More yummy foods for your baby! This round-up features sweet potatoes, brown rice, chicken, pears and banana.
This batch takes a little longer than round 1 (which was only 20 minutes!) because you’ve got to cook the sweet potato, brown rice and chicken. But you’ll be doing all of those at once and the hands-on time is very minimal.
Let’s get cooking!
Sweet potato: I usually do 2-3 of these at a time since they take a bit longer. Scrub them well, poke them with a fork a couple of times and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. (The sweetness comes from the caramelized sugars in the potato, which can spill out during baking, so make your life easy and use the foil. You can ball it up and throw it away and no clean up necessary). Bake the sweet potatoes at 400 for at least an hour, until tender. Once they are cool enough to handle, open the skins up, scoop out the potato and blend it with some water using your immersion blender. Or for older babies, just mash it really well with a fork.
While the sweet potato is roasting, get to work on your brown rice.
Brown rice: So much better than white! And for babies who don’t know the difference, start them off right and only use 100% whole grains. Don’t be intimidated, it’s super easy to cook brown rice.
Get my detailed (but so simple) instructions for perfect, fluffy brown rice.
Once it’s cooked, you’re ready to blend it up – just add some extra water and use your immersion blender to get it smooth.
Note: You can simply make extra sweet potato and brown rice the next time you’re cooking it for yourself and put it aside for baby food before you add any seasonings. Now everyone is fed and happy!
While the sweet potato is roasting and the brown rice is cooking, you can get your chicken going.
Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, mainly because that’s what we eat and like the best. You could certainly pick thighs or a mix if you’d like.
I don’t season my chicken breasts for baby food. Babies don’t need salt and for first foods, I hold off on adding herbs and other seasonings. I prefer the one-at-a-time approach to foods, particularly to control for allergies. Definitely introduce (non-salt) seasonings later, though. Babies like flavor too!
For now, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add your chicken breasts – I’d say 2-3 breasts to give you plenty of chicken for now and for the freezer – and let them boil for about 25 minutes, until done.
Remove and use your immersion blender to puree them up, adding water (I use the cooking liquid) as needed. Yes, pureed meat is a little weird but it’s good for them! Once you’ve passed the three day mark of giving it to your baby, you can start to combine it with applesauce or pears or peaches or rice or sweet potato or beans and then it doesn’t seem quite so strange. (See my favorite baby food combinations for more ideas.)
And while the sweet potato, brown rice and chicken are going – look at you, multi-tasker! – you can get these fruits ready in just minutes.
Pears: You can buy fresh, ripe pears to use here. Just remove the skin and core and use your immersion blender to get them smooth and dreamy.
Or, you can buy canned or jarred pears (packed in water or juice, not heavy syrup and not sugar-free because that usually means artificial sweeteners have been added), drain them and puree them.
Banana: Choose a nice ripe banana (yellow with some brown spots to significant brown areas – brown does not mean spoiled). Peel and mash. Mash some more. And if you’re feeling guilty about how easy this is, mash a little longer. Deliciousness on a spoon for your baby. (Quick note: Mashed up banana doesn’t keep that long, so do this when you’re pretty much ready to serve it.)
What a lovely smorgasbord of healthy foods for your baby! Pat your back, high five yourself, get yourself a gold star! And whatever you don’t need to use now, put in freezer trays and store away for later. Sweet!
(Note: These are actually combos. It’s chicken and pears and chicken and sweet potato.)
Check out these other batch cooking combinations:
Homemade baby food round 1: peas, green beans, applesauce, butternut squash, oatmeal
Homemade baby food round 3: quinoa, peaches, avocado, pumpkin, cottage cheese
Homemade baby food round 4: broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, black beans, Greek yogurt
Homemade baby food round 5: asparagus, barley, edamame, blueberries, mango
Homemade baby food round 6: apricots, prunes, egg yolks, chick peas, blackberries
Don’t forget to check out my favorite baby food combinations.
And when you’re ready, try homemade baby food pouches and finger foods.
All of this information and other resources can be found together in one place on my homemade baby food resources page.