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Monday, March 31, 2014

Healthy baby food for 6+ months

Looking for tasty ideas for your baby. Pick a single-grain infant cereal, such as rice, or a single-fruit or vegetable puree and prepare it. Cereals should be prepared with breast milk or formula. Serve the same food to baby for at least four days, watching for any signs of allergy or intolerance. Move on to a new food, and start the process over until baby has tried a variety of single foods.
       If you'd like to make your own breakfast for baby, then try this baby cereal recipe which is both wholesome and easy to prepare.



Wholesome Rice Cereal
1/4 cup (around 1 oz) brown rice powder
8 fl oz (1 cup) water
a little formula/breastmilk
Method: To make the rice powder, grind brown rice in a blender or food processor. You can use white rice if you prefer, but this page explains why brown rice is more nutritious. Bring the water to a boil. Add the rice powder, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes (don't forget to keep stirring, or the rice will stick). Then stir in enough formula or breastmilk to give the consistency that's best for your baby. Once baby has been introduced to fruit, you could always add a little of his favourite puree.



Sweet potato baby food:
Wash and poke holes in sweet potato with fork then wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil - do not peel for baking/microwaving. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30-60 minutes or until soft. Remove skins by slitting the sweet potato lengthwise when cooled then scoop out the "meat". Use a liquid from your preferred source to puree or thin the sweet potatoes.

Carrot puree:
Babies love carrots, which are full of beta carotene that helps keep growing eyes healthy. Place carrot in a vegetable steamer. Steam, covered, 20 minutes or until very tender. Remove carrot from steamer, reserving cooking liquid. Place carrot in a food processor; process until smooth, adding cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. Easy Freezing This recipe is based on 1/4-cup serving sizes. If you freeze batches in ice-cube trays, one cube usually holds 2 tablespoons. We recommend defrosting just one cube when baby is new to solid food. Later on when baby has started eating more, defrost two to four cubes (2 to 4 ounces or 1/4 to 1/2 cup).


Banana puree:
Bananas don't keep well, so we recommend cutting off just the amount of fruit baby will eat prior to peeling. Store remaining unpeeled banana in a covered container, and serve it at the next meal. Mash banana with a fork, adding 1 tablespoon water, formula, or breast milk to reach desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Apple Mash:
Steam or bake apples and sweet potatoes together until tender.  Puree as needed, adding water to thin if required.  You may also chop or dice for a finger food salad.

Sweet Potatoes and Squash:

Steam or bake squash (winter) and sweet potatoes together until tender. Puree as needed, adding water to thin if required. You may also chop or dice for a finger food salad.

Green Peas:
Peas may thicken slightly and stick together after they're refrigerated. To loosen them, stir in a small amount of water, formula, or breast milk when reheating. Place peas in a vegetable steamer. Steam, covered, 6 minutes or until very tender. Remove peas from steamer, reserving cooking liquid. Place peas in a food processor; process until smooth, adding cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. Strain using a sieve or food mill, if needed; discard solids. Easy Freezing This recipe is based on 1/4-cup serving sizes. If you freeze batches in ice-cube trays, one cube usually holds 2 tablespoons. We recommend defrosting just one cube when baby is new to solid food. Later on when baby has started eating more, defrost two to four cubes (2 to 4 ounces or 1/4 to 1/2 cup).

Sweet Potato Pancakes:
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
1 egg (or 2 egg yolks)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (use graham flour for a nice taste.)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk (or more)

Mix sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl with egg. Stir in the flour and add the baking powder.  Add up to 1/3 cup of milk while stirring. Stir in 1 tbsp butter. The mixture should have the consistency of thick, lumpy sauce like an "instant" pancake mix. Place a non-stick or heavy iron skillet over medium heat on top of the stove and add 1/2 tsp butter.  Spoon batter into the skillet and cook until bubbles rise to the surface of the pancakes and break. Approx. 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a spatula, flip the pancakes and cook another 2 minutes.
Remove pancakes from the skillet and keep warm on a covered plate in the oven. Freezes Well.

Sweet Potato Soup for Baby (8 months)
1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
Mix the flour and butter to make a roux in a large saucepan. The roux will look a carmel color. Add the broth and brown sugar, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Stir in the sweet potatoes and spices, bring to a simmer again, and cook for 5 minutes more. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches and return to saucepot. Add the milk, and reheat soup. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into warm soup bowls and serve. You can also just use sweet potato puree and skip the pureeing as shown above.

Avocados:
Avocados are a great portable option for baby when dining out. Use a dinner knife to halve an avocado, reserve one half in a plastic bag, and serve the remaining half to baby. Ripe avocados are usually soft enough to scoop out each bite and serve to baby using the skin as the serving bowl. . Scoop out flesh from one avocado half; reserve avocado half with pit for a later use. Mash avocado with a fork, adding 2 tablespoons water, formula, or breast milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Baby’s little pasta soup:
11/2 cups (355 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
2 (22 g) tablespoons uncooked pastina
Stovetop Method: Bring broth to a gentle boil and add pastina. Cook, stirring frequently, 7 or 8 minutes, or until pastina is cooked. Serve warm. This recipe, covered tightly, will last for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, just add a bit of water.

White beans Puree:
High in fiber, protein, and iron. Makes 1 cup
One 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbs water
Pulse cannellini beans and water in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Puree should be the consistency of peanut butter. If necessary, add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until there are no bean flecks visible.

Baby chicken puree:
1/2 - 3/4 lb (250 to 375 g) Boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
Olive oil spray (if needed)
Fruit or vegetable
 To bake chicken thighs, preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray the chicken thighs with oil and place on the prepared sheet. Roast, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 20 minutes.
To poach chicken breasts: if the chicken breast is thicker than 1 inch (2.5 cm) slice it horizontally almost all the way across, then open the 2 halves like a book. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, bring about 1/4 inch (6 mm) water to a simmer. Add the chicken; the water should come about halfway up the sides of the chicken. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, turning once, until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 812 minutes. Adjust the heat to keep the water barely simmering. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and reserve the cooking liquid. Chop the cooked chicken coarsely, transfer to a food processor or blender, and puree for 1 minute. The texture will be clumpy. Add the reserved cooking liquid or water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to make a smooth paste. Add fruit or vegetable puree or cereal as desired to make the pureed meat smooth and palatable. Check the temperature and serve.
      To store, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or spoon into ice-cube trays or other freezer containers and freeze, covered, for up to 3 months.

Cauliflower, spinach and white beans puree:
1 large bunch fresh organic cauliflower, cut into florets
1 (10 oz) frozen organic leaf spinach
1 can organic no salt added white beans, drained and rinsed
Cauliflower:
1. In a large pot cook the cauliflower in boiling water until tender then drain.
2. Puree them with a hand mixer or immersion blender.
3. Place them in small ice cube trays and cover.

Spinach:
1. Steam spinach.
2. Puree them with a hand mixer or immersion blender.
3. Place them in small ice cube trays and cover.

White Beans:
1. Open can of white beans and drain.
2. Puree them with a hand mixer or immersion blender.
3. Place them in small ice cube trays and cover.

Creamy Apple and Oat Puree:
3 sweet apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 Tbs. water
Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp. agave nectar (optional - to add more sweetness)
Per portion
1 Tbs. baby oats
2 Tbs. breast milk or formula 
Put the apples in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and cook very gently until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cinnamon, if using, and puree in a blender, or mash until smooth. Sweeten with the agave nectar, if using. Cool the applesauce and keep refrigerated until needed, or freeze in individual portions and thaw as required. To serve, warm one portion (about 2 Tbs.) of the applesauce and stir in the oats and milk. Cool slightly and check the temperature before serving.

Superfoods Puree:
 sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 tsp. olive oil
1 small shallot, or small piece of onion, minced
1⁄2 cup ground turkey
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves, washed but not dried 
 Put the sweet potato in a steamer and steam until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the steamer and reserve the steaming water. While the sweet potato is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, add the shallot and turkey, and stir-fry until the turkey is browned and crumbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked sweet potato and 4 Tbs. of the steaming water. Cover and simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Put the contents of the frying pan in a blender and blend to a puree. Thin with a little of the steaming water, if necessary. Cool quickly, then refrigerate. Freeze in individual portions; when needed, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. To serve, heat the puree in the microwave or a saucepan until piping hot. Let cool slightly and check the temperature before serving. 

Lentil puree:
1 cup water or stock
1/4 cup lentils (red, yellow, French or green)
Bring 1 cup water or stock to boil add lentils, cover and cook for 30 minutes add more water or stock if needed. Check tenderness of lentils, if tender remove from heat and cool. Once lentils are cool enough to handle, add them to blender or food processor, pulse to begin pureeing add additional liquid to thin out if desired thickness. Serve along with rice or rice cereal to thicken.

Cantaloupe and Blueberry Puree:
1/2 cup diced cantaloupe
1/2 cup blueberries
Puree each separately. Fill bowl half with cantaloupe (consider the bowl a clock and the half mark is 12 and 6), the other half is the blueberry puree. Now using a spoon swirl the blueberry puree into the cantaloupe for a fun design, it gives baby a taste of both while leaving part of the puree as a single flavor.
You can also try substituting the blueberry with:
Peach
Banana
Avocado
Raspberry

Broccoli & Carrot Puree:
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1 cup fresh carrots, chopped
Clean broccoli and carrot. Chop one cup of each and steam for 8-10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend to desired consistency and serve.

Butternut Squash Puree:
1 Butternut squash
1/2 cup water
Cut  one butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place halves face down on a 9×13 baking pan in ½ cup water. Bake at 400° F for 40 min. Scoop out squash meat and place in bowl. Mix with immersion blender, add breast milk or water to thin the puree to desired consistency.

Pear Puree:
Pears are a good source of potassium and calcium. They also contain vitamins A, C and folic acid. Make sure the pear is ripe and soft, then peel and remove seeds and stem. Cut the fruit into small pieces. Blend until smooth with immersion blender or masher. Add breast milk or water to thin to the desired consistency. As your child grows into stages three and four, mash the pear for a chunkier consistency, or simply dice the pear into pieces sized for little fingers to pick up.

Mango Puree:
Mangos are a good source of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Mangos provide and excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, K and folic acid. Wash, Peel and seed the one mango. Then cut the fruit into small pieces and blend until smooth with immersion blender. Add breast milk or water to thin to the desired consistency. As your child grows into stages three and four, mash the Mangos for a chunkier consistency, or simply dice mangos into pieces sized for little fingers to pick up easily.

Baby’s First Broccoli:
Broccoli contains potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It also contains vitamins C, niacin, and folic acid. 1 full stalk of broccoli will make approximately ½ to ¾ cups of puree. Wash in cold water. Break the broccoli into florets and remove the leaves and most of the thick parts of the stems. Boil or steam the florets. Cool slightly and then blend with immersion blender. Add breast milk or water to thin the puree to the desired consistency.


Apricot puree:
Apricots are a sweet source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin A and C.
4 to 6 apricots will make approximately 1 cup of puree.

Wash, peel and pit apricots, then cut the fruit into small pieces. Blend until smooth with immersion blender. Add breast milk or water to thin the puree to the desired consistency. As your child grows into stages three and four, mash the apricots for a chunkier consistency, or simply dice apricots into pieces, sized for little fingers to pick up easily.


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