Starting at five months old, I began introducing Veronika to… food! It quickly became apparent she preferred Baby Led Weaning; this girl wanted to be in charge of her spoon and hold food with her hands! But I am still supplementing with purees, to help her learn the fine arts of pushing food back with the tongue and swallowing. A baby’s nutrition at five or six months should still come almost entirely from breast milk or formula anyway, to the tune of about 24 to 32 ounces a day, so I consider all the recipes below to be “practice.”
Travis’s first meal was mushy peas, but for Veronika, I went with bananas.
Peel one ripe organic banana and cut in half (reserve the other half for another use, or a hungry sibling!). Mash until very smooth with a fork.
Peel, seed, and chop one organic butternut squash to yield 1 cup cubes. Steam in a steamer basket for 10 minutes, until very soft. Puree in a food processor, adding additional cooking liquid until very smooth.
Baby’s First Rice Cereal
Mix 1 tablespoon of a store-bought prepared rice cereal with 4 tablespoons breast milk (or formula). This makes a very soupy mixture. Once baby seems to like it, make the mixture thicker by using less milk.
After the first few tries, I began making the cereal with hemp milk, since this is the milk I hope Veronika will graduate to once she weans. My preference for a rice cereal? Earth’s Best Organic.
Sweet Potato Puree
Peel and cube 1 medium organic sweet potato. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the potato; cook for 10 minutes, until tender. Transfer the sweet potato to a food processor and process until smooth, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to make a thin puree.
Note: Of all the veggies she tried in her first month, this was Veronika’s favorite!
Sweet Pea Puree
Steam 1 cup frozen organic peas in about 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. I recommend straining this one through a fine-mesh sieve before serving.
Peel and chop 2 organic apples. We tried this recipe with Red Delicious, Braeburn, and Gala apples – all are nicely sweet!
Place the apples in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth
This is the easiest “recipe” of all time! Halve 1 organic avocado. Scoop the flesh from one side, reserving the other half for another use (or tomorrow’s mash). Mash with a fork until very smooth.
Green Bean Puree
Steam 1 cup organic green beans in 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. As with the peas, strain this one through a fine-mesh sieve before serving.
Peel and chop 2 organic pears. Place in a saucepan with about 1/4 cup water and cook for 5 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth.
Dried Plum Puree
Combine 2/3 cup pitted prunes in a food processor with 3 tablespoons water; process until smooth.
If they are in season, use fresh plums instead! Just peel and chop before adding to the food processor.
I recommend using frozen peaches, since the season for stone fruits is so fleeting, unless you happen to be making this for your baby in the early summer months. Otherwise, thaw 1 cup frozen organic peaches. Combine in a food processor with 2 tablespoons water and process until smooth.
Peel and pit 4 apricots. Combine the apricots in a food processor with 2 tablespoons water, and process until smooth. If apricots are out of season, use dried ones instead; just simmer for about 8 minutes before adding to the food processor.
Peel 1 mango, and cut the halves from the pit. Chop and transfer to a blender, along with about 2 tablespoons water; process until smooth. Note: Frozen (thawed) mango slices work in a pinch!
Cut a papaya in half, and scoop out the seeds. Spoon the flesh out from one half, reserving the other papaya half for another use. Transfer to a bowl along with 2 tablespoons breast milk or other milk of choice; mash with a fork until very smooth.
For her first combo food, we made:
Apricot and Apple Puree
Soak 1/2 cup organic dried apricots in water overnight. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer in the same liquid for 25 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, peel and chop 2 sweet apples. Simmer in a little water for 10 minutes.
Puree the apricots and apples in a food processor, working in batches if necessary.
It’s a good idea to wait about 3 days after introducing each food, to make sure your little one has no allergies. But after that, it’s time to mix and match! For all the recipes below, stir together 2 tablespoons from each recipe. Where pumpkin is listed, I simply crack open a can of organic pumpkin puree from the store! Just make sure you’re using pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix, which is loaded with sugar.
Here are a few ideas:
2 tablespoons prepared Rice Cereal with…
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin and 2 tablespoons Pear Puree
- 2 tablespoons Green Bean Puree
- 2 tablespoons Mango Puree and 2 tablespoons Peach Puree
- 2 tablespoons Green Bean Puree and 2 tablespoons Mango Puree
- 2 tablespoons Banana Mash and 2 tablespoons Sweet Pea Puree
2 tablespoons prepared infant Oatmeal (such as Earth’s Best Organic) with…
- 2 tablespoons Banana Mash
- 2 tablespoons Papaya Puree and 2 tablespoons Pear Puree
- 2 tablespoons Banana Mash and 2 tablespoons Apricot Puree
- 2 tablespoons Apple Puree
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin and 2 tablespoons Peach Puree
- 2 tablespoons Papaya Puree and 2 tablespoons Apple Puree
2 tablespoons prepared barley cereal (for this one I like Earth’s Best Multigrain, or you can puree your own barely until it is about as fine as barley flour) with…
- 2 tablespoons Avocado Mash
- 2 tablespoons Dried Plum Puree
- 2 tablespoons Apricot Puree and 2 tablespoons Dried Plum Puree
- 2 tablespoons Apple Puree and 2 tablespoons pumpkin
A few further ideas to mix and match. Use 2 tablespoons of each ingredient:
- Avocado Mash with Banana Mash
- Pear Puree with Mango Puree
- Papaya Puree with Banana Mash
- Apricot Puree with Pear Puree
- Sweet Pea Puree with Apple Puree
- Peach Puree with Avocado Mash
- Mango Puree with Apricot Puree
- Avocado Mash with pumpkin
- Dried Plum Puree with Pear Puree
- Peach Puree with Pear Puree
- Banana Mash with pumpkin
- Green Bean Puree with Avocado Mash
- Sweet Pea Puree with Mango Puree