This is the second installment of our New York Times article on making your own baby food. The time in your baby’s life when you choose to do this is up to you. The most recent blog post before this one talks about when to introduce food to your baby. Look it over when deciding to begin solid food.
Stage 2 (7 to 9 Months)
As babies become more comfortable with solid foods and can sit on their own, their interest will grow, and you can introduce chunkier, more complex flavor combinations. The general consensus now is to begin with vegetables. Peas, very small of squash, cut corn, sweet potato, and more. some of these things will sho up in baby’s diaper looking the way they went in. This show baby’s digestive track is not quite ready for this particular item. Whit a few weeks and try it again. Remember to write down shat you serve in the beginning. This will really help if there is an allergic reaction. When introducing fruit begin with pairings you enjoy, like bananas and blueberries or strawberries; peaches and pears; very small cubes of grape and mashed apple.
Avoid citrus and acidic items. These may be difficult for baby to digest and cause mild skin inflammation. Once baby has a wide assortment of items you know are safe introduce one acidic item at a time: oranges, pineapple, Cuties, etc.
Some families enjoy the tubed baby food that is everywhere now. It is certainly convenient and less messy. However tactile feeling, the textures and smoothness of foods are a large part or our enjoyment. Avoid the temptation of using the tube items exclusively.
David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.
This fruit and vegetable blend is so tasty that you might find yourself drinking what your baby doesn’t. Pineapple is acidic, so if your baby doesn’t like it, substitute another fruit.
Put 1 packed cup fresh spinach leaves; ½ cup frozen peas; ½ of a medium pineapple, cubed (about 1½ cups); 2 skin-on pears, cored and cubed; and ½ cup purified water in a blender. Blend until the purée reaches desired consistency. The blend can be refrigerated for a day or frozen for up to a month. Makes 3 cups (about six 4-ounce baby servings).
— Adapted from “The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers” by Anthony F. Porto and Dina M. DiMaggio (Ten Speed Press, 2016)liquid as necessary to reach the desired consistency. Makes 10 1-ounce servings.
RED LENTIL PURÉE
Loaded with protein and fiber, lentils are given a dal-like treatment here.In a large saucepan over high heat, bring ⅔ cup dried red lentils, 8 ounces baby carrots sliced ½-inch thick, 1¾ cups purified water and ¼ cup unsweetened canned coconut milk to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils and carrots are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the mixture with a potato masher until it has the consistency of porridge. Thin as desired with more water, breast milk, formula, or broth. Let mixture cool to room temperature before serving. Makes 2½ cups (about five 4-ounce servings).— Adapted from “The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen (Sourcebook Jabberwocky, 2019
You can give a baby meat, and chicken purée is an easy first. Make sure to cook meats thoroughly, and be extra mindful of cross-contamination.
Trim any fat from a 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast. Place chicken breast in a small saucepan and cover with purified water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees. Remove chicken from water and allow to cool. Chop into large pieces and place in a blender. Add 4 ounces formula, breast milk, or broth and purée until smooth, adding more liquid as necessary to reach the desired consistency. Makes 10 1-ounce servings.