I love cooking for my little one. It’s so much fun to experiment, and it makes me feel like I’m doing something good for her health in a way that isn’t just feeding her fruit and vegetables all the time. Here is a list of recipes for baby food that I’ve tried out myself and highly recommend:
Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, protein, iron and calcium. It’s also very high in vitamin D, which aids in bone development.
Oatmeal is a staple breakfast food for babies because it can be so easily flavored with fruit or nuts. You can serve oatmeal plain or topped with fruit and yogurt or even some warm milk on top!
Rice cereal is an excellent first food for your baby. It’s gentle on their digestive systems, easy for them to digest and it’s highly nutritious. Here are some tips for preparing and serving rice cereal:
- Prepare the rice cereal as directed on the box using breast milk or formula as a thinning agent if necessary.
- Serve it warm (not hot!) from a cup with a lid that prevents spills but allows your baby to drink from the rim of the cup.
- You can also serve it cold in a bowl or jar with a spoonful of pureed fruit or vegetable mixed in for flavor. Some parents prefer this method because it mimics what they ate as babies—mushy rice with sweet fruits like bananas and applesauce! If you choose this option, make sure there’s enough liquid added so that your baby doesn’t get constipated!
Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C and D. Sweet potatoes can be mashed, pureed or cooked in a blender.
You can give your baby sweet potatoes as early as 6 months old. The skin is not poisonous to babies, but you may want to remove it if that’s something you prefer to do. Sweet potato makes an excellent first food because it is easy to digest and contains lots of fiber—this makes it easy for your child’s digestive system to get used to eating solid foods without getting overwhelmed by new flavors or textures. Also, one cup of mashed sweet potato contains about half the recommended daily amount of vitamin A for infants!
Ground beef is a great source of protein. It’s easy to prepare and can be mixed with other foods, making it an ideal baby food option.
It’s also high in iron, providing about 15% of the daily recommended intake for infants 6 months old and older.
Ground beef can be mixed with other foods like potatoes or vegetables for more variety.
- Wash and trim the ends off the beans.
- Boil them until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and serve warm or cold.
To make applesauce, you will need:
- 4 medium-sized apples
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (optional)
First, wash and core your apples. Then cut them into small pieces. Put the apple pieces in a saucepan with about 1 inch of water on top. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until the fruit is soft but not mushy. Drain out any excess liquid from the pan using a strainer and then mash up the cooked fruit using a potato masher or immersion blender (or even by hand). If desired, add in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar at this time. Heat on low heat until everything is warmed through again and blended together nicely into an applesauce consistency!
Bananas are a good source of potassium, which is important for growth and development. They are also easy to digest, making them an excellent choice for babies who don’t have much experience with solid foods. Bananas contain fiber and vitamin C (enough to meet your child’s daily requirement), so they can help keep your baby full longer than other fruits like apples or oranges. Bananas also provide vitamin B6, which is important for absorbing iron from food so that your baby’s body can use it when he needs it most!
Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A in your baby’s body. This is good for their skin, eyes and immune system. Carrots also contain potassium that helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Carrots are great for your baby’s teeth because they contain beta-D-glucan, which helps strengthen enamel on your child’s teeth while they’re teething. They also contain calcium so they can help prevent tooth decay later on in life!
Avocados are rich, delicious, and heart-healthy. They have more potassium than bananas and are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, D and E. Avocados provide healthy fats for your baby’s developing brain and body. For example:
- 1/2 cup mashed avocado = 14 grams of fat
- 1/2 cup mashed avocado = 2 grams of protein (and only 6 carbs!)
Here is a list of recipes for baby food.
Here is a list of recipes for baby food. The recipes are easy to follow and healthy, nutritious and delicious.
Best Baby Food Cookbooks
- 1.Simple & Safe Baby-Led Weaning by Malina Malkani(Best for first-time parents — $)Why it’s great: This book introduces readers to the concept of baby-led weaning, which encourages parents to let their little one lead the way through starting solids. This book offers a basic overview on how to get started, as well as a discussion on safe practices and healthy food options. Readers will also find a chapter on how to identify and prevent allergies and food sensitives early on.Keep in mind: This book doesn’t have a lot of recipes, but rather guidance and insight on how to begin baby-led weaning.Good for: Parents just starting solids with their little one as this is a great beginner’s manual.View on Amazon.com ➜
- 2.Make-Ahead Baby Food Cookbook: Meal Plans & Recipes for Every Stage by Stephanie Van’t Zelfden(Most practical — $$)Why it’s great: This cookbook is practical and useful and takes the guesswork out of baby’s first mealtimes. Packed with useful advice on how to introduce solids, detect food sensitivities, and discourage picky eaters, this book also includes recipes, meal plans, and grocery lists. Designed to simplify parents’ lives, this book also provides guidance on batch cooking and freezing and reheating food for your baby.Keep in mind: This book follows a staged approach to introducing solids, starting with purees.Good for: Parents who like to plan as this book provides meal plans and recipes for cooking in advance.View on Amazon.com ➜
- 3.What Mummy Makes: Cook Just Once for You and Your Baby by Rebecca Wilson(Highest-rated recipes — $$$)Why it’s great: One of the highest-rated baby cookbooks on Amazon, this book offers over 130 recipes for the whole family. Based on the logic that parents shouldn’t have to cook more than one meal for their family, this book is packed with quick, easy recipes that can be adapted for children as young as six months old. Parents praise this cookbook for featuring recipes that are easy to follow and delicious to eat.Keep in mind: This book follows the baby-led weaning approach to starting solids.Good for: Parents looking for some kitchen inspiration, not just for baby’s meals but theirs too!View on Amazon.com ➜
- 4.The Big Book of Organic Baby Food by Stephanie Middleberg(Most comprehensive — $$)Why it’s great: Featuring over 200 kid-friendly recipes, this book focuses on organic and whole-food ingredients. Divided into chapters based on children’s ages and stages, this book covers all the developmental phases from infancy to toddlerhood and provides FAQs to guide your meal plans accordingly. Recipes include purees, smoothies, finger foods, and beyond, with over 70 recipes for the whole family to enjoy together.Keep in mind: Some customers report that the puree recipes can feel a little repetitive.Good for: Parents who want to explore different approaches and recipes when introducing solids as this book covers it all.View on Amazon.com ➜
- 5.The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers by Anthony Porto M.D. and Dina DiMaggio M.D.(Most informational — $$$)Why it’s great: Written for first-time parents, this book is an all-inclusive manual that offers clarity, guidance, and peace of mind on feeding your infant solids for the first time. Written by two pediatricians, this book offers practical advice on nutrition, medical conditions, and parental concerns. Accessible and informative, this book also includes personal anecdotes and healthy recipes.Keep in mind: This book doesn’t include as many recipes as other baby food books available.Good for: Parents who have lots of questions about starting solids as this book provides up-to-date answers from a team of pediatricians.View on Amazon.com ➜
- On An Important Side Note… Asher and I (pictured) feel it’s necessary to highlight the value of life insurance for parents with young kids. After extensive research, we discovered that parents can get insured for as little as $10 per month. We use Ladder Life who offers coverage up to $3M per parent (without a medical exam, just a few health questions) and you can apply 100% online.Get a quote in less than 30 seconds at LadderLife.com ➜
- 6.Super Easy Baby Food Cookbook by Anjali Shah(Easiest recipes — $)Why it’s great: This book offers over 150 recipes that are simple and nutritious and can be made in thirty minutes or less. Recipes include make-ahead purees, five-ingredient toddler recipes, and sample menus designed to fulfill the nutritional requirements for children ages four to eighteen months. Parents praise this cookbook for being well-organized and easy to follow.Keep in mind: This book doesn’t feature as many pictures of the recipes included.Good for: Parents who don’t have a lot of time to prepare complicated meals for their little eaters.View on Amazon.com ➜
- 7.The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen Kids(Best for the whole family — $$$)Why it’s great: A baby and toddler cookbook from the popular series, America’s Test Kitchen Kids, this book offers countless recipes that have been tested and approved by kids, themselves. Recipes include purees, smoothies, finger foods, and family meals to share together. This book also includes recipes kids can help prepare as well as school lunch ideas for preschool and beyond. Chock full of pictures and easy-to-follow instructions, this book is praised for appealing to even the pickiest of eaters.Keep in mind: This book offers less guidance on starting solids but does include recipes for babies.Good for: Parents who need a cookbook to keep the whole family happy as this book features recipes for all ages.View on Amazon.com ➜
The Simple & Safe Baby-Led Weaning by Malina Malkani is our overall top recommendation. It’s the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..
FAQs about Baby Food Books
- 1.What age should I introduce solids?For the first few months of life, babies get all the nutrients they need from breastmilk or formula. Most doctors recommend waiting to introduce solids until your little one is between four and six months old. You’ll know your baby is ready if they are able to hold their head up on their own, sit up with little or no support, and bring objects to their mouth on their own. If you’re not sure whether your little one is developmentally ready for solids, check in with your pediatrician.
- 2.What’s the best way to start my baby on solids?The American Academy of Pediatrics says there’s no specific type of food that’s best to start with. You’ll want to use some baby-friendly utensils, and you’ll also want to count on things getting a little messy. Start with a very small amount of one ingredient, so as not to trigger your little one’s reflex response. Don’t worry if your baby spits it back out, it may take a few tries before they understand how to swallow what you’re offering. If your little one is extra hesitant, try mixing food with breast milk or formula for an easier transition.
- 3.What are the best foods to start with?It’s best to start your little one with a single ingredient food, so as not to overwhelm their tastebuds. Fruit and vegetables are a great place to begin, followed by yogurt, pasta, beans, and tofu. Don’t forget to introduce peanut butter and eggs early on, too. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting allergenic foods before a child’s first birthday as this reduces the likelihood that they develop an allergy to that particular food.
- 4.What’s baby-led weaning?Baby-led weaning is an approach that relies on following your infant’s lead on eating solids. Instead of feeding purees with a spoon, parents are encouraged to give small strips and slices of food. This allows babies to explore tastes and textures as they learn how to feed themselves. Proponents of the practice say that baby-led weaning promotes the development of motor skills and establishes a healthy relationship with food early in life.
- 5.What’s the best way to prevent choking?The potential for choking is definitely the scariest part of introducing solids. To avoid any unnecessary risk, be sure to supervise your little one very closely during mealtimes. Cut food in appropriately sized pieces, and always make sure your baby is sitting down while they eat. In the beginning, stick to foods that are a little softer so your little one can easily mash them down to swallow.
Introducing solids doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. In fact, with the proper tools and guidance, it can be a fun (if messy) adventure for both you and baby. There are a variety of books on the market that feature delicious recipes that are easy-to-follow and quick to make. Some baby food books even include recipes for older kids and adults to make mealtime simpler and more inclusive. Most baby food books offer practical advice and helpful tips on introducing solids, and parents are sure to find a variety of titles that preach the baby-led weaning approach. While there’s no right food or process to start your baby on solids, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for potential allergies and choking hazards. Thanks to the wide selection of baby food books available, raising a little foodie has never been easier, and as their appetite grows, your recipe repertoire will too!