Once your baby’s around six months old, you can start introducing solid foods to their diet. Ready-made jars and pouches are convenient, but they can be expensive, and might not fit into your baby budget. Instead, why not cook a meal that the whole family will love?
If your child is comfortable with solid foods like puréed veggies and soft fruit, you can introduce new flavours and textures to give them a balanced diet.
We have 12 simple baby food recipes for you and your tot to try. Check them out and see how your little one reacts to their new breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.
12 Baby Recipe Ideas
1) Fruity porridge
Using plain oats, you and your baby can enjoy a delicious, creamy breakfast with a bowl of fruity porridge. Babies under 12 months can’t have cow’s milk, but you can use infant first formula instead. Simply prepare your porridge in two separate pans (one for you and one for baby).
Then, once the porridge is done, mix in some soft, puréed fruit of your choice. Some of the usual favourites include mashed-up banana, cooked apple and blended pear. You may need to add a little water to make sure the purée has the right consistency. Add a sprinkling of cinnamon at the end for a real flavour kick!
2) Toast fingers
Lightly toast half a slice of bread and cut it into ‘fingers,’ so your baby can easily pick up the small pieces and feed themselves (known as baby-led weaning). You can top the toast with nutritious puréed fruit, such as berries, or you can try soft cream cheese for a savoury option. Though, there’s no guarantee your baby won’t want to steal a bite of yours once they’ve finished!
3) Avocado and boiled egg
Avocado is at the top of anyone’s list for a weekend brunch, and now your baby can enjoy this healthy fruit too. Add a quarter of an avocado (save the rest for yourself) with a hard-boiled egg. Then, mash up the two ingredients together, and there you have it – a nutritious bowl of goodness for your baby. You can also try scrambled eggs, adding more water to your baby’s dish for a thinner consistency.
4) Cereal and yogurt
This is one of our easiest baby recipes. Simply top cereal with yogurt and fruit, with a bigger portion for you. You can buy specific ‘baby cereal,’ but if you want to eat the same as your little one, opt for wholegrain, wheat biscuits, found in the cereal aisle at the supermarket. Top with unsweetened, natural yogurt and some soft fruit, such as peach slices.
It’s usually recommended to avoid some baby-friendly foods like infant cereal and children’s yogurts, as they often contain a higher sugar count than their plain alternatives. Plus, baby-specific breakfasts can be a lot more expensive than the adult versions.
5) Cheesy pasta with broccoli
An express lunch that both parent and baby can eat! Cook whole-wheat pasta and broccoli together in pan of boiling water according to the pasta’s packet instructions (usually around 10 minutes). Then, add some grated cheese to the mixture, and stir until the cheese melts. Depending on your baby’s age and texture preference, you can blend their portion or cut it into small pieces.
6) Mini ploughman’s lunch
Finger food is essential to many of these baby food recipes, because they teach little ones how to feed themselves, plus are simple and easy to prepare. So, why not go for a mini ploughman’s lunch? Think cold meats, veg sticks, chunks of cheese, small pieces of bread and hard-boiled eggs – though, your baby probably isn’t ready for pickled onions yet!
7) Beans on toast
A firm, family favourite by anyone’s standards: beans on toast. Quick and comforting, beans on toast are especially tasty after a cold walk in the park. The NHS recommends using reduced salt and sugar beans for health reasons, so be careful of which brand you buy.
Omelettes take less than fifteen minutes from pan to table, and you don’t need to cook a separate portion for your baby. Instead, make one extra-large omelette (ensuring it’s well-cooked), filled with cheese or soft vegetables. Cut off a few ‘omelette fingers,’ then let your little one pick up their eggy strips and enjoy.
9) Shepherd’s pie
A classic, hearty meal that’s not just for adults! Filled with healthy vegetables and tasty lamb mince, shepherd’s pie makes a satisfying family dinner (just use reduced-salt gravy for your baby).
Either fill up a few ‘loaded’ spoons with food, or let your baby go to town with on the meat and mashed potato with their own hands (though, you might have a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards)!
10) Bolognese pasta
You can’t have traditional spaghetti Bolognese on the menu just yet, as your little one is a long way off from twirling their food on a fork. But you can still make the Bolognese sauce and mix with cut-up pieces of other pasta, such as penne or shells. If your baby is still into purées, mix the pasta and Bolognese in a blender before serving.
11) Salmon, rice and peas
This baby food recipe is packed with essential omega-3, so it’s good for both you and your tot. Plus, rice and peas are both very soft and small in size, making them easy for older babies baby to mush up in their mouth.
Combined together, salmon, rice and peas make a delicious dinner dish that’s both filling and healthy! Use canned salmon for your little one (making sure to carefully remove any bones), and a salmon fillet for you – simple!
12) Red lentil dahl
Combining red lentils, onion, garlic, coriander, chilli and cumin, red lentil dahl is full of flavour. It’s the perfect dish for introducing your little one to new spices and tastes. Though, for the first few tries, you might want to avoid using chilli peppers, as it might make the dahl too hot for your baby to handle!
Serve whole or as a purée to your baby, then add rice or naan bread to the adult’s meal.
If you want to know more about feeding your baby between 0-12 months, check out our age-by-age baby feeding guide in the BabaBing! blog.