Baby FoodE | Adventurous Recipes for Babies Toddlers
My name is Michele, and I am a complete control freak - which I am working on, thank you very much. I am also a lover of food, of course. Here you will find Organic baby food recipes to inspire adventurous eating.
Here are 6 Safe Ways To Introduce Nuts to Baby! Learn when you should introduce nuts to baby, which nuts you can introduce and 6 of our favorite easy baby-friendly recipes.
There is no doubt about it - introducing nuts to baby can be scary!
Below you will find out when, how and with what recipes are the best way to introduce nuts to baby. Hopefully it will take all (or at least some) of the fear away:)
When is it Safe to Introduce Nuts To Baby
New studies have shown that when babies are given high allergen foods (i.e. - nuts) before 11 months of age, they were actually 80% less likely to develop an allergy to that food later in life. So it is actually best TO INTRODUCE nuts to baby as early as 4-6 months of age and to NOT hold off on introducing peanuts and nuts to baby until later years.
YES, you read that right - it’s best to introduce nuts to baby at 4-6 months of age.
Of course, you will want to consult with your pediatrician on any concerns you have before you start introducing foods to baby. It’s also important to note that if any immediate family members have several allergies to any foods, that you should hold off on introducing those foods until baby is a little older.
What Nuts Can be Introduced to Baby
So you are obviously not going to hand your 4 month old a handful of whole peanuts (hello choking hazard!), instead, a great way to introduce nuts to baby is to serve them nut butter. Here are some of my favorite nut butters to serve them -
You can make your own nut butter or buy a store bought brand. If using a store bought brand, just make sure it is free from any additives such as sugar, salt, oils or preservatives - it should only contain nuts.
How to Introduce Nuts to Baby
I have found that by using nut butter you can introduce nuts to baby in so many fun and easy ways - stirred into baby’s favorite baby cereal, mixed into their purees, blended into their favorite smoothie, tossed with whole wheat pasta or spread onto a piece of bread. Below are some of my favorite ways to introduce nuts to baby.
Peanut Butter with Almond Butter + Cinnamon Smash 1/2 of a banana with a fork until smooth, add in a small dollop of almond butter (or any nut butter you prefer) and a pinch of cinnamon. Mix until completely incorporated and serve.
Strawberry + Banana Smoothie with Peanut Butter In a blender, add in 1/2 banana, 4-5 frozen strawberries, 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter (or any nut butter), 3 ice cubes and 1/2-1 cup of milk (cows, formula, breastmilk or coconut milk) and blend on high until completely smooth, adding more milk if needed.
Peanut Butter on Toast Toast a piece of whole wheat bread and lightly butter one side. Cut the crust off on one side of the bread (babies can sometimes have a hard time gumming the crust) then spoon a small amount of peanut butter (or any nut butter) on the crustless end of the toast.
Warm Applesauce with Peanut Butter In a small bowl, add 1/3 cup of homemade or store bought applesauce. Swirl roughly 1/2-1 teaspoon of peanut butter (or any nut butter) on top. Place the bowl in the microwave and warm in 10 second intervals or until just warmed. The peanut butter will melt a little bit making it easier for you or baby (if they are old enough) to mix into the applesauce.
Cashew Butter mixed with Plain Greek Yogurt In a small bowl, add in 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, then add 1/2-1 teaspoon of cashew butter (or any nut butter) on top. Lightly swirl the cashew butter on top and serve.
Tip of your Finger Add a small dollop of nut butter on the tip of your finger and let baby lick it off. This is great for young babies that tend to push new foods away.
These 5 Top Tools for Making Baby Purees are absolutely my favorite go-to kitchen tools to help you make homemade baby food!
UPDATED - March 2019 (with new favorite products!)
I get a lot of emails from readers asking which products/equipment/tools they have to have in order to make homemade baby purees.
The truth is, not many.
Unless you are crazy like me, and you buy anything and everything related to baby food, then I guess you need it all ;)
To save you time (and money) I’ve narrowed down all my favorite tools into one guide (which I updated in March 2019), here are 5 main tools that you have to have - a good blender, baby storage containers, reusable pouches, freezer storage trays and a steamer insert. There are other tools that you will need but if you have ever cooked before, then I know you probably already have them in your kitchen.
Below you will find the items that I have used over the last couple of years for making homemade baby food that have proven themselves worthy of their counter and/or drawer space. These items are tried-and-true and wil help the process of making your little one their own food go so much simpler.
If you are going to be making your own baby food, you will need a good blender or food processor. While I love my food processor, I have found that my blender is the winner for making the smoothest baby food purees.
I have both the Blendtec and Vitamix blenders and they are both extremely amazing! They are also extremely expensive!
But since I have used my Blendtec every day for the past 6 years, I would say it was worth the money.
Food Processor - this Cuisinart Food Processor is amazing and I use it all the time in place of my blender (for pestos, dips, energy balls).
Baby Puree Storage Containers
These containers are great to use for keeping a stash of baby purees in the fridge or because they are leak-proof, they are also great for filling with your favorite puree before tossing it into your diaper bag for an on-the-go meal for baby.
The key to keeping your sanity while making big batches of baby food purees is freezer storage trays! Once you make your purees, you spoon the puree into these storage trays and then freeze them for baby to eat at another time.
I would recommend getting 4-8 storage trays for when you make bigger batches of baby food.
But don’t worry, once you are done with the baby food phase you can use your trays for toddler crafts, painting or sorting projects, for ice pop holders or coffee ice cubes in the summer or you can donate them to another momma that is about to start making her own baby food. They won’t go to waste.
Pro-Tip - And while we are talking about storage, you will also need a ton of gallon size ziplock freezer bags to hold your frozen purees in so you can reuse your freezer trays when you are making even more purees.
I use steaming as a method for making purees all-the-time on this blog! Steaming the food is a fast and easy way to make baby food that also helps keep the fresh taste of the produce while holding onto most of it's nutrients.
I love me some reusable pouches <-------- totally realize that this is a weird thing to love!
Here is why I love them 1) they are so easy to load up with homemade purees, applesauce, yogurt or combo of all three. 2) you can toss them into your freezer and then defrost when needed 3) they are easy to bring along with you for a fun on-the-go snack 4) you can pack them full of a healthy veggie puree (maybe with a little fruit puree if you are being nice) and your baby/toddler/ kid will still think they taste amazing and that they are getting a special treat (suckers:).
These pouches are great for both babies and toddlers. For babies you can store all of your baby purees in these pouches and then just take out and defrost in the fridge as needed. Great for daycare, outings in the park or traveling. For toddlers, you have yourself a quick and healthy snack! You will seriously get your money worth out of these reusable pouches.
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This Multi-Grain Probiotic Baby Cereal is a great first food for baby! Filled with 3 whole grains and probiotics that will help promote a healthy and happy gut in baby! Great for babies 4 months and up.
Healthy First Cereal for Baby
I can’t even begin to tell you how great it is to have homemade baby cereal stocked and ready to go in those cute little frozen cubes or rectangles in your freezer! What is it about frozen baby purees stocked in the freezer that make my heart so happy? Does anyone else feel the same way?
This multi-grain probiotic baby cereal recipe is the perfect recipe to make in order to make this magic come alive. While you can serve this cereal right after you make it, you will then have over 20 ounces of homemade cereal leftover, so those extra servings are great to freeze and use when you don’t have the time (or energy) to make a batch of homemade baby cereal.
This cereal is smooth, creamy and is perfectly delicious served by itself or with your favorite fruit or vegetable baby puree.
Ingredients to Make Multi-Grain Probiotic Baby Cereal -
To make this baby cereal recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
Steel Cut Oats - Oats are a great source of fiber, minerals, plant-based protein as well as iron, magnesium and selenium that help promote good cholesterol, a healthy heart and helps with digestion. We are using steel cut oats in this recipe because they have a similar cooking time to the rice and barley as well as have more fiber, but you can also use old-fashioned oats in this recipe if you prefer.
Short Grain Brown Rice - We are using rice in this cereal because brown rice is a nutritional powerhouse - filled with very high amounts of fiber, protein, manganese, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins B6 that help boost heart health, bone development, immune system defenses and protects against diabetes. I would strongly recommend using organic rice in all baby food recipes.
Barley - While not as trendy as some other grains, barley is packed with a high fiber content, a ton of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants that help promote a healthy heart and protection against diabetes. If you want, you can easily swap the very trendy (and very healthy) quinoa for the barley in this recipe. Barley isn’t a Gluten-Free grain, so if you want to stay away from any gluten in babies diet, you should substitute quinoa or more oats in its place.
Probiotics - We are just realizing how important gut health is to the overall health of the entire body, so it’s important to start baby on the right foot by introducing healthy probiotics to baby. I have used and highly recommend Garden of Life Kids Probiotics, which is safe for babies 3+ months and older. I love this formula because it has prebiotics and probiotics which are great for introducing good bacteria to the gut and giving it the food it needs to thrive. You can also add this probiotics to any formula, breastmilk or food when they get older, so the bottle won’t go to waste. You can use any probiotics that you wish, but I would recommend that you look for one that is organic, has multiple strands of probiotics and has no fillers or GMOs.
Health Benefits of This Multi-Grain Probiotic Baby Cereal:
Promotes a healthy heart
Builds stronger bones
Helps build a strong immune system
Protection against diabetes
Probiotics to help build a healthy gut
Other Reasons to Love This Multi-Grain Probiotic Baby Cereal:
IF YOU TRY THIS RECIPE, LET ME KNOW! I WANT TO SEE YOUR YUMMY CREATIONS! SNAP A PIC AND SHARE IT HERE ON PINTERESTYield: 20-25 ouncesPrint RecipePin itWith ImageWithout ImageMulti-Grain Probiotic Baby Cereal
This creamy baby cereal is filled with 3 different whole grains and probiotics to help promote a healthy gut.
In a fine mesh colander, rinse the grains until the water runs clear.
Place the grains and liquid into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until all the grains are tender, stirring occasionally.
Let cool for 15-20 minutes or until cool.
Add cooked grains and probiotics into a blender or food processor and puree for 1-2 minutes on medium-high until completely smooth, adding in additional liquids in 1/4 cup increments if needed. I had to add an additional cup of water to the puree pictured above.
Serve or freeze.
Age: 4 months and up
Yield: roughly 20-25 ounces
Storage: store in an air-tight container in fridge for 4 days or in freezer for 3 months.
This Valentine’s Day School Lunch is a fun and healthy way to help your kid celebrate the holiday of love❤️! This lunch can easily be made gluten, dairy and nut free!
There is nothing like spreading a little love during Valentine’s Day ♥️
One of the ways I love to share my love, is through food - delicious and healthy food!
And that means, I get up extra early and make my girls a special school lunch on Valentine’s Day (I completely acknowledge that I am that type of crazy mom, but I’m just rolling with it:).
I try to make these lunches as healthy as I can, because somewhere between when I was in elementary school and now (if you asked my girls that would be a 1 million years ago), Valentine’s Day has now become the new Halloween - soooooooo much candy!
For this lunch, I packed it full of healthy fruits, veggies, complex carbs and some protein to keep my girls full and satisfied for their afternoon Valentine’s Day parties. I’m hoping the naturally sweet fruit will curb their desire to eat too many cupcakes, cookies and candy during their parties, but I have a feeling they will eat those as well. Oh well, there is only so much I can control in life.. school parties is just not one of those things.
Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day full of love, happiness and chocolate!
REASON I LOVE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY SCHOOL LUNCH -
it’s filled with healthy and wholesome foods that also happen to be yummy
it is nut-free
it can easily be made into a gluten or dairy-free lunch
is filled with love and will make your little one smile
can be made in 10 minutes
Heart Shaped Pizza - I made this pizza by cutting out a heart shape (with a cookie cutter from this set) out of gluten-free pita bread. You can use any pita bread or flatbread you prefer. I then topped it with tomato sauce and cheese (using dairy-free cheese for Parker who is DF) and then topping with organic pepperoni that I cut out in small heart shapes (from this cutter). I then baked the pizza in a 425F oven for 8-10 minutes before cooling completely on a cutting board and then placing in the bento box.
Heart Strawberries + Raspberries - I lined the bottom of the container with raspberries and then cut 2 strawberries into heart shapes before laying them on top of the raspberries.
Heart Melons - I used the same heart shaped cutter that I used on the pepperoni on a variety of melon - honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon. I bought a variety pack of pre-cut melon at the grocery store and then just cut the melon into 1/4” thick slices before cutting them up with a heart shaped cutter.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers - I chopped the stems off of mini red sweet peppers and then spooned some whipped cream cheese inside. I used dairy-free cream cheese for Parker’s lunch.
Dye-Free Gummy - For the treat section - I used a dye-free red gummy, but you can use whatever candy or small treat you like. A little Valentine card would be cute as well.
This Easy Chocolate Fondue for Toddlers + Kids is a healthy dessert that the entire family will enjoy! This fun fondue (or ‘fun-due’ as I like to call it;) is made with only 3-ingreidents and is dairy and gluten-free!
This easy dessert is a staple in our house!
Mostly because it ✔️’s all of my kid-friendly dessert boxes -
✔️it’s easy to make (less then 5 minutes from recipe to table) ✔️I always have the ingredients on hand to make this recipe ✔️low in sugar, but high in taste ✔️you can always find plenty of fun dippers in your pantry or fridge ✔️it’s warm chocolate.. so obviously that’s a win in my book ✔️it always blows my kids minds when I serve this.. melted chocolate.. can use hands to eat.. must lick plate right now
The first time I made this dessert, was on a whim.
After having a healthy salad for dinner, I needed chocolate in my life - STAT!
I reached for my normal sad handful of chocolate chips for dessert, but they just weren’t going to cut it.
I wanted something decadent but made in approximately zero seconds.
So I poured the chocolate chips into a small saucepan added a small spoonful of coconut oil and a pinch of cinnamon and let it melt away. Then I rummaged around the fridge and pantry for some healthy and fun dipping materials before calling my family back to the dinner table.
Our lives were about to be changed forever!
A little dramatic, I know. But we are talking about chocolate here!
This beyond-easy fondue blew our minds that night! There was no going back. Once we knew this chocolate fondue served with cut strawberries, sliced bananas, graham crackers and orange segments was an on the table, there really wasn’t any other dessert options for us.. certainly not a handful of sad little chocolate chips.
I kid you not, I probably make this dessert at least once a week, mostly because I want all-the-melted chocolate in my life:). I mix up the dippers depending on what I have on hand and what my girls request.
So yes, you can serve this fondue for dessert at your next date night, Valentine’s day dinner or special meal with the kiddos. Or you can just serve it on a random Tuesday because you deserve this easy and delicious dessert every night of the week.
Reasons to Love This Easy Chocolate Fondue for Toddler + Kids:
easy to make - can be made in under 5 minutes
gluten-free (if using gluten-free dippers)
fun and interactive for kids of all ages
can be served with any dippers you have on hand - fruit, crackers, pretzels, marshmallows, etc
HOW TO MAKE EASY CHOCOLATE FONDUE FOR TODDLER + KIDS: MORE RECIPES YOUR BABY OR TODDLER WILL LOVE:
IF YOU TRY THIS RECIPE, LET ME KNOW! I WANT TO SEE YOUR YUMMY CREATIONS! SNAP A PIC AND SHARE IT HERE ON PINTERESTYield: 4 small servingsPrint RecipePin itWith ImageWithout ImageEasy Chocolate Fondue for Toddler + Kids (Dairy-Free)
This Easy Chocolate Fondue for Toddler + Kids is a healthy dessert the entire family will enjoy! This easy fondue is made with only 3-ingreidents and is dairy and gluten-free!
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together, stirring the entire time. I have never had a problem with the enjoy life brand of chocolate chips clumping or getting weird by not using the double boiler method, but if you are more comfortable doing it that way, then please do so.
Add in the cinnamon and salt and stir together.
Pour fondue into small bowls and serve with dippers of your choice.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add in all of the ingredients and heat in 30 seconds increments until melted, stirring between times.
Pour fondue into small bowls and serve with dippers of your choice.
Sweet Potato Baby Puree - 3 Delicious Ways! By using sweet potatoes as the base ingredient, you can easily add in a couple of other simple ingredients to the sweet potatoes to get 3 different homemade purees for baby.
So I finally got around to doing another version of that popular post - this time I’m bringing on the Sweet Potatoes!
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables to make into scrumptious purees for baby.
My reasons are simple -
Sweet potatoes are a nutrient dense root vegetable
Sweet potatoes always blend into a super creamy and smooth puree
Sweet potatoes are tasty enough to hold their own yet they are flexible enough to be able to play well with other fruits and vegetables so you can make countless combination purees with them
Sweet potatoes are cheap and easy to find at almost any grocery store
Sweet potatoes are loaded with important nutrients to help baby thrive - fiber, manganese, calcium, iron and vitamin A and C which help boost brain function, vision health and helps develop a strong immunity.
Below you will find 3 of my all-time favorite sweet potato purees for baby!
Instructions 1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. In a steamer basket, add in the sweet potato cubes, place basket over boiling water and cover. Steam for 12-15 minutes or until all ingredients are tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Reserve steamer water. 2. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a blender or food processor and add in the banana and cinnamon. Add in 1/4 cup liquid (steamer water, breast milk, formula, stock or water). 3. Puree all of the ingredient at high speed for 1-2 minutes or until you reach your desired consistency. Add in additional liquid in 1/4 cup increments if puree is too thick. I had to add in 1/2 cup of reserved steamer water to the puree pictured above.
Age: 6 months and up Yield: roughly 16 ounces Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Storage: store in an air-tight container in fridge for 4 days or in freezer for 3 months.
Sweet Potato + White Beans and Beets Baby Food Puree
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 medium red beet, peeled and chopped 3/4 cup white beans
Instructions 1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. In a steamer basket, add in the sweet potato, beet and beans, place basket over boiling water and cover. Steam for 12-15 minutes or until all ingredients are tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Reserve steamer water. 2. Transfer all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Add in 1/4 cup liquid (steamer water, breast milk, formula, stock or water). 3. Puree all of the ingredient at high speed for 1-2 minutes or until you reach your desired consistency. Add in additional liquid in 1/4 cup increments if puree is too thick. I had to add in 1/2 cup of reserved steamer water to the puree pictured above.
Age: 6 months and up Yield: roughly 26 ounces Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Storage: store in an air-tight container in fridge for 4 days or in freezer for 3 months.
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped 1 cup cauliflower florets 1/4 teaspoon chia seeds
Instructions 1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. In a steamer basket, add in the sweet potato, carrot and cauliflower, place basket over boiling water and cover. Steam for 12-15 minutes or until all ingredients are tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Reserve steamer water. 2. Transfer the sweet potatoes, carrots and cauliflower to a blender or food processor and add in the chia seeds. Add in 1/2 cup liquid (steamer water, breast milk, formula, stock or water). 3. Puree all of the ingredient at high speed for 1-2 minutes or until you reach your desired consistency. Add in additional liquid in 1/4 cup increments if puree is too thick. I had to add in 1 cup of reserved steamer water to the puree pictured above.
Age: 6 months and up Yield: roughly 28 ounces Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Storage: store in an air-tight container in fridge for 4 days or in freezer for 3 months.