Raising An Adventurous Eater: Start with Homemade Baby Food

Raising An Adventurous Eater: Start with Homemade Baby Food

Adventurous eater 1

When it comes to dinnertime, many parents want their children to do more than simply eat their greens. They're thinking Thai, Indian, Greek and want their little ones develop a taste for a variety of cuisines adults enjoy—or at least give them a shot. So, how can you help ensure your child has an open mind when it comes to trying new foods?

An article in The Washington Post tells of one couple’s determination to have their baby eat pure, whole foods and avoid the bland and beige (one idea for healthy and adventurous eating!). This isn't surprising considering the new father is a food writer who wants to improve his baby food making skills. So, he meets with a chef and parent of three to learn a few tricks for crafting purees that match the ingredients of the flavorful meals he and his wife enjoy eating. The combinations the chef creates are unique, tasty, and designed for kids: curried carrots, minted pineapple mango, basiled beets and strawberries, sweet potatoes with a dash of crushed red pepper flakes, and cauliflower with cumin.

The good news is that you don’t need a culinary degree to give this a try. Making your own baby food is easy. It’s healthy and fresh because you know what goes into it. You can tailor purees to suit your baby’s tastes and dietary needs. And it's a great cost-saving measure.

Here are three baby food recipes you can make in your kitchen:

Basic Veggie Baby Food: Honest Co-Founder Jessica Alba has a great basic baby food recipe in her book The Honest Life. This recipe offers solid nutrition for your children and exposes them to the fragrant flavor of ginger.


  • 1 pound vegetables. Jessica uses organic carrots, organic squash, organic cauliflower, and organic broccoli.
  • Organic chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Drizzle of organic olive oil

Directions: Combine all veggies, ginger, salt, and broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook until veggies are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from stove and place in a blender with homemade applesauce or an organic banana, plus a small amount of organic olive oil. As your child gets older, you can toss in meat and quinoa. Let cool and store in reusable glass jars.


Savory Baby Food: The earthy flavor of sage compliments the creamy (and nutritious!) sweet potatoes. (This recipe has been adapted from Christine Dionese’s recipe on Pure Mamas.)


  • 3 organic sweet potatoes
  • 1 organic avocado (does not need to be steamed)
  • 3 organic sage leaves
  • 1 tsp. organic coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. organic chia powder

Directions: Peel sweet potatoes and slice into small chunks. Place in a steamer basket and steam until easily pierced with a fork. Add potatoes, avocado, sage, coconut oil, and chia powder to a high-powered blender and blend for 30 second to a minute.  


Chickpea Baby Food. This healthy baby food combines fiber-rich chickpeas and healthy greens. (This recipe has been adapted from Mother Nature Network and OurLittleLentil.) 


  • 1 can organic chickpeas, or chickpeas from the bulk section of the grocery store -- soaked and cooked
  • Frozen organic peas
  • Fresh organic spinach
  • Garlic
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Organic vegetable broth
  • Small amount of coconut oil

Directions: Saute the garlic in the coconut oil for 1-2 minutes until soft. Add spinach and let it wilt. Add peas, chickpeas, cumin and broth. Blend with an immersion blender or add mixture to a high-powered blender and puree.


Because we know convincing your child to try new foods can be challenging, green chef and contributor Juli Novotny shares some tips for getting your little one to enjoy new flavors:

  • Find out what your son or daughter enjoys, what they are just okay with, and what they could get better at eating. Try preparing the foods they don’t care for in new ways and congratulate them on eating the healthy foods they love.
  • Explain to your child that healthy food will make him stronger. “My son will eat 10 pieces of broccoli when I tell him that his muscles got bigger from them,” Juli says.
  • When your child is in the room grab your spouse or a grandparent and say something like, "I'm so glad I ate my vegetables last night because it got me through my work day," or "I'm so happy that I drank that green smoothie because it made me run so fast today.”
  • Don't give up! Keep trying. Sometimes you have to offer a food to him five-plus times before he is willing to try it.
  • Kids aren't going to love everything adults love. Adults eat very rich foods—our palates are more advanced and our taste buds a bit less sensitive, so don’t worry if your little ones don't want to try all of the healthy and tasty flavors you enjoy.

What are your tips for developing your children’s palate for a variety of foods?      

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.