Baby Food Ideas with Fruits, Veggies, and Poultry

Every few weeks I head over to my local Spanish supermarket, Fiesta, in order to pick up Ava’s favorite cereal: Nestum.  She loves this stuff.  When she first started eating solids, she couldn’t stand the standard American option of Gerber–it was the spicier Nestum that got her tastebuds hopping.

During my last visit, I walked through the baby isle and took a look at the jarred baby foods.  I hardly ever look at the jars because I make all of her food at home.  I use a Baby Bullet and I’ve had a lot of success with it.  But I make simple and bland things–sweet potato puree; mashed peas; applesauce. I looked at the jars on the shelf and there were so many interesting combinations: turkey with a starch and veggie puree; mixed fruits; mixed veggies.  I felt really bad that I wasn’t making such cool things too!


I bought some veggies and other items with the intent of making some new & interesting meals for Ava.

The results were fabulous.

Mango Applesauce:

I can’t have a little girl who already has a propensity towards Caribbean culture to not like mangos.  So I decided that might be fun to mix in with her standard applesauce.  It’s so easy too.

  1. Wash fruits.
  2. Peel, core, and chop up 2 apples.
  3. Steam apples until soft.
  4. Place in blender with slices of 1 peeled/deseeded mango
  5. Puree until desired consistency is reached.  Thin out with water if needed.

This will give you enough meals to enjoy for 4 days and freeze leftovers!

It’s sweet, delicious, and pretty to look at.  I even enjoyed a taste.

Sweet Potatoes and Peas Puree:

Ava loves sweet potatoes.  She loves peas (I use Birds Eye Frozen Peas, which have no additional or artificial ingredients).  So why not combine them? It is a nice, heavy meal, and is likely to make her sleepy (not a bad thing!).

  1. Wash sweet potato.
  2. Peel & chop up 1 large sweet potato.
  3. Steam sweet potato until soft.
  4. Place frozen peas in microwave and follow package instructions.
  5. Place both items (in portions) into blender.
  6. Puree until desired consistency is reached.  Thin out with water if needed.

This will give you about 2 weeks of food, depending on how much your child eats.  You might not use all of the peas, so save them to eat with YOUR dinner.  I think it’s a good sign if you are serving your kid something you would eat (unlike some nasty, foul smelling formulas I’ve given Ava!–no shade). I also ate her left over quinoa and threw the extra chicken into my Spanish rice.

This looks a little weird.  Kind of like poo.  But I’ve tasted it, and yet again, it is yummilicious.

Quinoa, Chicken, and Carrot Puree: 

I was pretty proud of this one.  I adapted it from a Turkey, Rice, and Carrot recipe from the Baby Bullet cookbook. I wanted to try a meat with Ava, and chicken seemed like the obvious choice.  I had a ton of quinoa and i took a quick look in my baby book (yes, I still use it occasionally, lol) to see if that was ok: it was ok for babies! This recipe was a little more involved.

Remember to keep everything STERILE.  You do NOT want to cross contaminate raw meat with uncooked veggies.  So prep your meat last and clean up before combining everything. 

  1. Wash 1 carrot. Peel & chop up.  Steam.
  2. Rinse 1 cup of quinoa.  Place in 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and lower flame.  Let simmer for 15 minutes.

  1. Put carrots & quinoa aside.
  2. Grill or boil chicken: whichever is more convenient.  I pan grilled slices of 1 large chicken breast with a little dab of olive oil.
  3. CLEAN EVERYTHING
  4. Combine carrot, 1/2 cup of quinoa, 1/2 cup of chicken, and 1/2 cup of chicken broth in blender.
  5. Blend until desired consistency.

 

This tasted ok, but as an adult, I’m not used to eating meat purees.  Ava, on the other hand, loved it!


I hope you enjoy these recipes and share them with your little ones.  I’d love to hear what recipes you use, so feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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Super Healthy Lactation Cookies

When I returned to work in February after my maternity leave, I didn’t have a tough time making milk to take home and to freeze for Ava.

This was my schedule:

Early AM (between 4-7AM):  Breastfeed Ava at home

8:30 AM: Pump at work during my free period

12:30 PM: Pump during my 20 min lunch

After 4:30 PM: Breastfeed Ava at home

But as the weeks progressed, and some of my pumping times were hijacked by work obligations, my body began to make less and less milk.  I would make lactation cookies, drink teas, and pop fenugreek supplements, but by May I felt like nothing was helping anymore.  I went from being able to pump 6-10 oz at work to barely pumping 2 oz in an entire day.  During the last weeks of school, and as my frozen supply of milk dwindled, I was miserable with guilt and stress that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed anymore.

But I was determined to make it to the end of the school year! ¡¡Sí se puede!!

So I tried a new lactation cookie recipe.  I figured that my body might have grown “immune” to my normal batch.  Or maybe my ingredients had lost their potency.  Regardless, it was time to try something new.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  Click here to follow my Nursing Board!

Cost:  I found all of the ingredients that I didn’t have already at Whole Foods.  This was the only downer about the recipe.  Although the ingredients were unique and really healthy (for example, coconut sugar is about half the calories of the sugar I would normally use to make cookies), they were kind of pricey.  In total, my WF tab was about $45.  Eek.

Taste:  The recipe calls for Anise seeds.  If you DO NOT like anise or fennel or licorice, then beware.  The cookies have a strong anise taste.  I happen to love anise.  I used to drink anise tea when I was little to calm an upset stomach.  Also, in Southern Spain (where I studied abroad), several of my favorite treats used anise seeds, such as pestiños de miel and torta de aceite. YUM!! Although the original recipe doesn’t call for it, I added some chocolate chips & brown sugar to sweeten it up a bit and to cut down on the strength of the anise taste.  YUM YUM!!! I also added an extra tablespoon of the raw honey.

Ease: The recipe is very easy to make and I was done in about 20 mins.  Note, I did need a blender and a grinder.  I used a coffee grinder to grind the anise seeds. The 20 mins prep time doesn’t include baking time.  I found that I was done fairly quickly with the baking portion because the recipe didn’t feel like it yielded that many cookies.  If you like the cookies, think about doubling up the recipe for the next round.

Below is the recipe that I am borrowing from mamanatural.com. Much thanks for posting this lovely recipe!  Click here for the original link. I LOVE that she included links for where to buy each item.

Ingredients:

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Put your 2 cups of rolled oats into a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until the oats are a flour-like consistency.
  3. Measure out 1 TB of fennel seeds and grind in coffee grinder or with mortal and pestle until fine powder.

4.   Put dry ingredients into large bowl and mix.

Lactation Cookie recipe to help you boost your breast milk supply

From mamanatural.com

5.   In a smaller bowl, put your almond butter, melted coconut oil, honey, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well.

6.   Pour the contents of smaller bowl into the dry ingredient bowl. Mix well with spoon or clean hands.

7.   Grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil. Form small flat balls, about the circumference of a silver dollar.

8.    Bake cookies in oven for 15-20 minutes. Check for slightest browning on outside of cookie.

9.    Take out and transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

10.    Enjoy warm, or let cookies cool to room temperature. Then store in an air-tight glass container.

11.   Enjoy for breakfast with raw milk or yogurt. Or as a dessert or snack throughout day. Would be delicious in an ice cream sandwich.

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Four Steps to Baby Food

Ava has been a champ when it comes to eating.  She LOVES food.

No doubt about it...Ava isn't missing a meal.

No doubt about it…Ava isn’t missing a meal.

I have been serving 1-2 small servings of puréed food everyday.  I would say each serving is about 4 tablespoons of food.  She often eats 1 serving of cereal (follow this link for Ava’s yummy cereal) or apple sauce (follow this link for how to make apple sauce) in the morning and then 1 serving of a vegetable around lunch time.

Two of her favorite vegetables are sweet peas and sweet potatoes (served separately).  I’ll be starting carrots this week.

Making baby food is pretty easy.  The main thing is keeping everything clean and being cognizant of not mixing foods that Ava hasn’t tried yet with foods that she already eats.  At this early stage in eating, I have to keep an eye on whether or not she might be allergic to something.

Typically, making baby food consists of the following 4 steps:

1) Clean the fruit or vegetable

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2) Boil, steam, or microwave the fruit or vegetable.  I microwave the frozen sweet peas. Otherwise I boil/steam everything else.

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3) Place food in Baby Bullet with some water to get the food to a desired texture.  I typically use the water leftover from boiling, since it is rich with vitamins & minerals from the veggie or fruit that was boiled.

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4) Either freeze or serve.  When freezing, divide food into single servings so that it is easy to serve when defrosting. When defrosting, either stick food in refrigerator or place in warm water, and serve within 12 hours.

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The end result: One really happy baby.  And lots of…diapers…

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No cup goes unfinished!

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I had to buy tons of bibs because Ava can go through six a day, between the food, milk, and drooling!

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Baby bullet: Apple sauce!

Recently, Ava had her first taste of food! Real food! I’m happy to report that her introduction to the world of culinary delights began with a cup of freshly made apple sauce. 🍎🍎🍎 #healthybaby

I always wanted to be “that mom” who made fresh baby food instead of buying off the shelf. I’m not knocking bottled baby food–I will most likely need to buy some jars in the future.

On a side note, the feeding of solid foods to Ava has been quite a controversial topic among my family and friends. Old school wisdom advised feeding cereal in bottles as early as two months, so that babies would sleep longer. But current trends advise against that since a child’s digestive system is not developed enough to handle that. My pediatrician recommended that the window of feeding solids is 4-6 months, generally signaled by the following:

🔸She can sit up (with support) and can hold her head and neck up well
🔸Her birth weight has doubled.
🔸She’s interested in what you’re eating and may even try to grab food from your plate.
🔸She can keep food in her mouth rather than letting it dribble out.
🔸She shows signs of being hungry for more than she’s getting by clamoring for more when her bottle is empty or wanting to nurse more often.”
webmd.com

I followed Ava’s lead. When she started to stare at my food and demand more feedings, I figured it was time.

I used the Baby Bullet to make Ava’s first batch of food.

1). Starting with two Fuji apples…

2).  I peeled, cut in half and cored them. I then placed the halves in a small saucepan with a small amount of water. I put the flame on medium and covered the pot, steaming the apples until they softened.

3). Once soft, I put the sections in the Baby Bullet and puréed them. I added the water I used to steam the apples and a little bottled water in order to make it easier for Ava to consume.

 4) All that was left was to give Ava her first round of food! I put the left overs in individual trays in the freezer.


Check out Ava’s experience:

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