Introducing solids to your baby at 6 months is a milestone not only for babies but for mothers as well. Searching for baby food recipes becomes a mission. Your mental equilibrium depends on how readily your baby eats all the food. Sounds about right, right? :) Well, that sure describes my state as a new mom some 7-and-a-half-odd years back.
Here I have put together 20 of the recipes that I hope will be useful to cook for a 6 to 12-month-old baby. Most can be adapted for toddlers and young kids as well. But before diving into the recipes, here are some important points to remember:
- It is recommended to continue breastfeeding / giving formula till the age of one. Solids should complement breast milk/formula and not replace it.
- If you’re cooking for a younger-than-one-year-old baby, then if the recipe has milk as an ingredient, cook it using water. Later, add breast milk or formula to the food after it is cooked.
- It is best to introduce one new ingredient at a time, wait for 2-3 days and then introduce another new ingredient.
- Your baby may initially eat only a few spoonfuls of food. Don’t force-feed the baby; let the baby get used to new textures and tastes.
- It is extremely important to remove traces of pesticides from fruits and vegetables used for making baby food. liquid cleansers for vegetables and fruits by good brands like Piegon or Tollyjoy to get rid of pesticide residue.
- It is preferable to use organic grains and flour for making baby food.
An important disclaimer:
I used the ingredients based on my judgement and my baby’s preferences. There are a lot of different opinions about when to start adding ingredients like salt, jaggery, spices, dry fruits etc. in baby food. Please consult your baby’s pediatrician if you have any doubts about using any particular ingredient.
I am providing the links to the recipes here because with each of my recipes I have shared my experience with them, and also shared some tips or notes which make the recipes healthy.
Rice Kanji or Rice Cereal for Babies
We can say rice kanji is an Indian version of homemade rice cereal. Rice is easy to digest. So it makes for a great first food choice for babies. I would recommend using organic ingredients (grains, vegetables, etc) while cooking for your baby. While getting organic fruits and vegetables may not be easy, getting organic grains luckily is easy. I would recommend using organic rice grains while making rice kanji for babies.
Moong Dal Khichdi
Moong dal is easy to digest as compared to other lentils. Also, this dal is a good source of protein and dietary fiber. This makes moong dal khichdi a good option for baby food early on. You can also add any vegetable(s) that you’ve given your baby before, and then go on to introduce new ones one by one. Rice, lentils, vegetables, and homemade ghee make this a complete meal. Again, as with rice, I would recommend using organic moong dal.
Sweet Ragi Porridge
This recipe is one of the most searched recipes on MumMumTime. As most mothers know, finger millet or ragi is very high in calcium content, which is great for children’s bone development. Now flours / powdered grains cannot be washed and have to be used as bought. So I would say here it is an absolute must to use organic ragi flour. I used jaggery as well in this porridge. Now some mothers asked me whether it was OK to give jaggery to the baby. Well, I gave mine. My take was if we’re OK to give readymade baby food that contains sugar, then why not jaggery? Unlike sugar, jaggery is a healthy sweetener that is a good source of iron. But at risk of repeating myself, I’ll say this again, please use organic jaggery.
Sweet Potato Porridge
Sweet potatoes are an excellent first food choice for babies as they are rich in vitamin content, folic acid, and dietary fiber. Also, because they contain simple carbohydrates or starch, they’re easy to digest. After Devansh turned 6 months old, I started feeding him sweet potatoes almost daily. I would either steam or boil 5-6 sweet potatoes at a time, mash them, and then freeze the excess for future use. When he was older I tried this porridge adding jaggery and cinnamon (dalchini) powder. Devansh loved this porridge. Do give it a try as a healthy, sugarless dessert for babies.
Dalia for Babies
After your baby has gotten used to easy-to-digest rice, moong dal, and ragi, you can now introduce Dalia or broken wheat into the baby’s diet. I started giving Dalia to Devansh when he was around seven months old. Initially, I did not add vegetables, jeera powder, and chili powder to the Dalia—just plain Dalia with haldi, hing, and minimal salt. Then, gradually I started adding the veggies to his dalia. This is a simple and easy-to-cook, nutritious recipe that is ideal not just for babies but for toddlers and kids as well.
Poha Carrot Kheer
One of MumMumTime’s readers had asked me to share recipes for her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter who was underweight. So I started searching for some recipes that might help in weight gain but at the same time be nutritious and easy to digest for babies and toddlers. That’s when I chanced upon this different recipe of poha carrot kheer. I did not use sugar while cooking Devansh’s food till he was almost 3 I think. So I adapted the recipe I found to suit my needs, substituted sugar with organic jaggery, etc. Hope you find this recipe useful while cooking for your baby.
A lot of moms stress over their baby’s weight. I have been asked about weight gain recipes from new moms quite often. So when I suggest some recipes from MumMumTime this recipe is definitely on the list. Banana is good for weight gain, as is the ghee used in making this sheera. There’s no need to add jaggery in this one as bananas add their own sweetness. Super simple and nutritious so works right? :)
Moong Dal Rice
This recipe is similar to Varan Bhaat which is really popular among Maharashtrians, with the difference being the daal used. I used moong dal instead of toor dal as it is easy to digest. Devansh used to love this moong dal rice so much that when he was old enough to ask what he wanted, he insisted on having it for dinner every single night. So till he was almost 4 I think, at least 5 days a week he had this moong dal rice for dinner.
Now here’s a recipe that babies and kids of all ages love. At eight, it is still one of my kiddo’s favorites. It is super simple and requires hardly a minute of prep time. You can introduce toor daal into your baby’s diet with this recipe. As I’ve mentioned earlier, initially it is best to start off with moong daal as it is easy to digest. But gradually you can start with toor daal.
Banana is a popular fruit amongst us Indians. It is nutritious and wholesome, and it is available throughout the year. Bananas are rich in dietary fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Potassium is good for bone development, making this an ideal baby food. This recipe is also good for weight gain.
This is a simple recipe that I resorted to often as it was nice and mushy for Devansh to eat when teeth was a rare commodity. :-) This recipe can be adapted to use any vegetables of your choice instead of spinach. You just need to pressure-cook the veggies beforehand and mash them. Sometimes I used to sometimes add mashed vegetables along with spinach.
My kiddo did not like sweet ragi porridge all that much as a baby; he started relishing it much later. As a baby, it was this garlic-flavored, savory ragi porridge that he ate in decent quantity. Here I’m sharing with you all this recipe given to me by a family friend, which I found very useful in including finger millets or ragi in kiddo’s diet as a baby.
Dalia Kheer Recipe
As I mentioned in Carrot Poha Kheer’s recipe above, I had searched for weight-gain recipes for babies and toddlers at the request of a MumMumTime reader for her daughter. That’s when I came across a Dalia kheer recipe; I adapted it to suit my needs. I made it using milk since the kiddo had become older than one year old then. For babies less than a year old, cook this kheer in water and then add breast milk or formula after turning off the heat.
After your baby has gotten used to eating all the mushy and mild food it’s time to introduce him/her to mildly spiced food. This vegetable pulao can be given to babies who have been eating solids for 3-4 months, say when the baby is around 10 months or so. This is the time when they start getting more curious about the food you’re eating and start exploring different tastes. I have added cashew nuts in the picture just to make the dish look good. Babies can’t eat the pieces whole so please don’t add the same.
I love soups but for some reason, I never thought of giving them to Devansh as a baby. Then once my cousin asked me to post some soup recipes in my blog. That’s when it occurred to me to post this recipe of my mom’s. My mother has this soup often and Devansh had started having this soup along with her. It is a nutritious recipe made using carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower, green peas, cabbage–which is suitable for babies.
Vegetable Rice Porridge
I came up with this recipe by adapting my mother’s recipe of “takatli ukad”, which is rice porridge made using buttermilk. I used to add cooked, mashed vegetables to this porridge to make it a complete meal for the kiddo. Since this porridge is made using rice flour and mashed vegetables it’s easy for babies to eat it.
Sweet Potato, Carrot, Semolina Porridge
I made this porridge for kiddo when he was over 3 I think. But the nutritious ingredients used in this porridge are suitable for babies as well. I made the porridge using milk since the kiddo was older than one. But if your baby is less than one, cook the porridge in water, and then add breast milk or formula after turning off the heat.
Tomato Carrot Lentil Soup
Tomatoes are a rich source of potassium, plus anti-oxidants in tomatoes contain good amounts of vitamins A and C. Carrots are loaded with vitamin A which is good for eyesight. Adding red lentils (masoor daal) to these two nutritious ingredients helps include protein in this soup, making this a complete meal for babies.
Sweet Potato Lentil Soup
There are many guest recipes on my blog, this recipe of a healthy soup is one of them. This soup is made using sweet potatoes which are high in fiber and nutrients like potassium and vitamin C, and red lentils which are protein-rich. Like the Tomato Carrot Lentil soup, this soup too works as a complete meal for a baby.
Sweet Poha Porridge
This simple and easy recipe has come in handy for me many times. Porridge is nutritious and filling for babies but it isn’t labor-intensive at all. So if you’re hard-pressed for time or are simply too tired to cook, refer to this recipe. I’m sure you’ll find it useful. Click here to buy organic poha from Amazon.
While it is convenient to reach for easily available readymade baby food, it is best if it’s kept to minimum. With a little bit of planning, it can even be eliminated altogether. Cooking baby food doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore. Hope you found these recipes easy and simple. Drop me a line to share your feedback.