Baby milestones are special moments you’ll always remember and introducing solid food is no exception. But, feeding time also comes with a lot of questions, like what to put on the menu?
To help you out, we’ve created a delicious list of baby food recipes. They’re all healthy starter purees that are super-easy to make and guaranteed to put a smile on baby’s face.
First things first, it’s important to get the timing right for introducing solids. Health authorities recommend introducing smooth food and infant cereal at six months, but that’s not a “hard and fast” rule. If baby shows interest in your food and can sit upright, then solids may be on the table from as early as four months. However, only use breastmilk or formula up until at least months of age.
What are some delicious baby food recipes?
These delicious baby food recipe ideas below can help you get started. Keep in mind there isn’t one best way to cook baby food. If a recipe mentions boiling fruit or vegetables, you’re welcome to steam, roast, or even blend them raw when appropriate.
1. Banana puree
What you’ll need: 1 small banana
To make a suitable puree, peel the banana and mash with a fork until smooth. Splash in a little milk and mix it into the fruit. This makes the food easier to swallow and adds a familiar flavour to the plate.
A banana puree is one of the easiest recipes you can make, and an excellent option if you’re away from home. Pop a banana, fork, baby spoon, and a snack pot into your nappy bag for easy food on the go.
2. Avocado puree
What you’ll need: 1 avocado
Slice an avocado in half, remove the stone, then scoop out the flesh. Mash the fruit into a lump-free, smooth consistency before serving. Your little one will probably enjoy the bland taste and smooth texture of avocado.
As your baby develops, you can serve it chunkier to encourage chewing. You may also want to use avocado as a “blank canvass”, adding new flavours to the mix. The sourness from lemon juice and smokiness from paprika are both good options a few months into feeding.
3. Apple and butternut squash puree
What you’ll need: 2 small apples, peeled, cored and chopped, and 1 cup chopped, peeled butternut
Place pumpkin and apple into a small saucepan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Strain the apple and pumpkin then transfer to a medium-size bowl and mash or blend in a processor until smooth.
If you’d like to experiment with new flavours, try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or ginger which are both full of antioxidants.
4. Broccoli, avocado, and basil puree
What you’ll need: one small broccoli head, one ripe avocado, 2-3 basil leaves, and a squeeze of lemon juice
Chop broccoli into florets and remove the stalk. Steam or boil until soft. Use a blender to process all ingredients until incorporated.
As this will make enough for more than one meal, transfer the leftover puree to serve-size containers and freeze. Otherwise, refrigerate in one container until needed.
5. Carrot and sweet potato puree
What you’ll need: One cup of carrot and one cup of sweet potato
Add vegetables to a small saucepan of boiling water and cook until soft. Strain and allow to cool before processing in a blender. To add a little extra flavour, you can add a few shakes of garlic powder and oregano before blending.
Tips for taking your baby food making to the next level
- Spoon unused purees into ice cube containers and freeze. The cubes make convenient portion control meals that can be stored in an airtight container.
- Add formula milk, breast milk, or water to purees when baby first starts eating solids.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of fruit and vegetables. It’s a good time to introduce your little one to new flavours and help them be adventurous eaters as they grow.
- Make large batches of baby food in one session. This is great for time-saving and it ensures there’s enough volume for the food processor to work effectively. Alternatively, a stick mixer is a great option for smaller batches.
- When the time comes to introduce extra protein and fat to your baby’s diet, add a spoonful of natural yoghurt or coconut cream.
- Oats are also excellent for adding texture to baby food, but don’t add in the first few months of feeding solids unless they're pureed.
Commonly asked baby feeding questions
Can babies eat herbs and spices?
Herbs and spices are suitable to use in baby food puree. They are great for adding exciting flavour to food and provide extra vitamins and minerals.
When can babies start eating purees?
Babies develop at different rates so the age they start eating solid food will vary. In general, you can start feeding babies puree between the age of 4-6 months. If you’re unsure, seek the advice of your doctor.
How often should I feed my baby solids?
Start by introducing solid food once a day and only feed in small amounts. By around 8 months, you can feed solids as part of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Is it okay to feed my baby allergy foods?
Foods like wheat, eggs, nuts, fish, and cow’s milk can all cause allergic reactions in your child. However, in most cases, it’s best to gently introduce these food types from 6-12 months and seek medical attention if your little one shows any symptoms of a reaction. If your family has a history of allergies, or you have any concerns, you should discuss them with your healthcare provider.
Handy tools for making baby food
These are a few of our favourite products that are super-useful if you’re making baby food.
- Steamer: a quick, healthy way to cook food.
- Food processor, blender or stick-mixer: safely puree food with no missed bits.
- Nappy bag: keep all your baby feeding essentials in one place.
- Food pouches: we highly recommend the Little Mashies range.
- Highchair: without this things can get messy fast.
- Bowls: the ones with suction pads keep everything in position.
- Food catcher bib: to stop food going all over the floor.
- Storage containers: lots of single-meal containers are great.
Introducing baby food to your loved one’s diet may seem a little daunting at first. But this is an exciting milestone so have some fun with it and get creative in the kitchen! Mix 'n match fresh fruits and vegetables and don’t get too caught up in what you think will or won’t taste good. You may be surprised at how open your baby is to non-traditional flavour combos.
Of course, you can always buy store-bought baby foods, but nothing beats the taste and texture of fresh homemade baby food. Since you’re in charge of the ingredients, it’s healthier, without any unwanted extras. You’ll also save some serious cash making your own, which is always bonus.