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Baby Food: 3 Spring-y Purées for Your Bouncing Bundle of Joy

all 3 baby foods hero

Spring has sprung, and with it comes a tantalizing array of fresh flavors! To help your family’s littlest member celebrate the season, we have three easy homemade purées made with sensational spring fruits (full recipe below). These recipes are for wee ones who are ready* for an exciting new world of food combos: Roasted strawberries, pears, and cinnamon! Mangoes, apples, dried cherries, and cloves! Apricot chicken! Get your child started on a range of foods and flavors early and he’ll be more likely to grow up with a taste for them, as well as an interest in culinary exploration.

We say “Pshaw” to the “baby food” label—these downright gourmet purées are so tasty you just might eat them yourself.  

closeup strawberry baby food hero        

We love that this strawberry and pear purée calls for roasting the fruit to deepen the flavors before blending—and we’re also big fans of the cinnamon, which adds delicious dimension. The purée is tasty on its own, served with a swirl of plain whole-milk yogurt, or, if you have older kiddos, drizzled over waffles or pancakes.

apple baby food hero

Give your baby a taste of the tropics with a surprising spring superstar: mangoes! Combined with apples, dried cherries, and cloves, this purée is a sweet-tart treat that’s loaded with nutrition. Mangoes are a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C, vitamin A (necessary for healthy vision and bones), and folic acid, which helps build red blood cells and DNA.

Scoop it into a reusable food pouch for a homemade squeezie snack on the go.

closeup sweet potato baby food hero

Treat your tyke to a baby-safe version of a grown-up favorite: apricot chicken. This recipe features chicken thighs because the darker meat is higher in iron (a necessary nutrient that babies often run low on) and fat, which is essential for growing brains and bodies. You can whip up this purée with fresh or dried apricots, making it a great option for your little eater year-round. We made ours with the dried version to test it out, and the results were major yum!

Sprinkle quinoa on top for a fun texture and an extra dose of protein, iron, fiber, and amino acids.

let's eat spring baby food

In our centers, we embrace family-style eating—encouraging children to serve themselves teaches them important social skills (like passing items, sharing, being patient, and saying “please” and “thank you”) and how to listen to their own hunger cues. Allowing children to get in on the serving action can also inspire them to try new foods.

Of course, we’re not suggesting you hand baby a pot of purée and a ladle! But watching you serve yourself and model healthy eating will give him a jump on learning good habits. Sitting down to a family meal in general reaps heaps of benefits for children over time (think healthier eating habits, better vocabulary, and stronger self-esteem), so pull that high chair up to the table and everyone dig in together.

1. ROASTED STRAWBERRY + PEAR

* Recipe just slightly adapted from BabyFoodE.

strawberry pear baby food ingredients

Yields: Approximately 2 cups

Time: 35–45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pears, washed and patted dry
  • 1 pound strawberries, washed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Thinly slice the pears and lay them on the baking sheet. Trim the stems off the strawberries and, depending on their size, cut into halves or quarters. Place the strawberries on top of the pears. Sprinkle with the cinnamon.
  3. Put the fruit in the oven and roast for 30–35 minutes, until very soft. When the fruit is ready, remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
  4. Spoon the cooked fruit into a blender or food processor, along with 1/3 cup of water. Purée until smooth.
  5. Scoop the purée into baby’s bowl or storage containers.

2. MANGO + APPLE + DRIED CHERRY

* Recipe just slightly adapted from BabyFoodE.

mango apple baby food ingredients

Yields: Approximately 2½ cups

Time: 15–20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 mangoes, washed and dried
  • 2 apples, washed and dried
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Peel, pit, and chop the mangoes into small chunks, and then do the same with the apples.
  2. Place the chopped fruit, dried cherries, ground cloves, and ½ cup of water into a medium sauce pan. Cook the mixture over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mangoes may already be quite soft, but the apples and cherries also need to be tender.
  3. Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
  4. Scoop the purée into baby’s bowl or storage containers. Check to make sure the purée has cooled enough before she digs in.

3. APRICOT CHICKEN!

* Recipe just slightly adapted from Kidspot.

sweet potato baby food ingredients

Yields: Approximately 1½ cups

Time: 25–35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small chicken thigh, diced
  • 2 fresh apricots cut into quarters or 3–4 whole dried apricots
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a medium saucepan and heat on medium-high until the oil is shimmery and flows like water. Add the diced chicken and cook for 6–8 minutes, until lightly browned.
  2. Add the apricots and sweet potato to the saucepan along with 1 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until the apricots and potatoes are soft. The water should reduce by about half.
  3. Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
  4. Scoop the purée into baby’s bowl or storage containers. Check to make sure the purée has cooled enough before he digs in.

Note for all three recipes: After baby has eaten, throw away any leftovers in his bowl, as the process of eating transfers bacteria from your baby’s mouth to the food via the spoon. Refrigerate any untouched purée in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze for up to three months—thaw overnight in the refrigerator when ready to eat.

* Check with your doctor before serving any new foods to your baby: Most little ones take their first bites between four to six months, but regardless of age, she should be able to sit in a high chair and have good head control. The standard advice is to start with single-ingredient purées—wait three days before introducing another food to confirm your baby isn’t experiencing an allergic reaction such as rash, diarrhea, or vomiting. Food combos can typically be introduced around eight or nine months of age. Never add salt or sweeteners.

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