Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog

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Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spiced Pumpkin Puree

A favorite recipe at my house, Spiced Pumpkin Puree is easy, versatile, nutritious, and plentiful. Gentle enough to be a first food. One medium sized pie pumpkin yields about two quarts of frozen puree cubes. Check out all photos of Spiced Pumpkin Puree at Vanilla Pumpkin’s Flickr Feed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pie Pumpkin (be sure to use a pie pumpkin, not a jack-o-lantern pumpkin, as pie pumpkins are more flavorful and less stringy)
  • 1 cup of water (slightly more or less to reach desired consistency)
  • Vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cinnamon

Steps:

Pumpkin Seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash pumpkin thoroughly
  3. Halve pumpkin horizontally
  4. Scoop out seeds and stingy fiber (save seeds for planting or roasted pumpkin seeds)
  5. Place halves face down in 9×13 pan
  6. Fill pan with about a 1/2 inch of water
  7. Bake for about 90 minutes, begin checking after 60 minutes. Check by sticking fork into skin, should be VERY soft. (baking time will depend on thickness of skin and meat)
  8. When fork slides through skin and flesh easily, remove from oven
  9. Remove flesh from skin and place meat in blender (may need to divide meat into 2-3 blending “sessions” to avoid overfilling blender)
  10. Blend with 1/2 to 1 cup of water until desired consistency is reached

    Pumpkin Puree Cubes

    Pumpkin Puree Cubes

  11. Pour into ice cube trays
  12. Cover and freeze overnight

Serving:

Sprinkle with one or a combination of

  • pumpkin pie spice
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

Pumpkin puree mixes well with:

  • Apple puree
  • Sweet potato puree
  • Banana

Mix one pumpkin puree cube with one of the above cubes, warm and serve

Filed under: Freezer Friendly, Fruit, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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