As you ease your little one into eating solid foods and away from breast or bottle feeding, it’s only natural to want to introduce new foods into the mix. But how soon can you do so? At what point can you start introducing two new things at once? We’ve collected a handful of baby food recipes to help you through the second stage of starting solids.
Lentils and dried beans are great low-allergen legumes to introduce baby to. They’re packed with protein, vitamins, and fiber! You may want to soak your beans or lentils, especially if they’re dried, to reduce cooking time.
1 large onion
3 tbsp dried thyme leaves, chopped
3-4 tbsp olive oil
4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1/2 inch)
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed OR 4 cups dried black beans, cooked
Pepper to taste
1 sweet red pepper, chopped (optional)
If baby hasn’t shown any signs of a dairy allergy, you can start introducing cheese into their diet at about 8 months. Be careful not to buy cheeses made with raw milk, as they may contain harmful bacteria. (In addition to cottage cheese, Colby, Romano, Parmesan, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar are great varieties to introduce to your child at this age.)
Since cheese is more a topping than a separate meal, it’s easy to combine into what you’re already making. Shred it as a snack, sprinkle it onto veggies, stir it into pasta or rice, scramble it into eggs, add cottage cheese to a fruit or veggie puree, or mash it into other vegetables.
It’s long been thought that children should not be introduced to egg whites until after their first birthday to reduce the risk of allergies, but current research indicates it may not matter whether you only give baby the yolk first. Either way, be careful to watch for signs of allergic reaction.
1 egg (yolk only if you prefer)
2 tbsp whole milk, breast milk or formula
1 tbsp grated Cheddar cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cooked egg yolk
1 tbsp white or navy beans
2 tsp milk
Simply puree all three ingredients together, adding more milk for a thinner consistency.
Fish is a remarkably healthy food to start your little one on, and introducing it before 9 months can help reduce the chances of developing asthma; however, if they’ve shown signs of food allergies, you may want to consult with your doctor before making the attempt. Make sure all the bones have been removed, and definitely follow the four-day rule to make sure baby doesn’t have allergy problems.
1 fillet of any cooked white fish
2 tbsp milk, breast milk or formula
1 tbsp cooked peas, mashed
1 tbsp cooked carrots, mashed
1 tbsp cooked sweet potato, mashed
1 tbsp unsalted butter (melted) or olive oil
Simply place all ingredients in a blender and puree until creamy.
8 oz (1 cup) any white fish fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp carrots, peeled and grated
1 tbsp celery, diced
1 tbsp onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
16 fl oz (2 cups) milk, breast milk or formula
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
You can actually introduce pureed meat as one of baby’s first foods – it’s a great source of iron, which little digestive systems stop absorbing as readily from milk as they move to solid foods. However, it’s high in protein, which isn’t easy for little kidneys to handle, so it’s best introduced in small doses. Marinate, simmer, or foil-roast meat to keep the moisture in, and make sure it’s cooked thoroughly before serving.
4 oz (1/2 cup) cooked ground beef
2 oz (1/4 cup) cooked carrots
2 oz (1/4 cup) frozen peas, thawed
1 white potato, peeled and cooked, then mashed with a little milk and butter
2 tbsp beef stock
2 oz (1/4 cup) chicken, cut into small pieces
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
2 oz (1/4 cup) broccoli florets
homemade chicken stock or water
As long as baby hasn’t shown signs of dairy allergies, this is a great time to add yogurt to their diet! Because of the culturing process, lactose and several of the tougher proteins present in plain milk get broken down, making them easier for little tummies to digest.
Like cheese, yogurt is simple to add to what you’re already serving. As long as your little one’s already tried and enjoyed the fruits and veggies you’d like to add to yogurt, you can combine it with pretty much anything. You can even blend yogurt and fruit in your blender to make an easy smoothie!
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