Homemade baby food: 9 African recipes
Homemade baby food has its advantages, one of which is that it costs less and you can prepare several days worth of food. Also, making baby food at home allows you the choice of using healthier ingredients.
This time we go round the African continent to bring you homemade recipes that are not only delicious but healthy for your baby.
Homemade Baby Food: Southern Africa
Aubergine contains vitamin K and fibre that help regulate your baby’s bowel movement.
- 1 tomato, skinned, seeds removed and chopped
- ⅓ aubergine, peeled and sliced
- 1 Tbsp raisins
- 2 Tbsp cooked rice
- Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- Put aubergine and tomato in a pan with some water and boil.
- Add raisins, but go easy on the raisins as their taste can be strong. Cook for at least 15 minutes, then add cinnamon to taste.
- Drain and save some cooking water to thin food if necessary.
- Add rice and purée all ingredients and you’re done. Serve a portion and refrigerate or freeze the rest.
Vegetables are popular for their amazing health benefits. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants contained in vegetables help your baby fight diseases.
- 2 potatoes (peeled and diced)
- 1 courgette (washed and chopped)
- 1 aubergine (washed and chopped)
- 5oz mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
- 1 onion (peeled and sliced)
- Several cloves of garlic
- Fresh sprigs of rosemary
- Freshly ground pepper
- Mild olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200°C and grease an oven dish with olive oil.
- Put potatoes and vegetables in the dish. But if for adults you can slide several cloves of garlic and sprigs of rosemary in between. Since it’s not, just go ahead and sprinkle olive oil.
- Cook in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, covered in aluminium foil for the first 30 minutes.
- For babies, add just a pinch of salt but no ground pepper. Purée or mash a portion for baby.
Cod with broccoli
Broccoli is very high in protein, calcium, and vitamin C, all of which combine to support your baby’s growth.
- 1 small potato (peeled and diced
- 3oz broccoli, washed, peeled and chopped finely
- 1oz cod
- Boil your potato and broccoli, then add cod and simmer for fifteen minutes at least.
- Purée and add some of your baby’s usual milk until a suitable consistency.
Homemade Baby Food: East Africa
Baobab maize meal porridge
Baobab is a rich source of calcium and magnesium that strengthens your child’s bones.
- 1tbsp baobab powder.
- 2tsps honey.
- A ½ cup of fine maize meal.
- 1 cup of water.
- Boil water and then pour in the maize meal and stir in carefully to avoid lumps.
- Mix baobab with very little cold water and pour into maize meal and stir well. This will help you avoid lumps.
- Stir regularly as it boils to avoid lumps or the porridge sticking to the pot.
- Turn off the heat and leave the pot to simmer, before pouring the porridge in a baby bowl. Serve while warm.
The high fibre content in barley helps keep the bowel movement of your baby as smooth as possible.
- 1cup of breast or formula milk.
- 1cup of water.
- Barley poweder
- Wash barley and dry it. Afterwards, roast barley until golden brown, but avoid burning. Then grind one cup of barley until fine.
- Boil water and add ground barley powder into the boiling water and stir in. Boil the mixture together.
- Reduce heat to low and stir constantly for about 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat and leave to stand.
- Thin the mixture with 1 cup of breast milk formula. Add the milk gradually stirring in continuously until you get a good texture.
- Pour into a baby bowl and serve warm.
Pumpkin and Carrot Soup
Pumpkin and carrots are rich in vitamin A and carotenoids, which helps sharpen your baby’s vision.
- 1 cup of water
- 1 onion
- 500g of pumpkin cubes
- A tbsp olive oil
- 1 carrot
- Boil one cup of water in a pot and add 500g of pumpkin. Boil until cooked.
- Preheat pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Then put onion plus carrot into a pan and fry until soft.
- Mix 1 litre of warm water with a chicken cube and mix well. Afterwards, pour the chicken stock into the pan and boil for 5 minutes.
- Add pumpkin into the carrot mixture and simmer for five minutes. Then add 100ml of fresh cream and mix.
- Pour mixture into the blender and blend until smooth. Serve in a baby bowl.
Unripe Banana Porridge
Banana is high in vitamins such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Vitamin B2. Also, the natural antacid in banana protects your baby from stomach ulcer.
- Unripe banana (use a grater or blender)
- Seasoning cube
- Hot leaf or mint leaves (any green leafy vegetables of choice)
- Palm oil
- Scoop the grated unripe banana and wrap in uziza leaves, then drop into a pot and set aside.
- Fry onion and oil in another pot and then pour into the pot with the wrapped unripe banana. Adding some boiled water helps the wrapped banana solidify quickly.
- Add seasoning and bring to boil.
Coconut Milk Moi Moi With Tuna Chunks
The main ingredient for this recipe is beans and it has many health benefits. Beans are a rich source of carbohydrates, protein, iron, calcium, B vitamins and fiber that help nourish your baby.
- 3 cups beans
- 2 tablespoons oil (optional)
- 3 medium sized onion
- 5 large tatashe ( red bell peppers)
- 2 bouillon cubes
- 2 cans tuna chunks. (or corned beef)
- ½ can coconut milk. (You can use more or less depending on how hard or soft you want your moi moi)
- Broad leaves. Also, you can cook with foil or cellophane bags or bake in the oven with muffin cups
- Soak the beans for 5 minutes and pour into a food processor. Pulse until all the skins are off.
- Rinse the skin off the beans and mill with the tatashe and chopped onions.
- Afterwards, add the seasoning cubes, coconut milk, stir well before adding the tuna. Stir briefly again, check for salt before wrapping in washed leaves.
- Finally, when your moi moi is wrapped and placed in the pot, add some drops of boiling water before turning on the heat. Moi moi is cooked by steaming, so don’t add too much water. Too much water at once will seep into the wrapped beans and ruin your cooking.
- Let it boil for 45 minutes before turning off the heat.
Rice And Groundnut Smoothie
Groundnut and whole milk yogurt are rich in protein, while banana and strawberry are great sources of vitamins and minerals.
- Cereal: Rice, sorghum, oat
- Fruits: Raw and ripe fruits (e.g banana and pawpaw) or cooked and soft (e.g, apple, mango)
- Vegetables: Soft and cooked (green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potato)
- Whole milk yogurt
- Soft meat (chicken, turkey, fish)
- Pour plain whole yogurt in a blender, then banana and a few strawberries and blend until smooth.
- Use a dry blender to blend roast groundnuts until a semi-smooth powder forms.
- Boil water in a pot and add rice flour to the boiling water. Cook for ten minutes while stirring continuously until a smooth pudding forms. You can add some more water if the pudding is too thick.
- Then add blended groundnut and yogurt paste into the rice pudding. Stir until smooth and then serve warm.
The great thing about homemade baby food is your knowledge of what it contains. Not only are these recipes healthy and nutritious for your baby, they are also easy to make.
Read also: Energy-Packed Local Foods For Your Kids
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com
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