Fun Baby Food Ideas your Child Will Love
While it’s normal for your little one to make a disgusted face when you feed them, we’ve got some baby food ideas they just might love. So, grab your babe and get cooking!
Fun Baby Food Ideas your Child Will Love
Nutrition is one of the most important things to navigate for your little one, especially from conception to when they turn two years old. The first 1,000 days of your little one’s nutrition not only fuels the most important stages of development but sets the stage for the rest of their lives. So, what you feed them matters.
When you begin feeding your little one solid foods, you might have a lot of questions. On top of learning how much to feed them, how often, and what foods to pick, you want to find foods that your little one enjoys!
It’s entirely normal for your baby to make a disgusted face or even spit out baby food when they are first starting to eat solids or trying a new flavor. This is because all of their senses are working together simultaneously, and they may be overwhelmed by new things.
But, it’s also important to us and you that your baby has fun eating new foods! So, we’ve put together some of our favorite baby food ideas your little one is guaranteed to love. Plus, they’re packed with nutrients and good too!
Tasty Homemade Purees
At around 4 to 6 months old, your little one will be ready to start solids. This time is exciting and full of firsts, including your baby’s first food purees! It’s essential, to begin with, thinner, single-ingredient foods and move up to thicker ones. This is so your baby’s tummy can get used to texture and solids. All they’ve known before this is breast milk, so starting solids changes the game.
Here are some of our favorite baby food recipes for purees:
Peas are packed with vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, manganese, dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, and Vitamin B6. It’s no wonder that your mom was always telling you to finish your peas!
A great puree to begin with for your little one is a pea puree. This puree can be introduced with its first solids at around six months and is a thinner single ingredient and incorporates breast milk. Here’s how to make it.
You will need 3 cups of fresh or frozen organic peas and ½ cup breast milk. Cook peas by steaming them for about 15 minutes and blend cooked peas and breastmilk until liquid. Use a mesh sieve to filter out any lumps. You can store this in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to two months.
Avocados are packed with nutrition too. They contain folate, magnesium, potassium, tons of B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. On top of this, they act as a delivery system for nutrients in the body by increasing absorption. They’re also high in fiber and healthy fats, which promote heart health, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
This avocado mash is a great homemade recipe for your little one once they’ve moved on to more textured foods. This may be at around seven or eight months, but every baby is different.
All you need is one organic avocado! You can use a blender or mash the avocado by hand. If your little one isn’t eating chunky textures yet, mix with breastmilk to create a thinner consistency. This baby food lasts about a week in the fridge and up to two months in the freezer!
Beet and Blueberry Mash
Once your little one reaches eight months, it’s time for the multiple ingredient blends! These add texture and flavor, and boy, do babies love the flavor. It’s important to note here that flavor doesn’t necessarily mean added sugars or salt. These can be harmful to your little one and cause early liver damage, heart health issues, and more.
Luckily, there are better ways to pack flavor into baby food! By giving your little one a range of organic, naturally occurring flavors with added ingredients like salt and sugar, you set the stage for the future of their health and help them develop a taste palette that prefers organic foods!
All you need for a beet and blueberry mash is two organic beets, 1 cup of organic blueberries. Wash, peel, and dice the beets into cubes and wash the blueberries. Next, steam the beets for 15 minutes. If you’re using frozen blueberries, steam them for about 15 minutes, or use fresh blueberries, only steam them for five minutes. Next, mash them by hand or blend them. Then, wash the blender.
Learn more about why we love beets here!
Spinach with Yam Mash
Spinach isn’t called a superfood for nothing. It is packed with antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, iron, zinc, manganese, fiber, magnesium, and calcium. Yams also contain many nutrients and minerals that promote health.
This spinach and yam mash is a savory way to introduce new flavors to your little ones and provide the nutrients they need to thrive! Here’s how to make it.
You will need ½ a pound of fresh, organic spinach and ½ pound of yams. Wash, peel, and dice the yams into small cubes and wash the spinach, cutting off the stems. Boil the yams for about 10 minutes and add spinach until both are soft.
Drain excess water and blend or mash ingredients until you reach your desired consistency! You can keep this fresh in the fridge for about a week, freeze it, and use it for up to two months.
Benefits of Homemade Baby Food
There are many benefits of feeding your little one homemade baby foods.
Here are some of them:
- You avoid artificial ingredients, additives, preservatives, chemicals, and toxins.
- You can ensure freshness and know exactly what you’re giving your baby.
- You avoid heavy metals from many factory-style cooking and handling processes and can ensure your little one’s safety.
Tips for Solids
If you aren’t sure whether your little one is ready for solids, here are a few markers to look for!
Your babe is ready if:
- They can hold their own head up.
- They open their mouth when food is near.
- They can move a spoon towards their mouth.
- They weigh enough. Your baby should weigh about 13 pounds or more before starting solids. If you have any questions, talk to your pediatrician about whether your little one is ready to make the switch.
Your babe may not be ready if:
- They have a tongue thrust reflex.
- They cannot sit up by themselves.
- They reject the spoon or food when it’s placed in front of them.
Every baby moves at their own pace, so don’t sweat it if your little one isn’t ready for solids quite yet. Simply look for these markers and begin slowly introducing solids. It may take a few tries as well, so don’t worry if you end up alternating between solids and breastfeeding often.
Foods to Avoid
When making homemade baby foods or buying baby foods, there are some ingredients and foods to avoid.
While rice is a convenient ingredient to incorporate into baby foods, it is also a food with one of the highest heavy metals, specifically arsenic. As a result, rice cereals are often recommended as first foods, but they can do more harm than good to your baby’s health.
Instead of rice, use quinoa! Quinoa is packed with protein, folate, phosphorous, manganese, and a gluten-free rice alternative packed with flavor! When your baby turns 6 to 8 months, you can introduce quinoa into their diets.
Fruit juices are advertised as being “all-natural” and 100% juice, but the truth is that juices contain high amounts of sugars and heavy metals that can be harmful to your little one’s health.
For example, apple and grape juices are high in arsenic. Other fruit juices are high in sugar, and experts recommend that fruit juices are one food babies should always avoid. Excess sugar can lead to liver damage and health problems, so it’s best to only give your little one water or milk and avoid fruit juices and other sugary beverages.
There are so many benefits of making homemade baby food, not to mention your baby will love the flavors and textures you make for them! Homemade foods come with a freshness guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about any hidden additives or harmful chemicals in your baby’s food.
However, we know not everybody’s lifestyle has room to make homemade baby food. That’s why we made YUMI! We let our nutritionists do the hard work in curating a meal plan specifically designed for your babe’s developmental milestones. Packed with all the nutrients and minerals they need, this plan comes with over 60 unique meals to give your child a balanced diet.
Learn more about your little one’s meal plan here!
For more baby food recipes, check out our blog! Our nutritionists put together vegan, gluten, and allergen-free foods that you and your babe can enjoy.