Chicken Baby Food Puree – Pesto Chicken with Pasta and Veggies Recipe
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Now your little one is becoming a budding connoisseur and exploring the huge and exciting world of foods. Isn’t it fun when you get to this stage in your baby’s life? Sure it’s extremely messy and a bit intimidating at first. But once your baby gets through the first couple of months of figuring out what they like (and don’t like), you can really play with it!
I cannot state enough how easy it is to make baby food at home. It’s so much better for those little tykes than anything you can get at the store and much tastier too! Not very long ago, I published a post on how to make baby food at home. The recipe I gave there is a basic fruit and veggie puree that is good for any age.
But what about protein?
Today I wanted to share with you one of my daughter’s favorite chicken baby food puree: chicken pesto with veggies and pasta.
When Is Pesto Age Appropriate For Baby?
I started trying this recipe out on my daughter when she was about ten months old. It was an inspiration that came upon me when we were eating dinner together one night. I had made a chicken pesto dish for my partner and I. Out of curiosity, I gave her a small piece of soft chicken with a dab of pesto. She loved it and wanted more!
You can potentially start feeding cheese to your baby at 6 months so long as there is no dairy allergy and the same with nuts. It was thought for a long time that babies under the age of one should not be given any foods that fall in the list of most common allergies (peanuts, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, etc.) but recently there have been studies that suggest doing the opposite. There is a growing body of research that shows exposing a baby to these foods as early as 6 months old will prevent them from developing these food allergies later (1)
I was always of a mind that if food allergies run in the family, maybe it would be better to hold off until they turn one at least with those specific foods. And either way, it is always good to start with caution when you try one out. Give them just a bite or two for about three days to see if any kind of reaction occurs. And always ask your baby’s pediatrician about their advice on these foods beforehand.
Of course, the choice is ultimately yours to make.
Chicken Preparation for Puree
I’ve seen on multiple sites that the advice is to poach chicken that will be used for a puree. It’s a good idea if you plan to use it exclusively for baby and they are trying chicken for the first time. It keeps the chicken very soft and moist and you have a stock to use for the puree afterward. Also, this method of cooking works best if you are exclusively following a baby-led weaning style.
However, I find that poaching is very limiting and bland. You cannot season the chicken with herbs like oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, or many others. Plus, I like to save myself time and cook food that will be eaten by the entire family. If I have to separately prepare foods for my girl, that adds more hours in the kitchen.
To that end, I find broiling chicken is a great alternative. There’s just a simple trick to it that keeps it moist: water. Put a little bit of water in the broiler pan and the steam from the water will keep the chicken moist during the cooking time.
Either way, you choose to cook your chicken, always check and make sure that the internal temperature is 165 Fahrenheit (or 75 Celcius).
That’s all there is to it! Now on to the recipe!
This is one of my daughter's favorite purees. It's chicken pesto with whole wheat pasta and a soft cooked vegetable.
- 1 8 oz. boneless chicken breast
- 1 pinch oregano
- 1 pinch salt (optional)
- 1 pinch black pepper
- olive oil
- 1 cup cooked chicken cubed
- 1 cup cooked green beans or other veggies
- 2 cup cooked whole wheat pasta
- 2 tbsp. pesto
- 2-3 cups water (add in 1/2 cup increments)
Preheat oven to broiler setting 500 F
Pour a cup of water in broiler pan and place tray on top with chicken.
Coat chicken in olive oil and sprinkle on oregano, salt, and black pepper.
Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins turning chicken halfway.
Bring water to boil in a stockpot.
Add pasta and cook as instructed on package.
Place green beans in steamer basket.
Steam for 7 minutes.
Place everything in the blender or food processor.
Add about a cup of water and blend on the lowest setting.
Add water in 1/2 cup increments until you reach desired consistency.
Slowly turn blender to high setting.
Once thoroughly blended, turn off the blender.
Place in the fridge or freeze in ice cube trays.
I used green beans for this recipe but zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, and broccoli also work very well.
The puree will keep in the fridge for three days and in the freezer for 2 months.
If you poach the chicken instead of broil, save some of the liquid and use that in place of the water for the puree.
There you go!
So has your little connoisseur had pesto before?
This recipe has been tested by my 15-month-old and it is one of her favorites. I hope your baby enjoys this recipe as much as mine does. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you within 24 hours. Also, I would love your feedback if you give it try. I look forward to hearing from you!