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3 Yummy Homemade Meals for Your Baby

Homemade baby food recipes

This post is by guest contributor Arlee Greenwood of Small Potatoes.

“We do children an enormous disservice when we assume they cannot appreciate anything beyond drive through fare and nutritionally marginal kid-targeted convenience foods. Our children are capable of consuming something that grew in a garden or on a tree and never saw a deep-fryer…Children deserve quality nourishment.”

~Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty.

We, as parents, hear the question at least everyday…

“What’s for dinner?”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it’s the most aggravating question. Ever.

In the beginning of my life as a mother, the answer was easy…milk. But as my babies grew into the solid food era of their lives, the question got even harder.

Babies need nutrition, that’s a given. But babies can also be very picky eaters. New textures and flavours are tricky and babies are the most keen critics.

I have a mama in my circle of friends who takes the utmost care in making meals for her little son. He is in my care twice a week and she sends the most nutritious, careful lunches I have ever seen; each container labeled with ingredients and directions. But even better than the care and thought she puts into his meals, is his eagerness to eat every bite.

I’ve worked together with this mama to bring you a day’s worth of meals for your baby, to maybe make meal planning a little easier on you. These meals are designed for babies who are already eating lumpy, textured food, and have a pretty good grasp on using their pincer grasp, which is usually between 9 and 12 months of age.

homemade baby food

Meal 1: Breakfast…This is simply one egg yolk mashed up into 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, whole wheat toast with butter, and an avocado. The egg yolk is packed with nutrition for your baby. It contains vitamins A, E, D, and K, essential fatty acids, calcium, iron, vitamin B6, B12, potassium, and protein, just to list a few! Cottage cheese is a very good source of protein, and avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients including fibre, potassium, Vitamin E and folic acid.

homemade baby food zucchini chicken and cheese recipe

Meal 2: Lunch…The sweet potatoes, which are low in sodium and saturated fat, high in fibre, vitamins B6, C, and A,are prepared by following these few simple steps…

2 sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, blemishes removed and cut in cubes

  • In saucepan, bring potatoes to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain potatoes and set leftover cooking water aside.
  • Place potatoes in blender or food processor and puree (or, I use a potato masher, its less clean-up :) adding leftover cooking water as needed to achieve desired consistency.
  • Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

Zucchini Chicken and Cheese

The zucchini chicken and cheese is a recipe that this mama has adapted from The Baby’s Table, by Brenda Bradshaw and Dr. Lauren Donaldson Bramley and is as follows…
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
1 zucchini, washed, trimmed and diced
1/2 poached Chicken Breast (see recipe below)
1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp high fat plain yogurt (I use a nice fat greek yogurt)
2 tomatoes, washed, skinned, seeded and diced (see recipe below)
  • In frying pan, heat oil and saute onion on medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and continue to saute until thoroughly cooked, 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  • In blender or food processor, pulse zucchini mixture with chicken, cheese, parsley (if using), yogurt and tomatoes to achieve desired consistency.
  • Fill ice cube trays and freeze.

Poached Chicken Breast

1/2 chicken breast
  • In a shallow frying pan, place chicken breast flat and add water to cover. Bring water to a boil, then cover pan with lid and reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Flip breast and continue to simmer for another 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of the breast. Allow chicken to cool in water. The meat should be firm to touch and white throughout. There should be no trace of pink and juices should run clear.
*Zucchini is low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol and a great source of thiamine and niacin and a great source of dietary fibre.
*Chicken has less fat than other meats and is a great source of protein for the beginner eater.
homemade baby food pork and apple puree recipe

Meal 3: Dinner…The mashed potatoes are simply that…mashed potatoes. You can prepare those as you would normally.

Pork and Apple Puree

The Pork and Apple Puree is a recipe from the book The Baby’s Table, by Brenda Bradshaw and Dr. Lauren Donaldson Bramley…

8 cubes stewing pork
1 cup water
4 apples, washed, peeled, cored and sectioned
  • In saucepan, bring pork and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until pork is thoroughly cooked, 25-30 minutes. Set aside and save stewing water.
  • In steamer, steam apples over boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • In blender or food processor, puree apples and pork to achieve desired consistency. (For younger babies it may be necessary to add leftover stewing water to thin out the puree.) When adding liquid, start with 1tbsp at a time.
  • Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

*Yield: 12 cubes

*Apples carry with them, a strong concentration of antioxidants.

And so there you have it.

One whole day.

Baby’s tummy is full of healthy, whole foods, and mama’s heart is happy.

how to make baby food

What first foods does your baby most enjoy?



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Comments

  1. Excellent recipes! I grow up in a county where everything you mother homemade, I try to keep this tradition in my family but sometimes is so hard. I have a problem with my daughter who is 22 months , you will think that with her age she is eating everything in wholes right! well is not my case. Since I changed the pure food for the solid food she doe snot want to eat nothing, I mean nothing . The only she drinks is her bottle. I have to give her something. What can I do? How can I motivated to eat more solid food. I appreciated you advice!

    • Hi Yina,

      Congratulations on trying to make your own homemade food. You must be feeling very frustrated, and you are definitely not alone in having this problem.

      I’ve asked my Mum (a child health nurse) about your comment. She has helped many parents with this same issue, and this is her advice:

      The main problem often is that your little girl may be having too much milk, so she doesn’t feel hungry enough to eat other foods. Many parents feel that they need to give their child more milk, so that at least they are having something, but this actually can things worse.

      From the age of 1, children only need 500-600ml of dairy products per day (including milk, cheese, yoghurt).

      Try to only give her milk (preferably a cup, not a bottle) AFTER breakfast, lunch and dinner (150-200ml each) and water the rest of the time.

      Offer food before milk, so she’s actually hungry. Sometimes between 1 and 2, children only seem to eat a lot when they’re having a growth spurt. There can be long periods (a few months) when they don’t seem to need to eat as much, and this is totally normal.

      Offer her some water and a healthy snack at morning tea & afternoon tea as well – sometimes kids seem to eat more at snack times than at meals, and as long as the snacks are healthy, this is fine. (My kids eat a bowl of peas for afternoon tea!)

      Are you giving her cow’s milk or toddler formula in the bottles?
      At this age, cow’s milk is better than toddler formula, although one of her milk drinks each day can be 150-200ml of toddler formula if you want to, and the other 2 can be cow’s milk.

      If you do a google search on ‘baby-led weaning’ you will find tips to encourage her to eat finger food – she may prefer that to soft lumpy food on a spoon.

      To start with, when you serve her a meal, make her plate 3/4 pureed and 1/4 lumpy or finger food.
      As she starts to try the other food, gradually move the plate to 1/2 and 1/2, then 1/4 pureed, 3/4 lumpy or finger food.
      And remember you might have to offer a new food 15-20 times before she will eat it. Try not to get discouraged or cranky, just smile and offer it again next time.

      Sometimes babies are more likely to copy their father’s eating (or some other male figure) than their mother’s, so try to eat as a whole family whenever you can. If you go to playgroup, she might like to eat while the other kids are eating, as long as she hasn’t filled up on milk beforehand.

      Sorry this is a long reply, but I hope it’s helpful.

      If you have any more questions, or would like me to put up one of Mum’s daily routines for you, let me know.

      Petrina

  2. stephanie says:

    for the egg yolk and cottage cheese, how did you prepare the yolk?

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