Category Archives: 4-6 months

Carrot Water for babies | When can I give carrot to my baby ?

Carrots are the common first food for babies. Rich in beta-carotenes and also easy to digest. When you start weaning for babies, always start with liquids and then gradually move to fluids and purees.

Warning: Mother’s milk is sufficient for babies till 6 months. Think twice and discuss with your Pediatrician before starting other food!

Carrot Water for babies Recipe – Ingredients

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 12 mins
Makes : 1/2 Cup | Suits: 4+ Months babies

Carrot – 1
Water – 1 cup

Preparation

1.Take a carrot and wash well. Cut head and tail part and peel off the skin.2.Grate it using grater. In a pan, add a cup of water.3.Once water boils, add carrot and cook covered in medium flame for 10 mins. Switch off the stove.
4.Let it sit for 5 more mins away from stove. Then strain the carrot water. Press well with spoon to extract all drops.                  Feed warm..

Tips/Tricks

  • Give this dilute carrot water when you start introducing carrot to baby. After 1 week, make it thick by grinding the cooked carrot along with water in mixie and then straining .. Then after 1 week, carrot puree(without straining) can be given.
  • Add a drop of ghee for additional fat and flavor.
  • Salt is not recommended for babies below 1 year.

Nutritional Benefits

Carrot – Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Fiber, Vitamins A & C

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Apple Water Recipe | Apple Extract for babies | First Liquids for babies

Apple water is the best first liquid to babies. It is both nutritious and easily digestible. It is the best laxative too. This is the first liquid that I introduced to my baby, as per my Pediatrician’s advice.

When you start weaning, constipation is very common among babies. Apple water is the best remedy for that. Giving warm apple water twice a day, eases babies stool.

When introducing apple for the first time to baby, start with this apple water. Once accustomed, in just 1 week or so, you shall move to Boiled Apple Puree(Click here).

Apple Water Recipe – Ingredients

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 2 mins | Waiting Time : 10 mins
Makes : 1/3 Cup | Suits: 4+ Months babies

Apple – 1 piece
Water – 1/3 cup

Preparation

1.Wash an apple, cut and take a piece. Peel the skin if it’s not an organic apple. Cut out the center part as shown below.2.Grate the apple and keep ready. In a pan add water and let it boil.3.Once it nicely bubbles, add grated apple, simmer and cook for just 1 minute. Switch off the stove.4.Keep the pan covered for 10 mins. Open and strain the apple water.5.Press it with spoon so that all drops are extracted. Feed immediately.            Feed it to baby using sangu(as shown in pic below) or small spoon.

Tips/Tricks

  • Do not add any sweetener. Neither sweet nor salt is recommended for babies below 1 year of age.
  • Warning! Mother’s milk is sufficient for babies till 6 months. Think twice and discuss with your Pediatrician before starting other food!

Nutritional Benefits

Apple – Fiber, Vitamins A,B,C & K, Omega 3&6 fatty acids, Potassium and other minerals

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Sweet Potato Puree for babies | Sakkaravalli kizhangu for babies | First solids for babies

sweet-potato-puree-for-babies-1Sweet potatoes are rich in Beta-carotenes than carrots. Beta-carotenes are converted to Vitamin A by body. But, Vitamin A is fat-soluble. So, fat is required to absorb vitamin A. Few drops of ghee or butter is added in this puree to supply that fat.

Sweet potato puree has a smooth texture and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Natural sweetness is an add-on. Being rich in dietary fiber(avoids constipation) too, it is an ideal first solid food for babies. Whenever you start weaning, after introducing liquid food for few days, you shall start this puree.sweet-potato-puree-for-babies-2

Sweet Potato Puree Recipe – Ingredients

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 10 mins
Makes : 1 Cup | Suits: 5+ Months babies

Sweet Potato – 1 cup diced
Water – 1 cup
Ghee – 1/4 tsp

Preparation

1.Wash out the mud and dirts. Cut out the desired quantity. Peel off the skin.sweet-potato-puree-recipe-for-babies-12.Once peeled, again wash it once and then proceed to cut further.sweet-potato-puree-recipe-for-babies-23.Chop them to small pieces. Add it to a pan along with immersing level of water. Cover with a lid and cook in high flame for 10+ minutes. Bubbles might rise upto the lid and water might spill out. Intermittently, open and check.sweet-potato-puree-recipe-for-babies-34.After 10 minutes, prick with a fork and check if it is cooked soft. Once cooked, remove from pan and allow it to cool.sweet-potato-puree-recipe-for-babies-45.Once cooled, grind to desired consistency using mixie or blender. Add few drops of ghee, mix and feed warm.sweet-potato-puree-recipe-for-babies-5

Tips/Tricks

  • Do not drain the water after cooking. Use the water to make the puree.
  • I have used American sweet potato. Indian varieties just differ in colors, but no compromise in nutrition. You shall use any available variety.
  • Sweet potatoes can be steamed/baked too for making puree.
  • As per traditional method, you shall cook along with skin and then remove it after cooking too. In such case, do not cut. Just cook as a whole.
  • You shall feed this puree as such or add some breastmilk/formula.
  • Puree consistency varies among babies. Initially, pulse it in mixie and give a smooth paste. Within a month, change to a lil coarse texture by reducing the pulses in mixie or using blender. After a month, change to lil more coarse texture by using mathu/fork/spoon. Then gradually switch to hand mashed food. The tactic is, do not make them accustomed to the same smooth texture.
  • Warning! Mother’s milk is sufficient for babies till 6 months. Think twice and discuss with your Paed before starting other food!

sweet-potato-puree-for-babies-3

Nutritional Benefits

Sweet Potato – Dietary Fiber, Protein, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Folates, Vitamins A,B&C

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Avocado Banana Puree for babies | Avocado Banana Smash Recipe

avocado-banana-puree-for-babies-1Avocado is so creamy and when mixed with banana, a fruit sweetener babies would love to have more. Avocado is full of “good” fats! It is much more needed for growing babies.

After 1 year, you shall just mash it with spoon and feed. But my 4 year kid still enjoys this smooth texture and wants me to puree in mixie every time 😉 Click this link of my Instagram page to peek into cane-sugar topped Mash. Include Avocado in kid’s diet till their teen ages.

avocado-banana-smash-for-babies-2

Avocado Banana Puree Recipe – Ingredients

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : Nil
Makes : 1/2 cup | Suits: 4+ Months babies

Avocado – 1 tbsp
Banana – 1/2
Milk – 1/4 cup

Preparation

1.Wash Avocado and cut into 2 vertically. Scoop out a spoonful of flesh.how-to-make-avocado-banana-puree-for-babies-step-12.Peel the skin of banana and cut half. Cut them further into 3-4 pieces. how-to-make-avocado-banana-puree-for-babies-step-23.In a mixie jar, add banana, avocado and required milk. Blend to desired consistency.how-to-make-avocado-banana-puree-for-babies-step-3

Tips/Tricks

  • Choose ripe Avocado. The outer skin should be fully brown. Still, it should be firm to see and touch(gently) and should not have any dents. It should neither be hard nor be too loose if you press with a finger.
  • De-pit(Remove the seed of) Avocado. Scoop out all the flesh including light and dark green ones. Throw away the outer skin. Once cut, I usually do not refrigerate this fruit, due to browning. I too like to have this puree. So, I make with whole fruit and enjoy with my kid 😉
  • It is easy to take out the flesh using spoon. So, do not use knife.
  • Prefer ripe and sweet banana.
  • For babies below 1 year, use mother’s milk/formula milk. Cow’s milk can be used for 1+ years babies.

avocado-banana-mash-for-babies-3

Nutritional Benefits

Avocado – Dietary Fiber, Good fats, Protein , Potassium, Magnesium, Iron , Calcium, Folates, Vitamins A,B&C
Banana – Dietary fiber, Protein, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Vitamins A,B&C and various antioxidants

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Best Bananas for Babies

Best Bananas for BabiesBanana is the best first food for babies. Smooth texture makes it easy for babies to swallow. Being rich in fiber, it is easy to digest and avoids constipation. Rich nutritional benefits of banana make it a healthier choice!

Always give ripe bananas to babies. Unripe ones may cause constipation, sour throat, indigestion. Do not let it over-ripe as that might be spoiled at times. Do taste for the quality before feeding it to babies.

Among the varieties of banana available in TamilNadu, here are some best choices for babies. Best age to start the type of banana is marked in the respective photos.

Mazha Vaazhai for babies

Viruppaachi aka Mazhai vaazhai is the best first choice for babies. The one in the above photo is the hybrid variety. Country-side variety would be much smaller in size. Though smaller ones are preferable, hybrid can also be opted if the former one is not available in your locality.

I clicked these pics just 2 days before my US travel. So, couldn’t wait for banana to ripen. Ripened virupaachi will have black skin, but the fruit inside tastes delicious. Peel off the skin, make a cross section cut and remove the seeds, just mash it well, mix some BM/FM and feed it fresh to babies.

Cooked Nendran banana for babies

Yetham/Nentharam/Nendhran pazham/Ripe Plantains is the “King of Bananas”. Its nutrition and taste is doubled when cooked(steamed/boiled). Do not cook clean yellow fruit. Wait for 2 -3 days to ripen to get black skin here and there.

Wash and steam/boil the banana with skin. Then, remove the skin and cut it vertically. Discard the seeds, just mash it well, mix some BM/FM and feed it fresh to babies. Click here to see how to make  steamed banana puree with step-wise pictures. After 2+ years, you shall steam and feed as such without milk. Steaming is recommended till 8-10 years of age.

Sevvazhai for babies

Sevvaazhai/Red bananas are rich in Beta-carotene, Potassium and Vitamin C. This nutritious banana is advised after 1 year of age for proper digestion.

Do not let it over-ripe as it might develop dangerous bacteria. Fewer brown/black spots indicate ripeness. If you could touch and feel lil soft(not too softer), then feed immediately. Neither cooking nor removal of seeds required for red banana. Just peel the skin, mash well and feed. Mix with milk if you want to thin out.

Naattu Vazhai for babies

Naatu vaazhai/Pachanaadan pazham is more fibrous and loaded with nutrients. But, it is not easy to digest compared to other varieties of banana. You shall feed this after 2+ years of age. Avoid giving this banana in the night. This variety is mainly preferred during summer for it’s cooling effect. Try to get greenish one and let it ripe in your rice sack, just to stay away from induced ripening techniques.

Nutritional Benefits

Banana – Dietary fiber, Protein, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Vitamins A,B&C and various antioxidants

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Keerai Thanni | Greens water for babies | Greens soup for babies

Spinach Soup for babies-1 After 6 months, babies need extra nutrients in addition to mother’s milk. Feeding first liquids to babies is always more exciting. As the initial input to the lil tummy is very less, be wiser in choosing highly nutritious portions.

Being a newbie, it is a challenging chore for the tiny digestive system to digest new stuffs. To help the lil one, we introduce liquids first and then gradually move to fluids and finally to solids.

Spinach Soup for babies-2

Clear greens soup is a good choice to start after Apple soup and Lentils soup. Being rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, just a small portion of greens soup provides the needed nutriments for your baby. I always recommend growing greens @home for babies. I have used my home-grown Thandu keerai for this recipe.

Growing greens for babies at kitchen garden

Greens Soup for babies Recipe – Ingredients

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 5 mins
Makes : 1/2 Cup | Suits: 4+ Months babies

Greens – Handful
Cumin Seeds/Jeeragam – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Water – 1/2 cup

Preparation

1.Pluck/Buy greens and wash well. Keerai Thanni for babies-12.Cut them roughly and add to pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds and turmeric powder.Keerai Thanni for babies-23.Add water and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.Keerai Thanni for babies-34.Strain the soup through a filter. Squeeze out till the last drop.Keerai Thanni for babies-4  Clear greens soup is ready. Feed it warm !

Spinach Soup for babies-3

Tips/Tricks

  • Instead of pressure cooking, you can just cook in a closed vessel for 5-10 mins in medium flame.
  • Any variety of fresh greens can be used in this recipe.
  • If you buy greens outside, pls follow these steps(click) to clean.
  • A spoonful of washed moong dal(Paasi paruppu), a pinch of asafoetida or a garlic pod can be added along with greens and other listed ingredients. In such case, allow to cook for an extra whistle. This recipe is called paruppu keerai thanni(dal+greens soup).
  • Adding salt in food for babies below 1 year is not recommended.
  • This soup can be given from 4 months. Warning! Mother’s milk is sufficient for babies till 6 months. Think twice and discuss with your Paed before starting other food!
  • Refer here(click) to know how to sterilize baby feeding utensils.

Spinach Soup for babies-4

Nutritional Benefits

Thandu keerai – Protein, Fiber, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Potassium, Vitamins B & C

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Boiled Apple Puree

Boiled Apple Puree for Babies pic 1 Apple is one of the the best first food for your baby. Babies get easily accustomed to tastes that are introduced below 1 year. Try to feed all types of fruits and veggies below 1 year, so that you will have no tough time in future.

As your baby grows, I wish you don’t want to run behind your kid, reciting the adage “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” . Nilaa’s playschool kids’ parents keep complaining that their children don’t wish to see fruits in their snackbox. When I had a short questionnaire with them, everyone admitted that they have not built the habit of having at the least 1 fruit a day(recommended is 5 including veggies) ! So, when the kids are introduced to fruits just in sake junk is not allowed in the school snackbox, you will have a tough time there!

Building a healthy eating habit should start at very early stage . Just when you start weaning, start with healthy food(avoid biscuits and other junk fillers)  and continue the same till the age of 8 and support it further. Wait to witness a healthy eating habit followed lifelong 🙂

Boiled Apple Puree for Babies pic 2Apple is a very good laxative and supports digesting the first foods introduced to the tiny digestive system. It helps in passing smooth stool. By the way, Apple keeps constipation at bay 😉 Lets take a look into the recipe..

Boiled Apple Puree Recipe – Ingredients

Preparation Time : 2 mins | Cooking Time : 3-5 mins
Serves : 1 | Suits: 4-7 Months babies

Apple – 1 piece
Water – Level required to immerse apple pieces
Mother’s Milk/Formula Milk – Required as per desired consistency

Preparation

1. Cut a piece of apple, peel the skin and further cut into small pieces as shown below.How to make Apple Puree for babies2. In a vessel(I have used BoroSilicate glass vessel), add apple pieces and pour water till immersing level. Let it boil in medium flame until water is vaporized and apple is cooked.How to make Apple Puree for babies-23. Blend the cooked apple in mixie along with few drops of apple cooked water, if there is any leftover in the vessel. Add mother’s milk/formula and blend it again to a smooth texture.How to make Apple Puree for babies-3Feed this immediately to baby.

Boiled Apple Puree for Babies pic 3

Tips/Tricks

  • No need to add sweetener. Baby will love this as it has an additional topping of mother’s milk/formula that the baby is fond of.
  • You do not require pumping machine to collect mother’s milk. Just squeeze out the milk using your fingers to a clean bowl. Do not panic that squeezing out milk might lead to insufficiency during next feed! Not at all ! As I have repeatedly mentioned, when the demand(suckling/pumping/squeezing) is more, the supply(milk secretion) will be more 🙂 Refer to my article for Lactation diet & tips.
  • If you want to start apple to your baby, first start with apple water(Click here for recipe). Then gradually move to boiled apple puree as per this post. Then, in just a month, you shall start raw apple puree(just omit boiling and follow the other instructions as per this post).
  • Warning! Mother’s milk is sufficient for babies till 6 months. Think twice and discuss with your Paed before starting other food!

Boiled Apple Puree for Babies pic 4

Nutritional Benefits

Apple – Fiber, Vitamins A,B,C & K, Omega 3&6 fatty acids, Potassium and other minerals
Mother’s Milk – Unmeasurable nutrition !

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Lentils Soup

Lentils soup Recipe for babies step-1Lentils water (Paruppu thanni) is the first drink opted for babies when decided to wean. A simple recipe that extracts the nutrients from pulses in an easily edible and digestible liquid form.

First start with yellow Moong gram(Paasi parupu) water as it will be so light for the tiny tummy to get accustomed to foreign food. Then move to split Red gram(Toor dal) and then finally to Red Lentil(Masoor dal).

Salt and sugar/Jaggery is not required for babies until they turn one. Recent researches emphasize this as it reduces the risk of Diabetes and Hypertension in such babies’ lifetime. Salt-less and sugarless food might taste bland to you but pls don’t compare your taste-buds with the tiny ones. It is you who introduce different tastes and textures to your baby. So, until you introduce salt and sugar, your baby will not demand for it.

I have depicted the recipe using split yellow pigeon peas/split Red gram/Toor dal.
Lentils soup Recipe for babies- 2

Lentils water for babies Recipe – Ingredients

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 5 mins | Makes : 1 bowl
Suits: 4-7 Months babies

Toor dal – 1/4 cup
Water – 1 cup
Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Asafoetida – 1 pinch

Preparation

1.   Take 1/4 cup of dal and rinse twice in water.How to make dal water for babies step-1 2.   In a pressure cooker, add dal, cumin seeds and turmeric powder.How to make dal water for babies step-2 3.   Add Asafoetida(perungaayam) and 1 cup of water.How to make dal water for babies step-3 4.   Pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles. Drain the dal water into a clean bowl.How to make dal water for babies step-4      Prepare just sometime before you want to feed this to baby. Feed fresh and lukewarm.

Tips/Tricks

  • You can soak dal for 5 mins for faster cooking.
  • First 2-3 times, give this watery dal water. Later, you can use a wide-bottomed ladle or mathu to mash the cooked dal before filtering and thus thickening the consistency gradually.
  • As I have repeatedly mentioned, I don’t prefer adding salt for babies below 1 year.
  • Warning! Mother’s milk is sufficient for babies till 6 months. Think twice and discuss with your Paed before starting other food!

Lentils soup Recipe for babies- 3

 

Nutritional Benefits

Yellow pigeon peas/Toor dal – Proteins, Dietary Fiber, vitamins A,B,C, Iron, Potassium, Folates/Folic acid, Selenium, Zinc,Magnesium,Manganese,Calcium, other minerals and essential amino acids
Split yellow moong gram – Proteins, Dietary Fiber, vitamin B, Potassium, Calcium, Folates, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Zinc, other minerals and essential amino acids
Red Lentil – Proteins, Dietary Fiber, vitamins B,C, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Selenium, Calcium, Folates, other minerals and essential amino acids

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Finger Millet Milk Porridge

Finger Millet Milk Porridge 1Traditionally, Ragi is the first millet to be introduced to babies. To aid the developing digestive system, the nutrients are extracted from Ragi in the form of milk and the outer coverings are discarded.

Please do not use store bought powders for babies. Prepare this Finger Millet Milk Porridge(Ragi paal kanji) freshly before every feed. This takes less time, less effort but bestows more energy and more nutrients to your baby.

Ragi is considered as heat generating food, and so ghee is added for the cooling effect. Due to its rich iron content, Ragi might cause constipation and some ways to avoid it are:

  • Cook well as raw ragi might constipate
  • Add ghee as it acts as a Laxative
  • Give more water especially warm water after 10 mins of the feed
  • Include Banana in the diet for the day when you feed Ragi.

Finger Millet Milk Porridge 2If you exclusively breastfeed for first 6 months, introduce this porridge at the seventh month. Even if you have started weaning from 4th month, this healthy porridge should be your right choice! Whichever month you introduce, be sure to introduce banana for few days before starting this porridge. Once accustomed to Ragi Milk porridge, from 8th month, whole Ragi porridge can be started.

Ragi paal kanji Recipe – Ingredients

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 5 mins | Waiting Time : 2-8 hrs hrs
Makes : 1/2 Cup | Suits: 4-8 Months babies

Finger Millet – 1/4 cup
Ghee – 1/4 tsp
Water – 1 cup

Preparation

1.  Soak Ragi in water overnight. You can just soak for 1-2 hours too but overnight soaking is preferable as it softens the millet and yields thick milk.How to make Ragi for babies step12.  Just 15 minutes before feeding, wash the soaked millets twice in water. Drain the water and transfer Ragi to Mixie jar.How to make Ragi for babies step23.  Grind it for few pulses and add water. Grind for few more pulses until the milk is extracted well.How to make Ragi for babies step34.  Place a thin cotton cloth on the mouth of a container. Pour the ground stuff over the cloth. Rinse the jar with some more water and pour it over the cloth.How to make Ragi for babies step45.  Hold all the corners of the cloth and squeeze out the Ragi milk. Transfer the extracted Ragi milk to a tawa. Add 1/4tsp ghee.How to make Ragi for babies step56.  Heat the tawa in sim flame and keep stirring. In few minutes, the milk thickens. Switch off the stove when the below shown consistency is reached.How to make Ragi for babies step6Healthy and easily digestible millet porridge is ready! Serve warm!

Tips/Tricks

  • Once prepared, feed this within an hour. It is always good to feed fresh food to babies.
  • As it thickens quickly, from the start, cook in sim flame, giving some more time for it to cook well.
  • Do not tend to add ghee at the end. Let the ghee cook with the milk.
  • When you are in hurry, you can even soak for half an hour and extract the milk. In such case, add some more Ragi.
  • This is best for breakfast. Any time before evening is preferable. Do not feed this for dinner.
  • As I have repeatedly mentioned, I don’t prefer adding salt/sugar for babies below 1 year. I am sure your baby will enjoy this food without any more additions.
  • Warning! Mother’s milk is sufficient for babies till 6 months. Think twice and discuss with your Paed before starting other food!

Finger Millet Milk Porridge 3

Nutritional Benefits

Finger Millet – Protein, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Polyphenols, Amino acids, Folic acid, Vitamins A&B

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