The Beginning


Audrey (5 mos.) loving her butternut squash


Audrey turned 10 months old a couple of weeks ago.  She has been eating solids for over 6 months now.  At 4 months old and weighing in at over 18 lbs., our pediatrician thought she was more than ready to begin her foray into the real food world.  I won’t even begin to try and explain how high my level of excitement was over this.  At last those tiny bibs, bowls and spoons could come down off the shelf and I could begin my culinary experimentation in the kitchen.  Doc recommended we start with rice cereal. Not knowing any better I rushed to the grocery store and bought the finest box of organic rice cereal I could find.  I couldn’t wait to see how Audrey would react to food.  How her little pouty mouth would accept the spoon.  In my head it was going to be this huge moment I would never forget.  Let’s not forget, I’m a chef.  Food is pretty much my life.  Long story short, baby rice cereal tastes like glorified cardboard.  After a few uneventful bites and a million pictures/videos, the whole thing was over.  I mean, if I couldn’t manage the taste of it, why would my baby like it?

Day 2.  Screw the rice cereal, we’re moving onto single food purees.  One batch of butternut squash later and the real fun began.  Pure delight are the only words that come to mind when that squash hit her lips.  From then on, it was 1 new food a week over a 2 month period to rule out any allergies.  Bananas, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, avocados, parsnips, and carrots topped the list.  And once 2 foods were ruled out, the combinations began.  Pears with parsnips, bananas with avocados, and sweet potatoes with apples became staples.  I even dared to add a little spice, but don’t tell my pediatrician…

Once Audrey hit the 6 month mark we were given the ok to add dairy, oils, garlic and onions – that’s when we started to experiment with flavor profiles and different cooking techniques. Parmesan roasted broccoli, cottage cheese with cinnamon roasted applesauce, oatmeal with spiced mangos and garlicky green bean-potato puree led the way to where we are today.  And we haven’t looked back since.

A few of the recipes we started with:

4 months + up:

Butternut Squash Puree

Makes 16 (2 oz.) servings

  1. 1 pound peeled butternut squash, cut into chunks

  2. pinch of cinnamon, optional

Steam butternut squash over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.  Transfer squash and cinnamon (if using) to a food processor and puree until silky smooth, adding some of the cooking liquid if needed.

Carrot (and Apple) Puree

Makes 16 (2 oz.) servings

  1. 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped

  2. pinch of ground ginger, optional

Steam the carrots for 15 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.  Place carrots and ginger (if using) in a food processor and puree until smooth, adding a bit of the cooking liquid if needed.

* If all allergies are ruled out, add peeled and chopped apples along with the carrots while steaming for a flavorful twist.

Parsnip (and Pear) Puree

Makes 16 (2 oz.) servings

  1. 1 pound of parsnips, peeled and chopped

  2. pinch of nutmeg, optional

Steam the parsnips for 15 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.  Place the parsnips and nutmeg (if using) in food processor and puree until smooth, adding a bit of the cooking liquid if needed.

* If all allergies are ruled out, add peeled and chopped pears along with the parsnips while steaming for a unique combination.

* Over 6 months:  Roast the pears and parsnips with a touch of oil, orange juice and maple syrup on 350 for 20 minutes.  Puree until desired consistency.

Banana Avocado Pudding

Makes 16 (2 oz.) servings

  1. 3 bananas, peeled and sliced

  2. 2 avocados, cut into chunks

Puree banana and avocado in a food processor until smooth.

* Once old enough, add in greek yogurt for a protein packed meal.

6 months + up:

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Makes 8 (4 oz.) servings

  1. 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets, removing most of the stem

  2. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  3. 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Place broccoli on parchment lined baking sheet and toss with oil.  Roast 20 minutes until cooked through and browned in spots.  Place in food processor with cheese and a few teaspoons of water.  Puree, adding more water until desired consistency.

Roasted Cinnamon Apple-Pear Sauce

Makes 8 (4 oz.) servings

  1. 3 apples such as fuji or gala, peeled, cored and sliced

  2. 3 pears, peeled and sliced

  3. 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400.  Place apples and pears on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.  Place fruit and cinnamon in food processor and puree until smooth.

* If no allergy to dairy, combine with oatmeal, cottage cheese, or greek yogurt for a tasty breakfast.

Garlicky Green Beans with Potatoes

Makes 8 (4 oz.) servings

  1. 1 clove garlic

  2. 1/2 pound yukon gold potatoes, diced

  3. 1/2 pound trimmed green beans

  4. 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Place garlic, potatoes, and green beans in a medium pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook uncovered 15 minutes, until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.  Place potatoes, garlic, green beans and parmesan in a food processor reserving the cooking liquid.  Puree, adding a bit of the cooking water, until desired consistency.

#glutenfree #vegetarian #wholesomebabyfood #Infantrecipes #vegan #babypurees #homemadebabyfood #firstfoods #babyfoodideas

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© 2019 Danielle Krupa