*Food combinations are fantastic, but always try to have your baby taste the food by itself before mixing it in a combination.
*Always wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking.
*You can use a baby food maker, food processor, or blender to puree. I use the Cuisinart Baby and love it. It even comes in handy for just steaming small amounts of veggies for a meal for my husband and me, too.
*Add breastmilk to any of these recipes.
In addition to the following recipe combinations, try the following ideas for easy finger foods:
- Any diced fruit, especially a combination in a fruit salad
- Baked sweet potato cubes (add carrot cubes to the mix for a healthy combo)
- Baked squash or zucchini fries
- Fried tofu sticks (lightly coat firm tofu with crushed cheerios or flax mill and fry in a small amount of olive oil)
- Shredded cheeses
- Boiled eggs chopped into small pieces
- Scrambled eggs
Also, try the following tricks to help Baby practice with her spoon:
- Puree cooked rice. Add a fruit and/or vegetable of your choice (steamed if necessary) and puree just a little more, until you have a pasty consistency. Serve with a spoon.
- Greek yogurt–it’s thick and sticks well to a spoon.
- Mix cottage cheese with a pureed fruit of choice and serve with a spoon.
- Cook black beans (or any bean of your choice), mash them, and serve them with a spoon.
Grilled Cheese with Chopped Chicken and Vegetables
1. You can choose any vegetable puree that you’ve already prepared (carrots work well). Spread the puree on 2 pieces of whole-grain bread, just like you would spread mustard or mayonnaise.
2. Add a piece of sliced cheese to each side of the bread. I like to use 1 cheddar and 1 provolone, but you can use any kind.
3. Chop pre-cooked chicken into small pieces and sprinkle them on one of the pieces of bread.
4. Top the meat-covered bread with the second piece of bread, so the layers will be bread, vegetable puree, cheese, chicken, cheese, vegetable puree, bread.
5. Melt unsalted butter in a frying pan, then toast the sandwich just like you would toast a regular grilled cheese.
6. Allow sandwich to cool, cut into quarters, and serve.
Meatballs with Apples & Spinach
1. Chop 1 apple into 1/2″ pieces (do not peel).
2. Steam apple until just soft enough to puree. Reserve the water when finished.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add spinach and sauté until wilted.
4. Add spinach and apple to a blender and puree, using the reserved apple water to reach a smooth consistency.
5. Place 1 pound ground beef (or turkey or chicken) in a large mixing bowl.
6. Add 1/2 cup oatmeal and 1/4 cup flax mill to the ground beef.
7. Add as much pureed spinach and apples to the mixture as needed to bind the mixture. If you have any puree leftover, freeze it in ice cube trays for later use.
8. Mix all ingredients well, then form 1″ balls.
9. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through.
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