You finally reached the point where your baby has been eating food for about a month or so and has tried a variety of flavors. Now that you have some idea of what your baby likes, you can start to combine baby food purees. This is a great way to give your baby some variety compared to just eating one flavor at a time.
A better way to view this is to think if you would only like to eat carrots for one meal and then just broccoli for the next. Even though babies do not understand that a meal can be more than just a single food, this is part of their development to expand their palate. Combining food is also a great way to sneak in those vegetables they may not like.
My second son was way pickier than my first. He definitely knew what he wanted and broccoli was not one of them. But my husband and I found that by combining broccoli with applesauce, we were able to sneak it into his diet.
The best part about combining different foods is that it is much easier than you think. Now let’s begin the “Ultimate Guide to Baby Food Combinations”!
Step 1: Prepare and Freeze Your Pureed Food
If you haven’t prepared baby food before don’t worry. It is much easier than you think and it doesn’t take that much time out of your day. In fact, it will usually only take about 10-30 minutes to make. The amount of time depends on the food you are making. For example, bananas are much easier to prepare compared to carrots, because all you do is peel the banana and blend it in a blender. Carrots you need to steam cook until they are soft enough and then blend.
Need more help in preparing baby food? Check out this related post:
Here is a quick layout of how to puree baby food:
- Most vegetables need to be cooked before blended in the blender. The preferred method is to steam them. Some of the best vegetables to prepare for your baby are carrots, potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and squash.
- For most fruit, all you need to do is peel (if needed), remove the seed (if needed), remove core/stems (if needed), and/or cut into appropriate sizes for the blender. Some of the best fruit to prepare for your baby are apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mangos, and peaches.
Once you have prepared your baby food, freeze it in silicone ice cube trays. The silicone trays are much better than the plastic one for two reasons: 1. Plastic has a tendency to crack after multiple uses and 2. It is much easier to remove the frozen food cubes. Here are the silicone ice cube trays that we use! We have used them with both of our children.
One frozen cube of pureed food is generally around 1 tablespoon. If you are at the point where your child is considered Stage 2, then you will probably be feeding them 3-4 cubes per meal.
Step 2: How do you choose what foods to combine?
There is a super simple trick when it comes to deciding which food will go well together…check the baby food at your local grocery store!
Did I just blow your mind?! It took a while for my husband and me to figure this one out. Mind you we were first-time parents and I went crazy overboard in figuring out how to feed my child. I’m pretty sure I drove my husband crazy with how intense I was. I literally was on the internet researching all the time and I even purchased a baby food book (which I only used once or twice). Don’t purchase a baby book. Save the money for something better.
So go down to your grocery store or Walmart/Target, and take a look at all the brands. Write down the flavor combinations that you like best. I recommend finding many that have both fruit and vegetables.
Does your baby have a type of food they do not enjoy?
I want you to think about this for the simple reason that by combining a food they didn’t enjoy with one that they love is an easy way to sneak in some healthy stuff.
As I said above my second son was way pickier than my first. He pretty much had a handful of food that he liked and everything else he would make this hilarious face. I wish I had taken a video or picture of it. Instead, I just laughed and enjoyed the moment.
Another food we tried to feed him and then instantly locked his mouth shut was avocados. He hated avocados and would fight us if we tried to keep feeding it to him. We figured out that by combining the flavors he didn’t like with those that he did, like banana and mango, we were able to greatly expand his palate. We did find out though that if we had too much avocado in the mix and not enough banana or mango, then he still would not eat it. So be mindful of the portions for each food.
Which baby purees pair well with almost anything?
In general there are a few baby foods that you can use in most combinations. I consider these food to be the bases or main meals of each recipe.
There are five core baby foods:
- Sweet Potato/Yams
All five baby foods will go great with a variety of options. I would always try to have one of these on hand because of how well they pair with some many other kinds of baby food.
What are some great combinations?
Here is a list of some of the baby food combinations that our kids have enjoyed:
- Apple, mango, and avocado
- Apple and broccoli
- Apple and prune
- Banana, mango, and baby oatmeal
- Banana, any berry (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry), and baby oatmeal
- Black beans, carrots, and sweet potato
- Carrots and peas
- Ground turkey, carrots, and sweet potato
- Ground turkey, sweet potato, and cauliflower
- Pumpkin and sweet potato
These are just some of the food combinations that you can create. There are so many more possibilities. Don’t be afraid of playing with the combinations. Think of it as a fun science project.
Need some help to start combining baby food? Check out my Baby Food Bundle!
Here are my FOUR BEST TIPS when combining baby food:
1. Play around with the best combinations that suite your child.
I would recommend using the baby food they like best in the largest amounts. By that I mean if your baby likes carrots and you are creating carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower combination, then use two ore more cubes of carrots and one cube each of cauliflower and broccoli. Always use the food your baby likes in a higher ratio than the food they don’t.
2. Don’t be afraid to try what appears to be crazy flavor combinations!
These might just be what gets your baby into liking something they hadn’t before. I mean would you think about combining black beans, carrots, and sweet potatoes? I sure didn’t, but my secondborn loves it.
3. Try again at another time if your baby does not like the first time.
My first son hated the peas and carrot combo originally. We decided to try in a week and adjusted the rates. Instead of 2 cubes or frozen carrots and 2 cubes of frozen peas, we switched to 3 cubes of frozen carrots and 1 cube of frozen peas. Lo and behold…he ate it.
4. If unsure about a baby food combination, test it out with one that is already pre-made.
We have done this so many times. In fact, that is how we came upon the bananas, mango, and avocado combination. I was looking for combinations that I could use avocado and saw BeechNut’s avocado baby food combination. So I grabbed it to give it a try and now it is a favorite.
Step 3: It’s time to let your baby try some tasty food combinations.
Now that you have gone through all the basics of how you create these delicious and nutritious meals, get out there and make some yummy food for your baby! Play around with the food combinations. Try two carrot cubes, one ground turkey cube and one pumpkin cube OR try one carrot cube, one ground turkey cube, and two pumpkin cubes. The possibilities are endless (or at least they feel like they are).
What baby food combinations did your baby enjoy? I want to hear about them in the comments below!
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Happy Days ~
Here is a great list of the essential items you need and those you can live without to build your maternity wardrobe.