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First Foods: Baby Food Recipes for 4-6 Months

Category: Baby Feeding
June 30, 2016

Picking out the right foods for starting your little one on solids can be tricky – more so if you decide to take the step of making them yourself.  Fortunately, we’ve gathered a few popular starter recipes to help you get on the right track.

General Guidelines

Check the foods you’re introducing to baby for recommended start age, especially with major allergens like shellfish, nuts, and gluten.  A good rule of thumb is to introduce one new food at a time, and wait four days between each new meal; that way, if your little one does have an allergic reaction, you can easily identify the source.  It may take several tries before your child is comfortable eating solids, so don’t stop breast- or bottle feeding cold turkey.

Apple-Pear Puree

Apple-Pear Puree

Pears and apples are both excellent first foods, full of Vitamin C and fiber.  If baby likes both apples and pears separately, spice things up a little with a combination of the two!

  1. Rinse a firm pear and juicy apple under water.
  2. Peel, core, and de-seed both fruits.
  3. Cut into small pieces.
  4. Fill a pan with a thick bottom with water. Place the apple and pear in a bowl or steamer into the pan, add a pinch of cinnamon, cover and cook until the required consistency is achieved.
  5. After cooking, mash the fruits together by hand or puree in the blender. Add breast milk or formula for a slightly runny consistency as desired.

 

Avocado-Banana Mash

Avocado-Banana Mash

Avocados are often overlooked as a first food, but they’re a stellar choice.  Mashed avocado has a creamy texture, as any guacamole fan knows; they don’t need to be cooked before being plopped into the blender; and they’re also loaded with vitamins and unsaturated fats, which are important to the development of the central nervous system. (Note: Since guacamole usually has garlic and other strong spices in it, hold off until 8 to 10 months on that one.)

  1. Peel and de-pit a ripe avocado.
  2. Cut “meat” out and mash with a fork.
  3. Peel and mash 1 banana.
  4. Place in a blender or food processor and puree until desired texture is achieved.

 

Banana-Papaya Puree

Banana-Papaya Puree

If you try out papaya at about 6 months (it’s not an ideal first food, but it is yummy and nutritious) and find that baby likes it, mixing it with bananas makes for a great double meal!

  1. Puree half a papaya and a peeled banana separately.
  2. Combine and serve!

Brown Rice Cereal

Brown Rice Cereal

Brown rice is a traditional first food for little tummies – it’s packed with nutrients, easy to make and store, and can easily be mixed with pureed and mashed fruits or veggies when you get around to adding new flavors.  You can cook and puree the rice as needed or buy rice flour to skip the blending step.

1/4 c. rice powder (brown rice ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water

  1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the rice powder while stirring constantly.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Mix in formula or breast milk and fruits if desired.
  3.  Serve warm.

 

Green Beans or Peas

Green Beans or Peas

Peas and green beans are both excellent first foods, packed with vitamins and minerals your little one needs.  This recipe can be used to make a pound of fresh or frozen green beans or peas into a yummy meal for baby.

  1. If using fresh beans, wash and snap off the ends. If using fresh peas, open the pods and scrape out the peas. If using frozen vegetables, cook according to package instructions.
  2. Place fresh vegetables into a steamer basket, then into a pan with just enough water to come through the basket.
  3. Steam until very tender, monitoring the water level.
  4. Reserve leftover water for thinning out the final puree.
  5. Puree in food processor or blender, on the finest setting to help grind down bean skins or pea pods.
  6. Add reserved water as necessary to achieve a thin, smooth puree. After pureeing, you may wish to run the mush through a sieve to filter out any remaining pieces of pod.

 

Mashed Bananas

Mashed Bananas

Bananas are one of the most convenient first foods out there.  All you have to do is peel, mash, and serve – no washing or cooking required!  On top of that, they’re full of potassium (great for heart health) and fiber (which means you need to watch for constipation issues, if that’s all baby’s eating).  However, bananas are sometimes associated with latex allergies, so keep a close eye on baby’s reactions.

1 ripe banana

Water, formula or breast milk as needed

  1. Peel and cut ripe banana into small pieces.
  2. Mash banana with a fork.
  3. Add water, milk, or formula as desired and puree if needed.

 

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Another classic first food, sweet potatoes take a lot of prep time but pay off well once you’re through.  They’re chock full of vitamins and minerals that will help baby grow up strong!

  1. Wash and poke holes in 2-3 sweet potatoes with fork. Wrap potatoes in tin foil – do not peel for baking.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-60 minutes or until soft. Resume instructions at step 5.

OR

  1. Wash and peel sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks.
  2. Place chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover them.
  3. Steam until tender, monitoring the water level.
  4. Reserve any leftover water to use for thinning out the potatoes.
  5. If you have baked your sweet potato, remove skins and use liquid from your preferred source to thin.
  6. Puree sweet potato.
  7. Add reserved water or other liquid as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.

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June 30, 2016