The holidays will be here before you know it, meaning visits with friends and family members, caroling, decorating the tree, gift-giving, and of course, tons of food. This time of year is filled with fun, unique holiday flavors that are perfect for inspiring holiday-themed purees and homemade baby food recipes.
Introducing your little one to these seasonal purees this holiday season can help expand their palate while being a fun way of including your newest family member in the festivities and feasting.
Easy Christmas Purees for Babies
Sweet Potato Puree: Your baby or toddler probably has a few years before they can start chowing down on grandma’s famous candied yams, but you can start them off with some of the flavors of the season early with a sweet potato puree.
Peel two sweet potatoes and chop roughly into 1 inch cubes. Place in a steamer basket and cook for 10 -15 minutes. Should be tender when pricked with a fork. Puree in blender or food processor until smooth. Add water as needed. You may add a pinch of cinnamon for taste.
Easy Pumpkin Applesauce: Give your future pumpkin pie lover a quick treat with pumpkin applesauce. This puree is extra simple. Purchase pureed, organic pumpkin and unsweetened applesauce. Add the desired amount to a bowl and mix together. This is a healthy, seasonal treat they’ll be clamoring for at Christmas dinner and all year long.
Winter Fruit Puree: Take advantage of seasonal fruits with this healthy winter fruit puree from Buona Pappa. This blended mix of persimmons, Korean pears, apples and lemon zest for a holiday meal that’s sure to be gobbled up quickly. Wash and core the selected fruit. You do not need to peel these items. Chop into pieces and lightly steam (about 8 minutes). Use an immersion blender to create a smooth, thick puree.
Extra-soft stuffing: While the turkey legs and gravy may have to wait, there’s no reason your older baby can’t enjoy some tasty stuffing as a side dish. Leave out anything crunchy or hard to chew, like onions, celery, carrots, or chestnuts, but otherwise prepare your recipe normally. Once that’s done, add some extra veggie or chicken stock to the recipe so it’s extra easy to swallow, and voila! A delicious dish your kiddo is sure to love.
Corn on the Cob: Whole, loose kernels of corn can be a choking hazard for small children. For your youngest children, make sure to cut the corn from the cob and puree before serving. Older children that enjoy finger food can enjoy a special treat. Serving them corn on the cob provides them with an engaging new way to eat, and minimizes choking hazards. Babies will mash the kernels while they gnaw them off the cob. Make sure the corn has completely cooled prior to giving it to your little one.
While your kiddo may not be old enough to enjoy cookies and milk or candy canes, that doesn’t mean they can’t participate in all of the deliciousness that are part and parcel of your holiday celebrations. With the right foods on hand, you can make sure your budding foodie feels every bit as much a part of the celebration as the rest of your crew.
When to Start Feeding Baby Solids
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most children can begin to eat solid foods around 6 months. Look for these developmental milestones and check with your pediatrician prior to introducing solids to your child’s diet.
- Able to sit up without support
- Has strong head and neck control
- Opens mouth when food is offered
- Swallows food and does not push it back out
- Able to bring objects to their mouth
- Tries to grasp small objects, such as their toys and food
- Able to move food from the front to the back of their tongue to swallow
Storing Baby Food
Homemade purees should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Depending on their storage container, they will stay fresh from 24-72 hours in the refrigerator and 1-3 months in the freezer.
Frozen baby food can be thawed by placing it in the refrigerator overnight or warming it in a warm bowl of water. Do not thaw on the counter at room temperature as this creates a risk of bacteria.