As my little guy is getting older (10 months now), he’s making it very clear what he likes and doesn’t like. His opinion can change in a few hours or a few weeks, so I’ve learned to be flexible. Lately, he’s grown very suspicious of anything I put in his mouth with a spoon. He developed this distrust from the premade organic baby meals I give him when we are traveling. They are often very sweet, and he seems to prefer savory (and may be more accustomed to homemade foods). When I offer him a spoonful of baby food, he sticks out his tongue for one tiny taste. If he doesn’t approve, my chances of getting him to eat whatever I’m trying to get him to eat are shot.
I’m happy to say this homemade baby food recipe for chicken and peas passes his little taste test every time. Flavorful roasted chicken thighs, paired with creamy yellow potatoes, carrots and lots of fresh green peas make for a yummy and healthy meal.
I use chicken thighs (skin removed) instead of chicken breasts in my baby food for a few good reasons; more flavor, more tenderness and a lower price tag. If that’s not enough, according to a recent study by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine, dark meat in poultry “contains many more nutrients. In addition to taurine, dark meat is far richer in minerals such as iron, zinc and selenium, as well as vitamins A, K and the B complex — B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) B6, B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamin).”
You can make this baby food recipe as smooth or chunky as your little one likes. If you are looking for a very fine puree, cook the peas and veggies a little longer. Then, using a blender or food processor, run the machine on high for 2 minutes, adding liquid as necessary to really get those blades moving. For a super-fine texture, pass the puree through a fine mesh strainer afterward. For older babies who are eating textured foods, you can leave the frozen peas uncooked. Just thaw them and add them to the food processor. Your baby or toddler will appreciate the sweet freshness.
- 2 chicken thighs (organic free-range chicken if you can find it)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ large organic onion, chopped
- 2 medium organic carrots, diced
- 1 medium organic yellow potato or sweet potato, cubed
- Pinch garlic powder
- 1 cup organic chicken stock or stock
- 1 cup frozen organic peas
- ½ zucchini, or yellow squash
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- Mint or parsley
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C
Roast the chicken thighs, skin on, for 30-40 minutes, until brown and cooked through. Allow to cool.
While the chicken is roasting, add olive oil to a saucepan. Sauté onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes, then add the carrot, potato, garlic powder and optional vegetables and/or herbs. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, until very tender. Add the peas to the pot during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Remove the skin from the chicken and separate the meat from the bone. Add the chicken and cooked vegetables to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth, adding the cooking liquid from the vegetables until you reach the desired consistency.