“I don’t know what this is, but it stinks!” That is what my daycare provider’s husband said one day as he gave Andrew the lunch I had made and packed. The sweet potatoes he could get on board with, he said, but the asparagus and lentil combo seemed questionable to him. I didn’t care. I knew Andrew liked it, and one of the many benefits of making my own baby food is that I can introduce some out-of-the-boring-box unconventional baby foods … like lentils and asparagus.
If you’re interested in making your own baby food (it’s not as hard as it sounds!), check out this list of some of the foods I give my babies that go beyond your average peas and carrots. They’re fun to make, fun to introduce, and highly nutritious for your baby!
As an added bonus, researchers have shown that the greater variety of foods you introduce early, the less likely they are to be picky eaters later. We have definitely seen that to be true with our three-year-old!
(As with all food introduction methods, it’s best to wait until baby is 6 months or older, and always follow the “four day rule” to watch for signs of allergies or reactions.)
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Other Posts in the Baby Food Series
Before we dive in to my list, let me remind you of the first three posts in my baby food series. You can check them out now, if you haven’t already!
- Why We DON’T Start Solid Food Before Six Months
- Why I Love Making My Own Baby Food
- Is Rice Cereal Necessary? Why You Should Rethink It
And here we go … 15 highly-nutritious, unconventional baby foods you haven’t thought to try!
15 Unconventional Baby Foods
2. Black beans & chickpeas
Lentils and black beans may cause your baby gas at first. However, introducing them slowly but on a regular basis will gently condition their bodies to handle them. You can also try soaking them to make them easier on baby’s system.
3. Quinoa – fantastic way to thicken thinner veggies and fruits
4. Butternut Squash & Spaghetti Squash – I made a lot of spaghetti squash for Aidan, and it was one of his favorites!
6. Asparagus – (just be prepared for stinky diapers 😉 )
8. Blueberries – great in yogurt, in oatmeal, or with bananas!
Although parents are recommended to wait to give their babies cow’s milk until after 1 year of age, it is fine (even encouraged!) to give them yogurt as a first food. There are two reasons for this: 1) Unlike whole cow’s milk, there is little risk of yogurt or cheese replacing breast milk/formula, and 2) the cultures in yogurt make it much easier for baby to digest.
Yogurt can still cause an allergic reaction in babies with a milk allergy, however, so watch closely for signs of a reaction.
Also, if you do feed your baby yogurt, make sure it is natural yogurt made from whole milk or greek yogurt with no sugar added!
12. Zucchini – Zucchini puree is extremely thin, so it is best partnered with another food.
13. Honeydew, Watermelon, and Cantaloupe – these are also very thin, so you will want to thicken the purees with oatmeal or quinoa, or wait until baby is old enough to eat them without pureeing.
15. Cottage Cheese (8 months or older)
(See yogurt for more information on why it is acceptable to feed your baby cheeses before 1 year of age.)
A FREE Resource for You
If you think making your own baby food takes way too much time, or you’re struggling to make it work, my biggest piece of advice is this: feed your baby what you’re already cooking for the rest of the family, as much as possible. That way you don’t have to do any extra planning or cooking. It only requires a minimal amount of extra effort to puree, mash, or assemble!
To help you get started, I have created a “Baby & Me” meal plan to show you how easy it is to incorporate homemade baby food into your family dinners.
This meal plan includes 7 dinner ideas and a bonus breakfast, complete with recipe links, that will make it simple and easy for you to plan a week’s worth of baby food.
To download the FREE Baby & Me meal plan, simply follow the link below!
Tools for Making Homemade Baby Food
Here are a few of my favorite tools for making homemade baby food. All have been invaluable to me!
Unconventional Baby Food Recipes
This second time around, with a little more experience under my belt, I really want to branch out of the conventional baby food box and try some fun combination recipes. I can’t wait to watch Andrew enjoy them!
Here are a few fantastic lists I have found and am eager to try:
- Homemade Baby Food Using Sophisticated Combinations | Feeding My Kid
- Creative Baby First Food Recipes | Homemade Baby Food Recipes
- Creative Baby Food Combinations & Meal Ideas | Wholesome Baby Food
- Homemade Baby Food Combinations | Family Food on the Table
Whether you keep it simple or get fancy with one of the recipes listed above, go beyond the conventional baby foods and try something new. You’ll have fun, and baby will thank you for the new fun food!
Which of these unconventional baby foods have you tried? Which ones are you going to try next? Let us know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to sign up for your FREE Baby & Me Meal Plan!
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- 7 Simple Healthy Lunch Ideas for Moms
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