5 Finger Foods for Your Baby

Thinking of expanding your baby’s menu? Try these vitamin-filled choices.

WORDS TEO KUAN YEE

Healthy eating habits should be cultivated from young. By the time your little one reaches six months of age, it is time to supplement her diet of breast milk or formula with additional sources of protein, and iron for her development and growth.  
    
Experiment with various recipes to gradually introduce her curious taste buds to different flavours and food textures, including vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Other important food groups are complex carbohydrates which come from yoghurt and whole grains, as well as healthy fats.
    
Here are five nutrient-dense foods which are great for your baby – have fun exploring what works for baby’s diet and watch for her expression as she tries out your creations! If you can afford it, buy the organic versions of the fruits and vegetables to save time in washing off any pesticide residue to maximise the food quality that you are offering your precious one.

A is for Avocado
This is good for snack time, it’s one of the easiest to make and is highly nutritious for your baby between four to six months. Just imagine – one-fifth of an avocado has only 50 calories but 20 vitamins and minerals such as folate, fibre, potassium, vitamin E, iron and healthy fats that help with brain and nervous system development.

Ingredients
1 organic avocado, mashed

Directions:

  • Mash the avocado with a fork or blend it in a food processor.
  • If serving immediately, mix with breastmilk, formula or water for desired consistency. For storage, divide into ice cube trays, wrap or cover, and freeze.
  • Thaw in the fridge the night before use, or put the ice cubes in a bowl over a bowl of hot water to defrost. Once defrosted, thin it with breast milk or formula.

 

B is for Blueberry Smoothie  
Just as blueberries – often called a superfood – are great for adults, they are good for your baby too as they contain antioxidants and flavonoids that will benefit your baby’s eyes, brain, and even urinary tract.  

Ingredients
1 packet of blueberries, 2 organic Fuji apples cored and cut into pieces, 1 banana, 1 mango. Other alternatives to blend with the blueberries include pear, papaya, peach, and apricot.

Directions:

  • Add blueberries, apples, mango to a skillet, simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Pour into a blender and add banana, puree until smooth.
  • Divide into ice cube trays, wrap, and freeze for a snack (for up to 5 days).

 

C is for Cauliflower and Potato Puree  
This is one way to ensure that your baby gets her greens. Cauliflower, like broccoli, contains phytonutrients which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre, with anti-cancer benefits.

Ingredients
2 cloves of garlic, 1 medium-sized russet potato, 2 cups cauliflower florets (about half a head), 1-2 tablespoons of skim milk, half tablespoon of butter, a pinch of salt.

Directions

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the potatoes, garlic, and cauliflower to the pot (ensure that the water amount is sufficient to cover the vegetables). Simmer until the vegetables turn tender which takes about 20 minutes.
  • Drain water, and transfer the potatoes, cauliflower and garlic to a large bowl.
  • Add the milk, butter, salt and mash until smooth.

 

Delicious Peach Puree
Reach for peaches when you want that added boost of fibre and potassium. Plus it contains 10 different kinds of vitamins.              

Ingredients
1 bag of frozen peaches with skin, half cup water

Directions:

  • Steam peaches over medium heat until soft.
  • Add peaches to blender and puree until creamy, adding boiled water as needed to thin.
  • Let the puree cool. For storage, pour puree into freezing trays to freeze for about 2 hours before removing the purees and placing it in a container with a lid.

 

Easy-peasy Green Pea Puree
Sweet peas are an easy first food for your baby – in just a few minutes of steaming, the nutrient-rich peas turn bright green, offering your baby a healthy snack.

Ingredients
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed

Directions:

  • Steam the peas in a pot over medium heat until very tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Rinse the peas under cold water to cool.
  • Transfer the cooled peas to a blender and process to a smooth puree. If needed, add a little water, breast milk, or formula to thin the puree.
  • Refrigerate the puree in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months.
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