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Baby Food: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for Wholesome Beginnings

May 9, 2013

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One of the best things a parent can do for a child is to give them a healthy start in life.

Consuming wholesome food while you’re pregnant and nursing, and then setting the foundation for good nutrition while your child is young, will give them a greater chance at healthy and happy adulthood.

 Most babies can begin trying soft foods at around six months, although there are no strict guidelines for when to introduce them. Whenever you decide to experiment with new foods for your little one, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Go with veggies before fruit. Babies and young children are naturally attracted to things that are sweet, and they are much more likely to develop a taste for non-sweet foods if you introduce them to their palette first. Keep fruit (and fruit juice) as an occasional treat in the early stages, and even well into toddlerhood.
  2. Don’t force. If your child isn’t interested in the food you’ve made, don’t force it – it won’t work. Instead try eating the food yourself and smiling to show how tasty it is, or feed some to another person at the table. You can also try the ‘ol airplane trick, or using a “super special spoon.” If all that fails, then consider it a good effort but don’t get too distraught. Your baby’s taste will change and what they don’t like today they might love tomorrow!
  3. Watch for reactions. It is always a possibility that your child will have a reaction to a particular food. Introduce new foods one at a time and keep an eye out for signs of allergy, such as rashes, hives, irritability, or diarrhea. Avoid the suspected food to see if symptoms improve, then introduce it again. If the symptoms return again, then your baby likely can’t tolerate that food until their immune system matures.

Here are some healthy and tasty baby food ideas:

  • Ripe avocado, with an optional splash of fresh lemon juice.
  • Chopped, boiled potatoes and carrots, mashed with a bit of breast milk or organic butter.
  • Steamed and pureed spinach, served alongside baked yam or sweet potato.
  • Baked cauliflower with garlic.
  • Lightly sautéed and pureed zucchini or summer squash with basil.
  • Baked acorn or butternut squash, mashed and mixed with coconut oil.
  • Oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and alcohol-free vanilla extract.

Here are some healthy and tasty toddler snack ideas:

  • Carrot sticks with almond butter.
  • Baked kale chips.
  • Organic kefir with raw cacao powder.
  • Cucumber, zucchini, and yellow pepper sticks dipped in hummus.
  • Fresh veggie juice or smoothie.
  • Baked raw cashews with a sprinkle of sea salt.
  • Scrambled eggs with asparagus tops.

What healthy snacks do your kids love the most?