There is nothing more important to us than being able to provide only the best for our children. When they’re young this can be as simple as providing them with healthy food options with the right nutrients and vitamins to facilitate growth and well being. Of course giving your baby a homemade meal is the best thing you can do for them, however many parents tend to hide from the task. It’s hard enough trying to figure out what to feed ourselves let alone what to feed our little ones and it can be so tempting to just grab something that is already prepared from the store.
Be rest assured that making your own baby food is much more easy than you think and requires little skills in the kitchen. Once you start you’ll be so happy as mealtimes will be much more well balanced, convenient and fulfilling for both you and your kids.
Ages 6 Months – 12 Months (Purée Galore)
1. Apple – Banana Puree
All you need is something to steam the apples in and a blender for this no-brainer recipe. Babies love the sweet combination of apples and bananas. An easy go to recipe for one of baby’s first foods.
2. Roasted Yams, Apples and Corn
Finding different combos of ingredients is probably one of the trickiest parts of making your own baby food. This is another great recipe including apples along with yams and corn. Babies love yams!
3. Chicken with Carrots & Apple Puree
Chicken is a great first meat to introduce to your baby. Puréed chicken is not a very appetizing site (can you say gray anyone?), but by combining it with other colorful ingredients, chicken can become a quick favorite for your little one. This recipe combines chicken with apples and carrots to give the recipe a sweet flavour with lots of texture.
4. Oats, Avocado & Spinach
The reason why it’s so important to start our babies on solid foods by 6 months is because their iron stores begin to deplete. This recipe is a great source of iron as well as fibre, vitamins and protein. A green combination that Popeye himself would approve.
5. Vegetable Lasagna
Now that you’ve introduced simple combinations to your baby it’s time to start adding more complex flavors. Vegetable lasagna is an easy way to implement a variety of vegetables while giving a great flavor and texture punch. This recipe is guaranteed not to bore your baby.
6. Cantaloupe Cream
This delicious puree will be a great treat for you little one, especially in the summer time when cantaloupe is at its seasonal best.
Ages 9 Months and Up (Independent Eaters)
7. Homemade Teething Biscuits
Teething can be a wonderful time (note of sarcasm). At this time your baby will be putting anything and everything into their little mouths in search of some type of relief. Teething biscuits are a great way to not only introduce finger foods but to also help alleviate the pain of emerging teeth. Why not try to make your own at home with this easy baking recipe that uses instant rice cereal along with healthy ingredients such as whole wheat flour and coconut oil.
8. Cauliflower Nuggets
You’ve heard of chicken nuggets, another favorite of toddlers, but how about cauliflower nuggets? Same idea, different values. This is a great way to make vegetables more appealing to your little ones.
9. Strawberry Yogurt Bites
This recipe consists of a grand total of two ingredients! Also this healthy yummy treat can be enjoyed by not only your baby but you too.
10. Mini Meatballs
Meatballs are great because they are fun to eat and easy to hold for little fingers. As an added bonus kids don’t care what’s in them so its a perfect way to give them their much needed vegetables.
11. Pasta with Soft Cheese and Basil
Pasta is a great way to transition your baby from purees towards textured foods. This recipe keeps it simple by combining pasta with just cheese and basil.
12. Banana Oatmeal Fingers
These banana and oatmeal fingers make for a great snack or breakfast food for your little one that’s just figuring out how to eat on their own.
Ages 12 Months and Up (Almost There Meals)
13. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Yes this is not a toddler only recipe, but one that adults can enjoy as well. Sweet potatoes are one of the best first solid foods to introduce as puree first. Once your baby has some teeth, this recipe is a great next step to continue the love of sweet potatoes.
14. Apple and Cheese Quinoa Balls
Quinoa is so hot right now. It’s such a complex grain and incredibly easy to eat not too mention very light compared to its counterpart, rice. This recipe provides a great finger food for your toddler as well as a nice little snack for the adults.
15. Avocado and Blueberry Muffins
Here’s an organic recipe that uses avocados and blueberries along with full fat yogurt (or Greek yogurt). This is a great snack or breakfast option for your toddler.
16. Easy Mac and Cheese Bites
This is a recipe for mac and cheese that starts from scratch, no box of KD required. You can go ahead and freeze any bites as well if they’re not devoured by your little ones first.
17. Chicken Tenders with Greek Yogurt Ranch
When we think of kids’ meals the first thing that probably comes to mind are chicken fingers. Although they might not seem like the healthiest option this recipe may get you re thinking that. An easy, no fuss recipe for a healthy method of making chicken fingers that your children are sure to love just as much as the processed ones.
18. Chickpea Patties
These chickpea patties can be made large or small for either your toddler to grab and munch on or for your to eat in a pita. Packed full of protein, these are also great for freezing.
Ages 18 Months and Up (Big Kid Meals)
19. Carrot, Mango, Raspberry Popsicles
What kid doesn’t like popsicles? Here’s a recipe for homemade popsicles as a healthy alternative to the sugary store bought ones.
20. Fiesta Bowl
This is a meal that everyone in the family can enjoy. Just lay out the ingredients and everybody chooses what they want in their own bowls. It’s that simple.
21. Power Packed Fruit and Veggie Muffins
These mini muffins are super fun to eat. You would never guess these little morsels are packed full of so many different fruits and veggies such as broccoli, zucchini, carrots, apples and bananas.
22. Toddler Smoothie
This recipe is for a starter smoothie for your toddler. It contains the goodness of oats, strawberries, bananas and spinach. The color and texture may be off putting but the taste is definitely yummy.
23. Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
A staple on all kids’ menus is grilled cheese. This recipe offers a more wholesome alternative to the usual greasy far by using extra virgin olive oil and whole wheat bread topped with broccoli and cheese.
This collection of healthy and easy recipes for your toddlers should help you in the journey of raising your little ones and providing them with the best opportunities for growth and well-being. By all means, every child is different and you may find the recipes will be more appropriate for your child at different ages than stated. They are simply there as a guideline and are not the concrete framework.
Featured photo credit: Rainbow/Frederique Voisin-Demery via flickr.com