Stumped for baby porridge recipe ideas during meal times? Here are our fave combos for baby’s first foods!
I remember being really nervous in the weeks leading up to my daughter turning 6 months old and transitioning to solids. Breastfeeding 24/7 just seemed so easy and fuss-free – no prep, just whip it out and feed! But now I have to think about feeding this tiny creature their first food? However, like most things with kids, when the time finally came it really was easier than anticipated. Keep scrolling as we share tips on baby food-making must-haves, and easy baby food recipe ideas!
Getting ready-made baby’s first food off-the-shelf may be easy (and you can’t beat the convenience!), but some parents prefer to feed their babies whole foods so they can control what goes into their child’s diet. It’s easy to use the same ingredients for the adults and older kids in the house as you would for your baby including carrots, leafy greens, rice and fruits – just skip the extra seasoning and spicy ingredients. This usually means there will be no extra grocery shopping involved, so it ends up becoming more cost-effective.
There’s no denying that food pouches and ready-made baby food from the supermarket also contain great nutrition, but some manufacturers may not be completely transparent with the ingredients that go into their products. If a brand touts premium ingredients such as superfoods in their pouches yet they’re affordably priced, it could be because the percentage of those ingredients are very low and the actual content is made up of cheaper ingredients.
Making your own baby food also means you can control the flavour of the food and avoid sugar, excessive salt or MSG. It may be more time consuming as a whole, but it can be manageable if done ahead of time. You can make the food in bulk and freeze it to keep a readily available stock for your bub!
Baby food masher ($): Mashers are manual tools that mash up cooked food or fresh fruits. No electricity needed, just a little elbow grease. Great to have on-the-go!
Hand blender ($$): These do the job just fine and are inexpensive. They usually have different settings so you can make the baby purees and porridge as smooth or as lumpy as you like. I also use mine to make my own breakfast smoothie bowls so I love that it’s a multi-use gadget!
All-in-one baby food maker ($$$): If you’d like something that does the job from start to finish, you can get an all-in-one baby food maker that steams, cooks, blends, reheats and defrosts. They’re really convenient but usually cost more.
Freezer trays ($): While freshly made baby food can be stored in the fridge for a few days, you may want to consider making more food and freezing it. Baby food freezer trays can conveniently portion out your baby’s food for future mealtimes – just defrost, reheat and serve.
In my house, we’re Asian af so we looove our rice and porridge! Our go-to baby food recipe combo is brown rice + vegetable + meat/fish, which is very much like an adult’s meal. You can follow the same formula for your baby’s daily recipe and just swap in any fresh produce you have in the fridge. Some winning combos for us include:
- Brown rice, carrots/spinach, minced chicken
- Boiled sweet potato, steamed salmon
- Rice, butternut squash, minced beef
- Avocado, potatoes, minced chicken
- Rice/baby pasta, tomatoes, minced beef
We’ve also heard that millet, a starchy grain, can be a healthier substitute for rice thanks to its high calcium and antioxidant content. Do note that it can cause constipation in some babies so you may want to introduce it to your baby’s diet slowly.
Tips for Picky Eaters
- Anchovies are great for adding flavour in place of salt. Soak some dried anchovies and add a few pieces into your baby’s porridge for more umami.
- You can add a dash of pureed fruit like apples or mangoes to the porridge for some sweetness if it’s tasting a bit bland.
- Breastmilk is great for thinning out thick baby purees, especially in the initial stages of weaning! The familiar taste may also encourage your bub to try solids when they’re just transitioning.
- You can make healthy homemade kid-friendly stocks to create a flavourful porridge or buy ready-made ones – just make sure they’re made with wholesome ingredients and don’t contain any unnecessary seasoning.
At the end of the day, just remember that fed is best! You know what’s best for your child, and you can make your own decisions balancing convenience and nutrition for your children and your whole family. Happy weaning, mamas!
Disclaimer: We do not offer professional advice on nutrition for babies and children in this article. Our tips come from our own experiences as mamas and are only meant as a guide. Do approach your paediatrician if you have child nutrition concerns.