We have a treat for you! Today’s guest blogger, Jacqueline, is sharing her inspirations for Ridiculously Simple and Naturally Wholesome Baby Food Recipes.
Having a baby is one of the most magical, exciting times in a woman’s life — but as every mom knows, it can also be one of the most challenging! There’s so much information to absorb, so many decisions to make, and so much pressure to do everything exactly right…all when we’re more physically and emotionally exhausted than we’ve ever been in our lives. When my first child was born, I obsessed about everything from finding the best all natural treatment for cradle cap to which kind of music boosted brain development to the perfect length of an afternoon nap. Of course, I was particularly concerned about making sure my daughter got the best nutrition possible, so I resolved to make all her food from scratch. I read every book and article on the subject I could find. I pored over recipes and recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals; I analyzed methods of making rice cereal from scratch and storing purées. I learned a lot, but what I didn’t learn was how to trust my own instincts. So when my daughter turned up her nose at almost every from-scratch meal I tried to spoon into her mouth, my confidence was shaken. Why go to all the trouble of making baby food at home if my daughter wasn’t even going to eat it? I must have been doing something wrong, I figured.
16 years and two kids later, I’ve realized that I actually wasn’t doing anything wrong: Babies develop tastes and appetites on their own time, and if I’d relied on my intuition and followed my daughter’s lead, her introduction to solids would have been way less stressful for both of us. That’s why when I wrote my cookbook, “Fast & Fresh Baby Food Cookbook: 120 Ridiculously Simple and Naturally Wholesome Baby Food Recipes,” I was determined to include a wide variety of flavors and textures and combinations. There’s a misconception that babies prefer foods that are bland or overly sweet, and oftentimes that’s not the case at all — it was when I finally started giving my daughter more “adult” flavors that she finally started embracing solids, for example. So I really wanted to inspire parents to be creative and adventurous, while keeping things as low-stress as possible. When the book became a bestseller on Amazon, I started offering in-home baby food-making classes to moms based on the menus and techniques I wrote about. *Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the amazing classes Jacqueline offers in town!
Working with moms in person is incredibly rewarding. As my clients become more confident in their skills, they become more confident as parents overall. As mothers, it’s natural to doubt ourselves from time to time. Still, we have to remember that we know our babies best, and give ourselves permission to approach parenting in a fun and playful way. Sure, sometimes your baby is going to end up with more food in her hair than her mouth. Yes, she may very well spit out her peas the first dozen or so times she tries them. That’s okay! (Did you know that research shows it can take up to 15 times of trying a new food before a baby will eat it?) It won’t always be easy … but it doesn’t have to be hard, either.
This is one of my favorite purées for babies 7 months and up (don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to steal a few bites yourself!)
Papaya, Kiwi, and Oatmeal Purée
Makes 6 Servings, 1/4 Cup Each
Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 10 minutes
1/4 cup steel-cut or old-fashioned oats
1 large kiwi, peeled
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup diced fresh papaya
1. In a blender or food processor, grind the oats until they reach a powdery consistency.
2. Cut the kiwi into 1-inch chunks.
3. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. add the oats and simmer, whisking frequently, for 10 minutes.
4. In a blender or food processor, purée the papaya and kiwi until smooth (or slightly lumpy).
5. Stir the fruit purée into the cereal.
Storage: Leftover purée can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Content and images published with permission from the author.