This morning, I answered an email from a friend asking about "baby food recipes," and decided to share my response here. I hope it's helpful.
Before I answer your question about baby food recipes, I can't help but throw in my $.02. Please know that it's not given in judgment of others' choices; it's just my take on the issue from my experience with our seven Blessings.
Our "goal" with each of our babies was to exclusively breastfeed them until they started popping teeth. :-) From what we understand, the body actually starts producing the enzymes that are needed to break down food at about the time that teeth come through. What a wise Creator we have! Now, for various reasons, we did not achieve this "goal" with most of our children, so I am totally understanding of when this doesn't work out. I just wanted to throw it out there for consideration. Sometimes it works great - Stephen was about 23 pounds when he broke through his first tooth at seven and a half months, and was completely Mama-fed until that point. Ellie, on the other hand, stopped nursing when she was around 5 months, and we really struggled with her nutrition for quite a while. So I try to make it my practice not to be judgmental about feeding babies - you never know what another family is dealing with!
That said, whenever solids are started, I have found it works best to start with simple veggies. No disrespect to those who prefer fruits first; I've just found that it's helpful to give them a taste for veggies early on. I try to hold off on the grains/cereals until later as they're harder to break down, and usually do rice and oats well before wheat.
So... baby food recipes.
Butternut squash is one of my favorites (both for me and for babies!). It's so easy - all you do is cut the squash in half from top to bottom, scoop out the seeds, lay the halves face down on a cookie sheet/baking sheet, pour a bit of water in the pan, and bake it at 350' until fork tender (in the top part, not the space where the seeds were - that cooks much faster). After it's cooked, and cooled a bit, you scoop out the flesh. Depending on the baby's needs, you can either smash it with a fork/potato masher, or you can puree it in the blender or food processor. I like to plop it in baby-sized piles on a cookie sheet, freeze, then pop off the frozen blobs and store them in freezer bags.
Sweet potatoes are another favorite - just bake them, scoop out the flesh, process at needed. As sweet potatoes are smaller, you can choose whether you want to bake a large enough batch to necessitate freezing. As they get older, you can just take the cooked potato out of the fridge, slice off a chunk, and spoon bites off.
Avocados are wonderful baby food, but some babies don't like them. If your baby does like them, they're a terrific simple source of good nutrition. A ripe avocado needs very little processing - a spin in the blender or food processor for younger babies, mashing with a fork or simple dicing for older ones.
Spinach is great for babies, but it has a very strong flavor and might need to be mixed with something else for some babies to take it. Just steam/cook in a bit of water and puree.
When it comes to fruit, bananas are a favorite - they're portable and easily smashed with a fork into a pureed form. Apples can be cooked in a little bit of water and then pureed, as can pears and other similar fruits.
As you can see, I don't really have "recipes." If I can puree it (or smash it for older babies) and it's a simple food that will be easy to digest, I'll turn it into baby food!
Any additional ideas?