Table of Contents
- Chicken and Spinach Puree for Baby (6+ Months) or Picky Eaters
- Reasons to love this Chicken and Spinach Puree
- When can I introduce meat to my baby?
- Pureeing is simple and easy
- Equipment needed
- Prepping in bulk
- How to know what stage food your baby should be eating (babies under 12 months)
- Adding this puree into picky eaters' meals
- Great combination purees
- Some great options to mix with this Chicken and Spinach Puree
- Storing Your Chicken and Spinach Puree
- A few tips
- Other articles and resources you may be interested in
- If you’ve tried this recipe...
- Did you make this recipe?
Chicken and Spinach Puree for Baby (6+ Months) or Picky Eaters
This Chicken and Spinach Puree is a great addition to your baby’s favorite purees and provides a boost in essential vitamins and minerals. It has a very delicate taste, is easy to digest and is packed with protein and iron, which are ESSENTIAL for your baby’s development. It’s a perfect stage 1 baby food!
Reasons to love this Chicken and Spinach Puree
- Packed with protein, healthy fats, essential vitamins, iron and zinc
- Great to combine with other fruit or veggie purees that your baby loves
- Simple and easy
- Healthier than most store-bought baby foods, especially commercial meat purees
- Can be added to an array of recipes as an incognito way to get your older picky eaters to eat their meat and veggies (Hidden Veggie Enchiladas)
- No fancy equipment needed
When can I introduce meat to my baby?
Generally speaking, it’s recommended to wait until your baby is 7 to 8 months old to begin introducing meat into their diet. Chicken is extremely high in protein and iron. It’s one of the most easily digested meats and is often recommended to be baby’s first meat. Turkey is normally the runner up, followed by red meat.
I (Kalie) started feeding my girls veggie purees at 6 months, incorporated meats around 7 months and began introducing fruit and grains at 8 months. If you want to know more about why I chose this order, CLICK HERE.
By pureeing and introducing foods that aren’t as common, such as beets and asparagus, my girls got accustomed to an array of different whole foods at a very young age. To this day, our family enjoys a huge variety or nutrient-dense foods with no pushback. I attribute much of this to the foods the girls ate from the time they were little.
Pureeing is simple and easy
Making your own purees is simple and can easily be done while multitasking around the house. There are really only three steps:
- Add meat + liquid to the blender or food processor and puree
- Divvy out and freeze
Prepping in bulk
For many of us, spending a few extra hours in the kitchen isn't feasible, but making a little extra of something we already plan on preparing is 100% doable.
Any time I make a puree, I prepare a large quantity, divide it into small portions and store the extras in the freezer for future meals. This is one of the BEST ways to simplify pureeing and successfully incorporate real-food purees into your baby's diet. It also provides you with a variety of options to choose from as you build up a stock of different purees in your freezer.
Every day or two, you can take a peek in the freezer and choose the puree(s) you want to feed your baby over the next few days. Thaw the puree(s) in the fridge overnight and serve them cold, lukewarm, as-is or mixed with other purees. You can also add a little sauce (like pesto or marinara sauce) or a seasoning for additional flavor once your baby gets older (just avoid salt).
How to know what stage food your baby should be eating (babies under 12 months)
It’s important to be aware of texture and consistency when introducing all new foods to your baby. This allows you to make sure the food is in a form that your baby can safely handle without choking.
Every child is different and develops at their own individual pace, but most babies are ready for solids between 4 and 6 months. As with anything related to your baby’s health, it’s best to consult with your child’s pediatrician for baby food recommendations during the first 12 months. Here are the general stages broken down.
Stage 1 Baby Food
Stage 1 baby foods are single-ingredient foods that are very thin in consistency. They’re served to babies who are just being introduced to solids and are typically between 6 and 7 months of age.
If you’re pureeing a stage 1 baby food, you’ll need to thin the puree out until it reaches a smooth texture, can easily be dissolved with saliva and doesn’t require chewing. For this chicken puree, you can do that by adding a little water or broth during the pureeing process. You can also use formula or breast milk to thin the puree but should wait to do so until you plan on serving it.
At this stage, it’s recommended to only introduce one new food at a time and to wait 2 to 3 days before introducing another new food. This allows you to watch for any allergic reactions or digestive setbacks.
Stage 2 Baby Food
Once your baby has done well with stage 1 solids and has tried multiple foods, it is safe to advance to stage 2 baby food (8-9 months). At this point, the purees your baby eats can be a little thicker in texture with some mashable bits.
This is also when parents often start combining purees together to create a mini meal, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and chicken or when they begin introducing mild spices (excluding salt).
Stage 3 Baby Food
By stage 3 (10+ months), your baby should be ready for chunkier purees or mashed foods that require some, but not much, chewing. These foods should be soft in nature so they’re easy to eat.
By this stage, you may no longer need to add liquid to your puree to thin it out. This depends on both your baby and the texture of the food you’re serving.
Think thick, blended foods with tiny chewable chunks.
Adding this puree into picky eaters' meals
This Chicken and Spinach Puree goes far beyond just a wonderful baby food. If you have picky eaters at home, it can be added into some of their favorite meals in an incognito way. This allows you to feed them chicken and/or spinach without receiving pushback. It also allows them to slowly acquire a flavor for the food you’re secretly adding.
An example of this would be adding a little Chicken and Spinach Puree into one of your kids' favorite dishes, such as mixing it into their bean and cheese stuffed enchiladas or in Hidden Veggie Macaroni and Cheese.
Great combination purees
While this baby food is great by itself, it can easily be combined with some of your baby's other favorite purees once they’re ready for Stage 2 foods.
One of Isla’s favorites was apple, chicken and spinach. To do this, we simply steamed the chicken with slices of a Pink Lady Apple and pureed the chicken, apples and spinach together. Pink Lady Apples have a slightly tart, yet sweet flavor that pairs well with this puree. Another one of her favorites was a chicken, pear and carrot puree.
Some great options to mix with this Chicken and Spinach Puree
- Sweet potato
Storing Your Chicken and Spinach Puree
Once you have the puree blended to the consistency you want, let it cool completely and transfer it into airtight containers.
When Isla was a baby, she was only eating a tablespoon or two of solids at each meal. Because she wasn't eating large quantities, we used 4-ounce glass containers to store and freeze all her purees. This kept them fresh and ensured they'd be used within 2 to 3 days of thawing. Once her portions increased (around 10-11 months), I began using 8-ounce glass mason jars so we didn’t have so many containers and dishes.
My Favorite Storage Containers
In the Fridge
If you plan to use the puree within a few days, transfer it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Label each container with the type of food and date so you can keep track of which purees to use first.
In the Freezer
This Chicken and Spinach Puree is extremely freezer friendly. In fact, we always make a double batch so we have some on hand for future meals. You can use two methods to freeze your purees depending on personal preference: freeze them in small cubes (some prefer this for stage 1 eaters who consume less) or freeze the purees in containers. We found the container method to be the easiest, but it’s entirely up to you and what works best for your family.
When freezing purees, make sure to label each container with the type of food, amount (in cups or ounces) and date so you can easily keep track of which purees to use first.
Cubes: Spoon the puree into an ice cube tray, wrap the top with plastic wrap so the puree isn’t exposed to the elements and freeze overnight. Once frozen, pop the puree “ice cubes” out of the tray and transfer them into a labeled Ziploc bag. Remove excess air from the bag, seal and store in the freezer.
Containers: Place the puree in 4–ounce or 8-ounce mason jars or airtight containers. This puree will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To defrost the puree in the refrigerator: Place frozen puree cubes into a jar or serving dish, cover and place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. If you stored the puree in a jar or storage container, simply place it in the fridge to thaw.
To defrost in a water bath: If you’re crunched for time, set the jar or container in another bowl that’s filled with lukewarm water. Replace water as needed. Once defrosted (30-60 minutes depending on volume and temperature), portion out what you’ll be using and refrigerate the remaining puree.
A few tips
- Organic: Harmful chemicals, pesticides and preservatives are heavily used these days, so we recommend organic meat whenever feasible. This is especially important for babies because their bodies are still developing and are extremely sensitive to exposure.
- Tender chicken: Baby or adult, no one likes hard, chewy and overcooked chicken. There are quite a few ways you can prepare your chicken, including baking, boiling, and cooking it in the slow cooker, but we’ve recently discovered that steaming it in aluminum foil keeps all the juices inside.
- Bulk prepping: If you’ve followed our journey, you know how much we absolutely LOVE (and live by) cooking meals in bulk. The leftovers simplify future meals and save SO MUCH TIME! We take a similar approach when pureeing. While everything is out, we make extra for the rest of the week and some to freeze for future meals.
- Reheat gently: If you are freezing some of this puree, reheat it in 15-second intervals. You don’t want to recook the chicken or heat the puree to the point that it would burn your baby.
Other articles and resources you may be interested in
This Chicken and Spinach Puree is a great addition to your baby’s favorite purees and provides a boost in essential vitamins and minerals. It has a very delicate taste, is easy to digest and is packed with protein and iron which are ESSENTIAL for your baby’s development. It’s a perfect stage one baby food!
- 2 pounds organic chicken breasts
- 2 cups organic spinach
- 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil or coconut oil
- 1/2 – 1 cup organic chicken broth or water (only necessary for Stage 1)
Optional addition: (Stages 2-3)
- 1 small pink lady apple, seeds and core removed and cut into ½ – 1-inch slices
Equipment needed for this recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with EVOO or cover with aluminum foil.
- Add chicken to baking sheet and lightly season, if desired – no salt! If you are adding apple slices, do so at this time. Cover with foil and place in the oven.
- Bake chicken for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink in the center (internal temperature should be 170°F). Baking times will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken you are cooking.
- OPTIONAL STEP: While the chicken is baking, lightly sauté the spinach in a large pan on medium heat with oil until just wilted. This helps diminish some of the bitterness of spinach. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once chicken is cooked, remove from the oven. Transfer the chicken, apple slices (if added), and spinach into a blender or food processor. Puree until you reach the desired consistency (based on your child’s stage), adding liquid in 1/4 cup increments if needed. If your baby is stage 3+, you may not need to use liquid to thin the puree. SIDE NOTE: If your blender or food processor does not have an opening to allow steam to escape, you will need to let the chicken cool before pureeing. Otherwise, pressure from the steam can build up from the inside and cause the lid to blow off.
- Divide the puree into ice cube trays or small air-tight containers and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Slow cooker method:
- Add chicken to the slow cooker and cover in liquid. You can use broth, water or a combination of the two.
- Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 4-6 hours.
- Once cooked, puree the chicken using the steps listed above. You can use the liquid from the slow cooker to do this.