All parents can agree that feeding their children healthy and wholesome foods should be a priority. Thankfully, we're living in a world where most grocery-store baby aisles offer nutritious, organic pre-made foods—and contrary to what many (like me) may believe, there are plenty of baby food recipes that aren't as complicated and time-consuming as one may think.
As a first-time mom, I envisioned myself whipping up fresh, homemade meals from scratch for my 6-month-old son—with organic ingredients sourced from my local farmers market, of course. Then reality hit: By the time my son was ready for solid foods, this sleep-deprived parent found herself picking up baby food jars by the armful at the store instead. (Getting said food to stay in my son's mouth instead of on the walls and floor—well, that's another story.)
That's why I reached out to Michelle Davenport, mother and the founder of baby food delivery company Raised Real. In addition to holding a Ph.D. in nutrition, she's a registered dietitian—so if anyone knows what it's like cook fresh, healthy dishes that kids actually like, it's Davenport.
"Gone are the days when we thought it was enough to just feed babies a mashed banana or steamed carrots," Davenport tells MyDomaine. Here, she shares three recipes adapted from meals that she's created for Raised Real. "Each recipe is nutrition-forward, balanced, and supports a variety of functions, like vision and muscle development, and anti-inflammatory protection."
In addition to being packed with colorful superfoods, each recipe is 100 calories and contains three grams of protein and 30% fat, under six grams of sugar, and brimming with herbs and spices to help introduce new flavors to babies' developing palettes.
Looking for healthy baby food ideas that are just as easy as opening a jar? Read on for three easy, dietitian-developed baby food recipes that your little one (and you) will actually want to eat.
Purple Potatoes & Carrots
1 cup purple sweet potato (like Okinawan), peeled and diced
2 cups purple carrots, peeled and diced
1/4 tbsp. lucuma powder
3 tbsp. organic hulled hemp hearts
1/8 cup coconut water
Steam sweet potato, carrots, lucuma, and hemp hearts. Remove from steamer when vegetables are soft and place into blender.
Add coconut water to blender and purée to desired consistency. Cool, then freeze into ice cubes or use within 24 hours.
Benefits: Supports vision and muscle development as well as anti-inflammatory protection.
Peas & Zucchini
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
2 cups zucchini, chopped
1/3 tbsp. 100% avocado oil
5 tsp. organic hulled hemp hearts
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
Steam peas, zucchini, hemp hearts, and basil. Remove from steamer when vegetables are soft and place into blender.
Add avocado oil to blender and purée to desired consistency. Cool, then freeze into ice cubes or use within 24 hours.
Benefits: Supports muscle and brain development as well as digestion.
Bananas & Butternut Squash
1 medium banana, peeled and cut into 2-inch rounds
1 cup butternut squash, peeled and diced
3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
1 tsp. organic coconut butter
Pinch of cardamom
Steam banana and butternut squash. Remove from steamer when they are soft, and place into blender.
Add coconut butter, quinoa, and cardamom to blender and purée to desired consistency. Cool, then freeze into ice cubes or use within 24 hours.
Benefits: Supports vision, brain, and muscle development.
What are your favorite baby food recipes to make when you're pressed for time? Share them in comments below.