When I mention that I prepare my baby’s food, I get strange looks from people. I can almost read their minds ‘Why do you bother cooking? Are you crazy? There are a lot of baby food that you just have to heat up in the microwave’. Well, I would like to expose my daughter to all kinds of flavors and tastes. I believe home cooked meals are the best. My favorite meals are still my mother’s cooking. Sometimes we ‘cook together’, Ella is sitting in her high chair next to me while I am preparing her lunch or her snack. While I am cleaning, washing, chopping the produce, I am explaining to her what I am doing. Sometimes she tastes a piece of fruit or vegetable. Luckily, Ella is not a picky eater, she likes almost everything. Kiwi is not one of her favorites, but I have learned to give it a few tries before giving up on something. Here are some of her favorite meals.
Wash, peel and chop the ingredients. We initially purchased a second hand Baby Cook foodmaker, the steamer part broke down after couple of months. We still use the mixer part. We bought a big steamer, which the whole family uses now. Apparently, steamed vegetables are healthier and tastier than cooked ones.
For the vegetable purée the portions are 1/3 rice, pasta or potatoes, 2/3 vegetables. I add 1 table spoon of vegetable oil (olive oil, sunflower oil, etc.) or soft unsalted butter. When your baby is 6 months old you can add 15 to 20 g (= 1 table spoon ) meat or fish. At 12 months you can increase the meat and fish to 25 to 30 g. I don’t really know the exact amount of food I prepare, but Ella eats more than 400g at lunch.
- Asparagus and potatoes, 1 hard boiled egg (half of a hardboiled egg under 12 months), and a few leaves of parsley.
- Sweet potatoes and zucchini with salmon.
- Sweet peas or green beans and rice with turkey.
- Tomato, bell pepper, pasta with porc.
- Raw avocado and potatoes with turkey, and a few leaves of cilantro.
- Eggplant and potatoes with beef.
- Carrot, witloof and potatoes.
- Parsnip, carrots, and potatoes with turkey.
- Celeriac, zucchini and rice with sole.
- Cauliflower, carrots and sweet potatoes with beef.
- Witloof and rice with duck.
I was advised not to add salt and strong spices until Ella is older. Without added salt babies will learn the natural taste of food and too much salt is unhealthy anyway.
For the fruit purée I add at least two different kinds of fruits and 1 betterfood cookie. In daycare Ella eats a lot of apples, so at home I try to mix up things a little bit.
- Banana and strawberry.
- Mango, banana and strawberry.
- Kiwi gold and banana.
- Peach and abricot.
- Strawberry, rapsberry and blueberry.
- Apple and pear.
- Clementines and banana (during winter time).
- Melon and mango.
- Watermelon, strawberry and banana.
Ella is a banana addict, she eats at least 1 banana a day. Her first word was ‘bababa’ meaning banana :-)!