beet (I use a zip lock bag on my hand and slip the skin off so my hand doesn’t turn red). Place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

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Oatmeal, Almond and Banana Puree 

(4-5 breakfast servings)
1/2 Cup Oats (I use 5 minute Rolled Oats)
1 Cup Whole Milk (you could also use water)
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
1/2 Banana

Bring oats and milk to a boil and simmer (the package says to cook them for 5 minutes, but I find that for babies you should add a few extra minutes to make them softer).  Place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree.

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Quinoa Banana Mash

(Makes 2 Servings)1/2 Banana
Pinch Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Cooked Quinoa
1 Tbsp Whole Milk Yogurt
Place all the banana in a bowl and mash.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

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Kiwi Health Cereal
Dice or mash a kiwi with fork. Add cottage cheese, wheat germ, and a little maple syrup. Add a pinch or two of brewer’s yeast (whose bitter flavor will be hidden by the sweetness of the kiwi and syrup) for an extra nutritional punch. Remember that vitamin C and iron work together. There is vitamin C in the kiwi and iron in the wheat germ.

Variations: Instead of kiwi, you can use banana; instead of cottage cheese, you can use yogurt. Banana adds iron, but not much vitamin C, so serve with orange juice or some other high vitamin C juice.
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Fruit Juice Snowballs
Crush ice in blender to make snow. Use ice cream scoop to shape like snowballs and place in bowls. Pour fruit juice over snowballs. Your toddler will have lots of fun with these!

Variation: For a sweeter, thicker topping, use fruit juice concentrate mixed with a little water. Use paper cups instead of glass for a refreshing outside summer snack.

Comments

  1. 1

    I am going to have to try some of these recipies!!

  2. 2

    Love this post. My almost 3 year old has a lot of food sensitivities and is very picky eater, but he loves squeezable food pouches. I just bought a bunch and plan on using some of these recipes to make him some yummy treats!

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