Baby Food Recipes

I wanted to write down some of my baby food dinner recipes which have been a hit with my little dude.

When Levi turned 9 months old he was over basic purees and wanted more variety. We have been lucky because Levi is a really adventurous eater. With work starting again, though, I needed to plan ahead and have meals ready for him to leave with daycare and have his meals ready when we got home from work.

I started by looking at commercial baby foods for flavor ideas. I quickly decided I could do this more cheaply and add more variety. I bought a case of these small 1/2 cup canning jars.The are a perfect serving size for a hungry baby, are endlessly reusable, and you can defrost/reheat the meal in the jar because it is glass. I have been being careful not to microwave Levi's food in plastics.

I used my food processor to roughly chop the veggies used in the recipes. Since my garden was full of zucchini, I added extra to almost every meal. Feel free to add extra veggies or sub frozen mixed veggies. . Each of these made about 4 jars full of food, which I stored in the freezer.

I tried to use what I had in the house for these recipes. And the measurements are approximate. Ground turkey is supposed to be a great baby meat and Levi seems to love it, so I have been going with that.

I think getting a few friends together and making larger batches of each recipe would be easier and more fun. That way everyone walks away with a few weeks worth of food. 

Baby's Turkey Dinner
1/2 cup ground organic turkey thigh
1/3 cup chopped sweet potato
1/4 cup chopped yukon gold potato
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
handful of shredded zucchini

1. Saute turkey until almost cooked.
2. Add veggies and 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer until everything is really soft.
3. Divide among jars.

Baby's Rice Stirfry
1/2 cup ground organic turkey thigh
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch 5 spice powder
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach
1/2 of a carrot, chopped
1/4 cup chopped zucchini
1/4 cup dry rice
(optional, 1 teaspoon soy sauce)

1. Saute turkey with sesame oil, black pepper, and 5 spice.
2. Add veggies and saute until almost soft.
3. Add rice and 3/4 cup water. Cover and simmer until rice is cooked. If you want, stir in a little soy sauce.

Baby's Pasta (Justin likes this one too!)
1/2 cup least fat, ground beef
1/4 cup shredded veggies
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup Israeli couscous (or any small pasta)
1 tablespoon shredded parmesean cheese and/ or 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese

1. Cook beef over medium heat. Add veggies and cook until soft.
2. Add tomato sauce and pasta, plus about 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook until pasta is soft.
3. Stir in cheese.

Baby's Bean Dinner (This one is inspired by a meal bowl at Laughing Planet. I made us a grown up version and put together this mix for Levi with the leftovers.)
1/4 cup cooked and rinsed black beans
1/4 cup really ripe plantain (cooked for 3 minutes in a pot with a few tablespoons of water)
1/4 cup cubed, cooked sweet potato
1/4 cup cooked corn
2 chopped cherry tomatoes

1. Combine all ingredients.

Baby's Creamed Spinach
1 cup frozen spinach
a tiny bit of chopped garlic
a bit of olive oil
2 tablespoons whole fat cream cheese.

1. In a small pan heat oil and garlic, until garlic is fragrant. Add spinach. Cover until completely defrosted.
2. Stir in cream cheese while spinach is hot.
This is also good for baby to dip bread into.

Finger foods
Baby's Mini Meatballs
handful of ground meat
1/2 slice of bread, torn to bits
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Heat oven to 350 degrees
1. Using your hands, smooch together all the ingredients into a paste.
2. Line a baking pan with a silpat or parchment paper.
3. Form teaspoon sized meatballs and lay on the baking pan. (You can also make bigger ones and cut up to serve)
4. Bake about 10 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

These are great served with cut up cherry tomatoes!

Other foods which have been a hit: 
Noodle soup with veggies. He slurps up the noodles and eats the veggies. Around 11 months Levi started liking to sip the cool soup broth from a cup.

Smoothie bowl made from cooked apples (or apple sauce), cooked sweet taters and spinach. Blend with the same about of whole fat cream cheese.