By Katie Moosbrugger

Discovering which food my kids loved as babies was always so much fun for me. These days – not so much. It seems the older they get, the picker they become. So for today’s blog, I’m reverting back to the good ol’ baby days – where every week was a new, and fun, food adventure. I admit I rarely made any baby food from scratch, but I always admired the moms (and dads!) who took the time to research the benefits of each food – and puree it and/or add it to a favorite recipe for their child. If you do this, props to you!

To create this month’s Tasty Table, I reached out friends to help me find favorite homemade baby food recipes. As it turns out, just about everyone recommended the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. This book includes more than 350 recipes, and I highlight one below. This author continually reminds readers to keep “Healthy Extras” as food staples in your kitchen (like bananas on your counter). Also keep whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies on hand as a constant reminder to add to your child’s food as often as possible.

The recipes featured below are for children who have moved beyond “first foods” and are ready to explore (7-9 months and older) – and honestly, they sound tasty enough for me to eat today! Enjoy!

Legume Super Porridge
From Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron

*Makes 2 cups of high protein Super Porridge
~ 1/3 cup brown rice, organic, whole kernel (or millet or oatmeal)
~1 /8 cup dried lentils
~ 2 cups water
Ground brown rice and lentils in blender to a fine powder. Bring two cups of water to a boil. Sprinkle the fine powder into the water while stirring with a wire whisk. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Adjust the consistency with some breast milk or formula.

Carrot Puree with Lentils and Cheese
From Super Foods by Annabel Karmel

~ 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
~ 1 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
~ 2 tablespoons red lentils
~ 3 medium carrots peeled and sliced
~ 1 1/2 cups boiling water
~ 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
~ 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
~ 1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese

In a saucepan, saute the onion in the vegetable oil until softened (3 to 4 minutes). Rinse the lentils and drain and add to the onion. Add the carrots and pour into boiling water. Bring to boil, then cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes. Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute tomatoes until mushy. Stir in Cheddar cheese.

Drain the carrot and lentil mixture and reserve the cooking liquid. Combine carrots and lentils with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and the tomato and cheese mixture, in a food processor and puree until smooth.

Cherub’s Couscous
From Super Foods by Annabel Karmel

~ 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
~ 1/2 cup couscous
~ 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
~ 1/4 cup chopped onion
~ 1/2 cup diced zucchini
~ 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
~ 1/2 cup diced cooked chicken

Bring chicken stock to a boil and pour over the couscous, then set aside for 6 minutes to absorb the stock. Saute the onion in melted butter. Add zucchini and continue to saute for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Fluff the couscous with a fork, then mix in the zucchini and tomato mixture together with the chicken.

Fruit Compote With Cinnamon Cream

~ 4oz (1/2 cup) dried apricots
~ 2oz (1/4 cup) sultanas
~ 1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and sliced
~ 1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced
~ 1 pot of pure, natural yogurt (here’s how to make your own)
~ pinch cinnamon
~ drop of pure maple syrup (optional)

Place the dried apricots and sultanas into a small saucepan and pour in water until all the fruit is covered. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer until the fruit is tender, about  20-30 mins. Add the sliced apple and pear and continue to simmer for 10 mins. (You may need to add extra water; keep an eye on it). Puree the fruits until smooth. Set aside to cool. Stir the maple syrup and the cinnamon into the yogurt. Scoop a spoonful on top of the baby’s fruit compote and serve.

For additional support in making homemade baby food, a friend suggested Fresh Baby So Easy Baby Food Kit. This kit comes complete with instructions and tools to make baby food in less than 30 minutes per week!

Do you have recipes or sources for other easy and nutritional homemade baby food? Let us know by leaving a comment below!