Simple and nutritious baby food recipes
Published on Wednesday, 29 September 2021
Last updated on Monday, 27 September 2021
Once your baby makes the big move to solid food, at around six months of age, a world of flavour opens up.
Fruit, vegetables and meat are all wholesome additions to their milk-based diet, and for parents, baby food is an easy and affordable meal to make from scratch.
To give you some inspiration in the kitchen, Healthy Kids has kindly shared three baby food recipes, which you can tailor to your bub’s taste and the ingredients you have at hand.
Here goes, and happy cooking!
1. Fresh fruit purée
This baby purée recipe can be fed to your infant when they’re first starting solid foods, as long as it’s puréed until very smooth.
Ingredient-wise, you’ll need some breast milk/formula and two types of fresh fruit. In-season fruit will be cheaper and tastier, and some great flavour combinations include:
- Apple and pear
- Banana and pear
- Peach and apricot
- Plum and apple
- Rhubarb and apple
- Peach apple and pear
- Mango and apple
- Peach and mango
- Peel the fruit
- Slice or chop it into small pieces, removing the seeds and core
- Add fruit to a pot of boiling water, and boil until soft
- Drain off the water and mash with a potato masher. Alternatively, blend in a food processor or blender until smooth
- Stir through enough breast milk or formula to make a smooth purée
This recipe creates five serves, and you can freeze cooled, leftover purée in ice cube trays for another mealtime.
2. Fresh vegetable purée
This baby food recipe is made in the same way as the fruit purée above, except that you use one or two different types of vegetable, instead of fruit.
Some appetising combinations include:
- Potato and pumpkin
- Kūmara and carrot
- Carrot and parsnip
- Carrot and pumpkin
- Potato and carrot
- Cauliflower and potato
- Kūmara and broccoli
Follow the same method as for the fruit purée. Instead of boiling your peeled and chopped vegetables, there’s also the option of steaming or microwaving them until soft.
This vegetarian-friendly recipe can be fed to your baby when they’re first starting solids, as long as it’s puréed until very smooth, and it can also be frozen in ice cube trays if your baby doesn’t get through all five serves.
3. Chicken and carrot purée
Chicken might seem a little heavier than apple and carrot, but it can be introduced to your baby when they start solids, as long as it’s puréed very smoothly to ensure it’s not a choking hazard.
Solid Starts explains that, ‘Chicken contains many nutrients that babies need to thrive, including vitamins B6 and B12, iron, zinc, choline, selenium, and vitamin B3. Together, these nutrients help support antioxidant activities, fuel cell energy, create healthy blood, promote a strong sense of taste and smell, and boost brain health. Chicken is also a great source of protein, with the full spectrum of amino acids that help develop a growing baby’s brain, muscles, nervous system, heart, skin, and hair.’
With all these benefits in mind, here’s what you need to source, and do, to make Healthy Kids’ nutritious chicken and carrot purée.
- 200 grams boneless chicken meat (breast or thigh)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 medium-sized kūmara
- 1 carrot
- ½ teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1 cup water
- Remove any skin from the chicken and cut it into one centimetre cubes.
- Peel the vegetables and chop into one centimetre cubes.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, then add the chicken and cook until it starts to colour.
- Add the vegetables and cook, stirring for one minute.
- Add the water and herbs and cook until the chicken is tender (this takes about 15 minutes).
- Cool for 10 minutes and purée with a food processor or blender until smooth.
As with the other recipes, you can freeze leftover, cooled purée in ice cube trays, and this is a winning dinner for your little one.
But, wait, there’s more!
Once your baby gets their gums around these great introductory recipes, you’ll find more delicious meal ideas for your infant and older child at Healthy Kids.
This NZ website is owned by Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency in Wellington, and it’s full of ideas and resources to help your family eat well, move well and sleep well, with a printable goal chart to inspire healthy actions in your child.
Their Behind the Hype fact sheets are also a wealth of information, covering topics including:
- Eating well during breastfeeding
- Supporting young children to eat well
- Milk for infants and toddlers, and much more.
Keeping baby teeth healthy and the important role they play in your child's mouth.
Why World Health Organization (WHO) reckons commercial baby foods aren't quite as healthy as they're cracked up to be.
13 nutrients that are essential for the health and wellbeing of children along with sources and recommended serving sizes.