Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

Green Supreme Smoothie

My once adventurous eater, now 18 months, has turned to the infamous toddlerGreen Smoothie “white diet” of only wanting bread, pasta, potatoes, bananas, Cheerios, crackers and cheese. Like any concerned parent, I wanted to make sure she was getting enough nutrients, especially since flu season is here. I turned to the “sneaky chef” method, and started making super food packed smoothies for her, which she usually drinks as a snack.

The great news is that this smoothie recipe, and the ones to follow, freeze well: just portion them in 8 ounce freezable Ball containers and label. You can semi-thaw them in the refrigerator, or for (nearly) instant smoothie snacks, submerge the container in a mug of hot water for a few minutes. Either way, just keep shaking the smoothie container to make sure the icy parts are evenly distributed. She will usually drink about 6 ounces over the course of an hour or so. I usually serve Baby K’s smoothie in a sippy cup that I’ve widened the nipple, but she also likes drinking them with a straw.

Yields 1 liter

  • 3 cups of spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 orange, peeled and seeded and sectioned
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and sectioned
  • 1 seeded and peeled papaya
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/2 cup soy milk OR 6 oz container plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbs flaxseed meal (optional)
  • 6 ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except ice cubes into blender and blend until well blended.
  2. Add ice cubes and pulse until well blended
  3. Serve or freeze immediately

Also, I’ve found that when I feel like my diet needs a little boost, I drink one of the 8 ounce containers as a meal replacement. To see the (adult) nutritional data and analysis on this recipe driven by NutritionData.com, click here.

Photo credit to ilovemypit.

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Filed under: Apples, Banana, Family, Freezer Friendly, Leafy Greens, Oranges, Recipes, Smoothies, Spinach, Vegetables

Finger Food Ideas

Many older babies enjoy self feeding and as a bonus, self-feeding helps develop their pincer grasp and refines a baby’s manual dexterity. Here are some fun finger food ideas, but as always, be sure to check with your pediatrician before introducing new foods. Vegetables (steam, bake and cut into bite sized pieces)

  • peas
  • cherry tomatoes
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • baby carrots
  • cut green beans (large seeds removed)
  • sweet potato bites
  • boiled potatoes
  • garden burgers
  • beets
  • zuchinni
  • squash
  • Veggie Nuggets

Fruits (bake or steam most and but into bite sized pieces)

  • baked apples
  • melon (no need for cooking)
  • quartered strawberries (12+ months)
  • quartered kiwi
  • bananas
  • avacado
  • halved blueberries
  • halved rasperries (12+months)
  • ripe peaches (no need for cooking)
  • pears (no need for cooking)
  • ripe plums (no need for cooking)
  • apricots
  • pineapple bites (12+ months)
  • orange bites (12+months)
  • ripe mangos
  • nectarines
  • grapes (skinned and quartered)

Dairy

Legumes

  • garbanzo beans
  • kidney beans
  • black beans

Proteins

  • hard boiled egg yolk
  • scrambled egg yolk
  • ground beef
  • diced chicken
  • diced turkey
  • salmon (flaked)
  • mahi mahi (flaked)
  • diced tofu

Starches

  • bite sized pancakes
  • bite sized waffles
  • whole grain toast bites
  • rice
  • Cheerios
  • torn bagels
  • biscotti
  • broken rice cakes
  • graham crackers
  • any small pasta
  • cous cous
  • broken torilla chips

Watch for posts with meal ideas with the finger-food-loving baby in mind later this week!

Filed under: Apples, Avocado, Baked Bites, Banana, Beef, Blueberry, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cheese, Chicken, Dairy, Finger Food, Fruit, Grains, Green Beans, Legumes, Mangoes, Pasta, Peaches, Pear, Peas, Potato, Proteins, Snack, Teether, Turkey, Vegetables, Yellow Potato, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No-Cook Baby Food Recipe: Avocado and Banana

As Baby K gets a little older and her foods don’t need to be pureed beyond recognition anymore, it’s easy to combine soft foods and mash them with a fork for a quick, no-cook meal. I’ve already sung the praises of the banana, but have you thought about combining the sweet tasting banana with another no-cook food, the buttery and smooth avocado? (Need avocado guidance?)sliced avocado

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 ripe banana

Instructions:

  • Combine avocado and banana
  • Mash with a fork
  • Warm if baby prefers

Doesn’t get any easier!

Photography courtesy of ms. Tea on Flickr.

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Filed under: Avocado, Banana, food, Fruit, No-Cook, , , , , , , ,

Banana Veggie Blend

Nutrient-rich red bell pepper combined with the familiarity of carrot and banana. I haven’t yet tried to freeze this one. Have you? Let me know! Update: FREEZER FRIENDLY!

Ingredients

1/2 red bell pepperred bell pepper

1 carrot

1 banana

Instructions

1. Slice red pepper and remove seeds and core

2. Peel and slice carrot

3. Combine red pepper and carrot slices and steam until tender

4. Peel and slice banana

5. Combine steamed red pepper and carrot with banana slices in blender

6. Blend until you reach desired consistency. If baby is older, can also use “chop” setting for chunkier blend.

Photo by zoha_n.

Filed under: Banana, Carrots, food, Freezer Friendly, Fruit, Medley, Red Bell Pepper, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One food I’ll never leave the store without…

Bananas.

Mashed, frozen, sliced, diced to bites, in a medley – you get the point.

Banana MashBanana by Zyada (Flickr)

  1. Mash with the back side of a fork
  2. If needed, combine with juice, water or baby’s milk

Combo Ideas

  • Apple puree
  • Blueberry puree
  • Oatmeal cereal
  • Sweet potato
  • Apricot puree
  • Mango puree
  • Strawberry puree
  • yogurt

Flavor Ideas

  • Ginger
  • Lemon zest

Sliced Bananas (Freezer Friendly)

  1. Peel jacket from banana and slice
  2. Freeze slices for quick snack or to mash for a meal

Banana Bites

  1. Peel jacket from banana and slice
  2. Dice banana slices into quarters
  3. Sprinkle with Cheerio dust or toast dust to make it easier for baby to pick up (optional)

You can also freeze a banana whole in its peel. The peel will turn brown but the fruit will not. Do you have a favorite banana recipe or tip? Let me know!

Filed under: Banana, Best Of, Finger Food, food, Freezer Friendly, Fruit, Ginger, Oatmeal, Sweet Potato, Uncategorized, , , ,

Avocado Mash

Avocados are considered superfoods, and one of the most easily digestible protein and healthy, unsaturated fats. They provide the perfect ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates, all in one fruit. Unsaturated fats are helpful to baby’s developing brain and central nervous system. Additionally, avocado requires no cooking, and boasts the simplest prep process of all of the baby foods I’ve tried, except bananas of course.

Ingredients

Avocado halves

Avocado halves

  • One ripe avocado
  • Lemon juice (if you plan to store in freezer)

Instructions

  1. Using your hand, roll avocado around on prep surface to aid in peeling
  2. Slice in half
  3. If you’re going to use only half, leave the pit in the half you are storing and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  4. To remove pit, stick a knife in the pit, twist a little, and pull out pit
  5. Remove flesh from avocado skin using a fork
  6. Mash avocado flesh and serve

Avocados are best frozen in slices, dipped in a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning.

Avocado Combinations

Ripe avocados

Ripe avocados

  • Mashed banana
  • Pureed pear
  • Pureed apple
  • Yogurt (if baby is eating dairy)
  • Crushed whole grain crackers and basil (for older babies accepting of more inconsistent textures)

Filed under: Apples, Avocado, baby, Banana, Basil, food, Freezer Friendly, Fruit, nutrition, Pear, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

One of the many benefits of homemade baby food is versatility. Once baby has been exposed to herbs and spices, a single ingredient recipe can take on a multitude of culinary experiences. Although it is not recommended to add sugar or salt to baby’s food, the use of many common spices are a great way to help baby expand her familiarity with different tastes and learn to enjoy natural flavors.

I usually wait to add spices and herbs until right before serving instead of when freezing or storing. That way if I find something baby really likes (or doesn’t), I can tailor meals to her preferences and continually try new combinations.

Most pediatricians recommend waiting until 8 months to introduce spices, and keep in mind the 4 day rule. As always, please discuss the introduction of any new food, herb or spice with your baby’s doctor.

A few combinations to get you started:

Vegetables:

  • Sweet Potatoes – Cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, vanilla*, pumpkin pie spice
  • Pumpkin – Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, vanilla*, pumpkin pie spice
  • Carrots – Basil, garlic, cinnamon
  • Green Beans – Garlic
  • White Potatoes – Garlic, dill, anise
  • Butternut squash and winter squash – garlic, ground cloves

Fruits:

Rosemary

Rosemary

  • Apples – Cinnamon, vanilla*
  • Bananas – Ginger, lemon zest
  • Pears – Ginger, vanilla*
  • Blueberries – vanilla*
  • Peaches – vanilla*

Grains:

  • Oatmeal – Cinnamon, vanilla*, nutmeg
  • Pasta – Oregano, basil, parsley

Meats:

  • Chicken – rosemary, cinnamon and coriander, garlic, basil, lemon zest, parsley, sage, thyme
  • Turkey – garlic, basil, parsley, sage, thyme

Dairy:

  • Plain yogurt – vanilla*, mint

*An important note about vanilla

Vanilla extract contains on average 35% alcohol, used to stabilize and preserve the flavor. Make sure you’re using natural vanilla flavor or a dash of ground vanilla beans.

Have you found any winning combinations? Let me know!

Filed under: Apples, baby, Banana, Butternut Squash, Chicken, Cinnamon, Coriander, food, Fruit, Ginger, Herbs and Spices, Medley, Nutmeg, nutrition, Parsley, Pasta, Peaches, Pear, Proteins, Pumpkin, Sage, Sweet Potato, Turkey, Vanilla, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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