7 Festive Baby Food Recipes for Thanksgiving
Baby's First Thanksgiving Menu
We've put a baby-friendly spin on everyone's favorite traditional holiday foods, many of which are probably already on your grocery list. From Turkey and Cranberry Puree to simple Mashed Sweet Potatoes, pick a few of your favorites for the big day, or make them all and freeze the extras. Trust us: Babies love Thanksgiving leftovers, too!
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
If you're making sweet potatoes for your Thanksgiving crowd, set one aside for this simple recipe for a smooth puree for babies as young as 6 months:
Peel, rinse, and cut sweet potato into 1/4-inch slices, then cover slices with water and bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and blend in a food processor until smooth, adding water as needed, then finish with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg (not both) if your baby has been eating solids for a while.
Simple String Beans
Mom always said "don't forget your veggies," and we agree. Set aside some unseasoned green beans and make a puree for babies 6 months and up. Self-feeders can eat very well-cooked beans that are cut into kiddie bite-size pieces.
Taste tester-approved tip: Let Baby use some of the sweet potato puree as a dip -- this is one time when it's OK to play with his food.
Turkey and Cranberry Puree
Grandma will beam when she sees her little prince gobbling her signature roast turkey -- just hold the gravy. Start with 1 slice of cooked turkey and 1/4 cup canned cranberry sauce, then place turkey in a blender or food processor. Blend with water (one tablespoon at a time) until consistency is smooth. Add cranberry sauce until desired consistency.
For babies 7 months and up who are already used to eating solids and meats, you can also chop the turkey very fine using a food processor or chef's knife and serve up as is.
Simple Thanksgiving Stuffing
The aromatics (onion, garlic) and veggies (celery, carrots) in many stuffing recipes can be delicious to more experienced eaters, generally 9 to 12 months old. Skip the chestnuts and dried fruits, though, since they're allergy and choking hazards. Your best bet is to reserve some of the ingredients and make a simple stuffing for your baby to enjoy.
Sweet potatoes get all the nutrient glory, but that doesn't mean you should skip white potatoes. Steamed, baked, or boiled, they're a good source of fiber. Give beginning eaters a taste of plain mashed potatoes -- or serve well-cooked, soft cubes to self-feeders -- and you just might avoid the French fry frenzy as they get older.
It may be too soon for apple pie, but Baby can still enjoy this naturally delicious fruit. All you need is 1/2 medium apple, cored and peeled, 1/2 carrot, washed and peeled, 2 tbsp. fruit juice and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Puree all ingredients in blender and serve to babies 6 months and up.
To spice it up: Add an extra layer of flavor with a dash of cinnamon or cloves for more "seasoned" eaters.
And for dessert? Skip the pie and serve baby this sweet and creamy treat. Mix 2 cups firm tofu and 2 bananas in a blender until smooth. Then add 1/3 cup maple syrup, plus 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Blend again until ingredients are combined then pour into bowls to chill before serving.