Cost and convenience can also be major deterrents to a healthy diet for one person, let alone for a whole family, but parents can learn how to prepare, store and serve healthy meals for babies and toddlers with Ruth Yaron's Super Baby Food Cookbook. The book provides easy-to-follow recipes for everything from purees to full-on family dinners.
Here are a few of our favorite recipes.
Single Grain Super Porridge (For Your Super Baby)1 of 8
1/4 cup brown rice (organic, if possible)
1 cup water
1. Measure one cup of water and place into a pot on the stove to boil.
2. Pour rice into your blender. Grind well for about two minutes. (It's going to be very loud, but it's important to let the blender grind the rice down.) If you have a coffee grinder, you may find it works better than a blender. Do not use a food processor, as it does not grind grains well.
3. When the water starts to boil on the stove, turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
4. Sprinkle the ground rice into the water while stirring briskly with a wire whisk.
5. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
6. Whisk frequently to prevent scorching and to remove lumps.
7. Let cool.
8. Adjust the consistency with some breast milk or formula.
Healthy Extra Tip: For an added nutritional boost, sprinkle a teaspoon of nutritional yeast. (6 months+)
Pureed Cooked Kale (For Your Super Baby)2 of 8
1. Select kale that is loose and not in plastic bags.
2. Wash each leaf under cold water.
3. Discard unwanted leaves and remove stems.
4. Steam leaves for five minutes.
5. Drain the leaves, reserving the liquid.
6. Place pieces in blender with some reserved liquid. Puree away!
Healthy Extra Tip: Kale has a very strong flavor. Try adding smashed banana. (11-12 months)
Great Pumpkin Pancakes (For Your Super Toddler)3 of 8
1 beaten egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup Super Flour (recipe in book)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and cook as you would regular pancakes.
2. Top with a mixture of yogurt and orange juice, blended to the consistency of syrup.
Mr. and Ms. Sweet Potato Heads (For Your Super Toddler)4 of 8
2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
1. Slice two cooked sweet potatoes in half.
2. Scoop out the flesh, being careful to keep the skin intact to be used as a bowl later.
3. Mash flesh and mix with other ingredients.
4. Replace mashed potato mixture into reserved skin bowls. Use your own decorative touches (berries, avocado, etc.) to make eyes, nose, mouth and hair. Serve to children. For adults, you may have to reheat in the oven.
Variation: Make mashed potato mixture by mixing flesh from the sweet potatoes with 1/4-1/2 cup of pureed pineapple chunks.
Avocado Dip (For Your Super Toddler)5 of 8
Cottage Cheese or Tofu
1. Mix mashed avocado with an equal amount of cottage cheese or tofu.
2. Add Healthy Extras (recipe in book), if desired.
3. The avocado skins can be used as cups to hold this dip. Use it for dipping anything from whole-grain breadsticks (recipe in book) to carrot sticks. Or use as a spread in sandwiches, on whole-grain crackers, celery sticks or fruit pieces.
Strawberry Pizza (For Your Super Toddler)6 of 8
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup ground oatmeal
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon melted butter or oil
1/2 cup of yogurt cheese (or cottage cheese)
1 tablespoon of orange juice or other fruit concentrate
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix crust ingredients and press into bottom of a 9-inch pie plate; don't go up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Mix filling ingredients and spread on crust.
4. For topping, arrange fresh strawberries over filling into a design, shape or letter. Cut with pizza cutter. Keep refrigerated or freeze.
Variation: Replace strawberries with other fruit or use a mixture of fresh fruit.
Peanut Butter Pudding (For Your Super Toddler)7 of 8
1 small mashed banana
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt or tofu
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1. Mix ingredients in a blender.
2. Process until smooth, pour into individual cups and refrigerate until cold.
Variation: Replace all or part of the peanut butter or tofu with tahini, almond butter or other nut/seed butter.