When the news broke a few months ago that several popular brands of baby food (some even labeled organic!) contained toxic heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury, it was a no-brainer for me to start making my own baby food at home. A good piece of longstanding advice is to ensure that babies “eat the rainbow” by feeding them a variety of colorful foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Baby will get the nutrients she needs while introducing her to different foods and food groups.
Since my husband does not eat fruit and I am a fruit aficionado, it was (and still is!) important to me that my son learn to enjoy eating fruits and vegetables early on, a skill that he can carry with him later into his adult life.
Like most WAHMs or SAHMs, I needed ideas for healthy, easy baby food recipes. After some research and experimentation, here are some quick and easy meals that are a cinch to prepare and that my son loves! Hope your littles will as well.
Quick & Easy Homemade Baby Food
This one is a keeper! Avocados are naturally high in fiber and healthy fat, so a good choice for babes starting solids. To prepare, dice up a ripe avocado and a banana. Add both to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Voilà! If you have any leftovers, make a “mommy smoothie” by adding a tablespoon of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of almond milk, and a few cubes of ice!
Roasted Butternut Squash with Olive Oil and Cinnamon
Healthy, nutritious, and fiber-packed butternut squash is a household favorite. Wash and halve a butternut squash, scoop out the seeds and discard (better yet, plant them). Put two halves on a baking sheet flesh side up, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until the squash is soft. Remove and cool. You can either scoop out the flesh and blend until smooth or dice it into small pieces for easy finger food. For an added bonus, any leftovers can be turned into a quick side dish with dinner.
Kale, Spinach, Kiwi, and Pineapple
These ingredients sound a bit weird together but somehow, they all work. Attempting to sneak in more exotic fruits and leafy greens to my son’s diet, this superfood purée is tasty. First, wash and dry the kale and spinach. To prepare the kale, remove the leaves from the stems. Rough chop both the kale and spinach; blanch in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Peel and chop the kiwi and pineapple. Add all to a blender or food processor and blend until the desired consistency is reached.
Mango Pear Banana
Another great purée that masks the mango flavor with that of more subtle pear (Bosc pears are a good choice), this is a winner. Rinse and peel both the mango and pear. Dice along with a peeled banana. Blend together until the desired consistency is reached. This makes a great mommy smoothie as well with a few ice cubes and some almond milk added.