Babies don't eat much because of their tiny tummies, so it’s important that their diets contain plenty of nutrients from all the different food groups. From 6 months, solid foods can be slowly introduced to your baby in the form of purees and mashed mixtures once your baby starts showing interest in your food and wants to grab whatever you are eating. By feeding them a variety of foods, you'll be helping your baby get the vitamins and minerals that he/she needs to grow.
Your child needs essential nutrients for proper growth and development because these essential nutrients cannot be synthesized or made by the body on its own. Fruits such as mango, banana, strawberry, apple, watermelon, pear, and others are rich in various essential nutrients like folate, iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, Vitamin C, etc which are very important for your kid’s health and overall well-being. Similar to fruits, vegetables are also the power-house of nutrition. Therefore, it is very important to add vegetables to your kid’s daily diet.
However, one variety of fruit does not fulfill the purpose. Therefore, you need to add a variety of fruits to your kid’s diet to ensure he gets all the required nutrition for his optimal growth and development. Just like you need to add a variety of fruits to your kid’s diet, you should also include a variety of vegetables.
Here are 15 Best Vegetable and Fruit Recipes for Babies
Green Leafy Vegetable (Pumpkin leaf (Ugu), Spinach (Efo tete), etc) Soup - In a pan, season pureed beef or fish with salt, maggi, and grated onions and boil until tender. Place oil in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add remaining onions, blended crayfish, tomatoes, beef, and fish. Let it simmer for about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and Maggi. You might have to add more later. Add the pumpkin leaves or spinach to the pot. Stir and Simmer for several minutes more. Adjust for seasonings and soup thickness. Stir for a few minutes and serve with amala or semovita. Leafy vegetables can also be mixed with unripe plantain, yam, and potato, etc.
Ewedu Soup - Nicely pick just the leaves (no stem allowed), then go ahead and wash properly with a lot of water to remove any sand left on it. Pour the Ewedu into your blender with boiled and deboned Titus fish and blend together until desired consistency is achieved. Then pour your blended ingredients into the pot with a small quantity of water and salt, and boil all ingredients for a minimum of 8 minutes. Serve with soft amala or semovita.
Okro Soup - Blend or grate your okro, then add some palm oil, blended crayfish, and onion, beef puree, or fish into a small quantity of boiling water and allow it to simmer for a minute and add the grated okro and stir, add salt to taste. Boil all ingredients for 5 minutes. Serve with amala or semovita.
Carrot Puree - Scrape the outer layer of the carrots and wash well. Place in a pot, add water just to cover the carrots slightly and allow to steam. Make sure it steams covered for about 20 minutes or until it is very tender. Remove carrot from pot and reserve the cooking liquid and blend until smooth, adding some of the cooking liquid from the pot, 1 tablespoon at a time, till it reaches the desired consistency. You might want to strain out the liquid using a sieve if the puree isn’t smooth enough. You can also add nutmeg to the puree to give it taste. Carrot can also be served to babies as finger food or salad.
Sweet Potato Meals
It can be served as puree - Peel sweet potato and cut into 1.5 cm (half-inch) cubes. In a pan, boil some water and add sweet potato chunks. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, around 15 minutes. Place the cooked potato into a large jug/pan and blend until smooth or mash. If the puree is too thick, You can thin it with a splash of milk (you can use breast or baby milk for babies). Sweet Potato Puree can be enjoyed as it is or mixed with a range of other pureed or mashed foods such as apple, pumpkin, carrots etc.
It can be served as a finger food - peel sweet potato and cut into wedges. Put the sliced potatoes into a pot of water, add turmeric and salt and allow it to boil for some minutes until it is soft and sieve the water. Put a little quantity of butter in the pan and let it melt and fry the boiled potato. When frying, you can add little or no pepper.
It can also be served as porridge - Peel the potatoes and cut into the pot with water and ingredients (fish, fresh pepper, palm oil,blended onion, vegetables such as ugu leaf, spinach and carrot, seasoning cube and salt to taste), the job is done as all you have to do from then is just check and stir until your porridge gets thick and soft. Then you can mash, add some water if the porridge is too thick.
Watermelon Juice - Wash the watermelon in running water thoroughly. Then remove the outer layer using a big knife and chop them into cubes. Transfer the chopped watermelon cubes to the blender along with honey(note: babies younger than 1 year old should not be given honey), salt and lemon juice. Blend it for 10 seconds. Don't grind too long as you might grind the seeds also. Now Strain through a strainer and collect the juice in a vessel. Watermelon can also be served raw but ensure that the seeds are properly removed.
Banana Puree - Slice a very ripe banana and add to a blender. Blend until very smooth. Add cinnamon if desired and serve or store for later. You can stir in a few drops of fresh lemon or orange juice to help prevent the puree from browning, as it will otherwise naturally do. It can also be served raw. Ensure that the banana is ripe.
Orange Juice - Wash the oranges in running water thoroughly. Cut them in half horizontally. Squeeze each half of the orange with your hand using an orange juicer. Collect the juice in a bowl, attachment comes with the juice. Filter the juice using a strainer, add water and mix well.
Pineapple Juice - Wash the pineapple in running water thoroughly. Place it on a cutting board and cut off the stem and base of the fruit. Cut them in the centre into two parts. Make it stand on its end, remove the skin using a sharp knife. Then slice it, cut out the sharp parts in each slice and cube them. Then take the chopped pineapple pieces and sweetener of your choice(if using) in a juicer/blender. Blend everything till smooth. Add some water to grind smooth if needed. After grinding to a smooth paste, sieve it using a strainer to collect the juice. Add water to dilute the juice if desired or pour it in a serving glass.