I’m a little embarrassed to admit how picky my toddler is. After all, I have a FOOD BLOG with all sorts of adventurous recipes. It’s true though. My toddler is the pickiest of all the little ones in his playgroup. I present him with all sorts of creative, healthy options, but for the longest time, his diet has been limited to “crunchy things”. He likes cereal, toast, granola, cheese, crackers and milk. He usually WON’T eat pasta, fruit, vegetables or most meats.
In order to slip in a balanced diet, I create recipes like these Popeye Pancakes. They have organic whole wheat, banana & spinach for picky toddlers who like to feed themselves.
I have peace of mind knowing my son is eating a healthy diet when I give him these. I make a big batch every week and it’s just one of the ways I slip in good nutrition.
Some other tricks I use:
If you have a picky toddler the best advice I can give is to keep trying. Don’t pressure your child to eat. Offer different foods as often as you can, even if it seems like a waste of time. Don’t fall into the trap of only offering what you know they will eat! Eventually, they come around (my son is starting to).
With a little creativity, you will find things that make both of you happy, like these Popeye Pancakes. They are packed with healthy stuff like Greek yogurt, banana, 100% whole wheat and fresh spinach.
I even add pea protein powder, and natural supplements to make sure my little guy gets everything he needs. You can even make these with breast milk if you have some (yes, breast milk pancakes!). Just switch out the milk for equal parts breast milk.
It’s up to you what you add to your Popeye pancakes-I added lots of options in the recipe. The important thing is getting your little one what they need to stay healthy and happy. Enjoy!
Use organic ingredients if possible.
Mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.
In small food processor or blender, add the spinach leaves, banana, egg, milk and Greek yogurt. Process until smooth. Pour into a medium-sized bowl.
Whisk sugar and vanilla and any protein powder into the spinach mixture until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently until just combined. Add chocolate chips if using. Do not overmix. You will have a thick pancake mix at this point.
Heat your griddle over medium heat. Coat with butter or coconut oil. Spoon pancake batter onto the griddle, 2 tablespoons per pancake.
Cook until the edges are dry and bubbles form, about 1 minute. Flip and cook a few minutes more and remove from pan. Coat griddle again with oil or butter and make another batch. You may need to lower the heat to medium-low if they are browning too quickly.
Store in the refrigerator or freeze any leftovers.
Recipe adapted from Whole Wheat & Banana Pancakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction
For more great baby food and toddler recipes, check out more Love and Duck Fat baby food recipes or follow my Baby Food Recipe Pinterest board:
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I thought I was finished making baby food a while ago when I posted my last baby food recipe at the end of November. It turns out I was wrong! My son, who is now 16 months old, refused to let me feed him at 10 months. Since then, he’s been feeding himself a very picky diet of organic cheese, cereal, dried fruit, bread, crackers and the occasional strawberry. Anything else lands directly on the floor. Did you see a vegetable in that list? Nope. He will stick a handful of sand into his mouth no problem. A perfectly roasted and maple glazed carrot? No way! Since he started self-feeding, he gets his vegetables from those expensive organic baby food pouches or when I add spinach or zucchini to his daily fruit smoothies.
Those store-bought organic baby food pouches can get expensive; costing almost $2 each for just 4 ounces. He eats up to three of them a day. This is why I purchased refillable snack pouches and started making my own homemade baby food recipes again, like this apple, blueberry spinach and banana puree. I’ll be posting more “sneaky veggie” baby food recipes as I go along. They all focus on adding vegetables and protein to tasty fruit purees and are so yummy, little ones don’t mind a bit.
This recipe for apple, blueberry, banana & spinach puree is one of our favorites. It has a beautiful blue color (which hides the spinach well). It’s so tasty; I sometimes squirt some into his milk and give it a shake to make blueberry milk!
I have to mention the reusable pouches I bought. I’m trying two different brands right now to see which ones I (we) like better, the Squoochi or the Little Green Pouch. Have you tried them? So far, I love that they both are dishwasher safe and freeze well. Also, the tops are all interchangeable with the store-bought pouches—a handy thing in case you lose one. I use my handy Cuisinart Mini Prep to get a smooth puree. It’s easy to clean and the perfect size for small batches of baby food.
I hope your little ones enjoy this recipe. Stay tuned for the next hidden veggie recipe! Until then, check out 10 delicious homemade baby food recipes.
Yield: About 1 1/2 cups baby food.
In a small saucepan, heat apple and blueberries over medium heat. Add water or juice and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the apples are soft and the blueberries break down. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Allow to cool.
Using a food processor, puree the apple mixture with the banana. Add water, milk or formula if you want a thinner consistency.
Disclosure: this post contains an affiliate link to a product I use and purchased myself.
Now that my little one is approaching toddler-hood, I look back with fondness on all the homemade baby food recipes I made for him. I miss the days of spooning food into his little mouth. Those days seem to be long gone for my 15-month-old, who decided very early on to self-feed.
I rounded up 10 of our favorite homemade baby food recipes to share. Nearly all of these are complete meals—meaning they contain more than just one ingredient. They are a good, healthy balance of fruit/veggie with healthy proteins; ideal for babies 6 to 9 months who have moved on from eating single-ingredient meals. I use organic ingredients in all of my baby food recipes and puree them at home in a food processor.
I hope your baby enjoys these homemade baby food recipes as much as mine did! Cherish every moment because it will pass before you know it. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving dinner for baby. Fresh green beans, mashed potato, turkey and sage, made creamy with the addition of yogurt.
Chicken with sweet potato, white potato, carrots and herbs, cooked in a nutritious chicken broth.
An Italian-inspired recipe full of roasted veggies like zucchini, eggplant, green peppers and tomato, with quinoa and Parmesan cheese.
The baby food version of this hearty comfort food. Chicken, celery, carrots and potatoes stewed with bay leaf and thyme.
A smoothie just for baby–a great way for baby to get more nutrition with chia and fresh fruit. Just mix with milk, breast milk or formula!
A healthy version of this classic dessert; naturally sweet and delicious.
All the flavor of the family favorite made just for baby!
Chicken, carrots and lots of sweet green peas make this a favorite baby food recipe.
A one-pot combination of fresh ingredients, simmered in chicken stock for lots of flavor and extra nutrition.
Sweet and packed with healthy vegetables and protein from the addition of quinoa, this recipe is easy to customize.
Some more recipes for self feeding:
In the last several months, my once adventurous eater has become super-picky; something many parents deal with. My 14-month-old son, Grayson, won’t eat baby food despite my many recipes (he wants to feed himself). He won’t eat vegetables or fruit. He doesn’t like meat or pasta, either.
For months now, it seems he eats nothing but bread and cheese, with the occasional blueberry. He’s stuck in a perpetual land of appetizers and hor d’oeuvres! I haven’t been too worried about it, because Grayson is in the 90th percentile for weight. I’m still breast feeding him a few times a day and he takes a few sips of milk from a sippy cup. He also sucks down a mango puree (the only flavor he likes) once a day. Still, I would like for him to eat a balanced meal every now and then.
Since Grayson is good at sucking liquids through a straw now (there were a few months where a cup or breast were the only option—bottles were out the door at 8 months), I figured why not try a little strawberry smoothie in his milk?
It was an amazing moment. For the first time ever, Grayson drank down his whole cup of milk.
Now I make a new smoothie for Grayson every few days. I make a big batch (really, just a normal adult-sized batch) and mix them with his usual milk or water. I rarely serve him JUST a smoothie, because they can be thick and very sweet—naturally sweet.
I hide vegetables, vegetable juice, chia seeds, protein powder, and lots of fruit in his smoothies, so now I rest easy knowing he is getting all of the nutrition he needs.
This recipe for a strawberry smoothie was the one I started with. You can easily customize it for your baby and I’ve included lots of substitutions. Enjoy!
Add all ingredients to a blender. Process until smooth. Add additional water, juice, milk, breast milk or formula to thin to desired consistency.
It’s been a long time since I posted any baby food recipes, mostly because my little man Grayson (now 13 months and walking), finally reached his “picky stage”, refusing to eat anything presented on a spoon. This leaves out most baby food.
Instead, I have to make up creative baby finger foods, like these sweet potato bites. They are naturally sweet and delicious and the soft potato is easy for babies and toddlers to eat. This was one of the first finger foods I gave Grayson and they are still one of his favorites – on most days.
Every now and then, I’ll make a batch with a touch of maple syrup. They are a little sticky, but make a delicious, healthy treat that are better than cookies. I usually have to hold myself back from eating them all, so make a few extra just in case someone gets hungry.
Preheat oven to 425° F/ 220° C.
Chop sweet potato into small chunks or strips, about ¼ - 1/2 inch thick. They will shrink a little during cooking, so keep that in mind.
Line a baking sheet with foil and add the sweet potato. Sprinkle with olive oil and maple syrup (if using). Toss the sweet potato until well coated and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until soft and barely brown on the edges, turning once during cooking. Be careful not to let them burn (if using maple syrup, they burn more easily).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
With all of the pumpkin recipes floating around this time of year, I needed to make a sweet pumpkin treat for baby! This baby food pumpkin pie is full of healthy ingredients and low in sugar. It tastes yummy and can be served two ways as a meal for baby. Instead of sugary condensed milk, this delicious recipe has Greek yogurt and just a touch of maple syrup (maple syrup is low glycemic), along with fresh roasted pumpkin and warming spices.
You can puree this and serve it as-is or pile it in baby-sized baking dishes. If your baby is younger, between 6-9 months, the simple puree is better because it has a smooth texture. If your baby or toddler is eating a little texture in her food, bake up a mini crust-less pie. Baking this recipe concentrates the flavor so it tastes even yummier.
This may be one of my last pureed baby food recipes. My son, Grayson is almost a year old and he rarely eats baby food (even homemade!). He wants to feed himself, so we are moving on to finger foods.
Preheat oven to 350° F/180°. Cut the pumpkin in half crosswise. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds.Oil the bottom of the pan with a little bit of olive oil. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down on the pan and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and a knife goes in easily.
Allow to cool, then scoop the cooked pumpkin away from the outer skin with a spoon. You should get 1 1/2 - 2 cups of puree.
Using a food processor, puree the pumpkin (1 1/2 cups), yogurt, oatmeal, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Taste for seasoning and add more maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice to taste.
Fill 2-3 small baking pans with puree about 1 inch thick and place into a 350° F/180° oven for 20-30 minutes, until the top is slightly browned on the edges. Remove and sprinkle with cinnamon.