When spring is in the air, supermarket produce sections and farmer’s markets start to burst with colorful fruits and vegetables in every aisle. From apricots to kiwis and even the beloved pea, the season brings an exciting variety of spring fruits and veggies that kids love, and that are chock-full of nutrition and flavor.
If you’re making homemade baby puree for your child, get ready to create some amazing flavor combos that will turn your little one into a food-lover right from the start. While in the past, experts recommended that parents should start introducing solids with single-ingredient baby foods, they now say babies can begin eating food and flavor combos as soon as they start solids. The puree recipes below make great first-food options, and will help support your baby’s eating journey as well as his overall nutrition. So once the weather starts warming up and the flowers begin to bloom, it’s time to have some fun in the kitchen.
How To Make Homemade Spring Baby Food
Making your own baby food is a simple way to support your baby’s nutrition and help expose her to different tastes. Creating homemade baby food purees is as fuss-free as putting soft (often pre-steamed) fruits or veggies like apples or carrots in a baby food mill or food processor and mashing them until they turn as smooth or chunky as you like.
You can also play master chef and create your own flavor combos using the array of spring produce out there – think strawberries, asparagus, artichokes and corn. But if you’re a baby-food-making novice, here are three simple, seasonal puree recipes involving ingredient combos that babies tend to love. Make sure you whip up some extra puree too, and safely store your homemade baby food for a quick, easy meal to feed your little one anytime you’re in a rush.
Minty Pea and Carrot Puree
Fresh peas just scream springtime, and this recipe captures that key flavor of the season. Throwing in some carrot brings in a touch of additional sweetness, and fresh mint exposes baby to a surprising flavor that isn’t commonly found in jarred baby food.
2 cups fresh peas
Sprig of fresh mint
- Boil water in a pot and then reduce to a simmer.
- Peel carrot using a peeler, then cut into ½ inch-thick pieces.
- Add carrot to pot and cook for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add peas and simmer 10 minutes, or until peas are soft.
- Strain peas and carrots using a colander.
- Once peas and carrots are cool, combine peas, carrots and mint in a manual food processor or a baby food mill. Process until smooth.
- Store leftover baby food in Baby Blocks, and either refrigerate for three days or freeze for up to a month.
Apricot Banana Quinoa Puree
Juicy, sweet, brightly colored apricots are a fruit beloved by babies. Mixing banana into this puree adds an extra flavor and nutrient boost, and cooked quinoa gives your baby long-lasting satisfaction, thanks to the natural protein and fiber in this whole grain. If you’re enjoying quinoa for your grown-up dinner, save a tablespoon to use in your little one’s puree.
3 ripe apricots, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ ripe banana, peeled
1 tablespoon cooked quinoa
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a baby food mill and process until food reaches desired consistency.
- Store puree in airtight, freezer-friendly containers and refrigerate or freeze. Enjoy this puree within 3 days if it is stored in the refrigerator and up to a month if stored in the freezer.
Baby-Friendly Strawberry and Spinach Yogurt
While babies should not be given milk until they reach the 12-month mark, they can (and should) eat dairy foods like yogurt to help them take in important nutrients like calcium. Since experts recommend that babies under the age of two should not have any added sugars in their diet, it’s important to choose plain yogurt and use only fruit for sweetness. The added spinach in this recipe gives baby an extra iron boost. And considering 77% of breastfed infants in the U.S. don’t take in enough iron in their second half of infancy, sneaking in that mineral is key.
¼ cup baby spinach, washed
½ cup strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
½ cup plain Greek yogurt (not sweetened)
- Pour water into a medium pot until it’s 1.5 inches deep, and bring to a boil. Place the spinach into a steamer in the pot. Cover with a tight fitting lid and steam for 5 minutes, or until wilted.
- Combine spinach, strawberries and yogurt in a baby food mill or food processor until smooth.
- Store in airtight containers and refrigerate. Enjoy within three days.
If you want to give your baby some finger food options too, check out this banana pancake recipe for an easy and yummy breakfast that parents and kiddos will both love.