- Roasted butternut squash: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, wash two medium-sized butternut squash. Slice each in half lengthwise, then use a metal spoon to scrape out the seeds. Put a little bit of water into a baking dish (just enough to cover the bottom), then put the squash halves, cut-side down, into the dish. Roast in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until you can easily prick the squash with a fork. Remove the dish from the oven and let cool for half an hour. Then, scoop the flesh of each squash half out of its skin and puree. (You may need to add some water to the blender or food processor to thin out the puree.)
- Stewed apples: Wash, peel and core four apples (any variety you like). Chop the apples, then place into a heavy-bottomed pot with lid. Add just enough water to the pot to cover the bottom (to prevent scorching only -- the apples will release their own juice while cooking). Cover the pot, then cook over medium-low heat for 25 minutes, until apples are tender. You may need to turn down the heat halfway through the cooking time. If you wish, add a dash of cinnamon. Remove from heat, let cool for 15 minutes, then puree. (Note: You can also use this method to cook pears. Reduce the cooking time by about 10 minutes.)
- Peas: Cook a bag of frozen peas according to package instructions. Drain and let cool, then puree. (You may need to add some water to the blender or food processor to thin out the puree.)
- Sweet potato and cauliflower. Wash, peel and chop two small sweet potatoes into approximately one-inch chunks. Wash one cup of cauliflower florets. Steam the sweet potatoes (either in a steamer, or by putting an inch of water into a pot with lid, bringing to a boil, then adding the sweet potatoes, covering the pot and reducing the heat to low) for 15 minutes. Then, add the cauliflower florets and continue steaming both the sweet potato and the cauliflower for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, remove steamer inset (or drain water from the pot) and let cool for 15 minutes. Puree.
- No-cook dessert. Mash one ripe banana with half of a ripe avocado. If necessary, thin out with a little water. (This may sound -- and look -- unappealing, but most babies love it. The avocado adds a delicious creaminess to the sweetness of the banana, and packs numerous health benefits.)
Once you get started, you'll realize that the possibilities are endless: Add some pureed apple to baby oatmeal, and you have a delicious breakfast for your baby. Need a quick snack? Stir pureed, cooked blueberries into yogurt. Stir pureed broccoli into mashed potatoes, add some cooked ground turkey (broken into tiny pieces or pureed), then sprinkle on some cheese for a healthy, filling meal for your baby. You just might find yourself sneaking a few bites of your baby's food. Happy pureeing!
Note: Always follow your pediatrician's guidelines about when to introduce your baby to solid foods and any foods to avoid.
Article by: Beverly O'Neal
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