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Food for Babies

Updated on February 26, 2013
Pureed Sweet Potato, Zucchini, and Carrots
Pureed Sweet Potato, Zucchini, and Carrots | Source

Baby Food

When introducing food to a baby there are many wonderful and healthy options that can be made simply and quickly right at home!

Typically babies are ready to ditch the liquid only diet around 4 to 6 months old. This is the perfect time to try fruits and some veggies.

There are other foods that are important for babies to get exposed to as well but it’s better to wait until the 6 to 8 month milestone. Broccoli and beans are not suggested until after 6 months due to the possibility of uncomfortable gas and meat is slightly harder to digest until this stage.

Introducing New Foods

When introducing new foods it is always a good idea to do it one at a time so you can get to know your babies digestive system. Different foods are tolerated differently.

Trying a new food once a week is a good schedule that is easy to follow, even when you are severely sleep deprived. A simple way to do this is, every Sunday a new food is introduced in addition to the previous foods that have worked just fine.

It won’t take long for your baby to let you know exactly which ones he/she prefers.

Apples and Bananas
Apples and Bananas | Source

Preparing Fruits for Babies

The process of preparing different fruits is very similar

Fruits like apples, pears, and peaches have a high water content so they cook fairly quickly in the oven or microwave.

Sliced and Peeled Apples in a Bowl with Water
Sliced and Peeled Apples in a Bowl with Water | Source
Applesauce in Food Processor
Applesauce in Food Processor | Source

Applesauce

To make an applesauce any baby will love, simply peel and slice 1 medium sized apple, combined it with one tablespoon water in bowl and microwave for 4 minutes.

If you prefer to use the oven, place the apple and water in an oven safe dish and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Allow the apple to cool for a few minutes so it will be easier to handle.

Place the cooked apple and 2 tablespoons of formula or breast milk in a food processor and puree until you have applesauce. It is quick, easy, and nutritious.

Pureed Broccoli, Avocado, and Pear
Pureed Broccoli, Avocado, and Pear | Source

Softer Fruits

Fruits like pears and peaches have softer meat in them so it only takes about 2 minutes to microwave them and only about 1 teaspoon of formula or breast milk is needed to achieve the right consistency.

Other than that, the rest of the steps are the same as with an apple.

Pureed Apples, Bananas, and Chia Gel
Pureed Apples, Bananas, and Chia Gel | Source

Bananas

Bananas are one of the easiest foods to prepare and babies love their sweet taste!

Simply mash a ripe banana with fork until creamy and serve. The riper the banana, the easier it is to mash and the sweeter the taste.

Bananas make a wonderful addition to other foods as well. They can be added to formula or breast milk, applesauce, pears or chia gel.

Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds | Source

Chia Gel for Babies

Chia seeds are a super food for all of us. They have so many nutrients that babies need to thrive it can’t be left out of the early exposure line up.

Chia gel is very easy to make and has no taste so it will adapt to whatever it is paired with. To make the gel, combine ¼ cup of Chia Seeds in 1 cup of water, stir after a few minutes, cover and refrigerate overnight. The gel is ready to go for breakfast.

Chia seeds will absorb any liquid to create the gel so formula or breast milk works great too!

Avocado, Pear and Broccoli
Avocado, Pear and Broccoli | Source

Avocados

The avocado is another fruit that is very easy and super nutritious.

Simply cut the avocado, scoop the meat out of the skin and mash it with a fork until it’s creamy.

Adding a teaspoon of formula or breast milk is always a good way of making this healthy food even more beneficial for the baby.

Sweet Potaoto, Baby Carrots and Zucchini
Sweet Potaoto, Baby Carrots and Zucchini | Source
Cooked Sweet Potato
Cooked Sweet Potato | Source

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes and pumpkin are typically two of baby’s favorites and they are loaded with essential nutrients necessary for development and growth.

There is no need to peel the sweet potatoes before cooking, the skin helps trap the steam inside and cook faster.

Using the microwave is the fasted and most energy efficient way to prepare a sweet or baked potato. Start by poking holes in a medium sized potato with a fork to allow the steam to escape. Microwave on high for approximately 7 minutes, allow it to cool for 5 minutes before handling. Baking potatoes aren’t as dense as sweet potatoes so they might not take the full 7 minutes to cook depending on their size.

When it is done, simply scoop the soft insides out of the sweet potato and place it in the food processor with 2 tablespoons of formula or breast milk. Puree until you have the perfect meal achieved.

If you prefer baking them in the oven, poke holes in the skin as described above and bake for 45 minutes or so at 350 degrees. Time varies due to the size of the potato.

Perfect Pumpkin for Babies

Pumpkin is much easier to prepare when it is cut into pieces with the skin left on. These can also be prepared in the microwave or the oven.

When using the microwave, cut the pumpkin into pieces, remove the seeds and strands and place in a microwave safe bowl.

Add ½ cup water, cover and cook on high for 10 minutes with the skin down in the water. Carefully use a fork to turn the pieces over so the meat is in the water and cook for an additional 7 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the pieces.

Allow the cooked pieces to cool before handling. Simply scoop or cut the cooked pumpkin away from the skin, place it in a food processor or use a hand mixer with 2 to 4 tablespoons of formula or breast milk and puree. The amount of liquid added depends on the amount being blended at one time.

When baking pumpkin, cut and remove seeds as mentioned before and place in a deep baking dish about ¼ full of water. Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees, follow the same steps as when cooking it in the microwave.

Carrots in food processor
Carrots in food processor | Source
Zucchini in Water
Zucchini in Water | Source

More Vegetables That Are Quick and Easy To Prepare

The process of preparing carrots, broccoli, zucchini and green beans is very similar

Boil 1 cup baby carrots, (or pieces of whole carrot) in 2 cups of water for approximately 15 minutes or until soft.

Combined cooked carrots and 1 tablespoon formula or breast milk in a food processor and puree to perfection.

When cooking broccoli, green beans or zucchini, they only need to boil for about 10 minutes to get soft enough to puree. These veggies aren’t as hard as carrots.

The procedure for getting them ready for the baby to eat is the same as it is with the carrots though. Add the cooked vegetables and 1 tablespoon formula or breast milk in a food processor and puree until they are ready to go.

6oz Raw Chicken on Scale
6oz Raw Chicken on Scale | Source
Chicken Marinating in Vinegar
Chicken Marinating in Vinegar | Source
Chicken in Chicken Broth
Chicken in Chicken Broth | Source
Cooked Chicken in a Food Processor
Cooked Chicken in a Food Processor | Source
Pureed, cooked chicken
Pureed, cooked chicken | Source

Perfect for Babies First Meats

Chicken, turkey, and red meat are amazing sources of protein, iron and phosphorus. The nutrients in these meats significantly help growth and development.

Chicken is the meat that is most commonly introduced first to babies.

To start, remove all visible fat from a 6oz piece of raw chicken.

Combined chicken and 2 tbls apple cider vinegar in zip-lock bag or bowl and marinate for 20 min. The vinegar will help break down the fibers in the meat so it is easier to puree. This will not affect the quality of the meat or the taste.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook in a small pot with 1 cup of Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth. Boil for 30 minutes or until the chicken is fall apart tender. Combine chicken and 6 tbls formula or breast milk in food processor and puree to desired consistency.

The same procedure applies to turkey and red meat. The boiling time may vary depending on the cut and amount of meat. Check with a fork to test tenderness and adjust the time accordingly.

Allergies and Other Precautions

If there is any family history of allergies to strawberries, shellfish, or nuts, contact your pediatrician before trying these foods.

They may have some suggestions about certain precautions to take and allergic symptoms to be on the look-out for.

Some have suggested that an early introduction to peanut butter can actually reduce the risk of a peanut allergy developing but if you are concerned, it’s always a good idea to consult a pediatrician first.

Whole nuts should be avoided due to the high risk of choking.

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    • Ariel-Cal profile image

      Evelia Veronica Rivera 3 years ago from Bridgeport, CT

      Thanks!! I just started with carrots the other day and this helped a lot with meal planning!!!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Oh! I am quite young and single! I mean to say that this is very useful for future mothers like me! You mentioned Congrats! Lol! No Problem! Happy Hubbing! Take care.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you sammimills! ;)

    • sammimills profile image

      sammimills 5 years ago from California, USA

      Very interesting and useful hub! Though I still don't have a baby yet, i'll note this one for future use. :D Thank you for sharing!

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      ishwaryaa22, Congratulations!!!! Motherhood is the hardest and most amazing job you will ever do. I sincerely hope that something in here is useful for you. ;)

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      A knowledgeable and cute hub! The list of important food, preparation instructions and tips are very clearly stated and helpful for new mothers and future mothers like me! This hub serves as an enlightening eye-opener for me! Thank you so much for writing this informative hub.

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Socially Shared.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Your baby is so lucky! Sounds like you won't have to worry about having a picky eater on your hands. :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This is a wonderful collection of baby food. My baby loves carrots, apples, fish and chicken. We try to introduce different tastes and textures so that our baby will get to know them early.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      I agree with you! The baby food in the jar is more expensive and has a bunch of preservatives. Homemade is so easy to make, Why not? :)

    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

      Great ideas. It's so important to introduce children to healthy eating from an early age.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you Mmargie1966! I really enjoyed making baby food when my kids were little. The meals are a lot bigger now. :)

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Excellent! I used to make my own baby food also. I think it is so much healthier, and now you have made it easy for parents to make it for their babies.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you ElizaDoole! ;)

    • ElizaDoole profile image

      Lisa McKnight 5 years ago from London

      Good hub. Really useful for mums preparing baby food.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thanks kittyjj! ;)

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      Very healthy and yummy selection. But I didn't use avocado for my babies because I didn't know how to make it. Great hub! Shared and tweeted. :)

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you Vampsdes, Go Chia!! :)

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you teaches12345! Your comments are always appreciated and respected

    • Vampsdes profile image

      Vampsdes 5 years ago from Missouri, US

      Excellent information here, especially for new moms. I had no idea about chia gel either. I wish I had though. I'm going to immediately look into getting some. Great work!

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Chia Gel is awesome! I use chia seeds everyday in one form or another. Here are some great ways to use it...

      https://hubpages.com/health/How-to-Soak-Chia-Seeds...

      https://hubpages.com/health/How-to-Eat-Chia-Seeds-...

      Enjoy! :)

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I had no idea you could make chia gel! Never mind babies, I might make some of it for myself!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is a great hub for parents of infants. Your advice and suggestions are wonderful and I am sure that many moms will take this advice to heart. My son loved sweet potato and green beans from the start but had some problem with the meats. It would be better to cook the meat as your suggest and then process for baby.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      algareview, thanks for your confidence in passing this to your friends! I hope they can find something useful in here. :)

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      kelleyward, those were my kids' favorites too! I started making my own food originally because it was so much cheaper. Then I read a baby food jar lable and was shocked to see all the stuff in there. Whatever the reason, I think it was a great experience and I'm so glad I did it. Thanks!:)

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thanks nancynurse! I hope she finds something useful here. :)

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 5 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Great hub with wonderful information... I'm passing this to my friends who just had babies, this will certainly helped them. Voted up and useful and sharing!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Great hub! I always started my babies out with apples, avocados, and sweet potatoes. I tried to make my own baby food or buy organic because it has less fillers. My kids love to eat veggies and fruit. Voted up and useful and Shared! Take care, Kelley

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

      great hub I am passing this on to my Daughter-in-law.