In my previous article, I talked and shared my son’s baby cereal recipe, his first solids. And while I enjoyed making it for him, the food fun truly begins once he turned 7 months old!
At 7 to 8 months old, you can be more adventurous with the vegetables and fruits you want to introduce to your baby. Here are my favorite vegetables to purée for the baby at this age:
- sweet potatoes - good source of vitamins A and C
- carrots - loaded with vitamin A and K
- broccoli - amazing for their vitamin B content.
For nutritious, tasty fruits, I recommend starting with these:
- apples - it has a high antioxidant content and vitamin A
- bananas - it is packed with potassium and manganese
- avocado - it provides good fats that help in maintaining a healthy heart and encourages healthy brain development.
It is important to keep in mind that you should introduce one new type of food at a time. Then wait for four days before introducing another new food so it can help you single out any allergies. Start him on vegetables so his taste buds won't get accustomed to food with a sweet flavor profile.
Speaking of flavors, I personally like to add certain spices and herbs on my son’s baby food. You’re probably raising your eyebrows, but there is nothing to be afraid of. The amount we're talking about here is a pinch on a big batch of baby food. It's just enough to train his taste buds to bolder (not still not sweet!) flavors and to make the food interesting for him.
Aside from being being loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, herbs and spices have amazing health benefits. Here are six that I've personally used on baby food:
- Cinnamon - regulates blood sugar and maintains heart health
- Ginger - contains antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties
- Rosemary - improves immune system and has anti-bacteria properties
- Mint - promotes digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties
- Nutmeg - strengthens the immune system and brain health
- Parsley - controls blood pressure and promotes digestion
Before we go to the recipes, I just have three tips when you make big batches of baby food:
1. Store your baby food in ice cube trays so you can easily track how much food your baby is eating.
2. One ice cube is roughly 1 ounce.
3. Baby food can be stored in the freezer up to 3 months.
Here are six recipes that involve one fruit or vegetable and one complementary herb or spice. You can mix and match according to your baby's preferred taste. Remember, experimenting is the fun part!
Sweet potato and nutmeg
Makes roughly 14 servings (1 serving is 1 ounce) depending on size of sweet potato
1. Wash 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes well and remove skin.
2. Cut them into smaller cubes
3. Steam or boil sweet potatoes until tender. When I get lazy (or I'm in a rush), I don’t even cool the vegetables any longer--from the pot, they go straight to the blender, and I still get my desired results.
4. Blend sweet potatoes in blender or mash by hand until desired consistency. You may add as much water, formula or breast milk to achieve a smoother purée.
5. Add a pinch of nutmeg to your purée. Add to purée and blend to mix well.
Kitchen-tested tip: If you are making a large batch, a good rule of thumb is a pinch of spice per two pieces of sweet potato.
Carrots and ginger
Makes roughly 8 servings (1 serving is 1 ounce) depending on size of carrots
1. Brush the skin of two medium to large-sized carrots, and wash well. I personally avoid peeling the skin because it’s where you can find the carrots’ nutritional value.
2. Cut into smaller pieces.
3. Steam or boil until tender. You want to do it longer if you want a smoother purée.
4. Again, you can cool the carrots or it can go straight to the blender. You may add as much water, breast milk or formula to achieve desired consistency while blending.
5. Grate ginger (about the size of a five Philippine peso coin) into purée and blend again. The size of the ginger is based on the fact that my son loves the flavor. But the baby of a friend of mine doesn’t so my friend only does a few grates.
Broccoli and rosemary
Makes roughly 15 servings (1 serving is 1 ounce) depending on size of broccoli
1. Wash 1 head of broccoli.
2. Cut off broccoli stalk, and cut into florets
3. Wash broccoli again because there tends to be a lot of dirt that gets stuck in between the stems.
4. Steam or boil broccoli.
5. Blend broccoli in blender. You may add as much water, breast milk or formula to achieve desired consistency.
6. Add a dash of powdered rosemary or cut up a few of the needle-like leaves into tiny pieces. Add to purée and blend to mix well.
Apples and mint
Makes roughly 10 servings (1 serving is 1 ounce) depending on size of apples
1. Wash apples. You may remove skin on the apple if you’re wary about using it.
2. Cut apples into cubes.
3. Steam or boil apples until tender.
4. Blend or hand mash apples, adding water to achieve desired consistency.
5. Cut up a few mint leaves. Add to apple purée and blend to mix well.
Bananas and cinnamon
Makes roughly 12 servings (1 serving is 1 ounce) depending on size of banana
1. Peel banana skin of two medium sized bananas.
2. Slice bananas into smaller pieces.
3. Blend or hand mash bananas. You may add water, formula or breast milk to achieve desired consistency.
4. Add a dash of cinnamon powder and mix well.
Avocado and parsley
Makes roughly 12 servings (1 serving is 1 ounce) depending on size of avocado
1. Wash, slice, and remove pit from avocados
2. Scoop out meat.
3. Blend or mash by hand avocados. You may add water, breast milk, or formula until desired consistency is reached.
4. Chop up a few fresh leaves of parsley. Add to purée and blend to mix well.
A former beauty queen, Renee Rose Rodrigo is a US-certified holistic nutrition coach who is now living and working in the Philippines. Mom to 1-year-old Luca, she shares her lifestyle while discovering her roots at her blog Eurasian Rose.
*Images here are for the illustration purposes only.