Earlier this week I shared a recipe for carrot baby food, which is a great first food for babies. Today I’m sharing 6 baby food combinations that work for babies who are a little older, around 6-8 months. The combos I’m sharing are mostly fruit and vegetables, but there is one combo with quinoa and flaxseed as well. All of these combos have been taste-tested and approved by Olivia. She gobbled up each of them!
Baby not ready for stage 2? I’ve got a collection of 10 baby food purees for stage 1 eaters!
The recipes I’m sharing here are just to give you some ideas of how to make different baby food combos, but there are so many other combos you can make – the options are endless and it’s fun to get creative!
Just last week I made a new combo inspired by carrot cake with steamed carrots, pineapple, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. I’ve also been making Olivia peanut butter banana oatmeal (with quick oats) and chia pudding made with breast milk. She loves both!
I haven’t introduced Olivia to meat, but we’ve given her eggs and I’m hoping to have her try meat soon. I’ll likely start with salmon since it’s packed with so many nutrients. Fingers crossed she likes it!
How to Make a Fruit or Veggie Puree
Alight, so let’s cover the basics first… how to make a basic baby food puree with fruit or veggies. It’s actually really easy. That said, if you’re brand new to making baby food purees it might be helpful to review my homemade carrot puree or sweet potato puree recipe. Here’s the basic process:
- Prep: wash the fruit/veggies with water. Peel and chop into smaller pieces. Some fruits and veggies don’t need to be peeled because once they’re cooked the peel will come right off.
- Cook: cook the fruit/veggies by steaming, boiling or roasting. You’ll know it’s done when the veggies are soft and tender. I like to use a fork to test this. If it goes in really easily, I know it’s done. Let cool and peel (if you waited to peel).
- Blend: place cooked fruit/veggies into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (or the consistency you desire), adding liquid (water, breast milk or formula) as needed.
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Do You Need to Steam Fruits and Veggies for Baby?
It’s recommended that most fruits and veggies are steamed (or cooked) before serving until baby reaches around 8 months of age. Some foods require cooking (like apples and sweet potatoes), just so they’re soft enough to puree. For softer foods (like a ripe peach or blueberries) steaming/cooking is optional, but helpful for babies 6-8 months of age because cooking makes the food easier to digest and baby will able to absorb more nutrients from the food. As you’ll see in my recipes below, I like to use a steamer basket to steam most of my fruit and veggies before pureeing.
Bananas and Avocado
Bananas and avocado are the exception and they are great options to have on hand because you can easily just mash, thin with liquid (if needed) and serve.
How to Make Baby Food Combinations
For all of these combination recipes, I steamed each fruit/veggie separately and then made the combos using the measurements I share in the recipes. I did it this way because I was batching all of these combos at once and I’m only able to fit so much in one pot, but also because the steam time varies for most fruits and veggies (see below). Of course, you will find some recipes (on other sites) that involve cooking the items that are combined all together, but I found it easier just to steam all of my ingredients separately, measure and then blend them together. Do what feels easiest for you!
How to Blend Baby Food
Once your fruit/veggies are cooked, it’s time to blend. For this you can use a blender, food processor or even an immersion blender. I’ve been using my Vitamix and LOVE it for making baby food because it’s really powerful and makes the blends so smooth and creamy. Some foods don’t need to be blended for babies who are okay with a more chunky texture. You can simply mash them well with a fork.
Peeling the Fruit and Veggies
I highly recommend peeling your fruits and veggies because peeling results in smoother purees and makes the food easier for baby to digest. Some foods, like carrots, should be peeled before cooking, but other foods like sweet potato, apples, peaches and pears tend to have skin that peels right off after steaming. Ultimately it’s up to you whether you want to peel the fruit/veggies before or after steaming. Test it both ways and decide which option is easier for you. I’m team peel after steaming!
Shopping List to Make All 6 Combos
- 1 avocado
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 banana
- 2 apples
- 2 pears
- 4 peaches
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pineapple
- 1 mango
- ground flax
Steaming Time For the Fruits and Veggies
As I mentioned above, it’s recommended that most fruits and veggies (even soft ones) are steamed (or cooked) before serving babies who are 6-8 months. If your baby is older you can experiment with using fresh blueberries, peaches, pears, pineapple and mango that hasn’t been steamed, so long as the fruit is ripe and soft. I actually used fresh blueberries when making the blueberry banana quinoa flax combo.
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- Sweet potato: 12-15 minutes
- Apple: 10-12 minutes
- Asparagus: 7-13 minutes
- Blueberries: 5-10 minutes
- Peach: 2-4 minutes
- Pear: 10-12 minutes
- Pineapple: 5-10 minutes
- Mango: 5-10 minutes
Frozen fruit and veggies also work for these recipes. You’ll likely just need to steam them a bit longer.
6 Easy Baby Food Combinations
Here are six different baby food combinations. I’ve listed them in order of the level of complexity from the least complex (peach pear) to most complex (blueberry banana quinoa and flax).
Ingredients: 2 steamed and peeled pears and 3 steamed and peeled peaches + water or breast milk to thin (if needed)
Ingredients: 1 bunch of steamed asparagus, 1 steamed and peeled apple + water or breast milk to thin
Sweet Potato Apple Cinnamon
Ingredients: 1 steamed and peeled sweet potato, 1 steamed and peeled apple, pinch of cinnamon + water or breast milk to thin
Avocado Peach Pineapple Kale
Ingredients: 1 avocado, 1 steamed and peeled peach, 1/2 cup steamed pineapple and 1/2 cup of steamed kale + water or breast milk to thin (if needed)
Ingredients: 1 cup steamed pineapple + 1 cup steamed mango + water or breast milk to thin (if needed)
Blueberry Banana Quinoa Flax
Ingredients: 1 pint steamed blueberries, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1 ripe banana, 2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseed + water or breast milk to thin (if needed)
How to Store Homemade Baby Food
Once you have the baby food blended to the consistency you want, let the mixture cool and then transfer into BPA-free storage containers or into an ice cube tray. I’ve been using silicone ice cube trays and these 4 oz glass storage containers. The ice cube trays are great for younger babies who aren’t eating as much volume because you can defrost one cube at a time. While the 4 oz jars are great for older babies who are eating more than 1 oz at a time.
We had the ice cube trays on hand, and I just recently bought the WeeSprout glass storage containers that are specifically for baby food. I like that they have measurements on the side of the jars and that they’re glass instead of plastic (no worry about BPA). They are also freezer, dish-washer and microwave-safe. Plus they come with colorful lids that you can write on with a dry eraser marker to note the item and date.
When using the ice cube trays, I like to let the food freeze overnight (or until solid) and then transfer the cubes to a freezer bag so I can free up the ice cube tray for more food prep. I used plastic freezer bags for these photos but have since purchased reusable Stasher bags to use. They’re freezer safe and non-toxic and a healthier option for the environment.
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The baby food combos will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Can You Freeze Baby Food Made with Frozen Fruit or Veggies?
Yes, you can freeze baby food that has been made with frozen fruit or veggies as long as you have cooked the frozen foods first. You shouldn’t let frozen foods thaw (without cooking), puree and re-freeze.
Can You Freeze Baby Food Made with Breast Milk or Formula?
Freezing baby food that has been mixed with fresh breast milk is totally fine, however you should not freeze baby food that has been mixed with previously frozen breast milk. Frozen and thawed breast milk should never be re-frozen.
Most formula companies don’t recommend freezing formula, but from what I’ve read it’s okay to freeze homemade baby food that has been mixed with formula to thin.
Another option is to freeze the baby food purees without adding any liquid. With this method you can thaw the baby food puree in the fridge overnight and then thin the food to the desired texture with breast milk or formula right before serving.
This post all about freezing baby food has a ton of great insight and tips.
Don’t Forget to Label
I highly recommend labeling any baby food you make before storing it! It’s amazing how quickly you forget what day you prepped the food once it goes into the fridge or freezer. #mombrain
How to Reheat or Thaw Frozen Baby Food
To thaw frozen baby food, I recommend taking the jar out of the freezer the night before you want to use it so it can defrost in the fridge overnight. If you need to use it right away, you can thaw it using a water bath. Some people will recommend microwaving the frozen puree using the defrost setting, but I prefer these two methods:
- Defrost in the refrigerator: Place frozen puree cubes into a jar or baby’s serving dish, cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight. If you stored the puree in a jar or storage container, simply place the jar the fridge.
- Water bath: Place frozen pureed cubes in a small container and set in another larger container with warm water. Replace the water as needed. Once defrosted, portion the food into individual bowls, cover, and refrigerate until serving.
Be sure to use any of the defrosted food within 48 hours of being defrosted and do not re-freeze.
More Recipes for Babies and Toddlers
- 10 Baby Food Purees (Stage 1)
- Baby Pancakes
- How to Make Oatmeal For Babies
- Carrot Baby Food
- Peach Baby Food
- Baby (+ Toddler) French Toast
- Baby Yogurt Melts
- Butternut Squash Puree
- Sweet Potato Puree