Healthy baby foods recipes

5 Homemade Baby Food Recipes with Carrots

Medically reviewed by Peggy Pletcher, M.S., R.D., L.D., CDE — By Elea Carey on July 16, 2015

First solid foods offer a great opportunity to get your baby used to a variety of flavors. This could make them more willing to try new things, ultimately giving them a varied and healthy diet.

Carrots are naturally sweet and mellow, just right for baby’s simple palate. What’s more, they’re packed with essential nutrients and are easy to use as a baby food ingredient.

Carrots are very high in vitamin A, which is needed to support the immune system, as well as your heart, lungs, and kidneys. It also supports eye health, specifically the retina, eye membrane, and cornea. Babies under six months need 400 mcg of vitamin A per day, and babies between six months and a year old need 500 mcg per day.

Read More: Why Your Body Loves Carrots »

Carrots are also a good source of other vitamins, like vitamin K, which helps blood clot properly, and vitamin B6, which is necessary for skin, hair, eye, and liver health.

They’re a good source of fiber, which your baby might need more of if you’re feeding them a lot of low-fiber foods like baby cereals.

Your baby can start eating carrots at about six months, and the options are limitless! The jury is still out on whether you should buy organic. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that it is important for children to eat a variety of foods, whether they are organic or conventionally grown, though they note that organic foods do have lower levels of pesticides and drug-resistant bacteria.

Boiled Carrots

Just cook raw carrots yourself. Wash and peel them, then boil in water until tender. Mash thoroughly with a fork or food mill. Add a little water to get the consistency right for your baby, and voila!

Roasted Carrots

You might like to try roasting the carrots, rather than boiling. Roasted vegetables develop a more intense flavor, like in this simple roasted carrot puree recipe.

Chicken and Carrots

Because of their strong flavor, carrots are a good cover for foods your baby might not otherwise relish. This smooth chicken, apple, and carrot puree serves up a full ounce of chicken. That’ll get your baby 8 grams of protein, almost the full daily requirement for babies between 7 and 12 months.

Carrot Meatballs

Most babies can sit up on their own by 6 months and can grasp with finger and thumb at about 10 months. That’s when you can start introducing foods that babies can hold themselves. These carrot meatballs combine an entire meal of nutrients into one handful of food. The salt isn’t necessary, and letting your baby enjoy salt-free foods could help establish a low-sodium diet for life.

Butternut Squash and Carrots

Here’s a puree recipe that combines some easily digestible vegetables — like butternut squash and carrots — with a pinch of curry. Apples are a baby favorite and are a fairly good source of vitamin C, which protects cells from destructive free radicals.

Carrot allergies are not common. However, if your baby is allergic to birch pollen or mugwort pollen, he or she might also be allergic to carrots. When you introduce a new food to your baby, do not mix it with another new food, and also wait three to five days to see if any allergic reaction develops. Be on the lookout for symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, but also more subtle signs such as rashes. Be especially watchful if you or someone else in your family has a food allergy.

What It Is, When to Start, and Options to Try

Accompanying your child through the different stages of learning how to eat real food is an exciting journey. Sometimes, along with the sense of pride — Look, they polished off the whole jar! — you can feel a little confused. How are you supposed to navigate the milestones?

Let’s start at the beginning: What do the stages of baby food mean, anyway?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your baby’s digestive system won’t make the leap from liquid to solid in one day either. That’s what the stages of baby food are for — to help your baby manage the mechanics of eating and to make the transition easier on your baby’s digestive system.

Defining the stages across the brands

While the different stages of baby food aren’t standardized (it would make your life easier if they were!), most popular brands more-or-less follow these four stages:

  • Stage 1: 4 to 6 months (watery puree of a single ingredient)
  • Stage 2: 6 to 9 months (thicker texture that is strained or mashed)
  • Stage 3: 10 to 12 months (mush that has soft, chewable, small chunks)
  • Stage 4: After 12 months (finger foods and small, soft pieces of foods you share from your own supper)

What is the difference between stage 1 and stage 2 food?

Stage 1 foods are pretty watery. They’re pureed into a smooth paste that can drip off a spoon easily, so stock up on your bibs. These foods are usually made of a single ingredient: oatmeal cereal, apple, carrots. Your baby will start off eating about half a teaspoon of this.

Stage 2 foods get more exciting. These are strained or mashed into a dense paste. They’re made with a combination of foods that can include legumes and even meats or fish. They may combine flavors, like fruit and veggie blends. Your baby’s appetite is growing and you’ll have to keep pace with bigger portions.

At around 6 to 9 months, your baby is probably ready to move on to stage 2 foods. Not every baby will stick to this schedule simply because every child is a world to their own.

Here are some signs that your child is ready to move on:

  • Tongue reflex: At around five months, your child will start losing their tongue thrust reflex and won’t immediately push out the food that you try to feed them.
  • More please: They’ll easily polish off the stage 1 foods and look hungry for more.
  • Variety: They’ll have eaten foods from all the food categories (vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, meat) and shown no allergy or intolerance.
  • Enjoyment: They’re managing spoonfuls of stage 1 foods easily, mouthing and swallowing happily.

At this exciting stage, feel free to give your baby most types of foods. By offering them a wide range of tastes and textures, you’re giving them a foundation for healthy eating habits — as well as making it easier for yourself. Keep in mind the following safety points:

  • Choking hazards: Avoid nuts, seeds, and popcorn at this stage. And make sure to slice round foods like grapes and hot dogs lengthwise.
  • No honey: Children younger than 12 months should not be given honey because it could lead to a botulism infection.
  • No juice: Follow AAP guidelines and stick with breast milk, formula or a little water and steer clear of juices.
  • Safe feeding: Always strap your child into their high chair and keep an eye on them while they’re eating.

And if you’re wondering about peanuts, here’s the scoop: A 2017 release from the National Institutes of Health suggests exposing children to peanut-containing foods as early as 4 months old. (Wait till 6 months for children with mild or moderate eczema.)

Surprised? Don’t be. A recent study suggested that Israeli kids rarely suffer from peanut allergies because they’re munching on Bamba, a peanut-based snack, from as early as 3 months. Talk to your doctor about suggested safe ways to incorporate peanut products into your little one’s diet.

What’s on the menu for stage 2 baby foods? Basically, you can go the store-bought or the homemade route. Or you can mix both depending on how much time you have. It’s up to you and your personal schedule.

Here are tasty ideas for both options.

Store-bought stage 2 baby food

  • Plum: These organic blends come in easy-to-transport pouches. Try pear, spinach, and pea, or banana and pumpkin.
  • Beech-Nut: Options are available in jars and pouches. Serve up some apples and bananas or pineapple, pear, and avocado.
  • Earth’s Best: Another organic option, in pouches or jars. Try sweet potato, barley, and garbanzo or pasta with tomato and white bean.
  • Gerber: A classic, whether served up from plastic tubs, jars, or pouches. Flavor combinations include peach mango and oatmeal or chicken noodle dinner.

Remember to monitor your little one while they’re eating. Pouches are handy, but the caps can be a choking hazard. Glass jars are at risk of breaking, so keep them out of baby’s reach. Your baby should always enjoy snacks and meals with attentive adult supervision.

Homemade stage 2 baby food

Cooking up a storm for your baby’s budding taste buds at this stage doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are a few recipes to get you going. (You can find even more baby food recipes here.)

Don’t shy away from spices and herbs: your baby will appreciate the added flavor, and the micronutrients in them will give their immune system a boost.

  • Apple, butternut, and carrot: Boil the ingredients until they test soft with a fork. Drain some of the water, but set it aside in case you need to thin the mixture. Sprinkle in a little curry and blend.
  • Blueberries and chickpeas: You can cook up your own chickpeas or use a prepared version to save time. Mix equal amounts of blueberries and chickpeas. Blend and add breastmilk, formula, or water to get the right consistency. You can also add in some rice for extra oomph and texture.
  • Salmon with roasted zucchini and fennel: Spray the salmon and vegetables with oil and broil for about 15 minutes. Add chopped parsley and blend. You can thin the mixture with breastmilk, formula, or water.

Enjoy this stage with your baby because it won’t be long before they move on to the next stages. And then, sooner than you think, you may be facing competition for that last slice of caramel-topped cheesecake.

Teach Children: 10 Healthy Eating Habits Recipes for Children's Meals


Household Habits

To make sure your child develops healthy eating habits, start instilling them at an early age. By using fun and interesting interactions with food, you can help your child build a healthy relationship with food. We've put together 10 tips to help you instill healthy eating habits in your child for life.

Let them cook too

One of the best ways to make children love food is to let them participate in the preparation. Let your child help you come up with healthy recipes to cook together in the kitchen. Young children can help stir and pour, older adults can be in charge of weighing ingredients and using kitchen utensils such as a garlic press or blender (with your supervision and assistance).

Explore Farm Shop

To help your child learn about seasonal vegetables, fruits, and local produce such as meat and eggs, take them to the farm shop all the time. Tell them about seasonal foods, try different fruits and vegetables together, and discuss how they can be prepared at home. You can also engage local farmers in the conversation, who will share a lot of useful information with you and your children about what you are buying.

Plan snacks together

Children need to understand that snacking is not a time dedicated to eating junk food like candy. Sit down with your child and together plan a few snacks with his favorite healthy food, such as unsmoked pigtail cheese with grapes, carrots with hummus, or whole grain crackers with nut butter.

Set aside devices

Devices such as smartphones and tablets are the enemy of mindful eating. Set aside a bowl for your family members to leave their portable devices in before meals (parents too). So everyone can sit down at the table, relax and enjoy the food.

Maintain a positive atmosphere

Don't force your child to eat something they don't like and don't use food as a reward - all of which make food look negative. It's better to keep a positive atmosphere: let your child try new foods if he feels like it. Smelling and touching food (without eating) is just as important as eating. A child usually needs to interact with a new product 20 to 30 times to finally accept it. And, of course, a couple of words of encouragement in the direction of the child can play a big role.

Be a role model

Children learn by watching adults. If you show your kids that you're trying to eat right and make healthier food choices, they'll also be more health conscious when making their own decisions.

Brighten up your dinner

Department of Agriculture experts suggest that half your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. Encourage the children to build on this principle at every meal. Find out how many flowers they can fit on their plate. Keep a spreadsheet with the results, or have each child list the colors in their dish aloud.

Visit the farm

The best way to find out where food comes from is to visit the farm and harvest it yourself. Many farmers set aside special times when you can visit them. Find a local farm where customers can pick their own fruit and vegetables to buy later (for example, apples in the fall and berries in the spring).

Dine together as a family

Half the success of eating right is in creating a relaxed dining environment. Pleasant family conversations and enjoying food in a cozy atmosphere are part of a healthy eating regimen.

Physical education is also important

Exercise and good nutrition go hand in hand. Encourage your child to join any activity they enjoy: from baseball to swimming, from ballet to cycling. You can go to the park or backyard to play football or basketball or go for an afternoon stroll with the whole family. If children are introduced to physical activity at an early age, they are more likely to keep this healthy habit in the future.

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Recipes for Kids | Recipes for proper nutrition

For you, we have prepared the best step-by-step recipes with photos of healthy diet dishes for children

Aug 07, 2017

Diet biscuit with eggs and green onions

Category: Baking recipes, Recipes for children

It's great in summer - so many greens, different vegetables, fruits, berries - create - I don't want to. Today, a delicious rustic-style breakfast - very simple, healthy, nutritious - diet biscuit with eggs, cheese and green onions. Knowing that my daughter is very selective in food and eats almost nothing, I did not even offer her this pie. Accidentally begging for a piece from dad, in the end she ate two whole pieces, and then for a long time she collected crumbs from the table. I even had to cook a biscuit a second time.

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Jun 24, 2017

Diet pizza with chicken and strawberries

Heading: Pizza recipe, Recipes for children

Pizza is a favorite dish of many children, and absolutely everyone will like this diet pizza with chicken and strawberries. Despite such an unusual combination, pizza is really very tasty, and most importantly - healthy. It can be used by both children and adults.

Calorie content of diet pizza with chicken and strawberries per 100 gr. is: 144 kcal. Nutritional value per 100 gr. : proteins: 12 gr., fats: 5 gr., carbohydrates: 13 gr.

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Jun 12, 2017

Diet fried dumplings with apricots and bananas

Heading: Breakfast - recipes with photos, Recipes for children

In fact, I don't even know what to call this dish. This is not a pie, and not a dumpling, and even more so, it is not an omelet. This is a very tasty, unusual healthy breakfast, let it be called a dietary fried dumpling with apricots and bananas. This is a great breakfast for both adults and children - hearty, nutritious, sweet and delicious.

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Feb 21, 2017

Healthy pancakes without eggs

Heading: Breakfast - recipes with photos, Recipes for children

Tasty, tender and fragrant pancakes can be cooked without eggs (especially important for those who have allergies, for example). Both children and adults will like these pancakes. Delicious with both sour cream and jam.

Ingredients :
Whole wheat flour + rice: 100 g + 90 g.
Corn starch: 1 tbsp. (15 g.)
Sour cream 10%: 150 g.
Olive oil (or any other oil of your choice): 10 g.
Water: 200 ml.
Salt: a pinch
Soda: 1/2 tsp.
Stevia: to taste

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Oct 17, 2016

Healthy coconut rice porridge

Heading: Breakfast - recipes with photos, Recipes for children

Healthy coconut rice porridge is sure to please all family members - from children to adults. And if you sprinkle it with nuts, decorate with berries and coconut flakes, pour over your favorite jam, then breakfast will become unforgettably tasty, healthy and correct. You need to start pampering yourself from the very morning! :)

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Sep 11, 2016

Banana pp muffins with chocolate drops.

Video recipe Heading: Recipes for children, Breakfast - recipes with photos, Dessert recipes

Insanely delicious, tender, soft and sweet banana pp muffins with chocolate drops. You can not add any stevia or other sweetener, it will still be sweet and tasty. My daughter blew 4 at once! For their sake, I even ate the hated soup :D

The following ingredients make 13 muffins. The calorie content of one muffin is 75 kcal.

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Sep 01, 2016

Healthy cheese cookies. Video recipe

Heading: Salad recipes, Recipes for children

A tasty and healthy snack that will appeal to both adults and children. You can take it with you on the road, you can have a snack, for lunch and, in general, whenever you want.

The number of ingredients below made 22 cookies. The average calorie content of one piece is: 40 kcal.

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Aug 30, 2016

Healthy Apple Pie

Heading: Dessert recipes, Baking recipes, Recipes for children

Apple pie season starts in autumn. I offer you a very light, very tasty and tender version of a healthy apple pie. I highly recommend serving it warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You will not regret.

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Jul 02, 2016

Diet berry ice cream

Heading: Dessert recipes, Recipes for children

A very simple and delicious recipe for homemade berry ice cream. 100% healthy ice cream without sugar. Surely both adults and children will like it.
Molds bought at IKEA. From the number of ingredients below, I got 7 servings of ice cream. Calorie per serving is 46 kcal.

Ingredients :
Banana: 2 pcs.
Frozen berries: 150 g
Soft cottage cheese 0% or natural yogurt: 125 g
Honey: 1 tbsp. (20)

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Apr 08, 2016

Healthy pike cutlets

Heading: Recipes for meat dishes, Recipes for children

Healthy tasty pike fish cutlets - ideal for a children's menu.

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