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10 Nutritious & Homemade Baby Food Diet

The baby food diet centers around the idea of eating small jars of baby food as a way to control caloric intake. Some dieters eat a few jars of baby food each day as low-calorie snacks, and others use baby food to replace one or two meals per day.

  • Sweet Potato Puree
  • Butternut Squash Puree
  • Sweet Pea Puree
  • Carrot Puree
  • Zucchini Puree
  • Potato Puree
  • Apple Puree
  • Pear Puree
  • Banana Mash
  • Avocado Mash

1-Sweet Potato Puree

Makes 2 cups

Sweet potatoes are an excellent starter food. They are nutritional superstars and babies love their sweet flavor and creamy texture. Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that gets converted to Vitamin A in the body. They’re also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, fiber, manganese, and potassium. Roasting them gives them a rich flavor and there’s less prep involved—no peeling and chopping. If you prefer, they can also be steamed. As your baby gets older, you can skip the pureeing step and simply mash the potatoes with a fork, leaving a little texture.

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed well

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Pierce the potatoes in several places with a fork and place them on a lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven until tender, 45–55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add a small amount of water, breast milk, or formula as needed to reach desired consistency. Serve or store.

Sweet potato puree can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. If freezing, spoon individual portions into ice cube trays or baby food containers, then cover and freeze.

Steaming Method: Alternatively, you can steam the sweet potatoes instead of roasting them. To do this, peel and chop the potatoes and place them in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, about 15 minutes. Puree as described above.

Flavor boost: cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin

2-Butternut Squash Puree

Makes 2½ cups

Butternut squash has a mild, sweet flavor that babies enjoy. It’s also easy to digest and is packed with nutrients, especially Vitamins A and C. It can be roasted or steamed and if you have any leftovers, you can use it to make butternut squash soup for the rest of the family. To save time, buy pre-cut squash, which is available in most grocery stores. This recipe can also be used for other winter squash like acorn squash or pumpkin—although you may need to adjust the cooking time.

1 small butternut squash (about 1½ pounds)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Trim the ends off the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and the fibrous strings from the middle.

Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven until tender, 40–50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Once cool, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and transfer it to a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Add enough water, breast milk or formula as needed to reach desired consistency. Serve or store.

Butternut squash puree can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. If freezing, spoon individual portions into ice cube trays or baby food containers, then cover and freeze.

Steaming Method: Alternatively, you can steam the squash instead of roasting it. To do this, peel the squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds. Chop the squash and place the pieces in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender. Puree as described above.

Flavor boost: cinnamon, sage, thyme

3-Sweet Pea Puree

Makes 1½ cups

Pea puree is a great first food. It’s mild, easy to digest, and has a sweet flavor that pairs well with many fruits and vegetables. Technically a legume, the humble pea is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients and is also a rich source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, and iron. Take advantage of frozen peas that are picked and frozen at the height of freshness. They’re just as nutritious as fresh peas and they’re a whole lot easier to prepare. Besides, who has time to shell fresh peas?

1 bag (10 ounces) frozen peas

Place the peas in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, 5–6 minutes. Remove peas from the steamer, reserving the cooking liquid.

Puree with a food processor or blender until smooth. Add a small amount of cooking liquid as needed to reach desired consistency. Cool and serve or store.

For a perfectly smooth puree, use a blender or pass the puree through a strainer to remove any solids/fibrous materials.

Pea puree can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. If freezing, spoon individual portions into ice cube trays or baby food containers, then cover and freeze.

Flavor boost: mint, basil, tarragon

4-Carrot Puree

Makes 1½ cups

Carrots are an excellent source of many nutrients, especially Vitamin A, which is important for your baby’s eyes. They have a mild taste and are easily digested, making them a good choice for a starter puree.

6 medium carrots (1 pound), peeled and trimmed

Cut the carrots into small pieces or slices and place them in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, 10–12 minutes.

Puree with a food processor or blender until smooth. Add a small amount of fresh water as needed to reach desired consistency. Cool and serve or store.

Carrot puree can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. If freezing, spoon individual portions into ice cube trays or baby food containers, then cover and freeze.

Parsnip Puree: Use parsnips instead of carrots

Flavor boost: cinnamon, coriander, ginger

5-Zucchini Puree

Makes about 2 cups

Zucchini is a good first food because it has a mild flavor and is easy to digest. In general, you can leave the skin on because it’s very tender. In fact, most of the nutrients are contained in the skin, including Vitamin C. Zucchini is packed with water, so you probably won’t need any additional liquid when pureeing.

2 medium zucchini, washed and sliced into ½-inch slices

Place the zucchini in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, 6–8 minutes. Remove zucchini from the steamer, reserving cooking liquid.

Puree with a food processor or blender until smooth. Cool and serve or store.

Zucchini puree can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. If freezing, spoon individual portions into ice cube trays or baby food containers, then cover and freeze.

Summer Squash Puree: Use summer squash instead of zucchini

Flavor boost: mint, basil, oregano

6-Potato Puree

Makes 2 cups

Although sweet potatoes tend to outshine them, white potatoes have nutritional benefits of their own, including plenty of potassium, iron, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6. Potato puree works well in combination with other vegetable purees (like green beans) to give them a creamy texture. To keep the potatoes smooth and fluffy, use a food mill or ricer; a food processor will make the puree gummy.

2 medium potatoes (russet or Yukon Gold), washed, peeled, and chopped

Place the potato in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, about 12–15 minutes. Remove potatoes from the steamer, reserving cooking liquid.

Run the potatoes through a food mill or ricer for a smooth puree, or mash with a potato masher or fork. Add a small amount of the cooking liquid as needed to reach desired consistency. Cool and serve or store.

Potato puree can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. If freezing, spoon individual portions into ice cube trays or baby food containers, then cover and freeze.

Flavor boost: dill, parsley, rosemary

7-Apple Puree

Makes 2 cups

A good source of fiber and Vitamin C, apples are mild, easy to digest, and non-allergenic, making them an excellent first food. Try to use sweet varieties of apples, like Fuji, Red, or Golden Delicious, Gala, or Honeycrisp instead of tart ones like Granny Smith. Apples consistently rank near the top of the Environmental Working Group’s annual “dirty dozen list” of the fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues, so try to buy organic when possible. Apple puree is one of the most versatile purees and can be mixed with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, and cereals/grains.

4 large apples (8 ounces each), washed thoroughly Peel, core, and chop the apples. Place the apples in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, 10–12 minutes.

Puree with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth. Add a small amount of the cooking as needed to reach desired consistency. Cool and serve or store.

Apple puree can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Some discoloration and browning may occur with storage. If freezing, spoon individual portions into ice cube trays or baby food containers, then cover and freeze.

Flavor boost: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla

8-Pear Puree

Makes 2 cups

Pears are a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K, and their high fiber content works well to alleviate constipation. They have a mild, sweet flavor, are easy to digest, and are non-allergenic, which makes them a great food for young babies. Pears have a high water content, so you won’t need to add any additional water when pureeing. As your baby gets older, you can skip the steaming step if you use ripe pears. Similar to apple puree, pear puree can be mixed with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, and cereals/grains.

4 large ripe pears (8 ounces each), washed thoroughly

Peel, core and chop the pears.

Place the pears in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, 5–8 minutes.

Puree with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth. Cool and serve or store.

Pear puree can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Some discoloration and browning may occur with storage. If freezing, spoon individual portions into ice cube trays or baby food containers, then cover and freeze.

Flavor boost: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, rosemary

9-Banana Mash

Makes about ⅓ cup

Bananas are rich in potassium and fiber, and their sweet flavor makes them very versatile. Bananas taste great combined with lots of other fruits as well as vegetables, grains, and even some meat. Use ripe bananas for this puree, as they’re easier to mash. Bananas tend to turn brown once peeled, so if you’re not planning to use a whole banana, only peel the portion you’re using and store the rest in the fridge. A ripe banana makes a great portable baby food when you’re travelling.

1 medium ripe banana, peeled

Place the banana in a bowl and mash with the back of a fork or spoon until smooth. Add a small amount of water, breast milk, or formula as needed to reach desired consistency. Alternatively, puree with a food processor or blender until smooth. Serve or store.

Banana puree can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1 day or in the freezer for 3 months. Some discoloration and browning will occur with storage. If freezing, spoon individual portions into ice cube trays or baby food containers, then cover and freeze.

Flavor boost: cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla

10-Avocado Mash

Makes about ¾ cup

With nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, avocados are nutritional rock stars! Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, they have a buttery texture that adds creaminess to other purees like meat, seafood, beans, and grains. Use ripe avocados as they’re easier to mash. Similar to banana, avocado also turns brown once it’s peeled so if you’re not planning to use a whole one, only use half and store the other half in the fridge (keep the pit in as it will help slow any browning). Once your baby is older and you’ve introduced them to lemon, you can also rub a little lemon juice on the avocado to prevent it from turning brown.

1 medium ripe avocado

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise around the pit and twist to open. Wrap the half with the pit clinging to it in plastic wrap and reserve in the fridge for another serving. Scoop out the flesh from the remaining avocado half with a spoon. Place it in a bowl and mash with the back of a fork or spoon until smooth. Add a small amount of water, breast milk, or formula as needed to reach desired consistency. Alternatively, puree the avocado with a food processor or blender until smooth Serve or store.

Avocado puree can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1 day. Avocado puree does not freeze well.

Flavor boost: cilantro, cumin, garlic

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