10 one-ingredient baby foods

Baby food is quick and simple to make yourself at home. Cheaper and a lot healthier too, it'll help encourage your baby to try tasty new flavours. These recipes need only one ingredient each and are extra healthy for your baby...

Apricots

Baby food is quick and simple to make yourself at home. Cheaper and a lot healthier too, it'll help encourage your baby to try tasty new flavours. These recipes need only one ingredient each and are extra healthy for your baby...

10 one-ingredient baby foods

Baby food is quick and simple to make yourself at home and it's often cheaper and a lot healthier for your baby too. It'll also help encourage your little one to try tasty new flavours. This collection of recipes each need only one ingredient which makes them almost as easy as the shop-bought jars.

A new baby is a lot of work, there are the nappies, the constant washing of clothes, the sleepless nights and then there’s the feeding.

Just when you think you’ve got your routine under control it’ll be time to get your little one started on solids. The NHS recommends you start feeding your baby solids at around six months, although you can start after four months if your health visitor agrees they are ready for something more than milk. We think making your own baby food is the next step on the road to weaning your baby and it's the best way we know to make sure the food you're giving your child is healthy, low in sugar and salt and packed full of nutrients from fresh ingredients.

These one-ingredient purees are all soft, mild and nutritious and will get you on your way to being a baby food expert and to get your baby excited about solids. Each one has a different benefit to your baby so make sure you vary their diet to see them be as healthy as they possibly can be.

Remember that all babies are different and the best age to start your baby on solids can vary. Check with your doctor or health visitor if you’re unsure of when to start weaning your baby.

Click through for tasty purees, each made from just one ingredient...

Apricot puree

Why it’s good for them: Apricots are a gorgeous pale orange colour which is proof of their high levels of beta-carotene which translates to lots of lovely vitamin A for baby. It also provides fibre which your baby’s body needs to grow properly, and a healthy dose of iron, vitamin C and potassium too.

When to introduce them: From around six months your baby should be ready to eat apricots, introduced them before this and it might have a laxative effect because of their immature immune systems - and no-one wants that!

Get the recipe: Apricot puree

Butternut squash puree

Butternut squash

Why it's good for them: Another healthy orange ingredient is butternut squash, again containing plenty of beta-carotene. The natural sugars in this sweet vegetable will give your baby plenty of energy to get through all that playing, learning and growing they have to get done in a day. The vitamin C and antioxidant content in butternut squash is quite high which is great for keeping baby fighting fit and it's also thought it could reduce the risk of your baby developing asthma and other inflammatory conditions.

When to introduce it: Butternut squash’s soft flesh is easy to digest so is a good first food to start your baby on solids at around six months old, depending on their development rate.

Get the recipe: Squash puree

Potato puree

Potato wedges

Why they're good for them: Carbohydrates are open frowned upon but your baby needs them and they can be healthy when cooked in a simple way. Potatoes are healthy complex carbs and contain loads of potassium and vitamin B6 which will support the formation of new cells in your little one. To get the most nutritional value from spuds you should ideally leave the skin on while cooking and puree them along with the flesh - just make sure they are super-clean before pureeing because any dirt can cause nasty bugs in under-developed immune systems.

When to introduce them: Very few people are allergic to potatoes so they make a good first food and are a great base for other flavours too later on.

Get the recipe: Potato puree

Pea puree

Peas Pod

Why they're good for them: These little green vegetables are incredibly high in protein so will keep your baby feeling full and happy. They’re low in sodium too which will help keep your baby’s heart healthy. Cooking them in as little liquid as possible will help to retain all the lovely vitamins and minerals in peas, making them the best possible meal for your baby.

When to introduce them: After around six months your baby will probably be ready to try peas. A word of warning, peas can cause gas!

Get the recipe: Pea puree

Pear puree

Pears

Why they're good for them: Not very acidic, pears are gentle on tiny tummies and as a result, can be fed to babies as one of their first foods. It's unusual for anyone to have an allergic reaction to pears too so they are a pretty safe bet for baby. Packed with vitamin C and copper, they are an easy way to support your little one’s immune system.

When to introduce them: As the least acidic fruit you can introduce these as a first food from upwards of around six months.

Get the recipe: Pear puree

Blueberry puree

Blueberries

When they're good for them: As a high flier in the superfood category, blueberries are full of antioxidants, vitamins and other lovely things to aid your baby’s development. With manganese, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K and bundles of fibre there really is no end to their benefits! Most notably blueberries can prevent urinary tract infections, in a similar way to cranberries so they're perfect as a preventative measure or a cure if your baby is prone. All these healthy elements are destroyed in the processing of jarred baby food so stick to homemade to get the most out of blueberries.

When to introduce them: As with most simple fruits and veggies blueberries should be safe to eat from six months onwards.

Get the recipe: Blueberry puree

Meat puree

Roast Pork

Why it's good for them: Introducing protein-rich lean meat to your baby’s diet will help their muscle development and also keep them fuller for longer. Meat is a really strong source of zinc and iron too which we all need a bit of to keep healthy and will help your baby’s overall development. If you are worried about your baby’s reaction to meat, try them with a little at a time and monitor any changes. Make sure you cook the meat enough so that it becomes soft – easy to puree and digest.

When to introduce it: Meat is a little harder to digest for infants so only introduce once your baby has got to grips with fruit and veggies, anywhere from seven-months up, but if your baby is fussy, wait until the nine-month mark.

Get the recipe: Beef/pork puree

Broccoli puree

Broccoli

Why it's good for them: Another superfood, broccoli, ranks super highly on the vitamin count. In this wonder veg there is vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, fibre, calcium, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and protein - phew! The vitamin C helps your baby absorb the iron and calcium - required for healthy teeth, bones, nails and hair.

When to introduce it: From six months your baby can enjoy broccoli.

Get the recipe: Broccoli puree

Plum puree

Plums

(Image credit: WestEnd61/Rex Features)

Why they're good for them: Plums are really good for babies because of their high vitamin C content which helps with the absorption of iron, making sure your infant’s energy levels are kept nice and high. With plenty of fibre, they also aid digestion and help with constipation, although this can also be a negative - something any mum will know all about if they’ve fed their baby a little too much of this soft fruit!

When to introduce them: Because too many plums can occasionally have a laxative effect it is recommended to introduce these slowly into your baby’s diet, and not as a first food.

Get the recipe: Plum puree

Carrots

Carrots can make you more beautiful

Why they're good for them: The old wives tale is right and carrots really are good for eyesight! The high levels of beta-carotene in these sweet veggies converts to vitamin A in the body and will help your baby’s eyesight develop well. They also contain plenty of anti-oxidants, minerals and fibre which are all good things for anyone and especially good for little people who are growing and changing constantly.

When to introduce them: Carrots are one of the few foods that experts say are safe to eat from three months onwards. We recommend waiting for at least six months though, as recommended by the NHS.

Get the recipe: Carrot puree

Where to next?

Rosie is an experienced food and drinks journalist who has spent over a decade writing about restaurants, cookery, and foodie products. Previously Content Editor at Goodto.com and Digital Food Editor on Woman&Home, Rosie is well used to covering everything from food news through to taste tests. Now, as well as heading up the team at SquareMeal - the UK's leading guide to restaurants and bars - she also runs a wedding floristry business in Scotland called Lavender and Rose.