toddler meal ideas

Easy Homemade Baby Food Meal Ideas

Easy Homemade Baby Food Meals 

These ideas for making Baby Meals very simple and use ingredients you likely have right now. The recipes will give baby a variety of nutrients and will help encourage your baby to self-feed. Please keep in mind that your baby should only be offered ingredients that are soft, easily mashed and age appropriate for YOUR baby.

Read our tips and hints for offering your baby finger foods and learn about the developmental readiness needed for your baby to enjoy baby finger foods.

Grilled Cheese and Shredded Meat or Veggie*

Step 1: Prepare grilled cheese sandwich as you would for an adult
Step 2: Puree, chop or shred meat chunks into tiny “bits” or crumbles and puree or chop veggies
Step 3: Place meat between the cheese layers
Step 4: Grill the sandwich and cut into little pieces; serve when cooled.

Twins’ Rice Balls (Inspired by my twins who took to mashing and rolling their rice meals.)



Step 1: Cook rice as you normally would
Step 2: Puree rice until it achieves an almost paste-like consistency (or just until the grains are small if your baby can handle more texture)
Step 3: Add veggie and/or fruit of your choice and puree a bit more
Step 4: Add a meat of your choice and puree a bit more
Step 5: Mixture should be a bit pasty but not so thick that it cannot be easily eaten by baby
Step 6: Shape into little balls and serve either heated or as is. You may also serve this on the tray or plate and offer a utensil. This mixture is great for those practicing with spoons; the food will cling.


Having trouble transitioning to more textures? Read our Transition to Texture & Table Food article.


J&J’s Baby Meat Balls* This recipe is a great way to use up infant cereal


  • 1 cup lean ground Turkey, Beef or Chicken
  • 1/2 cup plain baby cereal (boxed type) – you may use bread crumbs,oat or wheat bran if you prefer
  • 1/4 cup Wheat Germ
  • Pureed veggies or fruits – enough to moisten and make the meat/cereal stick together – like meatballs
  • Spices as desired


Step 1: Place lean ground beef/turkey or chicken into a mixing bowl
Step 2: Add the cereal and wheat germ to the meat and combine
Step 3: Add pureed veggies and/or fruit to moisten the mixture – as much as needed to moisten and bind the mixture
Step 4: Mix together as you would when making “adult” meatballs.
Step 5: Bake in an oven at 400 degrees until brown and cooked thoroughly – Cover with tinfoil, be sure not to burn the meatballs as they will become tough on the outside and baby may not be able to eat them.
(*Ground turkey, rice cereal, wheat germ, pureed sweet potato, dash of cinnamon for example)

Pasta Rings*


  • Ditalini or other small pasta
  • Veggies, Cheese, Meats


Step 1: Cook ditalini (small round rings of pasta, easy to pick up for 10 months and older) pasta according to package directions
Step 2: Drain pasta
Step 3: Place pasta in a bowl and toss with:

  • butter and grated cheeses
  • cubed cooked veggies
  • cubed cooked meats or
  • whatever your imagination and baby’s age/taste desires.

Step 4: Serve in bowl or on baby tray


Baby “Cereal” Pancakes


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup baby barley cereal (or other baby cereal)
  • 1 cup formula (or another liquid such as milk)
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (or fruit of your choice)
  • 1 tbs melted margarine or butter (unsalted type)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup baby oatmeal
  • apple juice (about 1/2 cup) Use water if you prefer


Step 1: Add cinnamon, nutmeg, dash of vanilla or other flavorings if you wish.
Step 2: Mix all ingredients together and add enough juice to make pancake consistency.
Step 3: Cook on cook top in frying pan as with “regular” pancakes.


Mac-n-Cheese with Pastina


  • Pastina
  • Cheese of your choice
  • Milk (yogurt, formula or breast milk may be used as well)


Step 1: Cook pastina according to package directions for the “cereal”
Step 2: As pastina is cooking, add cubes of Colby and American Cheese (cheddars and other stronger cheeses may be used according to baby’s age/taste preferences)
Step 3:Melt cheeses and stir thoroughly while cooking
Step 4: Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of whole milk when cheeses are melted and stir thoroughly
Step 5: As baby gets older and eats more table foods, you can also add meats and veggies as well – these additional chunkier foods will enable easier pick-up for tiny fingers
Step 6: Serve warm

French Fried Turnips & Nuggets


  • 4 medium turnips
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • Salt and pepper (omit salt for baby.)


Step 1: Preheat oven to 450.

Step 2: Cut turnips into 1/2” sticks and toss in a bowl with olive oil, parmesan, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3: Spread turnips out on an oiled sheet pan, and bake until golden, about 20 minutes
Step 4: Serve with meatballs or other protein source like tofu cubes (plain or lightly sauteed). Makes a great snack too.


Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets


  • 1 16-oz Package frozen broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped
  • 1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs (you could try using baby cereal if you want, we know it works well with “baby meatballs”)
  • 1 ½ cups Shredded cheddar cheese (please use real cheese and not a “processed cheese food” product. Try tomato & basil cheddar.)
  • 3 Large eggsMost pediatricians say it’s ok to use whole egg in a baked good when baby is over 8-9 months old without allergies. We would recommend that you substitute 5 egg yolks for the whole eggs if serving this to those under 1 yr. Ask YOUR pediatrician.


Step 1: Heat oven to 375 and lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
Step 2: Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.

*Add seasonings if you like – garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example

Step 3:  Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm

Suitable for those who have had the ingredients and for those who can handle texture and mash foods with their gums. Great for Moms & Dad too!


Scrambled Tofu with Mushroom and Green Pepper

We suggest this yummy dish for those babies over 8 months old.

You may substitute veggies such as sweet potato dices and carrots, to make this suitable for those babies not yet ready for mushrooms or peppers. This is a versatile recipe.


  • 2 tbs (25 mL) olive oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped sweet green pepper
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 package (175 g) Pete’s Tofu ToGo Thai Tango (Use plain tofu for babies…)
  • 2 tbs (25 mL) soy sauce (Use plain water with a pinch of powdered ginger for babies)
  • 1 small tomato, diced

Step 1: In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat and saute’ onion for 3 minutes, stirring often.
Step 2: Add green pepper and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more.
Step 3: Squeeze sauce (or ginger water for babies) over tofu into bowl.
Step 4: Mash it with a fork or crumble with your fingers.
Step 5: Add to skillet with sauce/ginger water. Add soy sauce if making for adults.
Step 6: Cover over medium heat, stirring often until tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes.
Step 7: Add tomato. Cook for 1 more minute. Serve warm

Courtesy of Sunrise-Soya. Visit their website for more great and unique recipes that may be made suitable for babies as well as Toddlers.


Nana’s Creamed Peas & Nuggets


  • 4 cups peas, fresh, frozen or canned as a last resort
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste (Salt is optional. try garlic powder instead.)
  • pieces of chicken, fish, pork or beef


Step 1: Melt butter in a large sauce pan. Whisk in flour and allow to cook for 1 minute. (you are making a rue.)
Step 2: Slowly add milk, whisking the whole time to prevent lumps.
Step 3: Add (salt) and pepper and other spices as you find appropriate.
Step 4: Cook until sauce begins to thicken.
Step 5: Add peas, stir and cook until peas are heated through (about 5-7 minutes)
Step 6: Add meat
Serve warm alone or over multi-grain toast or brown rice. (squish peas down if needed)

**Other veggies may be added if you desire, however – ensure that ratio of veggies equals 4 cups.** Suitable for those 10 months + or those who are able to handle milk in cooked foods.


Pasta & Garden Vegetable Combo


  • Green beans, peas, summer squash, carrots, potatoes
  • Pasta of your choice


Step 1:  Combine fresh or frozen green beans and peas, summer and/or zucchini squash and thinly sliced pieces of potato, and small pieces of chopped carrots.
Step 2: Add enough water to just cover the vegetables.
Step 3:  Cook until tender, reserving water.
Step 4: Puree vegetables with cooked pasta in blender or food processor, using the “chop” option
Step 5:  Add water from the vegetables until mixture is of the desired

 Cheese Sauce for Mac-n-Cheese

Make a roux. The roux is the basis for many cheese sauces and gravies. Use equal parts butter and flour – milk as needed to achieve the saucy texture you desire – cheese as needed but not too much to make the sauce thick

In medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour to make a thin-ish paste. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then whisk in milk a little at a time to make a white sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Remove pan from heat and stir in cheese or keep pot on low heat and stir constantly until cheese is melted and a cheesy sauce is attained. Add pasta.

When we make it for the family, we use the following:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 to 8 ounces of cheese (Cheddar, Jack and Colby together are very good.)

Cheese Sauce for Mac-n-Cheese is really an experimental thing.


Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.

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