As a mom of two who are far beyond the baby phase (10 years old and 5), I attribute the fact they have a pretty decent diet (okay, the older one, for sure) to the fact that they both tried varied foods in the 6-months-to-2-years stage.
I didn't make all of it myself, but when I had a free 30 minutes and was organized enough to have gathered the right ingredients from the store, I loved the fact that I knew every item going into their mouths.
Catherine McCord feels the same. She's been running Weelicious for more than a decade, and is the OG of DIY baby and toddler food. "Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy," she explains on her site. "My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family."
Have we convinced you it's possible? Scroll down and check out three of Catherine's favorite power-food combos baby will love.
Broccoli, Potato, and Cheese Puree
Adding potato and cheese to nutrient-packed broccoli results in a smooth texture that's perfect for babies. In addition, the cheese provides a healthy dose of dairy, making this dish a superstar. Both of my kids ate this regularly when they were starting solids and never seemed to get enough of it!
1 Large Potato, peeled and cubed
1 Cup Broccoli, chopped
2 Tbsp Cheddar Cheese (I used white cheddar cheese)
1. Place the potato cubes in a steamer pot over boiling water and cook for 6 minutes.
2. Add the broccoli and steam for an additional 4 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.
3. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree.
Spiced Carrot and Rice Puree
If you've got carrots and brown rice you've got spiced carrot and rice puree! Not only does it turn out absolutely gorgeous in color, but it's a great way to turn your new eater on to beta carotene packed carrots and whole grains.
1/2 cup short grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups water
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1. In a small saucepan, combine rice and water.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add the carrots to the rice, cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes. You will still have some liquid in the rice, this will help with the pureeing.
4. Transfer rice, carrot, parsley and cumin to a food processor, puree until smooth adding additional water if necessary and serve.
Italian Green Vegetable Puree
It wasn't until after my kids were out of the baby food puree stage that I realized just how easy it was to cook for them. Now I see so clearly how just a few veggies mixed with a little somethin' somethin' (pasta sauce and parmesan in the case of this recipe) can transform simple vegetables into something magical.
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup tomato or marinara sauce
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1. Place the zucchini and broccoli florets in a steamer pot over boiling water, steam for 5 minutes and allow to cool.
2. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Check out more of Catherine's genius baby and toddler food ideas at Weelicious.
While making your own baby food sounds like a major chore (on top of everything else), turn it into bonding time. If you pull baby into the kitchen, cooking, blending, and storing your precious work can be fun for both of you. (Think of all the kitchen utensils they can bang drop on the floor!) There are plenty of high chair options to keep them safe and secure while you create your masterpieces, from the space-saving and foldable Nano to the modern multi-use, height-adjustable Fresco (which you can use from newborn days up until age 8!).