How to Make Healthy Meals for Your Baby: Ten Options

June 7, 2019
Cooking a healthy meal for your child is much easier than you can imagine. In this article, you can find out about the best tips and some ideas that you can add to your recipe box.

If you’ve already started using supplementary food for your baby, then you’ll love reading this article. Here, you will learn how to make healthy meals for your baby with little effort.

Would you like to take a look at these options?

First, always remember that the food you make must be approved by your pediatrician.

It’s also worth knowing that these first moments of feeding are when a child develops a taste for flavors. For this reason, it’s important to expose your child to a wide variety of flavors.

Of course, you can adapt these recipes to food your child has already tried. Remember, it’s usually recommended to add foods one by one in order to detect possible food allergies.

Making Healthy Meals for Your Baby

Healthy Meals for Your Baby

This list is merely an example. Follows the recommendations that are specified by your pediatrician when introducing foods into your child’s diet.

Before you start making these healthy meals for your baby at home, it’s important to know exactly what foods you can add to your child’s diet according to their age.

Let’s take a look at some general suggestions:

  • Up to the age of 6 months: Only breast milk. Even if you are bottle feeding your baby, you should only gradually add a little baby food into their diet between the age of 4 and 6 months.
  • Between 6 and 12 months: Fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, eggs, meat, chicken, fish, and olive oil.
  • Between 12 and 24 months: Soft cheese, yogurt, and milk.
  • At 3 years or older: Nuts, apple chunks, raw pieces of carrots, and any food that could be a choking hazard.

Tips for Cooking Healthy Food for Your Child

Fruits and vegetables

When shopping

  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to use them within a maximum of three days so they don’t lose their properties.
  • Choose lean meats. A good way to prepare healthy meals for your baby is to buy lean meats to prevent an excess of fat. If necessary, cut off the fat before cooking. Consult your pediatrician to find out the best options and quantities for your child.
  • Instead, if you opt to Baby Led Weaning purees, remember to use soft meat in small pieces. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor about what you are thinking about using so they can give you their advice.

When Cooking

Wash your hands in order to make healthy meals for your baby

Hygiene is crucial for cooking.
  • Remember to wash the fruits and vegetables, clean the work surface and use clean utensils on each food. It’s important to prevent cross-contamination of food.
  • Minimize the use of salt when you cook. The amount of salt you use should be minimal to prevent harming your child’s kidneys. Until the age of one year, your child’s intake should not exceed 1 gram of salt a day. They can consume up to 2 grams daily starting at the age of 3.
  • Choose olive oil instead of other fats. Olive oil has monounsaturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids, and healthy vitamin E. Also, consuming unrefined olive oil is always recommended in small doses at the beginning of complementary feeding.
  • You can use olive oil for boiling, baking, and frying (as long as you use a minimum amount of fat).

Other Ideas

  • Use broth. Vegetable broth can be wonderful when cooking rice or other grains such as quinoa. Broth can provide a different appetizing flavor to grains.
  • Add milk to purees. If you’re trying to make a puree for your child, you may notice that the puree could be too thick. Therefore, you can add water or milk to them. You can use the milk your child usually drinks and even breast milk.
  • Freeze the food you don’t use. It’s a good idea to freeze small portions of food to have for later.

Read this article, too: What Foods Should You Not Feed Your 9 Month Old Baby?

10 Ideas for Making Healthy Meals for Your Baby

Baby eating
Look at the food list that was indicated by your pediatrician and let your imagination run wild!

Meals for Your Baby

  • Rice with chicken and vegetables: Choose the vegetables of your choice and boil them along with small pieces of chicken until cooked. Remove and set to the side. Cook the rice in the broth. When you’re ready, you can beat the food to make a puree, squish it with a fork, or serve in pieces.
  • Zucchini cream: Boil a large potato, a large zucchini, and an onion (all vegetables must be peeled and cut) until they’re cooked. Use a potato masher or fork to get the texture you want.
  • Lentils with vegetables: Boil the lentils along with a peeled and chopped carrot, a half of chopped onion, and two peeled and seeded tomatoes. When the food is ready, you can squish it or serve as it is.
  • Short noodles with tomato sauce: Make a sauce with onion, tomato, and carrot that are cut into small pieces to add nutrients to the short noodles.
  • Omelet with vegetables: If you have already added eggs into your child’s diet, you can make an omelet with a variety of boiled chopped vegetables. It’s easy and delicious!
  • Vegetable puree with fish: Boil a small zucchini, a potato, one leek and a half of onion along with 80 grams of lean boneless fish. When everything is cooked, blend it all together.
  • Meatballs with vegetables: You can freeze these meatballs to always have healthy meals ready for your baby within a minute. Boil a carrot, a leek, 40 grams of green beans and 40 grams of lean meat. Removes the excess water, grind and make them into meatballs. Instead of frying, cook them in the oven.

Check out this article, too: The Benefits of Making Homemade Baby Food

Desserts for Your Baby

  • Mashed apple, pear, and banana: Cook one apple with a pear (both peeled, seeded and cut into cubes). When they become tender, take them out and blend them with the banana. If you want the mashed fruits to be lighter, add the milk your baby drinks on a regular basis. Don’t use sugar.
  • Banana and orange: This dessert is extremely easy. Squish a banana with a fork and mix with the juice of half an orange. Now you’re ready to go!
  • Yogurt with fruit: Give your child mashed fruits or simply small pieces of fresh fruit with yogurt. Your child will love it!

General Considerations

Making healthy meals for your baby is not complicated. You only have to choose healthy ingredients, use fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains, and cook them without adding fat and salt or sugar.

Remember that the stomach of your child is small, therefore you must not force them to eat. It may seem to be a small amount for you, but it may be more than enough for your child. Doctors recommend letting a baby eat on their own because they will eat the amount they truly need.

  • Asociación Española de Pediatría. Recomendaciones de la Asociación Española de Pediatría sobre la alimentación complementaria. https://www.aeped.es/sites/default/files/documentos/recomendaciones_aep_sobre_alimentacio_n_complementaria_nov2018_v3_final.pdf
  • Organización Mundial de la Salud. Guideline: Sodium intake for adults and children. En: Organización Mundial de la Salud [en línea] [consultado el 26/11/2018]. Disponible en: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/guidelines/sodium_intake_printversion.pd
  • Pérez-Escamilla R, Segura-Pérez S, Lott M. Feeding guidelines for infants and young toddlers: A responsive parenting approach. Nutrition Today. 2017;52(5):223-31.
  • Brown A, Jones SW, Rowan H. Baby-Led Weaning: The Evidence to Date. Curr Nutr Rep. 2017 6(2):148-56.