Cooking for Baby: Delicious Summer Edition

June 26, 2019

Summer is finally here! The sun is shining, the days are longer, and fun is in full swing.

We’ve put together a fresh list of 3 meals that will make cooking for baby easy, nutritious, and delicious for your little one this summer. These yummy meals are easy to prepare, and are loved by babies from 6 to 12 months old. Remember: Always check with your doctor for any food-related allergies before introducing new foods into your little one’s diet.

Breakfast of Champions

baby girl eating strawberry

An iron-fortified infant cereal is a great idea for any baby aged 6-12 months of age. But how can parents incorporate a splash of summer when cooking for baby? Try giving your baby a bowl of mashed or finely cut-up strawberries or kiwi. Not only are these healthy meal choices for your baby, these are also colorful fruit that will catch your baby’s attention and interest!

Overall, pieces of ripe fruit (remember to remove the peel or skin, as well as seeds and pits!) are great ideas to incorporate into your baby’s breakfast. For fruit, consider avocado, banana, peach, pear, kiwi, melon, or quartered grapes. For soft cooked vegetables, consider broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yam, or squash.

Munch at Lunch

sweet potato

Remember what we said about catching your baby’s interest with colorful food? This idea applies to lunch, too! With their beautiful orange hue, sweet potatoes are a soft and delicious option to incorporate into your baby’s lunch. Did we mention nutritious? Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin B6, vitamin C and potassium. If your baby is between 4 and 6 months, sweet potatoes are best enjoyed as a puree. If your baby is between 6 and 12 months, try preparing sweet potatoes cooked and mashed for your little one, ensuring it is soft, safe, and easy to east.

Meats and fish are often easier for babies to eat if mixed with other foods like rice or potatoes. Well-cooked beans and lentils, or even hard-boiled eggs, are also good foods to incorporate; they can be mashed with a fork or potato masher. Tip: It’s a good idea to add a little water to moisten the food, to make it easier for your baby to enjoy.

A Super Supper (and Dessert!)

Rich in fiber, brown rice is a great option to incorporate into dinner when cooking for baby. Another versatile and nutritious grain to consider incorporating into your little one’s dinner is quinoa, which may be introduced to your baby from 8 months of age. Ground beef or lentils are great ideas to incorporate into your baby’s dinner, and even chopped chicken.

And what’s a summer dinner without dessert? Treat your baby to sweet, fiber and vitamin C rich homemade pear puree. Late summer is peak season for pears, and Bartlett pears are nutritious, soft, mild, and sweet option for you to prepare for your little one. Tip: Keep your little one hydrated by offering water in a cup. Summer means warmer weather, and it is extremely important that you keep your little one hydrated and safe from the summer warmth.

Safety tips when cooking for baby

Always consult with your pediatrician when introducing solids to your baby. It’s always better to be safe, get an expert’s opinion, and understand exactly what your baby requires to be its healthiest. And, whenever possible, eat with your child – your baby will learn to eat by watching you! Always remember: never leave a child who is eating unattended.

Other tips to keep in mind when cooking for baby: hard and sticky foods should be avoided, as they pose a choking risk. It is important to avoid the following foods for your baby: whole nuts or seeds, globs of nut butters or seed butters, raisins, popcorn, ice cubes, chips, marshmallows, hard candies or jellybeans. For round foods like carrots, grapes and hot dogs, cut into 4 pieces lengthwise, and then into smaller pieces.