Tips for Meal Prep for Baby to help save time in the kitchen, while serving your baby real, whole foods.
As a dietitian and food-loving mom, I was so excited to start feeding Marie real food!
I wrote this post (Baby Led Weaning Q&A and Essential Items) a few months ago answering many of the questions I received about Baby Led Weaning (including “What is baby led weaning?”), and sharing some of my favorite resources/books and products that make feeding baby a little easier. But now that we are just over 6 months into the whole journey of teaching Marie about food and how to eat it, I have come up with a few tips to help save time while still giving baby a variety of nutritious, real food!
Pictured above: Veggie Fried Rice that I batch cooked on Sunday to serve for lunch throughout the week with a side of apple slices and tomato slices.
Meal Prep for Baby
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It’s important to remember to keep things simple in order to set yourself up for success. Giving baby a variety of foods, flavors, and textures is important but little ones don’t need to eat something completely different every single day. Repeating meals throughout the week (and prepping head) will help save you time!
Make breakfast simple: a fast, simple and nutritious breakfast we love is scrambled eggs with whole grain toast + a thin layer of peanut butter or berries in place of the toast. The National Institute for Health recommends early and often introduction to peanuts to reduce the risk of peanut food allergies. Eggs are another common potential allergen, and research is suggesting that an early and often introduction to eggs may reduce egg allergy as well. So, not only is this a simple and nutritious breakfast, but it also introduces potential food allergens.
Have frozen produce on hand: I like to have frozen fruit and frozen vegetables (peas, green beans, edamame, and broccoli are all favorites) on hand for an easy addition to meals. I can take out a small amount needed for one meal or snack and quickly thaw or steam, then season with olive oil or a little butter to help round out the main meal. Thawed frozen fruit is easily added to plain whole milk Greek yogurt for a simple (but messy!) snack.
Prep 1-2 main meals: Prior to Marie’s first birthday, I would prep 2 meals a week for her to enjoy for lunch and dinner. Now that Marie is over a year, I only prep 1 meal for her to eat for lunch and then she pretty much eats what we eat for dinner. Some of my favorite cookbooks for baby are:
Baby Led Feedinghas great images of appropriate sized food for different ages and lots of simple/delicious recipes
First Bitesalso has great visual guides for food size as well as information as to why specific nutrients are important
Serve new foods with foods baby already enjoys: Marie is not very picky about what she eats right now, but I can absolutely tell when I serve something she really enjoys vs something that is just ok, and I’m sure you will notice this with your little one too! When you are serving a new vegetable or fruit item, or a new meal all together, make sure to include something familiar on the plate.
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