When we started solids with our first daughter, we had way more fun than I expected. She eagerly inhaled almost everything we offered and surprised us with her love of sweet potatoes, meat, and citrus fruits. It was incredibly messy, but it brought her so much joy to taste new foods. Now that our second girl is inching closer to the 6-month mark, we’ve already started the process of preparing for this happy milestone. We’ve pulled out the high chair, ordered new infant spoons, and found our best bibs. These yummy combinations of fruits and veggies are on my list for her to try. Bonus: They’re all easy to make with just basic kitchen equipment and a quick trip to the produce section of your supermarket!
1. Apple-Carrot Sauce with Cinnamon
With a hint of spice from cinnamon, this smooth applesauce is a yummy food for baby, and a delicious side dish for roast pork or chicken for mom and dad. 6+ months
- 2 apples, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Place apples and carrots into a steamer basket in a medium pot filled with 2 inches of water. Heat over medium, cover, and steam until the apples and carrots are soft when poked with a fork, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree in a food processor, adding cinnamon, and 1-2 tablespoons water to thin if desired. (You can leave it chunkier for an older baby.)
Variation: You can also use 1/8 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice instead of cinnamon for a different hint of spice.
2. Avocado-Pea Puree
Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats and are already an ideal soft texture for babies. When mashed together with sweet peas, they make a yummy puree for baby and a delicious spread for bread or crackers for mom and dad. 6+ months
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup frozen petite peas
Add the peas to a medium bowl, bring a kettle of water to a boil, and pour water over peas. Let sit for 5 minutes to thaw and soften. Place into a food processor along with the avocado and puree, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Serve to baby. For adults, spread onto crusty bread or crackers and top with a sprinkle of flakey salt.
Variation: Add 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, or even a mashed ripe banana.
3. Roasted Sweet Potato-Pear Puree
Roasting adds a deeper flavor to this simple puree, which is delicious on its own or when paired with plain yogurt or even roast pork or chicken. It boasts Vitamins A and C, along with fiber. 6+ months
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled
- 1 very ripe pear, peeled and cubed
Poke holes in the sweet potatoes with a paring knife. Place onto a baking pan and roast for 35-45 minutes at 400 degrees F or until very soft. Let cool slightly. Half and scoop the flesh into a food processor along with the pear. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Serve to baby with a spoon. Adults can spread on toast, roasted chicken, or over plain yogurt.
Variation: Try apple instead of pear, or butternut squash instead of sweet potato.
4. Peach-Blueberry Puree
Juicy peaches and plump blueberries are a combination straight out of summer. This puree isn’t too sweet, but has Vitamins A and C. Serve to baby plain or stir into plain yogurt to share. Freeze in ice cube trays, then transfer to zip top freezer bags to store for up to 3 months as needed. 10+ months
- 2 very ripe medium peaches
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. Submerge peaches for about 2 minutes, then remove and place into a bowl of cold water. Let sit until cool enough to handle and remove skins. Slice and add to the food processor with the blueberries and lemon juice. Blend well.
Variation: Try raspberries instead of blueberries if you’d like.
5. Golden Beet and Butternut Squash Puree
Golden beets are a vibrant color and have an earthy flavor that pairs nicely with butternut squash, but they stain less than their ruby red counterparts. When steamed and pureed, this puree is one that both babies and adults may enjoy plain or served over plain yogurt. 10+ months
- 2 medium golden beets, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup peeled and cubed butternut squash
Place beets and butternut squash into a steamer basket in a medium pot filled with 2 inches of water. Heat over medium, cover, and steam until the beets and squash are very soft when poked with a fork, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree in a food processor until very smooth.
Variation: Try parsnips instead of the butternut squash for a change.
6. Broccoli-White Bean Puree
Loaded with Vitamin C and fiber, broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrition. And by introducing it early, you may instill a love of this green veggie that stays strong even through toddlerhood. The white beans add creaminess, as well as fiber and vegetarian protein. Be sure to rinse the beans well if using canned to remove any excess salt. Adults may want to spread on baguette and top with red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese. 10+ months
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup white beans, rinsed well and drained
Place broccoli into a steamer basket in a medium pot filled with 2 inches of water. Heat over medium, cover, and steam until very soft when poked with a fork, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree in a food processor along with the beans, adding water or breastmilk/formula as needed to thin into a smooth puree.
Variation: Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or try cauliflower instead of the broccoli.
7. Parsnip-Apple Puree
Parsnips are an often overlooked root vegetable that are naturally sweet with both Vitamin C and potassium. Pairing it with apple is a simple way to offer up unexpected flavors to baby. Make a double batch and reserve half of the roasted parsnips and apples for a simple side dish for mom and dad. 6+ months
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup peeled and diced parsnip
- 1 medium apple, peeled and sliced
Place the oil, parsnips, and apples on a small baking sheet and toss together. Roast in a 400 degree F oven for about 18-20 minutes, or until the parsnips are lightly golden brown and very soft. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and puree in a food processor adding 1 tablespoon water at a time until smooth and thin.
Variations: Sprinkle on a bit of dried nutmeg or ginger.