Homemade Baby Food Recipes - Stage 1 (4-6 months)

Recently, I have received several emails from my blogger friends and readers about posting some Baby Food Recipes online. For those who don't know, I have an 11-month old, who's been eating Solid since 5 months, and unlike most kids, is NOT a picky eater! Thank Heavens for that! I always knew I would make my own baby food, maybe this feeling is ingrained in the Indian culture, or maybe its just because that's how our parents fed us, and the influence carries on. Please remember that I have nothing against feeding ready-made baby food - in fact, I did start with a bottle of Gerber puree, but my little one just did not like the taste. Maybe she guessed her Mommy was a great cook, and she wanted a taste of my culinary skills too!:)

Anyways, I ended up making baby food at home and freezing it in ice-trays, so you just have to pop it in the microwave before feeding it to her. We love this arrangement, it gives me the satisfaction that I am feeding her food that's free of any preservatives, and also I know precisely what goes into each meal. And it also gives me a chance to experiment with several flavors at a time - I mix a variety of foods and she's been enjoying it all quite well. Contrary to what some may think, making Homemade baby Food is simple, easy and not as time-consuming as you might think! So here I share my most favorite baby food recipes with you. I'll divide it in Stage1, Stage2 and Toddler foods, just so we can target the correct age group. A part of the information provided below comes from 2 of my favorite Baby Food sites called Wholesome Baby Food and Homemade Baby Food Recipes. They have great information about the topic, and I'm sure you'll find an answer to many of your questions in these two places. Now, over to the recipes.

Stage 1 Baby Foods (6-8 Months)
Stage 1 Baby Food is a term that applies to baby foods that are highly pureed and strained. These foods are appropriate for babies who are just being introduced to solid foods. The foods in this range are targeted to babies who are between the ages of (4) 6 to 8 months old. Baby cereal and soft cooked thinly pureed fruits and veggies should be baby's first solid food experiences. Single ingredients only and at a space of 4 days apart with introducing each new food. You may skip the cereal and begin with a fruit like avocado or begin with a veggie like butternut squash or sweet potato as your ideal first solid food. Here are some commonly used fruits and veggies that are deemed safe enough for an infant's growing digestive system.

Apples | Avocados | Apricots | Bananas | Mangoes | Peaches | Papaya | Pears | Plums | Prunes | Pumpkin

Green Beans | Carrots | Peas | Sweet Potato | Squash

Rice | Oatmeal | Barley

You can use any of the above ingredients by peeling them, boiling/steaming them as appropriate, and pureeing them in a blender with a little bit of water. I usually freeze the purees in ice-cube trays. Then transfer the cubes to a zip-lock bag and freeze them. remove one cube, as needed, microwave it for about 10 seconds, more if needed, but in sets of 10 seconds each. Then mix some water or breastmilk before feeding to the baby. Allow it to come to room temperature so you don't burn your baby's mouth!

Important: Follow the 4-day Rule while introducing new foods to your baby - means give him a new food, then wait for 4 days to introduce any other new ingredient, and watch for allergies or signs of discomfort to know if this suits your baby's body or not. When in doubt, pick up the phone and call your Ped's office right away:) Also, do not use any dditives like Sugar, Salt, Spices for the Stage 1 foods.

Here are 5 of my favorite Stage1 Recipes:

1. Avocado Delight
Peel Avocados and remove just the meat/flesh, taking care not to scrape the ones too close to the skin. Then blend it with a little bit of water and make avocado Puree. For a fruity version, you can blend Avocado with any choice of fruit - pear, peach or banana. Make a smooth puree and freeze in ice cube trays.
Note: Do not mix 2 types of foods unless you have fed them separately to your baby and he has taken to them without any allergies.

2. AppleSauce/PlumSauce
Peel and boil Apples or Plums - you could even steam them in the microwave, then blend them with a little bit of water to form fresh fruit sauce. Both Plums and Apples have high fiber content which will help your baby stay away from constipation.

3. Peas Puree
Fresh or frozen peas that are washed and steam cooked are great finger foods for your baby. However, its advisable to puree them for the first feeding. T enhance flavor, you can add a pinch of nutmeg or some fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley or mint to your green peas puree.

4. Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup
This is one of my personal favorites - Sweet potatoes have a lovely sweet flavor, and are quite healthier than the regular potatoes. After you have tried feeding sweet potatoes, tomatoes and carrots to your baby individually, you can combine them to make this delicious soup. Peel and boil the vegetables - add a pinch of nutmeg, cilantro and one fresh tomato to the mixture and bring to a boil. Then blend it all together, strain the puree to remove tomato seeds, and freeze as directed. This tasty soup will help your baby get accustomed to different flavors and the concept of mixed meals.

5. Butternut Squash & Oatmeal
Last but not the least, we take to a healthy puree made from Butternut squash. it has a fleshy texture and a sweeter taste. Boil the squash and blend it with water to make a puree. Freeze the cubes. When ready to serve, defrost the cube, add some water to it, then mix in some baby oatmeal and serve to your baby for a filling meal.

Introducing Solids to your baby is exciting, and should be fun for both you and your baby. Don't rush into the process, wait at least until 5-6 months before giving him his first taste of Cereal, definitely not before he can sit unassisted in his high-chair - then try these simple but delicious homemade recipes and you'll have your little one licking the bowl and the spoon in no time!

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Priti said...

Nice informative post dear...gud going

Andy said...

Wow Mansi!!!! You did a lot of research in preparing baby foods. The way you divided it in three stages was great. I am waiting for the other two stages. Good luck.

AtlantaPat said...

Nice article. I am sending it to my great niece, as well as to my nephew. both recently (within the last 2 months) had precious girls. Is the picture in the article/post your baby girl? It is a darling picture!

Megha Bansal said...

I have been doing pretty much the same thing. But you cannot add parsley/mint etc unless you've given the baby these 'only' before.
And one of the things the dr said was not to feed the baby anything raw in stage 1. So raw avocados? I am just asking.
My baby is allergic to the zucchini family. it really sucks.

Mansi said...

Thanks for your feedback folks!:) appreciate it!

Megha - I did feed Avocado to my daughter at 6 months, and she was fine. You could check with your doctor if you want, but I think avocado should be safe. Its like feeding them banana - that's raw too, but does no harm, right?

As for the herbs, yes, you should feed every food individually before mixing it up, just to avoid allergies or isolate them asap...

spoorthy said...

Hi Mansi,

Gr8 info sharing. Thanks a lot...I have a one yr old daughter who is a very picky eater. i have a tough time figuring out her lunch and dinner......eagerly waiting for your posts on Stage 2 and 3....


kitchen table said...

This is remarkable. Your Homemade baby foods recipe is going to be a big help for first time moms. I can see that your recipe is very healthy and safe for babies.

Maggie said...

Happy to see you are also spreading the word about homemade baby food! Thanks for using the Stage 1 information from wholesomebabyfood.com

I hope that you have found our site very helpful!

Christine said...

Thanks for mentioning the homemade-baby-food-recipes.com website - we're so glad your little one is enjoying homemade baby food and that she's proving to be an adventurous eater :)

Baby foods and feeding said...

Great Post..Many new ideas are Shared Here..It will Help a lot..Thanks for sharing the nice Post..Keep sharing..

amanda said...

Homemade baby food supporting parents to nurture and nourish their children and creating healthier or happier children for future generations.
Really great post. Your homemade baby food recipes will help a lot. Thanks for sharing the nice Post.
Baby Food

Documentaries said...

Hi Mansi,

Gr8 info sharing. Thanks a lot...I have a one yr old daughter who is a very picky eater. i have a tough time figuring out her lunch and dinner......eagerly waiting for your posts on Stage 2 and 3....


Aamena said...

Hey Mansi, thanks a million for your baby food recipes! I have a six month boy, who i'm just now starting on solids, so this really helps! I mashed and apple and gave it to him, but he didn't take it and now i realize i should have pureed it, thanks so much for your help, really comes in handy as i'm a first time mom!!

Chloe said...

These are such amazing recipes! My cousin is pregnant, and I wanted to give her some baby food recipes. These are the best! This has been of great help to me, and I will definitly be telling my friends abou your blog!