Homemade Baby Food: Protein

I think protein is the hardest area when it comes to homemade baby food. Today, I hope to give you an overview and some general guidelines for feeding your baby different types of protein.

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Eggs

  • There are varying thoughts on this but it has been found that egg whites are highly likely to cause allergies in babies. Most resources recommending holding off on egg whites until the child is one year old, especially if there is a family history of egg allergies. As always, discuss with your pediatrician.
  • Easiest way to introduce egg yolks? Take a yolk from a hard-boiled egg, mash with a fork, and mix with breastmilk or formula. Serve like that or mix with other foods.
  • Want more ideas? Read more about feeding your baby eggs.

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Chicken/Turkey

  • For the young babies, I find it easiest to poach chicken or turkey breasts in unsalted water (boil for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through), and then puree in the blender or food processor with some water to smooth and thin it out. As your child grows older and you’ve introduced more flavors, you could season the meat and roast it for a more flavorful bite. 

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Beef/Lamb

  • The cuts of beef recommended on Wholesome Baby Food are: Eye of Round roast, Top Sirloin and Lean Fresh Ground beef 
  • Bake beef in an oven preheated to 375 degrees F until juices run clear. Beef for baby food should be cooked to well-done. Length of time to achieve this will depend on the size and cut of beef.
  • Again, if you’ve introduced seasonings, feel free to season your beef. Otherwise, prepare plain.

Tofu

  • We aren’t really tofu eaters. If you’re interested in feeding your baby tofu, read more here.

Yogurt/Cheese

  • It always confused me that it is NOT okay to give a baby cow’s milk before age one, but yogurt and cheese are okay. The main reason for this is that there is concern that if you introduce cow’s milk, the baby will stop drinking formula and/or breastmilk. It is also because the way the yogurt and cheese are cultured makes them easier to digest.
  • Yogurt: Introduce after baby is 7-8 months and use whole milk, plain yogurt. Mix with pureed fruit to sweeten if necessary.
  • Cheese: Unless you suspect that your baby may be allergic/sensitive, you may introduce cheese around 8-10 months.  Avoid processed cheese “products” or cheeses that have not been pasteurized. A good cheese to start with is cottage cheese which can be pureed into a smoother texture if necessary and mixed with other foods. Other cheeses can be shredded and given as finger food or melted into other foods.

Beans/Lentils

  • I haven’t introduced beans or lentils to N yet, but I plan to! Read more about lentils and beans on Wholesome Baby Food. 

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Disclaimer: I am not a pediatrician nor a dietitian. Check with your doctor before introducing solids and definitely use this only as a rough guideline. Always trust your gut and do your research.

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9 comments

  1. Definitely bookmarking this post! Great information here, and I’m hoping (fingers crossed) I will need it really soon!

  2. Thank you for this series. It is so timely, as my daughter just turned 6 months old and I want to make her food. I’m really excited to give it a try!

  3. I don’t have kids (yet), but I’m in love with all of these tips! I will pin it to my baby board! Thanks :)

  4. On the dairy part it’s the proteins in the yogurt and cheese that are different than just a glass of milk. It’s so strange but my son just this year at age 4 could finally drink a glass of milk but up until then he couldn’t b/c of his dairy intolerance. He could eat yogurt and cheese all day long though with no problems.

  5. Pingback: Homemade Baby Food: The Basics - Rachel Cooks

  6. I’ve been making my 8 1/2 month olds baby food since she was 4 mos old. It really has become a hobby for me ;) I enjoy steaming & pureeing veggies w/fruits. One of her favorites is sweet potatoes & apples. She also loves parsnips & peaches. I recently puréed peaches, apples, bananas & pears together & ended up making it too runny. I just added cereal (I, too, buy store bought baby cereal) & she loved it. Thank u for all this info. I currently use a baby bullet but am trying to make her food thicker now and that food mill looks AMAZING!!! I’m looking into that thing!!

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