Baby food is growing up! According to Janet Little, nutritionist for Sprouts Farmers Market, the latest trends in baby foods include sophisticated flavors, more protein and fiber, a shift back to jars and organic ingredients .
With four locations in the metro you can find a range of baby food products at Sprouts – for up to 25% off from May 6th – May 13th— or if you have the time, you can try your hand at another baby food trend – making your own. Here are some DIY tips and recipes from Janet.
· Keep all tools and work spaces spotlessly clean, washing with hot, soapy water and rinsing in hot water or use a dishwasher if possible.
· Choose organic produce whenever possible.
· Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before peeling.
· Use a blender or food processor to speed preparation. Add formula, juice or cooking water to thin the food.
· Start with a thin, smooth, easy-to-swallow puree. As your baby grows and chewing and swallowing reflexes mature, the consistency can be thickened.
· Make larger batches so you can portion them out in ice cube trays to freeze. Then put them in plastic storage bags. Take cubes out, heat and serve.
· Avocados or bananas may be mashed and served in a variety of ways. They do not require cooking.
4 oz sweet potato, finely diced
1 cup water
In a pot, bring the diced sweet potato and water to boil, for about 15 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency that you like. It should break down quite a bit after the boiling. If not, you can use the back of the spoon to mash the sweet potato to the desired texture. To make a silky smooth sweet potato puree, you can blend it with a blender. Let cool and serve.
1 bunch purple carrots – about 10 carrots
Small amount of water
Peel and slice carrots. Place in a steaming basket over boiling water and steam for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Adding a little bit of water (do not use your cooking water), purée the carrots. Let cool and serve. If freezing, remove the frozen purée from the trays and place in a freezer bag and mark to be used within 3 months.
7 to 8 months
Start testing other fruits and vegetables and proteins such as lentils and meats in thicker purees. Still go one new ingredient at a time, but now mix a few together once you know your baby isn’t allergic.
Green Bean, Potato, and Kale Puree
1/4 pound green beans
1 large organic russet potato, peeled and sliced
4 large organic kale leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 cup organic chicken stock
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a medium saucepan, combine beans, potato, kale, and stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat. Cook uncovered until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer contents of saucepan to a blender and add Parmesan and olive oil. Puree until as smooth as you prefer. Serve warm.
Lentil and Apple Puree
1/2 cups lentils
2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small organic red delicious apple, cored and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Pour the water into a saucepan and add the lentils. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer the lentils until cooked – they should be tender and breaking down, about 25 to 35 minutes. While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a small frying pan and saute the diced apple and crushed garlic until tender, stir in all the spices and cook for a few more minutes. Cool briefly. Transfer the entire mixture to a blender and puree until smooth and serve.
Kansas City metro area locations:
8383 N. Booth Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64158
6061 NW. 64th St.
Kansas City, MO 64151
6821 W. 135th St.
Overland Park, KS 66223
8550 Maurer Rd.
Lenexa, KS 66219