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Recipes

3 Baby Food Recipes That Are Totally Easy to Make

baby food

Making baby food was one part of motherhood I looked forward to tremendously. Maybe almost too much. The minute my daughter started grabbing apple slices out of my hand when she was about 5 months, I got psyched to start whipping up some delicious baby mush. Now that I am expecting baby number two, I have started getting excited about preparing homemade baby food all over again.

I know what you might be thinking: “Who has time to prepare homemade baby food? There is no way I could find time for that and work and take care of my other kids/my job/take regular showers/etc.” But making baby food is so much simpler than you may think, and I would argue incredibly rewarding.

In my former professional life, I worked with a cadre of incredibly smart moms. And they have been some of the best sources for parenting tips and wisdom, even long before I became a mother myself. One of the best tips they shared with me in our time together was, “Don’t buy those stupid baby food makers. All you need is a food processor or a blender.” And they were absolutely right.

RECIPE: Bean Stew

When it comes to making baby food, or even kid’s food, I think our problem is, well, too much thinking. What is baby food, after all? It’s just mashed up fruit or veggies or some combination of both.

baby food containers

As a busy mom, I think one of the best ways to make your own food with as little stress as possible is to make large batches and freeze them in small containers like these or these, both of which I used for my daughter (one of those aforementioned mothers actually gifted them to me).

Sweet potatoes or squash are one of the easiest foods to roast up for pureeing while you are doing other things. Just stick ‘em in the oven at 400 degrees, put on the oven timer, and then… clean up, bathe your bratty kid, answer annoying emails, yell at your partner for being a slob—you know, whatever else it is that you need to be doing. Once the squash or sweet potatoes are roasted, scoop out the flesh and place in a food processor. And that’s baby food, my friends. Portion them out in small containers and you should be set for awhile.

Making various combinations of applesauces is another easy way to make baby food. One of my daughter’s favorite combinations was apples, blueberries, and spinach. After she turned 1, we would also mix in a little Greek yogurt and a touch of honey.

In a rush and need something to feed the kid? Mash up an avocado and sprinkle with a little lemon or lime juice. And yes, that is “baby food,” too. Make a big batch, serve with chips and a margarita, and call it a full family meal as far as I am concerned.

But seriously, making baby food is not as time consuming as you may think and at least for me, felt very rewarding to see my daughter literally lick her bowl clean with her sweet, chubby hands.

RECIPE: Hummus

Afraid of adding spices? Try them one at a time. Obviously, don’t add anything spicy, or too much of any one spice. And no need to add sugar or salt to any baby food. But adding some fresh mint to pureed peas, allspice or cinnamon to sweet potatoes, and even cumin or turmeric to some butternut squash can help set up your children’s taste buds to be more comfortable with diverse flavors as they get older. I mean, we don’t like bland or boring food, so why would our kids? Give them some diversity, but introduce it slowly.

As they get older, you can also introduce chicken, rice, lentils, chickpeas, and other flavor combinations. But just like adding the spices, it’s smart to try new foods one at a time rather than all at once.

Baby food can keep in the fridge about a week or in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Spiced Sweet Potatoes

INGREDIENTS

2 medium sweet potatoes

½ tsp allspice

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes in tin foil and wrap tightly. Roast around 1 hour, or until fork tender.

Scoop out flesh and place in food processor with ¼ tsp allspice. Portion into containers for freezing, or serve right away.

RECIPE: Toddler-Friendly Cholent Patties

Simple Applesauce

INGREDIENTS

4-5 medium apples, washed, peeled and diced roughly

1/3 – ½ cup filtered or bottled water

½ tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Place apples, water and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat with cover on. Cook until apples are soft, around 15 minutes. If while cooking apples look like they need more water, add another few Tbsp of water.

Remove from heat after 15 minutes but leave cover on for another 5-10 minutes while apples continue to steam.

Place mixture in food processor and mix until smooth.

Portion into containers for freezing, or serve right away.

Spinach Blueberry Applesauce

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, rinsed

2 medium apples, washed, peeled and diced roughly

1 cup (or a large handful) or fresh baby spinach leaves

¼ filtered or bottled water

DIRECTIONS

Place blueberries, apples and water into a medium saucepan over medium heat. After 10 minutes, add the spinach and allow to wilt, cooking another 10 minutes.

Place fruit and veggie mixture into the food processor and pulse until smooth.

Portion into containers for freezing, or serve right away.

For visual proof, here was my girl when she was a baby eating it up:

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