Christmas Baby Food Ideas And Tips

These Christmas baby food ideas and tips for the holiday season will help you make baby’s first Christmas extra special!

Christmas Baby Food

Your baby’s first Christmas is simply a magical time – for him AND for you! It’s a time to introduce your little one to the wonderful traditions you grew up with and an opportunity for you to re-create wonderful memories from your own childhood.

Of course, your baby is a little young to appreciate or understand all that’s going on at this busy time.

But there’s no doubt that he can enjoy the warm family feelings that Christmas evokes – not to mention the sparkling decorations and lights, the music and (hopefully) the extra attention from all your visitors!

Tips For Making the Most of Baby’s First Christmas …

  • Keep your baby beside you as you decorate your home for Christmas. It may be tempting to put up your decorations, then bring your baby in for a “surprise” – but babies tend to dislike surprises and much prefer routine!
  • Speaking of routine – try to keep your baby’s day as normal as possible. It can be difficult to do, particularly when your home is filled with guests, but your baby will be calmer and happier as a result.
  • Despite your best efforts, your baby may still find the extra noise/attention/excitement overwhelming. This may cause him to cry, which will bring both you and him even MORE attention, as your guests all rush to offer their assistance and advice. This can be very stressful – so don’t be afraid to take your baby to a quiet room to calm him down. It is also important that he has a quiet haven in which to sleep.
  • Don’t spend lots of money on toys! At this stage, he simply doesn’t need them. As many parents will attest, babies are happier playing with boxes, wrapping paper and bows (under supervision of course), than they would be with the latest “stimulating” baby gadget. Someone once wrote that the play value of a toy is 10% toy and 90% imagination! Wise words indeed – and ones that apply throughout childhood.
  • Think twice about taking your baby to visit Santa. While older children love him, babies very often find Father Christmas to be a big, loud, scary red man!
  • Take lots and lots of photos!
  • Write an account of the day. Keep a “Baby’s First Christmas” scrapbook, filled with his gift tags, wrapping paper etc.
  • Make or buy your little one a “Baby’s First Christmas” stocking.
  • Start some new traditions. Buy your baby a collectible gift and add to the collection each year.
  • Another lovely idea is to give your baby a homemade or shop-bought Christmas tree ornament then give a new one each year. By the time your baby leaves home, he’ll have a wonderful collection for his own tree!
  • Tie the top of your Christmas tree to a hook in the wall, so that it won’t topple on your baby. Make sure any glass ornaments are placed too high for your baby to reach – as an extra precaution, some parents place the tree itself in a playpen! Safe baby – safe tree!

Travelling with your baby this Christmas?

Then check out our travel tips page for lots of useful advice and information!


Christmas Baby Food Ideas And Recipes

Christmas dinner for baby can be put together quite easily from your meal, which is traditionally full of healthy veggies – but exactly what you give your baby depends, of course, on his age and stage of development.

Remember: Your baby should be at least 6 months of age before you introduce him to solid foods, unless your doctor has recommended starting earlier.

And, even though it’s Christmas and you’re anxious to include your baby at the Christmas meal, you should still introduce new foods separately and with the consent of his doctor.

This is to prevent and identify food allergies and digestive problems.


Turkey

Turkey can be given to your baby from 7 months of age. Here’s a simple Christmas baby food recipe using turkey – remember to cook your baby’s veggies without salt.

1 large turkey slice

1 cooked potato

1 medium cooked carrot

2 cooked broccoli florets

  1. Blend the turkey in a food processor with water or homemade stock until fairly thin.
  2. Then add the potato (which will thicken the mixture) and the remaining veggies and puree to the desired consistency.

Older babies, already comfortable with finger foods, can be given this meal cut up into bite-sized pieces.


Gravy

Commercial gravies tend to be high in salt and are unsuitable for babies.

If you would like to create a healthier gravy to accompany these Christmas baby food recipes, then try this simple idea:

  1. Take 4 oz (about 1/2 cup) of your cooked veggies and  8 to 12 fl oz (around 1 to 1/2 cups) of the meat juices from the pan (assuming that your meat was not heavily seasoned with salt).
  2. Puree them together and serve – you can adjust these quantities to create a thinner or thicker gravy if you prefer.
  3. Another option is to combine arrowroot with homemade chicken stock (1 tbsp arrowroot per 8 fl oz (1 cup) of stock). Pour into a small saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. For a more robust flavour, stir in 1/2 tsp tomato puree.

Stuffing

Many commercial stuffing mixes and standard stuffing recipes contain salt. Unless you choose to make a homemade, salt-free version just for your baby (like our reader below), then it’s probably worth giving this one a miss!


Homemade stuffing recipe

In November, we asked our readers to create a special recipe for this page.

Tania, from Surrey in the south of England, sent us this idea, which we think sounds yummy!

Tania told us…

Our baby Kevin is our third child and this year he and his older brothers will be enjoying my homemade stuffing with their Christmas dinner.

I use a pack of stuffing mix to stuff the turkey itself, but I know it’s too salty for my kids (aged 6, 4 and 9 months). So this is what I make instead, and serve it on the side of their plates.

What you’ll need…

4 to 5 slices bread, cut into cubes. You can use stale bread, but I prefer to use fresh.

1 oz (1/8 cup) butter

2 oz (1/4 cup) onion, very finely chopped

1 oz (1/8 cup) celery, very finely chopped

pinch freshly ground black pepper

little pinch of each of the following herbs:

sage

parsley

thyme

1 fl oz (1/8 cup) homemade chicken stock or water

How to make it…

  1. In a frying pan (skillet) melt the butter and saute the onion and celery until they are translucent (don’t brown them).
  2. Place the onion/celery/butter mixture in a bowl with the bread cubes, herbs, pepper and stock or water.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Grease a small oven-proof dish and spoon in the stuffing mixture.
  5. Bake with the rest of the Christmas dinner for around 15-20 mins, until golden brown on top.

Brussels Sprouts

We have listed these separately because they are not a common choice as a vegetable for babies. Some people love them – and some loathe them – but this may be because they have been overcooked, which releases unpleasant smelling sulphur compounds and reduces their nutritional value.

Brussel sprouts are actually quite high in protein. You should cook them for only a short time (7-10 mins) whether you steam or boil them – and the secret is to cut an X into the bottom, so that the centre cooks as quickly as the leaves.

Brussel sprouts can cause wind/gas, so only give your baby a little. They can sometimes be bitter – but you can reduce this by adding a drop of pure maple syrup.


Potatoes

Depending on where you are in the world, the way in which potatoes are cooked for the Christmas dinner can vary. In the UK, roasted potatoes are common – whereas in the US, most families serve mashed potatoes.

In either case, make sure that any potato you give your baby is free from salt.


Chipolatas In Bacon

Also known as ‘Pigs in Blankets”, these are almost a staple of the British Christmas dinner. But they are not suitable for young babies, as these processed meats contain too much salt.


Bread Sauce

Bread sauce cooked to a traditional recipe will contain milk, so it would not be suitable if your baby is sensitive to cow’s milk or if a family history of dairy allergy exists. Otherwise, a little creamy bread sauce with baby’s Christmas dinner would be fine and would make a lovely dip for veggies if he is finger-feeding.


Cranberry Sauce

If your baby has already been introduced to a wide range of solid foods, then it should be fine to add a little cranberry sauce to his holiday meal. But don’t overdo it, as cranberries can upset a sensitive tummy.


Applesauce

Check out our sugar free applesauce recipe to serve alongside your Christmas baby food (adults will love this healthy applesauce, too!). Try

  • blending applesauce with your Christmas veggies for younger babies
  • mixing it with well chopped veggies and turkey for babies from 7 months who won’t mind the lumps
  • cutting baby’s Christmas meal into bite-sized pieces for your older baby and serving the applesauce as a dip.

More apple baby food recipes


Baby’s Vegetarian Christmas Dinner – Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apple, Raisins and Rice

This is the perfect festive vegetarian dish, combining the goodness of squash, apples and raisins with the subtle spiciness of cinnamon and nutmeg.

It’s so tasty that you can reserve baby his portion, then serve the rest as a side dish with the main meal for the rest of the family.

This recipe is suitable for babies from 6 months of age – but it is very important that you have separately introduced all the ingredients to your baby beforehand. This is to ensure that none of the ingredients cause him any digestive discomfort – or even an allergic reaction.

Here’s what you’ll need

1 butternut squash

1 small, sweet apple (like Golden Delicious) – peeled, cored and cubed

2 oz (1/4 cup) raisins

2 oz (1/4 cup) cooked brown rice*

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp melted butter (optional)

* To give this dish a richer, fruitier flavour, cook the brown rice in apple juice instead of water.

  1. Wash the butternut squash, then cut it in half lengthwise.
  2. Spoon out the seeds, then set the squash halves (cut side down) in a baking dish with a lid.
  3. Cover and bake at 350 deg F, 180 deg C, for 30 mins.
  4. Whilst the squash is baking, soak the raisins in warm water.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven.
  6. Combine the cooked rice, apple, raisins and spices in a bowl and mix well.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the cavity of each butternut squash half.
  8. Drizzle with the melted butter (if using) and return to the oven for a further 30 mins.
  9. Cool to a safe serving temperature.

For younger babies, scoop out the cooked squash and stuffing and puree in a blender (adding a little apple juice to help achieve the ideal texture).

Older babies, happy with lumps, will enjoy this dish mashed!

More butternut squash baby food recipes

More delicious veggie recipes for baby


What’s For Dessert?

Traditional pumpkin, sweet potato and apple pies contain sugar and eggs,so we do not recommend that you give them to a baby under one year of age. UK favourites, such as mince pie and Christmas pudding, are also unsuitable for young babies.

Instead, why not give your baby a treat with these healthy Christmas baby food alternatives…


Baby’s Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Pie

Simply mash cooked pumpkin or sweet potato thoroughly, then stir in plain, unsweetened yogurt until nice and creamy. Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg.


Baby’s Apple Pie

Mix sugar free applesauce with baby’s cereal until thick. Bake in an ovenproof dish for 10 mins at 350 deg F. Cool and serve. For older babies, create a crust with wheat germ, or use crushed cornflakes, Rice Krispies or Cheerios.


Baby’s Apple And Cranberry Treat

The cranberries in this Christmas baby food recipe are optional – they may upset a delicate tummy, so leave them out if you prefer. Even without them, this tasty dessert will provide the perfect end to baby’s first Christmas dinner!

4 oz (1/2 cup) natural yogurt

drop of pure maple syrup

drop of natural vanilla essence

tiny pinch of cinnamon

tiny pinch of grated nutmeg

1 to 2 tbsp dried cranberries, soaked in water

2 sweet apples, peeled and sliced

  1. Simmer the apples in a little apple juice or water until tender.Mash or puree, then set them aside.
  2. Combine the yogurt with the maple syrup, vanilla essence and spices and mix thoroughly.
  3. Remove the cranberries from the water and pat them dry. Squash with the back of a spoon (or puree, if you prefer), then stir them into the yogurt along with the mashed apple.
  4. Mix well, then sprinkle with wheat germ.



More top tips and guidelines…

Breakfast ideas for baby

Can I give my baby juice?

Taking care of tiny teeth

Introducing lumpy textures

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