Baby’s First Foods (Tips & Recipes)

Thinking of making your own baby food? It’s a lot easier than you think, and it can also save you a lot of money!

I started making baby food for Nathaniel when he was about 5 1/2 months old. I love to cook, but I’m not a chef whatsoever. I’m the type of person who likes to experiment more than reading recipes.

But of course, before making your own baby food you have to know and understand your child’s allergies, as well as, restrictions based on age.

Check out this article from the Baby Center for an age-by-age guide to feeding your baby.

If you are wondering what cooking methods, or tools you can use to make homemade baby food, just keep it within your budget, and what you are comfortable with! 

On average, parents start giving their little one solids at the age of 4-6 months. After researching online, and reading countless of baby books. I kind of got a gist of what to do when making baby food.

Foods for Ages 4-6 Months:

I’ve read on a few sites that you don’t have to start baby cereals for your infant, but that’s completely up to you and your partner. For me, I did start Nathaniel off of Earth’s Best Organic Oatmeal Cereal. I used to mix it with my breast milk, however, he did not like it.

I gave up on the cereal after a couple of weeks, so I tried mashed avocados. He loved it!

At this stage, you can offer mashed:

-avocados
-bananas
-pureed sweet potatoes

Just to name a few..

Cooking Methods/Tools:

For sweet potatoes, and other raw veggies, you can steam the veggies to preserve it’s nutritious elements, or boil them. Then, you can use your fork to mash it and add a tablespoon or two of the leftover water you cooked the veggies with, to make the consistency of the mashed veggie smoother.




  Foods for Ages 6-8 Months:


This is where I started getting a little more creative! I was excited for my new Cuisinart hand-held blender! I just got it for $20 at Costco! The system looked like this :


At this stage, I got a chance to experiment a little with his pureed meals. I  was still skeptical about meats, so the source of protein I gave him were from beans, and brown rice.

Nathaniel’s ultimate favorite were anything with carrots, so I made this his go-to meal:

Carrot, Sweet Potato & Banana Puree:

-1 medium size sweet potato (organic)
-2 medium carrots (from Trader Joe’s, but you can get anywhere you want)
-1 medium banana
-A dash of cinnamon

Directions:

-Rinse and peel sweet potato and carrots.
-Chop veggies into cubes so it’s easier to puree after and faster to cook
-Boil water
-Add sweet potato and carrots to a steam basket, or to boiling water.
-Cook for 10 minutes, or until tender.
-When veggies are finished cooking, take steam basket out of pot, set aside and let cool.
-When the veggies have cooled down, place them into a glass bowl (if using hand-held blender) or into food processor or baby-bullet, add peeled bananas, and a small dash of cinnamon.
-Lastly, puree and incorporate the veggies and bananas together until smooth. If it is still too chunky, you can add a tablespoon of breast milk or water at a time until desired consistency.

If you’re adding breast milk into the puree, please remember to still follow the guidelines of breast milk shelf life. Usually, I do not give him the leftover the next day. That’s why I only use medium sized fruits and vegetables.

If you used water to, and still want to save the leftovers for the next couple of days. You can use ice trays to freeze them, and just warm it up again when before the next meal time.

I used the Anna Karmel Food Cube Tray to store the leftovers, and kept it in the freezer, then just warmed up one cube at a time for each meal. It was really easy to take out, and it comes w/ a cover!





Foods for Ages 8-12 Months:

During this age, I felt that Nathaniel was more ready for what we were having for dinner. However, choking hazards still concerned me. Sometimes, I felt that brown/white rice could still possibly choke him. So, my alternative for brown/white rice was using quinoa. It was a great alternative for rice for my family, so I started offering this to Nathaniel as well. Not only that, quinoa also offered a variety health benefits for all of us.

Here is my go-to recipe for an easy and fast lunch or dinner.

Quinoa Stir-Fry 
1 cup cooked quinoa (not pureed.)
soft cooked yellow squash – diced
soft cooked sweet potato – diced
Directions
1. Toss all ingredients together in a pan with warmed olive oil
2. Saute and scramble then serve warm
3. Optional: scramble in an egg yolk or 2 for a protein and iron boost. 
 Foods for 12+ months

Pastas, spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti!!

Boy, I cannot tell you how much Nathaniel loves spaghetti. I cut it down to really small pieces so that he will not choke on it, but since he loves this so much, I have to make spaghetti at least once a week. For us Filipinos, we love our sweet spaghetti w/ hot dogs. However, that is not a very health dish for toddlers. So I opt out on the sugar, and use chicken and apple sausages to replace the hot dog. Also, to make it healthy for the entire family, as well, I used ground turkey instead of beef. 
Nathan’s Favorite Spaghetti Recipe 
1/4 cup onion chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
 1/4 cup of red/green/yellow bell peppers (you can choose what color you want)
1/2 lb of ground turkey (doesn’t have to be lean)
1 bag of spaghetti (or any pasta of your choice)
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (mine is TJ’s organic basil and tomato sauce)
2 Chicken and Apple sausages from Trader Joe’s chopped
Salt & Pepper
Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute
3 tbs of EVOO divided
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

1. Boil water and add 1 tbs of EVOO and cook spaghetti pasta until it’s al dente.
2. Add 2 EVOO in a large sauce pan.
3. After it has warmed up, add garlic, onion, and bell peppers into the pan.
4. Before onions and garlic turn brown, add the ground turkey. 
5. Add salt and pepper to your desire. 
6. Add the TJ 21 seasoning to your desire (I usally add about 1 tsp)
7. Add the chopped sausages
8. Add the jar of spaghetti sauce and cheese (if desired)
9. Let it simmer til it is ready.
10. Mix in spaghetti pasta (optional)

Viola! Spaghetti’s ready!

I hope this post is helpful and beneficial for you! Please don’t forget to like and share!

Can’t wait to share more with you all!

Til Next Time, 




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