6 Healthy Homemade Baby Food Recipes
Caring for babies, especially those under one year old, demands extra effort and attention, particularly when it comes to their nutrition with homemade baby food recipes. Providing good nutrition during infancy lays the foundation for healthy growth and development.
Nowadays, an increasing number of parents are choosing homemade baby food over store-bought options due to the advantages it offers. Making baby food at home gives you maximum control over ingredients and nutrients, allowing you to ensure the best for your little one. By preparing homemade baby food, you can avoid preservatives, additives, excess salt, and sugar, making it a healthier choice overall. It also provides the flexibility to introduce new flavors and textures to your baby at their own pace.
Creating your own baby food from scratch helps instill healthy eating habits right from the start. The key is to focus on using whole, fresh foods that are packed with essential nutrients. Here are six wholesome and nutritious homemade baby food recipes tailored for babies aged 4 to 12 months to help you get started!
Mangoes are naturally sweet and full of vitamin C, making them an excellent fruit to introduce around the age of 6 months. Babies love the bright color and creamy texture. Here is a run-down of creativenourish.com‘s mango puree recipe that will leave your baby’s taste buds satisfied:
To make mango puree, you can use fresh or frozen mangoes. If using frozen mangoes, you can thaw and place them in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. It may require a bit of water, so you can add it little by little, making sure that it is not too runny.
For fresh mango puree, peel the flesh from a ripe mango, slice it, and transfer it to a food processor. You can add some water if needed. Next, puree until smooth.
You can store this puree in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator.
Yogurt with Berries or Banana
Plain, unsweetened yogurt provides protein, calcium, probiotics, and vitamin D. Combining yogurt with soft fruits like bananas or berries creates a nutritious treat.
To make yogurt with fruit, mix 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt with two tablespoons of mashed banana or raspberries. The fruit helps sweeten the yogurt naturally.
Yogurt with fruit is a simple homemade snack that can be made in batches. When making this recipe, always use unsweetened, plain yogurt with no added sugars. Also, remember to introduce yogurt slowly, as some babies may be sensitive to dairy.
Butternut Squash Puree
Like sweet potato, butternut squash is naturally sweet and soft, making it an ideal ingredient for baby food. It is high in vitamins A and C, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Butternut squash belongs to the same plant family as pumpkin, and the bright orange color indicates it is rich in beta-carotene.
To prepare butternut squash puree, start by peeling and seeding a small squash. Cut into 1-inch cubes and steam for 15 minutes until very soft. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender, adding a small amount of water or breastmilk to reach the desired consistency. Puree until smooth.
When making this recipe, avoid adding butter, cream, or brown sugar to the puree. You can add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg for extra flavor.
Applesauce is a classic homemade baby food, and for good reason. It is simple to prepare and a great source of vitamin C, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.
To make homemade applesauce, peel, core, and slice 4-5 apples. Softer varieties like Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, or McIntosh work best. Add some water or breastmilk to a saucepan. Then add the apple slices. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the apples are very soft. Allow to cool slightly, then mash with a fork or blend in a food processor until smooth.
When preparing applesauce for your baby, avoid adding any sugar or spices initially. The natural sweetness of the cooked apples is sufficient. Introduce cinnamon slowly in small amounts if desired. Making your own homemade applesauce ensures your baby gets all the nutrition of this classic fruit without any added sugar or preservatives. It’s an easy baby food option to always have on hand!
Bananas and oatmeal are both great ingredients for baby food, and they make an easy, nutritious combo. Bananas provide potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6, while oats offer iron, zinc, and magnesium.
To make banana oatmeal, cook 1/4 cup quick oats with 1/2 cup water until creamy. Mash half a ripe banana with a fork and stir into the cooked oatmeal. The banana will sweeten the cereal naturally.
When preparing banana oatmeal, avoid adding sugar or spices. Both bananas and oats have mild flavors that are perfect for babies. If your baby has tried bananas before, this combo makes the oatmeal taste more familiar.
Avocados offer healthy fats. They have a smooth, creamy texture, perfect for mashing or pureeing. Avocados provide fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamins C, E, and K.
To make avocado mash, scoop out one ripe avocado into a bowl. Mash with a fork and add a small amount of water if needed for a smoother consistency. Avoid adding salt or spices.
If your baby doesn’t seem to like the consistency, try thinning it out or pureeing it to make it smoother. Ripe avocados can be mashed easily. This is a great way to provide healthy fats along with the vitamins and minerals that support your baby’s growth and development.
Preparing your own homemade baby food allows you to control the ingredients your child consumes in the first year. Focus on single-ingredient foods initially, then start introducing different flavors and textures as your baby’s preferences develop. Remember to always pick ripe, fresh produce.
The aforementioned recipes will help you set up healthy eating habits from the start and provide a nutritious base to build on as your baby grows.