As a rule of thumb, cooking at home is usually healthier than eating out, so why not try it for our babies, too? With a good recipe, making your own baby food can be even easier than cooking for your solid-eating family members. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to begin introducing their little palates to spices and get them used to eating the foods everyone else is eating (aka making your life easier down the road when they start eating solids). To get you started, here are our quick dos & don’ts and the recipes we’re making this Thanksgiving season.

DO THIS, NOT THAT

Do add all the flaves

Do use recipes that are similar to what the rest of your family usually eats

Do try new spices and seasonings (be sure to introduce them one at a time to help determine if your baby has any sensitivities)

Do blend everything extra smooth (no lumps!) to avoid a choking hazard

Don’t add sugar (especially not honey, which increases risk of botulism in babies)

Don’t cook with breast milk — if you’re adding it, do it at the end.

Don’t save the leftovers. Once your baby’s saliva gets mixed in with the jar of food it makes it easier for bacteria to grow.

THE (MINI) THANKSGIVING FEAST

FYI: These recipes are only for babies 7 months and older and, of course, we recommend you always check with your pediatrician before starting new foods to make sure your baby is ready.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Grocery list: 1 medium yam (great source of Vitamin C), 2 carrot (tons of antioxidants), 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt (plenty of protein)

Step 1:

Peel and chop your yams and carrots into small pieces

Step 2:

Boil or sauté them until soft

Step 3:

Let them cool

Step 4:

Transfer to a blender or baby food maker and add Greek yogurt. You can also use breast milk!

Step 5:

Puree until every lump is totally smooth

 

Savory Pumpkin Puree

Grocery list: 1 small organic sugar pumpkin (check the farmers’ market)  or one can of organic unsweetened pumpkin puree (plenty of potassium), 1 Tsp of thyme (yay for Vitamin A), ¼ cup of water or breast milk

Step 1:

Scrub the outside of your pumpkin with warm water

Step 2:

Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Then, lightly brush the insides with olive oil and place facedown on a baking sheet. Cook at 450 degrees for 45 minutes

Step 3:

Remove from oven and let cool

Step 4:

Cut the pumpkin into small pieces, ensuring that the rind is totally removed, and place in a blender. Add thyme and water or breast milk

Step 5:

Puree until every lump is totally smooth

 

“Apple Pie”

Grocery list: 2 apples (lots of fiber), a pinch of cinnamon (great for all-around health and metabolism)

Step 1:

Peel and core your apples. Then, cut them into small pieces

Step 2:

Boil pieces until soft

Step 3:

Let pieces cool, transfer to blender and add cinnamon

Step 4:

Puree until every lump is totally smooth