When looking for a new diet to feed your baby after they are done with vegetable purees and simple fruits, fish comes as the right choice. Fish will be nutritious enough, have a mild taste, easy to cook and less chewy when compared to other sources of protein such as meat.
Fish will also mix with other ingredients such as pasta, fruits, and vegetables forming the most nutritious and tasty food for your baby.
In this article, we talk about introducing tuna to your baby’s diet and we give you 3 easy recipes for tasty homemade baby food.
The recipes in this article:
Recipe 1 – Pasta, sweet potato, and Tuna
Recipe 2 – Tuna balls
Recipe 3 – Tuna and Beans
When can a baby eat tuna?
Your baby can first try fish at 6 months of age. (source Healthline) Fish are nutritious and supply the baby with important nutrients for healthy development. There is a lot of talk about mercury contained in fish, but small amounts of tuna, sardines, salmon or mackerel, can be beneficial for the baby with no health risks.
It’s best to use canned tuna in natural juice or olive oil. Tuna contains a high amount of protein which will support your baby’s growth. Other beneficial compounds in tuna are; niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamins A, D, and B-12. Another important thing is the omega-3 fatty acids which are important for healthy brain development and might improve cognitive functions in a growing child.
The FDA says that two to three age-appropriate servings of a low-mercury fish source per week should be safe.
Seafood allergies can be quite dangerous, so check if they run in your family, to prevent any problems. When in doubt, we advise you to talk to your pediatrician first before giving your baby fish.
Recipe 1: Pasta with sweet potato and tuna (age 8 months+)
- Baby or other small pasta (30-40 grams)
- 1 sweet potato (medium), peeled and cut into small pieces
- ½ a regular potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
- ½ of a smaller can of tuna (or the whole can) in natural juice, spring water or olive oil (drain it or leave some olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese.
Step 1 – First, we boil the pasta and cook it for the time prescribed on the bag, drain when cooked.
Step 2 – Boil the potato separately for 5- 10 minutes and in the last 5 minutes add sweet potato (it does not require as much as the regular one).
Step 3 – Drain the potatoes and let them cool off a little. Mash them with a fork or in a blender.
Step 4 – Open the tuna and mash it with a fork or separate it into smaller pieces.
Step 5 – Mix the potato puree with pasta, shredded cheddar, and tuna. Yummy!
This meal is very nutritious and healthy. Potato, sweet potato, cheese, and tuna give it an added nutritional value, packed with calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals. You can even triple the ingredients and make this tasty recipe for the whole family.
Recipe 2: Tuna balls (age 8-10 months+)
- 1 small tuna can (in natural juice or olive oil, drain it)
- 50 grams of fine breadcrumbs
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons of shredded parmesan cheese
- A spoon of butter or olive oil.
Step 1 – Mix all the ingredients inside a bowl. Make little balls, which can be, bite-sized or max size of a golf ball.
Step 2 – Place the balls on a nonstick or parchment paper-covered tray, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Step 3 – Use a non-stick pan and melt a spoon of butter or heat 1-2 spoons of olive oil.
Step 4 – Fry the balls on medium heat, turning them around a few times until they are nicely golden and crispy.
This nutritional treat contains some important fats and protein from the egg, tuna, butter, and cheese. It’s quite caloric and because it’s fried, it should be enjoyed occasionally.
Recipe 3: Simple tuna and beans puree (age 6-7 months+)
- ½ small tuna can (in olive oil, spring water or natural juice)
- 1 can or freshly cooked white beans (butter beans, cannellini or any other white beans
- ½ a lemon
- A few basil or parsley leaves
- Some Greek yogurt or water.
Step 1 – You can mash this puree with a fork, masher or blender. Making it with a fork or masher, will keep some of the bigger chunks but blending it will make it more smooth.
Step 2 – Add a can or small bowl of white beans and a small can of tuna.
Step 3 – Squeeze in half of a lemon and add some basil or parsley leaves.
Step 4 – If you are blending this puree, add a small amount of yogurt or water, which will help it blend more smoothly.
Tasty puree for your baby is ready! You can use this as a dip for adults, combined with veggies or tortilla chips, you just have to add some more spices (salt, pepper, chili, onion, garlic, etc.).
Remember, use tuna in smaller quantities when cooking for your baby and avoid salted tuna or the ones soaked in unhealthy vegetable oils. Natural juice, spring water, and virgin olive oil are ok. Your baby will love these healthy and tasty tuna recipes.
Are these baby food recipes freezable?
You should store your batch of homemade baby food in a refrigerator using an airtight container for up to a period of 72 hours.
You can freeze these baby food recipes into different portions by employing pouring the mixture into ice cubes or in small food storage containers.
Which kitchen tools to use
In order to prepare these baby food recipes, you will need the following kitchen tools:
Blender or food processor
Steamer pan, crockpot or slow cooker
Food storage containers or an ice cube form
Tuna is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B.
Omega-3 in tuna help with brain development in babies and children. They also protect the heart by lowering the risk of high blood pressure.