Mom Cherdyn Mojica works in shifts as a full-time medical technologist at a major hospital in Metro Manila. Despite her busy schedule, she has been preparing baby food from scratch for her 1-year-old daughter Ceana ever since she started solids.
Cooking for Ceana, who is a preemie and rainbow baby, has allowed Cherdyn to amass a mini-collection of baby food recipes, from creamy soups and purees to snacks and rice meals. She shares them on The Nanay Avenue Facebook page, and we’ve already featured a few of them!
“Cooking baby food usually takes an hour or less, but it depends on the recipe,” Cherdyn told SmartParenting.com.ph. Since she works, she turns to recipes that are easier to make but no less nutritious and delicious. “Some are as quick as 10 minutes. That’s also because I use hacks.”
Here are a few of Cherdyn's baby food hacks:
“I love my rice cooker. I can steam the ingredients of the dish, like vegetables or fish, while cooking rice.”
“Baby-friendly ingredients with a long shelf-life are a must, so stock up on them. My favorites are lentils like monggo and red beans, rolled oats, quinoa, and potato.”
“The family ulam can also be baby-friendly. I just make little changes. For example, I set-aside a portion that has no salt or seasoning yet.”
“In times that my baby is so clingy, I babywear while I prepare her food.”
The mom says she’s happily committed to preparing baby meals even if it can take some effort. “It feels great seeing my child enjoy her food. The sounds she makes when she chews makes me smile! As for prep work, I do have a weekly meal plan. If I can't find time to go to the market, I ask my husband to buy the ingredients. Support is essential.”
For moms who want to cook more for their baby but struggle to find the time and energy, don’t give up! Cherdyn encouraged moms, “You’re investing for your child's future through his nutrition.”
Here are some of her 10-minute recipes to get you inspired:
Note: Before preparing baby food for your little one, make sure the recipe is appropriate for your child’s age and solids stage. Introduce new foods to your baby one at a time. Find a guide on starting on solids here.
Cream of Mushroom ala Ceana First tried by Ceana at 8 months old
4 pcs. oyster mushroom 1 small size potato, mashed 1 small size sweet potato, mashed 1 cup breastmilk 1 to 1 1/2 cup water
1. Grind the oyster mushrooms. Boil. 2. Combine all ingredients, and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until slightly thick in consistency. 3. Serve with or without rice.
Fruity Rolled Oatmeal First tried by Ceana at 8 months old
3 tbsp rolled oats 1/2 cup water sliced fruits (Ceana likes bananas, mangoes, strawberries, and kiwi)
1. Boil rolled oats for 5 to 7 minutes or until cooked 2. Top with fruits and serve!
Tofu-Egg Veggie Rice Bowl First tried by Ceana at 9 months old
1 cup brown rice (pre-soaked for an hour) 1 turmeric 1 hard boiled egg silken Premium Tofu 1 cup grated vegetables (brocolli and carrots)
1. Mix together vegetables and turmeric. Boil the egg. 2. Cook the rice. Steam the tofu and the grated vegetables on top of the rice cooker. 3. Mash (if needed) and serve. Steamed Frittata in Turmeric Brown Rice First tried by Ceana at 9 months old
1 cup brown rice (soaked for 30 mins. prior to cooking) 1 hard boiled egg yolk 1 basil leaf (minced) 20 mL breastmilk 1 tsp olive oil
1. Mix all ingredients and steam. 2. Cook brown rice with peeled turmeric 3. Mix and mash the frittata with the rice. Serve.