- Avoid using honey in sweet delicacies for babies who are less than one year old
- You can alternatively use unsweetened soya milk instead of whole milk for preparing your baby’s food. But care must be taken as soya milk might curdle when you boil it. So try to heat small quantity first before boiling the entire bowl.
- You must never mix any kind of artificial sweetener in the food of your baby, as they might prove to be harmful for them.
- If you are preparing any food item for your little one with nuts in it, then care must be taken to properly grind and crust the nuts into powder. Pieces or chunks may make them choke as its not very easy for them to digest all kinds of food at this stage.
Here are some simple yet effective recipes to make and feed your baby! Most ingredients can be found at home within your pantry!
Almost all babies love apples. For an infant it is best to mash the apple or puree it before feeding. For this boil the apple, you can wrap the apple in fine muslin and boil it while cooking your rice. Once done remove the cloth, peel off the apple and what remains is a gooey mash of apple pulp. You may or may not add sugar or butter for better flavor.
Ragi is also known as finger millet. This is an age old recipe for infants and adults alike. The benefits of ragi are manifold. It is known to be rich in fiber and iron both essential for growing infant. Ragi should be washed and dried well before grinding it to powder. This can be stored in an airtight box.
Variation of the plain ragi powder is to add a little of all pulses like millet, roasted gram dal, wheat, corn etc. Another nutritional variant to this is to dry raw plantain (Kerala banana) chips. Equal proportions of banana and washed ragi to be ground to powder.
To about 1 tablespoon of powder add ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil. Add milk to make a slurry consistency. Add sugar or jaggery as per your baby’s preference.
This is a complete meal by itself. Most underweight babies become more robust with this meal. This also is a good food supplement for adults too.
All fruits in combination or singularly can be pureed to feed the baby. Fruits are rich source of vitamins and proteins which are very essential for the healthy growth of baby.
Oats are another nutritional option for children of all ages. A warm porridge of oats with added fruits is every child’s delight and it is very easy to prepare also.
Soups of vegetables are another favorite of infants. Add a little butter for enhanced flavor. You can make soups of tomato, carrot, beetroot or even a mix vegetable soup for your baby.
For an infant’s first semi solid meal, boil and mash half a potato and half a carrot. Add a little salt and pepper for seasoning. Your baby will surely love it.
These are a rich source of protein. Boil them after presoaking for overnight. Puree them and add seasoning along with some butter for enhancing the taste.
Rava or semolina:
Porridge of semolina and milk is liked by most children. You can add sugar to this mixture as per your wish.
The positives of curd are too plentiful to enumerate. It is a probiotics and a rich source of vitamin and protein. Just plain curd or infused with fruit or vegetable is a complete meal for your baby.
Consult your pediatrician prior to feeding egg to your baby. Eggs can be scrambled, boiled or parboiled as a wholesome meal. Check for allergic reaction.
Chicken broth or chicken soup:
Boil chicken pieces and use the broth as a clear soup. Add a pinch of salt for seasoning. You can also add any vegetable puree for more flavors.
Being a good source of antioxidant carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, yellow (or colored) corn may promote eye health. Boil corn well and feed your baby with corn puree or just corn kernels. Season it using with salt and butter.
This simple root is a very good source of Vitamin C. It is up to 27% effective in fighting various infections like cold and flu, wounds, strengthening bones, fighting against anti ageing or providing healthy immune system. It also provides good amounts of fiber, potassium, manganese, and metabolic B vitamins. Puree or boiled pieces with seasoning of your choice is liked by most children. Care to be taken while peeling the yam scales. Remnants may cause irritation of the throat in little children.
Idlis or steamed rice dumplings :
This traditional south Indian dish is a huge hit with children and adults alike. Children like them more because they are soft and easy to eat. Being steamed it is a hygienic and healthy food and can be eaten with chutney or just plain butter.
This age old recipe from all grandmothers is still irresistible with children. Boil rice with equal quantities of moong dal (green gram dal). Boil to make gruel. Season it with ghee and salt.
Roti or chapaati :
This is an ideal meal for a little older child, say 9 months or more. Chapaati soaked in dal or with vegetable puree is good for kids
Dairy products like cheese, cottage cheese can be given to kids either as spreads or accompaniments for chapattis or rice.
This is the ultimate substitute for vegetarians. Soya is available as chunks, mince, or granules. It can be cooked with vegetables, stuffed into chapattis or added into rice.
Bread pudding :
Soak four slices of bread in a cup of milk. Boil another cup of milk, add the bread slices and boil again. Add sugar to desired taste. Pour this mixture into mould/dish and steam cook for about 10 minutes. Transfer contents into a bowl. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.
Red meat and fish :
Red meat and fish can be given to babies. No need to shy away from them. Care to be taken to boil /cook the meat properly and cut it or mince it before serving the baby. Similarly, fish needs to be deboned and descaled well, prior to feeding a baby. Seasoning needs to be very little.
Since man has learnt to keep cattle, milk has been a full meal to adults and children alike. Plain milk, or milk made into smoothies with the seasonal fruit is an easy meal.
This store house of carbohydrate is a must have for most children. Boiled and mashed with butter and seasoning is an all time favorite.
Finger foods :
For older babies finger foods can be made of plums, grapes and potato wedges. This helps them gain independence to eat and help easier switch from semisolid to solid foods.
Poha is made from flattened rice flakes and is very rich in iron. It is a healthy source of carbohydrates as it releases sugar slowly into the bloodstream. It is the Indian version of cornflakes. Poha does not need cooking; just add warm milk to a bowl of Poha to make nutritious gruel for your munching.
Kanji or gruel:
This is another south Indian meal. It just requires you to boil rice in a little extra water. Add salt to this soupy concoction. The starch content of the rice is an energy power house for kids.
Though doctors and dentists abhor this confectionary any mother knows that “a little bit of chocolate makes the vegetable go down in the most delightful way”. Just drizzle some chocolate sauce over the fruits and vegetable your child does not like and watch in amazement the ease with which it all goes down!
Green leafy vegetables:
Though children do not like their greens, it is very important for them to have spinach, broccoli, zucchini and the likes. One easy method to feed it to them is pureeing them and adds to chicken or meat soup. Another favorite is to stuff chapatti along with other colored rotis like pink with beetroot etc. Variety makes the child go greedy.
These simple recipes with easily available ingredients will surely help you keep your baby satisfied and you happy. Just try these recipes and be relaxed.