Baby-Friendly Recipes


As a self-proclaimed foodie I could not wait for my baby to start eating solid foods. When my son turned 6 months old, my husband took the honor of spooning the first taste of applesauce into our baby’s mouth.

It did not go over well. The applesauce came dribbling out, down his chin, as his eyes filled up with tears. The betrayal in that tiny face was almost too much. “What fresh hell was this?” he seemed to say. I would have to do better than Trader Joe’s applesauce. I hoped that if I cooked for him, he would grow to love food as much as I did.


After trial and error, I hit upon some winning recipes. These have a bit more texture than puréed jarred foods, which my son prefered.

I would cook double or triple batches, divide them into ½ cup mason jars, and freeze them. I would take them out at night, pack them into a lunch box (with both my husband and I working full-time, my son attended full-time daycare from a young age), and they’d be ready for mealtime. The jars could be safely reheated in the microwave.

Now my son is nearly 7 years old, and he still loves both these recipes, but he eats far larger serving sizes. Occupational hazard! Note: Be sure to follow your pediatrician’s guidelines for introducing new foods to your baby.

Baby’s Creamed Spinach

This dish has a little bit of texture. If your baby prefers a smoother texture, pulse in the blender for a few seconds.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic
  • 2 cups frozen chopped spinach
  • 3 tablespoons whole-fat cream cheese

1. In a small pan heat oil and garlic, until garlic is fragrant. Add spinach. Cover until completely defrosted.

2. Stir in cream cheese while spinach is hot.

3. Cool before serving.

Baby’s Pasta

The little balls of pasta makes this an easy to eat meal for little ones. If your baby prefers a smoother texture, pulse in the blender until smooth.

  • ½ cup low-fat, ground beef or turkey
  • ½ cup shredded veggies, such as carrots, zucchini or kale
  • ½ cup tomato sauce, or puréed canned tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Israeli couscous, or any small pasta such as orzo or alphabet pasta
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese or 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese

1. Brown the meat over medium heat. Add veggies and cook until soft.

2. Add tomato sauce and pasta, plus about 1/4 cup of water. Turn heat to low, cover and cook until pasta is soft, about 7 minutes.

3. Stir in cheese. 

Joanna Sooper
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