When your baby makes the big transition to eating solid foods, it’s an exciting time and they should enjoy trying out new tastes and textures. Here’s how to create some delicious homemade dishes for your little one at a fraction of the price of ready-made meals…Most babies start eating soft solids around four to six months in combination with breastmilk or formula. Then they eat soft foods and eventually all solids. Many people buy store-bought baby food, but did you know there are tons of quick and easy recipes out there you can make for your baby at home? You can save time and money by making your own. Here’s a few to try out…
1 SPINACH AND LENTILS
Lentils are often one of the most underutilised ingredients in cooking, but they are jam-packed with protein and mash up really well for most baby food recipes. One great recipe is a red lentil and spinach purée. Make sure you use pre-cooked lentils or cook the lentils first before starting this recipe.
First, take one cup of rinsed red lentils and bring them to a boil. Then, let them simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes, making sure you stir occasionally. Once they are tender, drain them and let them cool and save some of the leftover water. Next, you can blend them in a food processor or blender and add some of the leftover water as needed. You can keep the lentils like this for your baby or blend in about 10oz of thawed frozen spinach.
2 SQUASHED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
One of the most popular ingredients for quick and easy baby food recipes is butternut squash. Butternut squash has a natural, slightly sweet taste that babies usually love, and it is easily blended.
First, take a medium butternut squash, cut in in half length-wise, and remove the seeds. Next place the halves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (about 218 degrees Celsius) for about 40 minutes until it is tender when tested with a fork. Once it cools, you can scoop it out and put it in the blender/food processor until you get your desired thickness.Pro tip: When you’re making this recipe or any other recipes, it’s important to have containers for serving and storing. Buy baby bowls here.
In addition to most vegetables, fruits are another great ingredient to use for your homemade baby food. Apples are a classic and easy food for children, and you can make your own apple purée at home. You can save it for future apple sauce recipes as you child gets older or for your own food!You can adjust the ratios depending on how much you want to make, but a decent starting amount can be made with 10-15 medium apples or 5-10 large apples. After cleaning your apples, peel and core them and then cut them into slices. Next, boil the apples until they are tender, stirring regularly. Finally, transfer the softened apples to a blender or food processor and purée to desired thickness. Cool the purée in the fridge.
If you like to eat and cook with a lot of brown rice, you can actually turn it into a light brown rice cereal that is safe for your baby to eat. Brown rice is a good grain to use because it isn’t too harsh on a baby’s more sensitive digestive system. For this recipe, you should use short grain brown rice.
First, take half a cup of your short grain brown rice and grind it up in blender or spice grinder until it’s kind of a powder. Next, boil half a cup of water and put in 2 tablespoons of the ground-up rice. For about 30 seconds, whisk without stopping and then whisk periodically for another five minutes until it is creamy and thick. You can let it cool a little bit and feed it to your baby warm or put it in the fridge and serve it cold.
Let me know if you have any favourite baby food recipes to share in the comments below 🙂