Baby Food Recipes for Busy Parents
Homemade Purees for Busy Parents
You don’t have to go crazy with recipes to feed your infant homemade baby food. Instead of spending extra time making purees, just grab an extra pot when you’re cooking for yourself.
Throw the veggies that you’re including in your meal into the pot, and cover them with water. Cook them until they’re soft. Then, puree them with a fork, blender or food processor.
Younger babies may have trouble adjusting to the chunkier consistency of fork-mashed foods. You can always blend produce with formula for a finer texture. If your child is sensitive to cow’s milk, consider using a goat milk formula, which may be easier on their tummies.
One of the easiest ways to make a puree for your child is to mash up soft fruit, like bananas or avocados, with a fork. You don’t have to do any cooking, and prepping your child’s meal in this way takes only a few minutes.
If you’re short on time, cook in bulk. Scoop the extra baby food puree into an ice cube tray and stash it in the freezer. You can pull it out up to 4 hours before your child is ready to eat, and it should be thawed by mealtime. You can also place a cube in a baggie and run it under warm water to thaw it out.
Giving your child the same food that you eat may help them learn to love vegetables. It will also save you time at the grocery store and in the kitchen.
One of the easiest ways to save money when feeding your baby applesauce is to buy large jars of unsweetened applesauce. This is almost identical to the applesauce that comes in baby food jars. If it’s too chunky, swirl it in a food processor or blender.
You can also make your own applesauce by throwing some sliced, peeled apples into a pot. Cover them with water. Simmer the apples until they’re very soft. It should take less than 20 minutes. Smaller chunks will cook more quickly.
When the apples are soft, strain them from the water. Then, use a blender, food processor or fork to mash the fruit, and serve it to your little one.
Finger Food Recipes for Busy Parents
Your baby might be ready for finger foods between 7 and 10 months of age. Offering bits that little ones can pick up helps them develop their fine motor skills. At first, your child might palm the food into their mouth. By around 9 months, kids should be able to maneuver pieces of food using their thumb and forefinger, which is known as the pincer grasp.
You’ll know that your child is ready to move on from purees when they can sit in a high chair without assistance and hold their neck up. They should also be able to use vertical jaw movements to shift food from the front to the back of their mouth.
When offering finger foods, make sure that the pieces are soft and cut into chunks that are ½-inch in size or smaller. Soft, ripe fruits and cooked veggies are great options for finger foods.
You can also get creative by trying some of the recipes below.
Avocado is an ideal baby food. But it’s so slippery that some kids have trouble getting their hands on it. Make it easier for your little one to grasp by coating it with dry cereal crumbs.
- Avocado, sliced into long lengths or cut into chunks
- Rice puffs or dry cereal, such as Cheerios
Pulverize the cereal using a blender or mortar and pestle. Place the cereal powder in a bowl or baggie. Then, add the avocado, tossing to coat each piece.
Banana and Avocado Popsicles
Frozen treats expose infants to new temperatures and textures. These avocado popsicles are excellent for keeping your child cool on hot days. They’re also perfect for using up bananas and avocados that have become a little too ripe for your liking. Plus, the Greek yogurt is a great source of protein.
- 1 banana
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
Combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Transfer to popsicle molds. If you don’t have molds, you can use a paper cup with a wooden stick. Place in the freezer until the pops are hard. To remove them from the molds, run them under warm water.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
These pancakes require only two ingredients, plus the oil that you’ll use for frying. Plus, they’re free of gluten and dairy.
- ½ cup baked sweet potato, blended or processed until smooth
- 2 eggs
You can roast the sweet potatoes ahead of time by throwing them in the oven, skins and all. If you’re making sweet potatoes for dinner one night, save some to make this baby food.
After scrubbing the sweet potatoes, prick them with a fork. Place them on a foil-lined baking tray for easy cleanup. Then, roast them in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 55 minutes.
Once the sweet potatoes are cool, use a food processor or blender to mash them until they’re smooth. Then, mix in the two eggs. You can do all of this in the blender or food processor.
Cook the pancakes using butter or coconut oil. Make them about 1 to 2 inches in diameter so that they’re easy to flip. Your child will also be able to handle the small size well.
- Jennifer Akiyama