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Baby Meals Made Easy: Recipes and Feeding Tips

Baby Meals Made Easy: Recipes and Feeding Tips

Once your baby is ready for solids (at around four to six months), mealtime becomes an adventure. Baby learns new flavors, textures and eating skills, while you figure out -- through trial and error -- how to satisfy her appetite. Preparing and serving homemade baby foods is a great way to help your infant develop a preference for wholesome foods, says food and child nutrition expert Annabel Karmel, author of the cookbook First Meals (DK Publishing).

"Foods like ripe, mashed bananas, avocados and papayas make fantastic and instant baby food," says Karmel, a trained Cordon Bleu cook whose feeding experiences with her three children ignited her interest (and career) in cooking and nutrition for babies and children. "Preparing homemade baby food isn't time consuming or complicated," she assures.

Below, Karmel shares three of her favorite baby food recipes, specifying the ideal age at which to introduce them. All of the foods can be frozen for later use. Simply freeze unused portions in ice cube trays and then transfer frozen cubes to freezer bags. Frozen portions will keep for three months; simply reheat individual cubes as needed. Before getting started, you'll need the following cooking gear:

  • Steamer
  • Electric blender (for simple purees, a hand-held blender will suffice)
  • Metal mesh strainer (to eliminate indigestible bits of food)
  • Ice cube trays
  • Freezer bags and a marker (to record the date when food is made)


Baby Meal #1:
First Vegetable Puree

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients: 1/2 lb carrots (or any other root vegetable: butternut squash, sweet potato, or parsnip)


Directions:

  1. Chop the carrots into small pieces. Place in a steamer over boiling water and cook for 15 minutes (until tender).
  2. Blend the carrots using a little of the steamed water from the pot to make a puree. Serve lukewarm.
  3. NOTE: Use the same process to make apple (10 minutes to steam) or pear (5 minutes to steam) puree. 
  4. Makes 8 portions

Four to Six Months: Karmel recommends introducing root vegetables before fruits, which babies tend to prefer more.

Six to Eight Months: Introduce lumpier textures so baby learns to chew.


Baby Meal #2: Tomato and Cauliflower Gratin

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 2 cups cauliflower florets; 2 tbsp unsalted butter; 1/2 lb tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped; 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese


Directions:

  1. Place the cauliflower florets in a steamer and cook for about 12 minutes.
  2. Simultaneously, melt the butter in a pan under medium heat, add the tomatoes and saut

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About The Author

M.E. Vier is a freelance writer, editor, and aspiring culinary artisan.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.


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