We’re very excited to welcome Sarah, mama to 10 month old Zane, as the newest Hellobee food contributor! Sarah’s love of food led her to leave her management job to complete a comprehensive organic farming apprenticeship. Now she uses her love of farm-to-table cooking to make delicious food for others as a personal chef and small-scale caterer. She’ll be writing posts about everything from baby/toddler foods to healthy family-friendly recipes to time-saving cooking techniques and much more!

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As a person who is always planning her next meal, I was excited when Zane was ready for solid food. It was one of his first experiences that felt immediately relatable – whether he smiled at the sweetness of a ripe pear or pursed his lips at bitter greens, I understood his reactions on some level. We were communicating.

After an introduction to simple purees of one or two foods, we soon moved on to adventures in herbs and spices. We joked that it was the obvious next step in “palate training,” but I really do think it’s a good idea to expose him early to a variety of flavors and textures.  Zane likes most foods, but it was fun to see which combinations received the best responses. Below are some of his favorites, along with preparation instructions and ideas for variations – have fun with it!


Sweet potato and cinnamon
 – Roast whole sweet potatoes until tender, remove skin, and puree with 1 pinch of cinnamon per sweet potato, working up to ¼ tsp. Thin with water or plain yogurt. Other add-ins: ground ginger, nut butters.

Avocado and cumin – Mash 1 avocado with 2 pinches of ground cumin. Thin with water or olive oil. Other add-ins: squeeze of lime, cilantro (baby guacamole!).

Salmon and dill – Poach salmon in simmering water 5-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Puree with 1 tsp chopped fresh dill per 4 oz. filet. Thin with water, plain yogurt, or olive oil. Other add-ins: squeeze of lemon, chopped olives.

Spinach and nutmeg – Steam spinach leaves until bright green and soft. Puree with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Thin with cooking water as need and add in grated or cooked apple or pear for sweetness.

Butternut squash and sage – Halve a butternut squash, scoop out seeds, rub with olive oil, and roast skin side up until tender. Puree squash flesh with ½ tsp finely chopped fresh sage. Thin with water or olive oil. Other add-ins: parmesan cheese.

Potato and rosemary – Bake or boil potato until tender, remove skin, and mash with ¼ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary per potato. Thin with milk, cooking water, or olive oil. Other add-ins: raw or roasted garlic, parmesan cheese.

Egg and chive – Hard boil eggs and puree whole egg or yolk only with ¼ tsp finely chopped chives per egg. Thin with plain yogurt. Other add-ins: paprika.

Do you add spices to your baby’s food?