Quick Baby's Chicken Rice SoupA perfect way to feed your baby what you eat for dinner, and to make sure you have included grains, protein and veggies in one meal! Another comforting classic, chicken soup is so easy to adapt to your taste and to feed to baby at any stage. Puree it until smooth for an 8 month old or leave it chunky for a toddler!
Monster Mash Carrot Applesauce Baby Birthday CakeA perfect first birthday cake for baby, since it is lower in sugar, contains whole grain, fruit and veggies, and still gives you the wow factor of a yummy birthday cake. If you want to bake a little monster cake, you'll need a Big Top silicone cupcake mold for the shaped cake. You can find it online or in Bed Bath and Beyond! Or get crafty and see what else you can come up with!
PB&J Baby TrufflesNuts and seeds are such little protein powerhouses that I can't think of any reason not to include them in my son's diet. If you are ready to give nuts to your little, this recipe is perfect for a snack that includes protein and fruit, and it's delicious. It's actually like Baby Crack. If you aren't ready, bookmark this one for later, because it'll be a huge hit. I made these based on the fact that I'm obsessed with Lara bars and have meant to make my own for ages. The name is a bit deceiving, because they actually don't include peanut butter. They taste like they do, though!
Baby Chicken Salad with Soy MayoI'm a Miracle Whip girl. I married a Mayonnaise guy. I have no idea what will happen with Jude. Except that so far I won't feed him either one. I read the ingredients for the first time on the back of the jar of MW and decided he wouldn't get to taste it. Enzyme modified egg yolks didn't sound all that yummy to me. But then neither did whipping up some raw egg yolks to make real mayo for my little man. I decided to make some soy mayo using a recipe I found in an old recipe collection my boss got when she did Outward Bound in the 70's. Hand typed, thread bound, and full of gritty vegetarian and vegan fare that would make a hippie proud. I made a few adjustments for Jude, and was actually pretty impressed with the outcome. I quartered the recipe and it was still enough for his portion and a big bowl for me. Once you make your baby's salad, feel free to add a bit of spicy dijon mustard or more vinegar to your own. It's awesome on a bed of greens with some walnuts and dried cherries!
Carrot Apple Cheddar BitesFeeding a growing boy gets really interesting once he decides to be independent and feed himself. Get ready for prunes smeared in the hair and far flung bits of Cheerio to appear in random places days later. One of the ways to avoid a little of the mess and to allow your little to still explore the fun of self feeding is combo finger foods. Jude had issues with finger foods at first, in that all he could pick up were Cheerios and puffs. Banana chunks slipped right from his fingers like a bar of wet soap. Even when rolled in baby cereal. Any cooked fruit or veggie shot right out of his hands. It was sad to watch, really. He'd try so hard to pick up a bite, only to have it escape him inches from his mouth. And a kid can't live on baby puffs, even if they are fun to stick to his forehead. I started making Jude fruit and veggie bites so he'd be able to feed himself something nutritious that he could actually hang on to. Now they are his favorite snacks. They're delicious, honestly. I make a couple of different variations, and now I actually make them double sized. They obviously defrost faster when small, so make whatever is most convenient for you and your babykins.
Cherry Berry Baby CakesSome days call for a bit of sweet celebration. It's nice to be able to have a sweet treat that keeps baby on a healthy eating plan, too! We love these no-sugar, whole grain baby cakes. A full serving of whole grain and fruit in each little cake. Plus they are cute! I bake mine in a mini bundt, mostly because I like to say bundt, but you can use a muffin tin!
Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese with KaleWho doesn't love macaroni and cheese? I couldn't wait to introduce it to Jude because it is my hands down favorite comfort food. I had to kick up the nutrient quota here by adding the super veg kale and swapping whole wheat pasta in for the usual elbows. It's delicious and nutritious, and don't be afraid to spice it up a bit! Your baby's taste buds will thank you!
Basic Baby PureeThere are a hundred products on the market for baby food prep and storage, and many are wicked expensive. You don't need to run out and buy a Baby Bullet or a Brezza to make baby food, though. They claim to streamline the process, but really, it's not all that difficult of a process anyway. All you need is: - a pot - a blender (an immersion blender is awesome!) - and an ice cube tray. Really. I try to make as many fresh fruits and vegetables as I can, but some are just far too time consuming (no way will I be shelling peas!) or are not in season. Those I buy in the frozen section. Spinach, peas, green beans, mangoes and peaches are all ready in literally minutes. Fresh vegetables obviously need more prep and cook time. Take a free hour and do a big batch or two at once!
Pastina with Pumpkin and ParmesanThis is a great meal for babies who can handle a bit of texture, but it is a great staple for toddlers, too! It's also a nice base for adding spices to your little one's diet. Try it with cinnamon, cayenne, or curry powder!
Caramelized Cinnamon ApplesThis is a super quick way to make your baby applesauce with a little more flavor. It's great with oatmeal or yogurt for young babies, and makes a great dip for your toddler's toast or waffles!
I knew way before my son Jude was even born that I wanted to make my own baby food. I love that I can control everything that goes into his meals, and it is so much fun to introduce him to new things. So far, Jude loves almost everything! Avocado is not a big hit, strangely enough, but once he has it with hot sauce and cilantro, I bet that'll change. For now, I'm having too much of a good time creating healthy, delicious snacks and meals to not share our favorites with you!
For meal plans and more recipes like these, visit me at http://jojobean26.blogspot.com/