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This amazing guest post was written by Tammy Catania, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and Certified Holistic Life Coach! You can check out her website here!

As a mother and holistic nutritionist making sure my little one is getting highly nutrient dense food is extremely important to me. I must say introducing solids was a very exciting time, but it can also be a little confusing. When is the right time to introduce solids? What foods should I introduce first? Do I use jarred baby food or make my own?

With all the research I’ve done, all the advice I’ve received from family and friends as well as our family doctor this is what I’ve learnt.

When to Introduce Solids into Your Baby’s Diet

introduce solids, baby food recipes, eggs for babies

According to Health Canada solids can be introduced between 4-6 months. (1) Before then a child should be exclusively breast or formula fed. Remember whatever choice you choose “A fed baby is best” So your little one is around the age to introduce solids but how do you know if your child is ready?

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Here are a few signs to look for:

  • Baby has good head control

  • Can sit up and lean forward without support

  • Can turn their head to let you know they are full

  • Has lost the tongue thrust reflex and doesn’t automatically push solids out with their tongue

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Now that your little one is ready I bet you are thinking about all the yummy foods you get to introduce to your child. So, what do you introduce first?

Which is the First Solid Food for Babies?

At some point, rice cereal was a common first food, but as time has gone by and more research has been done rice cereal should not be the first food you introduce.

White rice is a refined carb, a group of highly processed, nutritionally devoid food that is worthless nutritionally to infants. Feeding infants cereal has been associated with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes. (2)

According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, egg yolk should be your baby’s first solid food. (3) Egg yolks from free-range hens will contain the special long-chain fatty acids needed for optimal development of your child’s brain and nervous system. But hold off on those egg whites as they may cause an allergic reaction. It’s best to avoid egg whites until your child is at least 1 years old.

How to Prepare Eggs for Babies

A simple way to prepare an egg yolk:

1 Free range organic egg

  • Boil egg for 3.5 minutes

  • Peel shell and egg white from the cooked yolk

  • Discard shell and egg white

  • Mash up yolk and it’s ready to eat

*The egg yolk should be soft and warm, not hot

After 3-5 days if you see no negative reaction to the yolks you can now introduce another new food. You may be wondering why wait 3-5 days before introducing a new food and the reasoning behind this is to help monitor for any food intolerances, allergies or digestive issues.

How to Introducing Solids: Fruits and Vegetables

introduce solids, baby food recipes

When I was ready to introduce fruits and vegetables to my son the first thing that came to mind was yummy nutrient packed sweet potatoes. Sweet- the key word right there triggered something and had me thinking. Children will most always go for a sweet food before anything else offered to them, correct? Is it possible that we help plant that preference at the beginning of introducing solids? Most of the time as parents we go for a sweet veggie or fruit when introducing a first food. Now here’s the thing: no matter what, a child will always like foods that are sweet but if you introduce the sweet foods first they may become very picky and not want to try anything different.

Which Vegetables Come First?

So instead of offering up sweet veggies and fruits to my son, we started him off with the green bitter power foods. There is so much to choose from so we went right to the super food of all greens kale. Just simple steamed and pureed kale and surprisingly he loved it. From there we slowly introduced other greens like swiss chard and spinach until we got to the sweeter greens like broccoli and green peas. Once we got to the sweeter greens we started to introduce other veggies and fruits. One thing to remember if they don’t like a food on the first try, it doesn’t mean they will never like that food. Sometimes it can take up to 14 tries before a child likes that food, so wait a little and try again.

By starting off with the bitter greens first we planted a healthy relationship with all veggies and fruits; our son doesn’t turn his nose when he sees greens on his plate and will eat a bowl of broccoli over anything else. By introducing food in this kind of order has helped us prevent a picky eater.

Healthy Homemade Baby Food Recipes

Once your child has tried most foods separately and you know what foods they can safely eat with no negative effects you can start preparing the fun mixtures of different foods. Here are some great recipes for healthy homemade baby food.

Blueberry Banana Puree

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup ripe banana

  • 2/3 cup fresh blueberries

  • 2/3 cup cooked quinoa

  • 2 tablespoon water

Instruction:

  1. Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender.

Quinoa and Vegetable Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled and diced raw vegetables (carrots, peas, sweet potatoes)

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup water

Instruction:

  1. Steam vegetables for 15-20 minutes (until vegetables are tender).

  2. Allow vegetables to cool.

  3. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender.

  4. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

Super Green Power Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup broccoli

  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas

  • 1-2 tablespoon water

Instruction:

  1. Steam Broccoli, peas and spinach for 15-20 minutes (Until Broccoli and peas are tender).

  2. Allow Vegetables to cool.

  3. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender.

  4. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

Fruit and Quinoa Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup washed, pitted and peeled fruit (Apple, strawberries, blueberries, bananas)

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • ½ cup water

Instruction:

  1. Steam fruit for 10 minutes (Do not Steam bananas)

  2. Allow fruit to cool.

  3. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender.

  4. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

Sweet Potato and Bananas

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 1/4 cup water

Instruction:

  1. Cut up sweet potato into big chunks and steam for 20-30 minutes (Until sweet potato is tender)

  2. Let sweet potato cool down.

  3. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender.

  4. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

Butternut Squash and Pear Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butternut squashed peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1 cup pears cut and peeled

  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup water

Instruction:

  1. Steam butternut squash and pears for 15-25 minutes (until tender)

  2. Allow to cool.

  3. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender.

  4. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

Pea and Carrot Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peas

  • 1 cup carrots peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1/4 cup of water

Instruction:

  1. Steam Carrots and peas for 15-20 minutes.

  2. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender.

  3. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

Avocado and Banana Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado

  • 1 ripe banana

Instruction:

  1. Mash avocado and banana in a bowl or puree in a blender.  

  2. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

*Banana and Avocado may go a little brown but it will still taste the same and is good to eat. Don’t freeze this mixture, store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Beet and Blueberry Puree

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium beets peeled and chopped

  • ½ cup frozen or frozen blueberries

Instruction:

  1. Put beets and blueberries in a pot with enough water to cover beets and blueberries and cook on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes or until beets are tender.

  2. Drain water but leave a little water on the side. But blueberries and beets in the food processor or blender and puree.

  3. Use water you put aside to thin out mixture to the desired consistency.

 

Banana, Pear and Peach Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe pear, peeled and core cut out

  • 1 peach

  • 1 ripe banana

Instruction:

  1. Score an X into side of peach and put the X side down in a saucepan of water (Note water should come no more than halfway, up the peach)

  2. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes (Peach needs to be soft)

  3. Remove from water and let cool down.

  4. Peel away the skin and remove the stone.

  5. Steam the pear for 15 minutes and let cool off

  6. Place all ingredients in the food processor or blender and puree.

  7. Add a little water if you need a thinner consistency.

Broccoli, Carrot and Quinoa Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup broccoli

  • 1 cup carrots peeled

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup water

Instruction:

  1. Steam broccoli and carrots for 15-20 minutes (Vegetables should be tender)

  2. Allow vegetables to cool off

  3. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender.

  4. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

Pureed Chicken, Carrots and Peas

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 chicken breast cooked

  • 1/2 cup peas

  • 1/2 cup carrots

  • 1/4 –1/3 cup water

Instruction:

  1. Steam Carrots and Peas for 15 minutes and let cool.

  2. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender.

  3. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1 cup cooked lentils

  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup water

Instruction:

  1. Steam sweet potato for 20-30 minutes and allow to cool off.

  2. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender.

  3. Add water as needed for desired consistency.

*All purees unless noted otherwise can be frozen in ice cube trays for single portions and then placed in a freezer bags in the freezer for up to 2 months. To use let unthaw for a few hours in the fridge.

Image Source:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lovelihood/4580518008

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Tammy Catania
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Holistic Life Coach at Charmed Life Tammy Catania is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Holistic Life Coach. Helping and guiding others on the right path to better overall well-being is a passion that she pursues with a fervent commitment. Her website Charmed Life offers a variety of services to help clients to get started on their chosen healthy and positive journey. Her step by step guidance can make the dream of leading a balanced life a reality. Tammy has a special interest in children’s health, digestive health, detoxification, weight loss and stress management. Charmed Life helping you live a Healthy, Happy, Peaceful and Balanced life.