If there’s one thing that babies and toddlers love, it’s those little squeezy food pouches.
While introducing solids for the first time requires some patience and careful planning, once babies are past 1 year, you’re pretty much in the clear. Of course, families with a history of food allergies should be more careful. For a more in depth guide to introducing solids, go to this excellent page by Baby Center Canada.
We’ve collected a few popular recipes that are perfect for your Little Green Pouch. Make a big batch and freeze some! The frozen pouches make excellent freezer packs that turn into afternoon snacks.
With the following recipes, a blender, a stick/immersion blender, a food processor or a Magic Bullet are all pretty well interchangeable. You may find you need to add a bit more liquid if you’re using a hand held appliance, but the final texture is always up to you.
Quick and Easy
- 1 can pure pumpkin (not the spiced pie variety. Organic is readily available too)
- 3 bananas
- Puree ingredients in a food processor to desired consistency. Thin with water/breast milk/formula if it's too thick, which will largely depend on the ripeness of the bananas.
- Add plain yogurt for a delicious breakfast smoothie (12m and up).
- Add cooked rice or oatmeal for a more substantial dish, or quinoa after 8 months old.
Keep this next recipe in mind as a leftover recipe. The next time you have chicken, just save a bit. If you happen to eat your chicken with a side of sweet potatoes, even better! There’s no sense in cooking for your babe separately if you can help it.
As a sidebar, WOW, there is no agreement over what’s a sweet potato and what’s a yam. Even the Google machine couldn’t give us a definite answer! It became a very long discussion here at Room for 2. We settled on “It depends where you live” and “It depends on whether you believe the grocery stores or not”.
- 2 cups peeled, cubed sweet potato (or Yam)
- 2 cups fresh, packed spinach leaves OR
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1 cup cooked boneless, skinless chicken
- 1/2 - 1 cup equal parts breast milk/formula and water, for thinning as needed
- Place a steamer in a sauce pan with a lid and fill with water until just below the steamer.
- Place your sweet potato cubes in the pan and steam until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add the fresh spinach, if using, and steam about 5 more minutes, until the sweet potato is easily mashed.
- Place cooked chicken, steamed sweet potato, wilted or defrosted spinach, and 1/2 cup of your thinning liquid in the food processor.
- Pulse until creamy, drizzling in more thinning liquid as you go, until the desired consistency is achieved.
- As spinach is one of the "dirty dozen" veggies as far as pesticide use goes, this is a veggie worth finding in organic. Regardless, do not use the spinach cooking water to thin out your puree. Use fresh water mixed with breast milk or formula, or any milk you currently feed your babe.
Quinoa for Everybody!
Quinoa’s a great baby food. It’s easy to digest and a great way to get some protein into the mix, especially for kids who are picky about eating meat.
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 apple
- 2 small carrots, thin sliced
- 1/4 cup quinoa ( or 1/2 cup cooked quinoa)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or juice
- Additional liquid for puree (broth, juice or formula/breast milk)
- Roast the sweet potato and apple whole without oil in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Both should have splitting skin by then.
- While they're in the oven, in a pan, combine the uncooked quinoa, thinly sliced carrots and chicken broth. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the carrots are fork tender. If using cooked quinoa, simmer the carrots alone until fork tender (or microwave them in a bit of broth until soft), then add a splash of broth the the cooked quinoa.
- Peel the baked sweet potato and apple. You should be able to squeeze the insides right out of the peel. Slice the apple from the core.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth, adding additional liquid until you get the consistency you like.
- This recipe really lends itself to adaptations. Throw in whatever veggies you have on hand!
The avocado, coconut milk and Greek yogurt combine to give you a nice big dose of healthy fats, which is great for helping babies gain weight.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 ripe pear
- 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Slice the pear and discard the core. If your baby has a sensitive stomach, also peel the pear.
- Remove the pit from the avocado and scoop the meat into a blender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend.
- Due to the dairy in the this recipe, be sure to store it in the fridge. Yogurt doesn't freeze as well as other foods, so if you do freeze it, mush it around once it's defrosted to counteract any separation.
What Chefs Feed Their Babies
I love celebrity chefs. I can’t get enough of other people cooking, and the great news is, they’re having babies and we get to reap the benefits!
- 1/4 pound green beans
- 1 large russet (baking) potato, peeled and sliced
- 4 large kale leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- In a saucepan, combine the beans, potato, kale and stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat.
- Cook uncovered until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Most of the stock should be absorbed.
- Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and add the olive oil.
- Puree until smooth. If you're blending while it's hot, be sure to leave the lid open a crack, covered with a dish towel so the heat doesn't build pressure inside the blender. Alternately, use an immersion blender or wait for the food to cool.