Brought to you by Heinz Infant
As we moved on through the stages, from purees to chewable food, baby food started to become a bit more fun. I’ll never forget the faces Elliott would pull when experiencing the new textures. Sometimes if he was struggling with the textures, particularly meat, I would blitz them into a puree to make it easier for him but so he could still experience the new taste.
I was lucky to have a neighbour that had a daughter the exact same age. To change up the variety for our babies, we used to agree on the food we’d each make, portion it up and swap the food with each other so our babies had variety. A great way to do it if you have a friend with a similar aged child.
But, there were times when I was utterly exhausted and the last thing I wanted to think about was preparing more food. You know, those nights when you just couldn’t be bothered cooking so you order takeaway or those times you need to go out but haven’t had time to prepare and pack a lunch for your bub? Well, that used to happen to me A LOT and I’m not afraid to say that I resorted to pre-packaged baby food, Heinz Infant was one of them. Boy did it take a lot of the stress off my shoulders, especially having post-natal depression.
Aside from the fact that products like Heinz Infant take away the stress of having to prepare homemade baby food 24/7, Heinz Infant also removes the stress around what we actually feed our babies and toddlers. Although it’s pre-packaged, it’s still wholesome baby food and it’s full of the good stuff. It all comes down to the ingredients used, the nutritional advice put into the product and how it is made.
In actual fact, all of the high-quality ingredients used in the Heinz Infant products are sourced, where possible, right here in Australia. Their apples, pears and peaches come from Goulburn Valley, their farm fresh pumpkins are from country Victoria, and all meats are from trusted suppliers throughout Australia. The ingredients are picked, packed, and delivered with care to the Heinz Specialist baby food facility in Echuca, in country Victoria.
It’s also good to know that Heinz have a team of nutritionist mums that approve the recipes, so they know how important it is to form good eating habits early on and exactly what it is that little developing bodies need in their diet. As Mums, they also know how important it is to change it up and so Heinz are constantly aiming to come up with new baby recipes.
And the really good bit. I remember when Elliott was a baby I worried about the whole preservative issue surrounding pre-packaged baby foods. With Heinz Infant, there’s no need to worry about that because all Heinz Infant meals are steamed cooked. Water is used during the cooking process to ensure Heinz deliver the right consistency and flavour throughout the whole range. After cooking, all of the Heinz Infant jars, cans, and pouches are heat sealed, locking in all the delicious flavours and preventing the need for preservatives! How good is that!
Seriously, there’s no need to feel guilty about feeding your child pre-packaged baby foods like Heinz Infant when you need to. Stop stressing about the fact you haven’t had time to make homemade baby food and instead relish in the extra time you get to spend with your bub because today you don’t have to cook!
Here are 10 of my favourite homemade baby food recipes, great for when you do have the time to cook. There are some baby puree recipes great for the early stages right through to a couple of toddler recipes. But don’t worry, if cooking scares you, I’ve included some similar Heinz Infant suggestions/alternatives under many of the recipes.
2 ripe pears
Peel and core the pears and roughly chop.
- Place in a saucepan with a tiny bit of water, cover and cook on a low heat for around 10 minutes or until it’s soft (you can easily pierce it with a knife).
- Puree the pears with a blender, stick mix, Thermomix or Bellini Intelli.
- Set aside to cool and serve.
- Place the remainder in ice cube trays as this is fine to freeze.
Root Vegetable Puree
200g root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, swedes.
- Peel and roughly chop the vegetables
- Place the vegetables in a saucepan, cover with water and cover with a lid.
- Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Strain the water but keep a little bit of the cooking liquid.
- Use a blender, stick mix, Thermomix or Bellini Intelli to puree the vegetables while adding a tiny bit of the cooking water to make it the right consistency.
- Set aside to cool and place the remaining puree in ice cube trays or small containers to freeze.
Run out of time to make this Root Vegetable Puree? Try the Heinz Organic Sweet Baby Vegetables.
Chicken, Apple & Pumpkin Puree
2 teaspoons butter
½ onion diced finely
2 chicken tenderloins cut into 2cm cubes
½ apple, peeled, cored and sliced
100g (1 cup) diced pumpkin
100 ml salt reduced chicken stock
100 ml unsweetened apple juice
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and then fry the onion until it becomes translucent.
- Add all other ingredients (not the chicken) and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the saucepan and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
- Puree to the consistency you prefer.
- Divide into individual ice cube trays or containers and freeze.
Run out of time to make this Chicken, Apple & Pumpkin Puree? Why not try the Heinz Golden Sweet Corn & Chicken puree.
Fish and Vegetables Puree
1 piece of white fish (cooked)
2 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoons of cooked peas, mashed
1 tablespoons of cooked carrots, mashed
1 tablespoons of cooked sweet potato, mashed
1 tablespoon of butter (melted) or olive oil
Place all of these cooked ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until it comes to a creamy consistency.
Run out of time to make Fish with Veggies? Why not try Heinz Creamy Pasta and Tuna Mornay
Carrot and Pumpkin Puree
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion
1 small carrot
1 stick of celery (remove the stringy bits)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
400ml salt-reduced vegetable stock
125g butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and finely diced
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the stock.
- Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin and simmer or a further 30 minutes until the pumpkin is very soft.
- Puree to the desired consistency and divide into portions.
Run out of time to make this Braised Lentils and Pumpkin Puree? Why not try the Heinz Pumpkin, Veg and Couscous!
Banana Teething Rusks
This was one of the baby recipes that my mother in law passed on to me although I’ve removed the sugar element from it.
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed banana
1 1/4 cups wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a slice tray with baking paper and set aside.
- In a bowl mix all ingredients until well combined. (You can use the Bellini for this mixing stage)
- Pour into a slice tin and bake for one hour
- Remove from pan and cool. Slice into sticks and lay on baking paper.
- Drop the oven temperature to 150 degrees celsius and bake further for one hour.
Run out of time to make these teething rusks? Heinz have teething rusks too!
Leek and Potato Soup
1 large leek
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 small zucchini chopped into rounds
1 ½ cup salt-reduced vegetable or chicken stock
Chopped parsley leaves
- Ensure you wash your leeks very well as they are prone to hidden dirt. Slice it lengthways into a half and then slice each half finely into half circles.
- Heat the oil and the butter in the saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the onion and the leek, cook, stirring for around 5 minutes or until translucent and soft.
- Add the garlic and sauté for one minute.
- Add the potatoes and zucchini, stir to coat.
- Add the stock and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
- Remove from the heat and blend with a blender, Bellini Intelli or another food processor until it’s smooth. If it is too thick, simply add some water.
- Add the cream and parsley and stir.
- Divide into ice cube trays or small containers and freeze.
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 banana purée
1/2 cup plain whole milk yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
A dash of cinnamon
- Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and warm gently on low heat, stirring frequently.
- Remove the warmed pudding and put it into a food processor, blender, Thermomix or Bellini and blend to the consistency you require.
If you have an older baby that is OK with texture, you don’t have to blend.
Run out of time to make this rice pudding? Why not try Heinz Apple, Peach & Passionfruit Rice Pudding
Mini Savoury Muffins – Finger Food For Babies!
2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup grated cheese
2 eggs (please make sure your baby is not allergic to eggs first)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup milk (cow’s milk/breastmilk/formula)
1 – 2 cups veggies (try chopped zucchini, grated carrot, diced mushrooms,)
Optional: diced ham and herbs to taste.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Grease a 24 mini-muffin tray
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and combine.
- Stir through the vegetables and the cheese.
- Combine the oil and the milk and then add a cracked egg. Whisk it together.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the oil, milk and egg mix.
- Mix until it’s just combined. It should be a thick batter.
- Spoon the mix into the muffin tray.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are lovely and golden.
- Cool in the tray once removed and then turn out on a cooling rack.
Serve and freeze the others for later.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 spring onion (white part only)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander
100g chicken mince (or the same amount of leftover cooked chicken) finely chopped
½ small zucchini
¼ cup grated pumpkin
1 cup salt reduced chicken stock
½ cup couscous
- Heat oil in the saucepan.
- Add the spring onion and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the cinnamon and coriander and stir for another 30 seconds
- Add all the other ingredients and cook, covered, for about 3 minutes. Make sure you stir it a couple of times so it doesn’t stick.
Run out of time to make this Chicken Couscous? Why not try the Heinz Chicken & Vegetable Risotto.