Mommy hood has been pretty awesome, I’m not going to lie. Yea there was that whole child-birth thing (which sucked) and the breastfeeding thing (which sucked even more) and no sleep for a few months… BUT one thing that I have loved has been cooking for my little girl.
After our 4 month appointment, our pediatrician told us that baby Poppy could start on solid food anywhere from 4-6 months. Woohoo! I was so excited that day! One reason is it meant we wouldn’t need to depend as much on my milk, but my main excitement was that she could eat real food! Cooking and eating are literally my 2 all-time favorite things to do, so cooking for my kiddo and being a part of her first eating experience has been a fun adventure.
Despite my desire to start with homemade gnocchi and a fruit crostata with ice cream, we started with simple things like apple sauce. Before giving Poppy her first foods, I made a decision. I decided that I would try to only use whole organic ingredients as much as possible and make her food from scratch. My philosophy for baby food is similar to my stance on my own food: the best kind of food is that which is natural, whole, unprocessed and made from scratch. That being said, there are great brands out there making unprocessed organic baby food that are awesome and obviously convenient. But overall I try to make 95% of her food. And honestly it’s not that much work and it’s really fun!
I’ve had quite a few people ask me what baby Poppy eats so today I’m sharing her food experience from months 4-6.
|Pear Sauce (select for the recipe)||Butternut squash|
|Applesauce (select for the recipe)||Oatmeal with baby rice cereal|
|Banana – mashed up with a fork||Peas|
|Carrots||Egg Yolks (scrambled or hardboiled)|
Menu – First 2 weeks:
|Breakfast||Applesauce, pear sauce, mashed up banana or oatmeal|
Menu – From week 2 of solids – 6 months:
|Breakfast||Applesauce, pear sauce, egg yolk|
|Lunch||Oatmeal or banana, avocado|
|Dinner||Veggie purees and fruit|
Baby Food Recipes
Banana Cinnamon Yogurt
Makes 1-2 servings depending on how much baby eats.
- ¼ – ½ a banana, peeled
- 1 tablespoon of organic full fat plain Greek yogurt (plain non-Greek yogurt works too!)
Mash up banana with a form, add a spoonful of plain organic Greek yogurt and tiny dash of cinnamon.
Blueberry Oatmeal with Prunes
Makes 4-8 servings depending on how much baby eats
Note: I like blending baby oats after cooked so that the fruit and prunes are uniformly blended and smooth. However feel free to blend dry oats before cooking if you prefer.
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats (organic if possible)
- 2 1/4 cup water
- ¼ cup baby cereal
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 4 prunes
- 3 teaspoons ground flax seed*(optional; check with pediatrician)
Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the oatmeal, baby cereal and prunes while stirring constantly.
Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Until liquid is absorbed. Add blueberries and mix well. Since baby had no teeth at this point, I then blend the oatmeal in a powerful blender or food processor.
Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal with Prunes
Makes 6-10 servings depending on how much baby eats
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 3 cups water
- 6 prunes
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons ground flax seed* (optional; check with pediatrician)
In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Stir in steel cut oats, pumpkin and prunes. Return to boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. These are chewier oats so blend if you prefer.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Puree
Makes about 5-8 servings
- 1 butternut squash
- 4-6 carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks
With a sharp kitchen knife, cut the butternut squash in half – lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds from the round end of the butternut squash. Lay butternut squash “face” or meat-side down in a baking dish with about 1-2 inched of water.
Bake at 400° F for 40 minutes or until skin looks wrinkly, slightly brown and soft if you poke it with a knife or fork.
Boil water for a steamer pan. Place carrots into a steamer basket. Steam until tender (10-15 min).
Then scoop out the squash flesh and discard the skin. In a blender or food processor, mix steamed carrots and squash. Add breast milk, water or chicken stock as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.
Sweet Potato and Spinach Puree
Makes about 4 servings
- 1 large sweet potato or 2 small ones, peeled and chopped into small chunks
- 2 cups spinach, fresh
Boil water for a steamer pan. Place sweet potatoes into a steamer basket. Steam until tender (10-15 min). During the last 3 minutes, add spinach. Let the vegetables slightly cool and then blend until smooth in blender or food processor. Add breast milk, water or broth if needed.
Apple Spinach Pea Puree
- 3 organic apples, cored, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup organic spinach, packed
- 1 cup organic frozen peas
Place sweet potatoes into steamer basket, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes over boiling water. Add spinach and peas for the last 5 minutes.
Let cool slightly. Transfer all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth. Add a little breast milk, water or broth if needed.
Egg Yolk and Avocado Puree
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 tablespoon breast milk, chicken stock or water
Hard boil by putting eggs into a sauce pan and adding cold water until it is filled 1 inch above your eggs. Add a pinch of salt. Put on lid and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute then turn off the heat. Let eggs sit in water for 12-15 minutes. Transfer to colander run under cold water. Either blend the egg yolk with the avocado or to make it slightly chunkier by mashing yolk and avocado.
- Organic frozen peas
Add peas, cover, and steam over boiling water until tender. Place peas and a little breast milk, water or broth in a blender or food processor. Puree until creamy.
Notes: * Check with your pediatritcian before adding flaxseed. Since our little one is prone to constipation, especially with travel, the doctor recommended adding a little flaxseed to her food. However the prunes also add fiber that will help babies out. Additionally prunes add naturally sweetness to the oats.
Storing Baby Food
When I cook for baby Poppy, I normally make enough for 2 days’ worth of meals in the fridge. The rest goes in the freezer stored in small portions. The recommended amount of time to keep baby food frozen is 3 months, but honestly mine doesn’t even make it to 2 weeks.
- Ice cube trays – Spoon or pour purees into regular ice cube trays and then cover with plastic wrap. Make sure to wash ice tray thoroughly before using. Each cube of food is roughly 1 ounce. Then thaw a cube or 2 at a time in the fridge overnight before using. Or put food cube in Ziploc baggie and place in a warm water bath.
- Ball Mason Jars (freezer safe) – Once baby started eating a bit more, I started freezing food in mason jars. Make sure jars are freezer safe and do not fill them up to the top. Also ensure food is completely cool before freezing.