What parent doesn't want to give their baby the freshest, healthiest food? Mom Tamika L. Gardner – author of new book 201 Organic Baby Purees: The Freshest, Most Wholesome Food Your Baby Can Eat! – sure does. Since her daughter was born in 2007, Gardner has dished up delicious homemade recipes on her popular SimplyBabyFoodRecipes.net blog, all as part of her mission to provide parents with resources to feed their babies the best grub possible.
Here, Gardner and publishing company Adams Media share four simple, good-for-baby recipes from the new book – covering ages 6 months to 1 year-plus, and using delicious produce like apples, spinach, strawberries and blueberries. Give these a try – and be sure to check out Gardner's 201 Organic Baby Purees book for much, much more!
This combination is a sweet and yummy way to start your tyke's day – and you know what the say about an apple a day!
- Ages: 6 to 7 months
- Servings: 2
- 4 Tbsp. prepared iron-fortified oatmeal cereal (with either breast milk or formula)
- 2 Tbsp. "Hiya Papaya" (from a recipe calling for 1/2 of a medium papaya and 1-2 Tbsp. breast milk or formula)
- 2 Tbsp. "Enchanting Apple" (from a recipe calling for 4 medium apples, cored and chopped – try golden delicious, Braeburn or gala – and 2 Tbsp. water)
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- Cut papaya in half lengthwise; scrape out the seeds and discard them.
- Scoop out the flesh of 1⁄2 the papaya and put in a medium bowl.
- Add breast milk or organic formula to papaya and mash with fork until smooth. Note: Makes three servings; refrigerate for up to three or four days for best results.
- In a medium-sized pan, combine apples and 2 tablespoons water.
- Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until tender.
- Transfer all ingredients to blender and puree until desired consistency is reached. Note: Makes 10-12 servings.
- Combine all ingredients.
Popeye's Spinach Meal
Add a bit more flavor for your tyke with spinach. The potatoes help even-out the strong taste of this strong leaf. It's freezer-friendly, too.
- Ages: 8-9 months
- Servings: 6
- 1 medium-sized baking potato
- 1⁄2 small onion (optional)
- Unsalted butter (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 cup fresh or frozen spinach
- Wash, peel and chop potato into small chunks.
- Peel and slice the onion into thin pieces. Saute in a deep nonstick pan until soft and translucent. If the onion sticks, use some unsalted butter in the pan. Avoid using cooking oil.
- Add the diced potato and water to the pan. Bring to a boil; then turn down the heat and simmer until the potato is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Add more water if the potato sticks to the pan.
- If using fresh spinach, wash the leaves thoroughly (submerge them into a big bowl of water, letting them soak for a few minutes and repeating until water is clear); then chop and remove all stems. Boil in a pan of shallow water for about 10 minutes. If using frozen spinach, defrost and cook according to the package directions.
- Combine the cooked potatoes, onion and spinach in a blender.
- Puree until smooth, adding as much water as necessary for age-appropriate consistency.
Fresh Strawberry Yogurt
There's no need to purchase strawberry yogurt when your baby can have yogurt with freshly pureed strawberries! Vanilla yogurt gives you more flexibility to add any kind of pureed fruit your baby enjoys.
- Ages: 10-12 months
- Serving: 1
- 6 oz. whole-milk yogurt, plain or vanilla
- 1 strawberry, hulled and pureed
- Combine all ingredients.
- Serve immediately.
Blueberry Mini Muffins
Frozen blueberries also work in this for this recipe – just note that the batter will take on a purple hue unless you thaw them first. This freezer-friendly "superfood" is also yummy for parents.
- Ages: 12 months and older
- Servings: 42 mini muffins; 21 servings
- 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
- 11⁄2 tsp. baking powder, divided
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1⁄2 cup applesauce
- 1⁄2 cup flaxseed meal
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil
- 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla
- 3⁄4 cup apple juice concentrate
- 1⁄4 cup plain yogurt (dairy or soy)
- 1⁄4 cup organic milk (dairy or soy)
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, combine applesauce with 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder.
- Add flaxseed meal, oil, vanilla, apple juice concentrate, yogurt and organic milk. Combine well.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to wet. Add blueberries.
- Spoon batter into lightly oiled mini muffin pan.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.