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Double-duty dishes

Feeding baby the same foods his parents and siblings are eating invites your little one to feel involved in the dinnertime ritual. (It also grants you control over the quality of his dinner and even saves time and money.) These quick and simple recipes show how easy it can be to provide a wholesome, homemade...

mombabysoupspoonsFeeding baby the same foods his parents and siblings are eating invites your little one to feel involved in the dinnertime ritual. (It also grants you control over the quality of his dinner and even saves time and money.) These quick and simple recipes show how easy it can be to provide a wholesome, homemade meal for your entire clan.
Scandinavian autumn fruit soup
(Makes 6 dessert-sized servings)
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
2 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries, pitted
1⁄3 cup prunes
1⁄3 cup dried apricots
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon dried currants
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
4 cups water
Combine all ingredients in a pot; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of fruit and 1⁄3 cup liquid for baby. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick. Let cool slightly and then scoop out the apples and pears, puree them in a food processor, and return to soup.
For baby: Allow baby’s portion to cool, and puree in a food processor or blender.
[tip] Preserve nutrients by roasting or steaming produce rather than boiling it. These methods, which require no contact with water, mean your baby will get as many of the nutrients as possible. If you decide to poach a fruit or vegetable, use just enough water to cover it, and then use the cooking water to thin the puree.
Moroccan-spiced sweet potato soup
(Makes 6 first-course servings)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon paprika
3 large sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and diced, divided
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sour cream, for garnish
Cilantro, for garnish
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic, cumin, ginger and paprika and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add two large sweet potatoes and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Puree in a blender until smooth, working in batches if necessary. Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.
For baby: Steam the remaining diced sweet potato by putting it in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then mash or puree, adding water as necessary until desired consistency is achieved.
Caldo verde
(Makes 4 main-course servings)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, divided
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 kale leaves, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 chorizo links (1/2 pound), cooked and sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until trans- lucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds. Add 4 potatoes and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
When the potatoes are done, mash coarsely in the pot, or use an immersion blender to puree some of the potatoes if you desire a more creamy consistency. Add kale and chorizo and cook three more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For baby: Put remaining potato in a pot and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender. Drain (reserving cooking water) and allow to cool. Puree or mash, adding cooking water as needed to achieve desired consistency.
[tip] This soup is an excellent example of how you can modify the family meal into something for baby. When your tot is ready to move beyond single-ingredient purees and simple combos, try pureeing a reserved portion of the soup (sans sausage, salt and pepper) for your baby. The savory, comforting flavors will delight his taste buds while the nutrients in the kale and potatoes nourish his body. Once your child is a little older and ready for the complete meal, be sure to cut the sausage into half moons and slice the kale into smaller pieces to reduce choking hazards.
Butternut squash and goat cheese soup
(Makes 6 first-course servings)
1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 sage leaves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Place squash, cut side down, in a baking dish and add a half-inch of water. Bake for 45 minutes, until tender. Let rest until cool enough to handle, then scoop out the flesh, discarding the peel. Set aside ¼ cup for baby. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic clove and sage and sauté 30 seconds longer, until fragrant. Add butternut squash (less what you’ve reserved for your baby) and chicken broth and stir, breaking up the squash with the back of the spoon; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary, until smooth. Return to pot and add goat cheese and balsamic vinegar, stirring over low heat, until cheese is melted and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For baby: Simply mash the reserved squash and allow to cool before serving.
Carrot-ginger soup
(Makes 4 first-course servings)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup yellow or white onion, chopped
½ teaspoon ginger, peeled and minced
5 cups carrots, peeled and chopped, divided
3 cups chicken broth
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until trans- lucent, about five minutes. Add ginger and sauté another 30 seconds. Add 4 cups diced carrots and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Working in batches, puree in a blender until smooth. For baby: Using a steamer basket in a pot, add just enough water to hover below the basket. Bring water to a boil and steam carrots, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then puree or mash.

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