As a soon-to-be mama (due on Saturday!) and a chef, I am often asked what I plan to feed my baby and what concerns me when it comes to a healthy diet. One of the most common questions that I’m asked is whether I plan to make my own baby food. I was even given a baby food recipe book as a gift! Like any first time mom, I entertained the idea of making all my own baby food. Food is so important in our home and I love the idea of knowing exactly what my son is eating and making sure I am using all the best ingredients. At the same time, I have to be honest with myself. I know I have a lot of amazing craziness coming my way in the next couple of months and I want to be able to focus on spending as much time as possible with my son and learning everything there is to learn about being a new mama.
And there really is a lot to learn. There are a lot of options and you have to choose what is best for you! I’ve learned this applies to everything: the stroller you pick, playmats, and, of course, food! I’ve decided (for now) that I want to make the foods I can on my own when my son is eventually ready to start solid foods. I can totally mash up bananas and whip up some rice cereal. When I’m busy, though, or on-the-move, I see nothing wrong with reaching for pre-made baby food.
In the last couple of months, I’ve learned there’s more to first foods than the classics. I want to make sure that my child is introduced to as much food and flavor as possible at a young age so that he can develop a varied palate and really experience all that the food world has to offer.
Along with the conversation about how I’ll feed my little one solid foods comes a scary topic for new and experienced mommies alike: allergen introduction. I’ve heard that pediatricians will just tell you that you’re clear to start introducing new foods at your baby’s 4-month well visit. Thanks to new research, these foods now include potentially allergenic foods like peanut, tree nut, shellfish, and fish. That’s right, allergens! My thoughts: “How on earth do I start to introduce allergens to my baby?” As a new mom, I would be afraid to do this on my own and it sounds time consuming and overwhelming! But, what I've found, and what I am sharing with you today, is something that makes sense to me as a chef and food expert: Inspired Start. Inspired Start is a new baby food that offers a guided and easy way to start feeding your baby allergens.
Inspired Start makes a baby’s first tastes of foods like peanut, tree nut, and shellfish simple so I (as a mommy and a chef) can feel good about introducing allergens right along with other baby foods. Developed by pediatricians, allergists, and a board of rockstar moms, Inspired Start offers delicious and nutritious foods that are convenient and unintimidating. To me, this product is a win-win. Plus, it’s beautiful and fits right in with my kitchen, always a plus!
Inspired Start has 8 delicious flavors: apple and peanut, apple and wheat, pear and egg, pear and sesame, banana and tree nut, banana and shrimp, mango and soy, and mango and cod. In each recipe, they use only the highest quality organic fruits and non-GMO ingredients. With all the thought put into the creation of these foods, it’s as if I made them in my own kitchen. That’s the best part! I want my son to experience everything and I want to follow the guidance of my pediatrician, but the reality is that preparing foods like shrimp and peanuts for my baby will be hard. I’m so happy that I’ve found a product that will make early allergen introduction simple and stress-free so I can focus on enjoying meal times with my growing family.
I was jazzed by these pouches because the flavors ingredients reminded me of the foods that I eat and love and I can't imagine being allergic to such a delicious and common food item. I made a few recipes of my own, inspired by what I plan to feed my baby!
Here are some of my favorite foods, inspired by the delicious baby food flavors that I plan to introduce to my little guy in a four months!
Mango Soy Smoothie
Smoothies have been a great way for me to eat something sweet while also benefiting from the healthy components that get tossed in the blender. Mango, kiwi, and soy yogurt have become my go-to ingredients these days!
1 mango, peeled and chopped.
1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
1 single-serve (6-ounces) soy yogurt (I used strawberry flavor)
1 tablespoon orange juice + more if smoothie seems to thick in consistancy
- Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Drink immediately!
Raspberry Shrimp Salad
Sautéed shrimp, fresh raspberries and vibrant lemon vinaigrette on my favorite green! Can't go wrong with this salad. This recipe was created with the Banana & Shrimp baby food in mind.
1/2 lb. cooked whole shrimp
1/4 cup diced mango
1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion
4 cups arugula
2 avocados, halved, pitted and sliced
1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/3 cup) raspberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Raspberries to garnish
- Blend 1/3 cup raspberries, vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard in a blender or food processor until smooth. Drizzle in the oil while blending. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons water to thin slightly, if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine shrimp, mango, and onion in a medium bowl. Gently stir in remaining raspberries. Divide lettuce onto 4 bowls and top with avocado slices, shrimp, raspberry mixture, and drizzle the dressing on top.
Vanilla Pear Butter on Sesame Toast
Forget your basic jam, pear jam is where it is at! Served on toasted sesame raisin bread, you can't go wrong. This recipe was inspired by the Pear & Sesame flavor.
7 lbs. pears, cored and coarsley chopped (I used bartlett)
½ cup water
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
juice of 1 orange
- In a large stainless steel pot, combine the pears, water, lemon zest and juice.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 20 minutes, string occasionally.
- Working in batches, transfer mixture to a food processor or blender and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy.
- In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine pear puree, sugar, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds it shape to a spoon and liquid does not separate.
This post is sponsored by Inspired Start. The content and opinions expressed here are my own. I am really enjoying learning about Inspired Start and creating matching mommy recipes inspired by their delicious flavors. As I begin introducing Inspired Start to my baby I will keep you posted on my experience. Stay tuned for more!
For more information about Inspired Start, and to place your order, visit their site here and be sure to check out their amazing instagram feed @inspiredstart.