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10 Healthy Baby Meal Recipes To Start The Year Off Right

Happy New Year! If you’re like us, you’ve probably spent the last few days making resolutions for the coming year. Some of us are vowing to get more organized, or to lose a little weight, or to learn a new skill.

One resolution that we know is popular is the resolution to eat healthier. This one’s easy to understand; the holidays are ending, and if we look back, we’ve probably spent the last 6 weeks eating plenty of tasty, fatty, calorie-packed food!

You may be making a resolution to eat healthier yourself, but have you stopped to consider your baby’s food? Your baby may have enjoyed some holiday treats, too; maybe her diet could use some cleaning up as well!

If that’s the case, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re offering up 10 delicious, healthy baby meals that will help your little one start 2013 off on the right food — the “healthy food choices” foot!

For information on when to introduce specific fruits into your baby’s diet, along with serving sizes, visit our solid food charts.

For information on whether or not you should invest in organic fruits and veggies, visit our post comparing organic and non-organic produce.

Warm-Me-Up Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Warm-Me-Up Soup

Healthy and easy to prepare? What parent doesn't like that? The low sodium broth provides plenty of taste without added salt, and the whole wheat pasta will deliver more protein and fiber than traditional white pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups low-sodium broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  • 2 Tablespoons uncooked whole wheat pasting (like Earth's Best brand)
  • 2 Tablespoons cooked, diced vegetables (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring the broth to a low boil.
  2. Add pasta.
  3. Boil, stirring frequently, 7-8 minutes, or until pastina is fully cooked and tender.
  4. Stir in cooked, diced vegetables, if desired.
  5. Allow to cool; serve warm.

Notes

Source: www.parenting.com

Peaches-N-Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Peaches-N-Cheese

This healthy meal takes just seconds to prepare. It would make a great lunch, or even a hearty snack! Be sure to stick with low-fat cottage cheese, to make this an even healthier dish. And feel free to experiment -- try mixing in strawberries, or pineapple.

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 Tablespoons very ripe peaches, diced
  • 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese

Instructions

  1. Blend diced peaches and cottage cheese. Serve.

Chicken and Bean Casserole

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8-12 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 - 1/2 cup

Chicken and Bean Casserole

A homemade, from-scratch casserole that's sure to please your baby's taste buds. Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts to cut the fat, and be sure to use low sodium or sodium-free tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 2 fl oz (1/4 cup) homemade chicken stock
  • 8 oz (1 cup) salt/sugar free canned tomatoes - finely chopped
  • 8 oz (1 cup) salt-free kidney beans, drained
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F, 180 deg C.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken until golden brown.
  3. Place the chicken into an oven-proof dish.
  4. Saute the onions in the butter until tender, then stir in the flour.
  5. Slowly add the stock, then bring to the boil.
  6. Add the tomatoes, beans and black pepper.
  7. Bring to the boil, then pour over the chicken.
  8. Cover, then cook in the oven for 45 mins.

Notes

Source: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com

Crispy Chicken Strips With Broccoli and Sweet Potato Mash

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 chicken strip, 1/4 cup of mash

Crispy Chicken Strips With Broccoli and Sweet Potato Mash

Make your little one a delicious dinner, complete with a main dish and a side! These homemade crispy chicken strips are far healthier than fried nuggets, and the sweet potato and broccoli mash packs a ton of nutrients into each tasty bite.

Ingredients

    Crispy chicken:
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped fine)
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • pepper to taste
  • pinch of paprika (optional)
  • bread crumbs (home made with whole meal bread)
  • Parmesan cheese (as per requirement)
  • Sweet Potato and Broccoli Mash:
  • 1 cup chopped sweet potato 4 florets of broccoli
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 slice cheese
  • dried herbs/pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut chicken breast into long strips, marinate with chopped garlic, paprika, pepper and dried herbs.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Coat marinated chicken pieces with the mix.
  3. Shallow fry in olive oil.
  4. Cook sweet potato and broccoli until well done. Add milk, herbs and pepper and mash until you get a smooth consistency.
  5. Return to heat, add a slice of cheese and mix till cheese has melted.
  6. Serve warm along with the chicken strips for a nutritious meal

Notes

Source: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/

Baby Banana Pudding

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Baby Banana Pudding

Everyone loves healthy desserts -- including babies! This banana pudding is packed with potassium, but it has far fewer calories and grams of fat than traditional puddings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (one medium)
  • 1/3 cup (approx 3oz) well-crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup (2oz) unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mash banana in a small, microwavable bowl.
  2. Make sure graham crackers are crushed to dust, and pour them over the banana.
  3. Add apple sauce, milk and vanilla and stir well.
  4. Tastes great cold, but even better hot. So place bowl in microwave on high for one minute.
  5. Stir again, and check that it isn't too hot.
  6. Sprinkle a tiny bit of cinnamon or orange zest on top.

Notes

Source: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com

Baby Berry Yogurt Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Baby Berry Yogurt Smoothie

Antioxidant-packed berries make a great breakfast day. Combine them with smooth, creamy yogurt and crispy rice cereal, and you've got a healthy breakfast treat that baby's sure to devour!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (3 oz) plain puffed or toasted rice cereal
  • 2 Tbsp fresh blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp fresh raspberries (when appropriate for your baby)
  • 2 Tbsp plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp - lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp - vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pour 1/4 cup (1oz) of cereal into blender, then add yogurt, blueberry, raspberry, milk, and lemon juice.
  2. Blend until creamy smooth.
  3. Place remaining 1/2 cup (2oz) of cereal in a small bowl.
  4. Pour berry mixture in and gently stir together.

Notes

Source: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com

Veggie Pasta Toss

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Veggie Pasta Toss

This makes a great meat-free main dish. The whole wheat pasta provides plenty of protein, and the addition of vegetables make this a truly complete meal. Be sure to use salt-free seasoning; your baby doesn't need any salt at this stage.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 1/4 cup cooked mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, etc.)
  • Butter
  • Salt-free seasoning

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Place in bowl.
  2. Add a small amount of butter to hot pasta. Toss to coat.
  3. Add mixed vegetables to buttered pasta. Toss to coat.
  4. Sprinkle on seasoning (herbs, parmesan cheese, etc.) Toss to coat.
  5. Serve warm.

Sweet Potato and Apple Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 10-15 servings

Serving Size: 1 pancake

Sweet Potato and Apple Pancakes

Apple and sweet potato make a naturally delicious (and healthy!) combination. Serve these pancakes for breakfast, or whip them up for a mid-afternoon snack. The pancakes can be stored in the freezer for up to a month, so if you have time, make a double batch and freeze some for later.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz (1 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 3 heaped tbsp rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 oz (about 2/3 cup) wheat germ
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large beaten eggs
  • 16 fl oz (2 cups) milk - we used whole milk
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) mashed, cooked sweet potato
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped into bite sized pieces (remove skin for younger babies; you can leave it on for older babies)
  • little oil

Instructions

  1. Lightly steam the chopped apple or simmer it in a very little water until tender.
  2. Mix the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, wheat germ, baking powder and spices together in a bowl.
  3. Place the sweet potato in a separate bowl and slowly stir in the milk. Add the eggs and mix well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until everything is just moist, then stir in the cooked apple.
  5. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and spoon in the mixture to form individual pancakes. Remember - this recipe produces a fairly thick mixture... if you like yours to be runnier, then thin with a little more milk.
  6. Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden, then cool and serve.

Notes

Source: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com

Baked Salmon with Cous Cous

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 salmon filet; 1/4 cup cous cous

Baked Salmon with Cous Cous

Turn your baby into a fish fan! This salmon dish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, known to improve heart and brain health.

Ingredients

  • 1 small salmon fillet
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 or 3 cherry tomatoes (if your baby is sensitive to tomatoes, you may wish to use this recipe later in your baby's first year)
  • 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 oz (1/2 cup) couscous

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F, 180 deg C.
  2. Place the salmon on a piece of foil.
  3. Top with the red pepper and tomatoes, then dot with the butter and drizzle over the lemon juice (if using).
  4. Add the parsley, then wrap carefully in the foil and seal.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 20-30 mins, until the salmon is cooked through.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the cous cous and set aside.
  7. Remove salmon from oven.
  8. Place salmon filet on plate, and top with vegetables.
  9. Serve cous cous on the side

Notes

Source: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com

Baked Applesauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-8 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 - 1/2 cup

Baked Applesauce

This warm baked applesauce contains no added sugar, making it a healthier choice than store-bought cinnamon applesauce.

Ingredients

  • 4 Gala apples (or other sweet variety)
  • 4 teaspoons baby oatmeal cereal
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. brown sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F (200 deg C).
  2. Peel, halve & core the apples.
  3. Tear off 4 squares of foil - (large enough to make 4 apple packets).
  4. Place 2 halves - flesh up, on each piece of foil (will become a packet).
  5. Place 1 tsp. butter on top of apple packet.
  6. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar on each packet, then sprinkle 1 teaspoon oatmeal on each.
  7. Pull up and pinch corners of foil together - sealing in the apple.
  8. Place all 4 apple packets on baking sheet.
  9. Bake @ 400 deg F for 30 min.
  10. Remove apples along with any liquid in packets and place in food processor until smooth (good Chunky style for toddlers)
  11. Serve warm or cold.

Notes

Source: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com

For tips on proper food storage, visit our food storage page.

Want to make the baby food making and serving even easier? Check out our list of recommended products for tools that’ll make baby feeding a breeze!

Everything You Need To Know About Starting Solids – All In One e-Book!

thumbnailWhat if you could find everything you needed to know about starting your baby on solid foods – when it’s best to start solids, how to introduce solids, complications, food allergies, etc. – in one easy-reference guide? Now you can! Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods: A Comprehensive Guide will walk you through every step of starting solids. Plus, your e-Book package includes several bonus materials, designed to maximize your success in starting solids. You’ll get a thorough guide to treating constipation, a dietitian’s advice on how to avoid 5 common solid-foods mistakes, and a weekly mean plan for your baby’s first year. Grab your e-Book today, and ensure your baby has the healthiest possible start to solid foods!

What are your baby’s favorite healthy meals? Share them below!

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Get Your Free e-Book Today!

Should You Make Your Own Baby Food?

Make Your Own Baby Food

Now that you’ve started your baby on solid foods, you’re probably realizing that you have a few choices: you can either buy your baby’s pureed food at the grocery store, or you can make it yourself . Which option is best? This article will explore the pros and cons of buying pre-made baby food and making your baby’s food yourself.

Buying Pre-Made Baby Food: The PROS and CONS

THE PROS

  • It’s convenient. Jarred baby food offers a convenience factor that homemade baby food simply doesn’t. Sure, there are gadgets out there that make the process of producing homemade baby food much simpler (Baby Bullet, anyone? I personally used a regular blender and ice cube trays) but nothing’s faster and easier than twisting the lid off a jar of pre-made baby food.
  • It stores and travels well. Another point in favor of jarred baby food — it’s easy to store and easy to carry. Jarred baby food doesn’t need to be refrigerated (or frozen and then defrosted); it easily keeps on a pantry shelf. And if baby needs to eat on the go, jarred baby food can be a great option, as it’s so portable.
  • They’re healthier now than they used to be. Decades ago, jarred baby food contained added thickeners and preservatives that made them less healthy options. Today, this is no longer the case — most jarred baby food is 100% natural and preservative-free.

THE CONS

  • It’s pricey! At around $.30/ounce (on average), jarred baby food definitely isn’t cheap. And when you factor in your baby’s growing appetite, and the fact that she’s only going to eat more as she gets older, the prospect of feeding her jarred food seems expensive indeed.
  • It limits your food options. You’ll find jarred versions of the most common baby foods — carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, bananas, pears, etc. But once you get into some of the less common foods (apricots, blueberries, spinach) it’ll be much harder to find beginner, pureed versions and sometimes there are only mixed fruit varieties that may not be all that appealing to your baby.  And if you’re committed to eating organically, your options are even more limited. While some baby food companies have organic versions of their product, the organic options are not quite as abundant. Organic baby foods often cost more as well.
  • You have no control over the food-making process. It’s a fact that steaming fruits and vegetables is a better, healthier option than boiling them (as it lets them retain more of their vital nutrients). But when you buy jarred baby food, you really can’t be sure how the food you’re about to feed your little one has been cooked.

Making Your Own Baby Food: The PROS and CONS

THE PROS

  • It’s cheap! A small jar of pureed peas costs around $.30 per ounce. A one-pound bag of frozen peas costs around $.07 or $.08 per ounce. Cheaper to make your own pureed peas? You bet! If you want to save your hard-earned cash, making your own baby food is a great way to do it.
  • The sky’s the limit. When you make your baby’s food yourself, your food options are practically limitless. Pureed strawberries are hard (or maybe even impossible) to find in a baby food jar, but they’re easy to make at home. And as your baby grows and is ready for more complex food combinations, making his food gets even easier: simply toss a bit of whatever your family’s having for dinner into the food processor and mash it up! This is also a great way to expose your baby (when he’s older) to the tastes and textures of real table food.
  • You have complete control. Want your baby to eat only local, organic foods? When you make your own baby food, you can ensure that happens. What’s more, you have total control over how your baby’s food is cooked and what’s added (or not added) to it.
  • It’s a healthier option. When you make your baby’s food, you can be certain that you’re using the freshest produce available, and that you’re cooking it in a way that maximizes its nutritional content. That makes homemade baby food a healthier choice.

THE CONS

  • It’s time-consuming. Making your own baby food doesn’t have to take forever, especially if you use a combination of fresh and frozen food, or if you invest in a few of the gadgets that are designed to make the process quicker. But preparing your baby’s food yourself still takes more time and effort than buying it at the store. And for some of you, that’s extra time that you simply don’t have.
  • It doesn’t store or transport as well as jarred baby food. Homemade baby food needs to be refrigerated in order to keep or at least not left out very long. You can also freeze your baby food in small quantities for long-term storage, but this means having to defrost your baby’s meals every time she’s ready to eat. And if you and your baby will be on the go at mealtime, it’s may make transporting the food a bit harder, especially if you need to pack it in a cooler.

Baby Food: Buy It or Make It?

Here’s the thing — you don’t have to choose. Why not both? It’d cost a lot to buy every bit of your baby’s food; on the other hand, it might not be feasible for you to make every bit of it, either. You know your schedule and your budget better than anyone, after all. If you have time to make batches of baby food and freeze them for later, great! Your wallet will thank you, and you’ll know your baby’s diet is nutritious. But you may still need to keep some jars of baby food on hand for those occasional meals out.

Of course, if your schedule’s really busy, you may have to rely a lot more on jarred, prepared baby foods. And that’s okay!  As mentioned above, jarred, store bought baby food is better now that when you were a baby, so this is still a good option. Maybe you could pick a weekend here or there and spend an hour in the kitchen, making as much homemade food as you can. Working even a little homemade baby food into the rotation will save you money and help ensure that your baby is eating well.

Everything You Need To Know About Starting Solids – All In One e-Book!

thumbnailWhat if you could find everything you needed to know about starting your baby on solid foods – when it’s best to start solids, how to introduce solids, complications, food allergies, etc. – in one easy-reference guide? Now you can! Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods: A Comprehensive Guide will walk you through every step of starting solids. Plus, your e-Book package includes several bonus materials, designed to maximize your success in starting solids. You’ll get a thorough guide to treating constipation, a dietitian’s advice on how to avoid 5 common solid-foods mistakes, and a weekly mean plan for your baby’s first year. Grab your e-Book today, and ensure your baby has the healthiest possible start to solid foods!

Buy It?  Make It?  Both?  Share your thoughts!

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