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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Zucchini and Potatoes with Fresh Basil and Parmesan

ingredients for zucchini and potatoes baby food

I think fresh grated parmesan cheese is WORLDS better, but my grocery budget this week was a little tight. Sad.

This is a new one to me.  I got some beautiful zucchinis for free and thought, what could I do with these?  I had some fresh basil on hand and added some potatoes to bulk it up.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 small yukon gold potatoes
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Be careful with the basil; start with a little and taste it.  I LOVE basil and could eat it in everything, but good fresh basil is pretty peppery.  The strong flavor might be too much for some babies if you put a lot in there.

Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and toss into a steamer basket or double boiler. Steam potatoes for about 10 minutes.  Since potatoes are starchy, they need a head start on the zucchini.Here’s how you make it:

  1. Meanwhile, cut the zucchinis into 1/2 inch thick half moons and add to the potatoes.  Steam another 5 minutes or more until tender.  It’s important that the zucchinis and potatoes are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly.
  2. Allow veggies to cool for a few minutes.  Put steamed veggies in your food processor along with basil leaves and parmesan cheese.  Blend well.  Add water to bring to a thinner consistency if desired.
  3. Taste!  Add more basil or cheese if you want to.

zucchinis, potatoes, basil, parmesan cheese homemade baby food

If you want this to be gluten-free, just make sure you get straight up parmesan cheese.  Some grated cheeses are coated with starch, so carefully check the ingredient list or get a block of solid parmesan.  You could easily exclude the cheese to make this dairy free.  In my opinion, there are few things that aren’t improved by the addition of cheese, and most babies do fine with cheese even if they are sensitive to cow’s milk.


Apples & Greens

This is one of Isabella’s long-time favorites and one of the foods I know I she’ll devour even if she won’t eat anything else.  I make at least 6 jars of Apples & Greens every time I make baby food.  Happily, it’s also the easiest recipe I make.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 Cups Applesauce
  • 2-3 Cups Mixed Greens

You can make your own apple sauce by gently simmering or steaming cut up apples and mashing them up.  I usually just buy no-sugar added applesauce (organic, when they have it).  I usually just use organic baby spinach, but there’s a great mix by Organic Girl called SuperGreens! that we love.  This is a simple blend and is probably fine to introduce before 9 months of age- just make sure baby has had applesauce before.  I think Izzy first started eating this around 7.5 or 8 months.

Here’s how to make it:

Dump everything in the blender and blend it up!  If this is the first time you’ve offered this to your baby, start with less greens and add more to taste.  Isabella loves it to be really green but every baby is different.

apples and greens homemade baby food

This is actually a great way to get more greens into your diet if you’re one of those people that just can’t stand salad.  It tastes mostly applesaucy.  And who doesn’t like applesauce?!?

As soon as she heard the food processor, Isabella made her way into the kitchen and demanded to be picked up.  She killed a whole jar of this before I could get the lid on.  Oh well- one more jar free for something else!

eating homemade apples and green baby food

she loves her apples and greens

give me more!

I want more!

Introducing Whole Grains

Contrary to popular belief, grains should not be introduced before 8 or 9 months of age.  I know, I know… your pediatrician, grandmother, and even strangers will insist that rice cereal is perfectly fine, even before 6 months.  I once had a home depot employee follow me through the store trying to convince me that rice cereal would make Isabella begin sleeping through the night.  But it’s just not true.

It takes a while for baby’s gut flora to develop.  Exclusive breastfeeding through 6 months is critical in this process.  And until baby is 8 or 9 months old, they haven’t developed enough of the enzymes necessary to fully digest grains.  So while you can buy cereal labeled “4 months and up” at the grocery store, it doesn’t mean it’s good for her to eat.

I know plenty of parents who have struggled with fussy, colicky, gassy, constantly-spitting-up babies for months and can’t figure out what the problem is.  I’m willing to bet that in many cases, cutting out grains (and other foods that aren’t age appropriate) would do wonders for solving the problem.

When preparing grains, soak them overnight to improve their digestability.  I usually add double the amount of water recommended and simmer them slowly until all the water is gone.  Sometimes I’ll even pulse the mixture a few times in my food processor before jarring it or adding it to other purees.

Every baby is different.  Some may be able to digest grains just fine at 6 months, while others may be 12 months or older before they can digest them without being uncomfortable.  This is why it’s so important to introduce foods one at a time and note if baby is showing any signs of sensitivity.

As a side note, rice cereal doesn’t necessarily help a baby to sleep all night.  Isabella didn’t start doing that till she was almost a year old, well after she began eating whole grains.