Menu

Baby Food by Stage

Happy Family’s founder shares some of her favorite recipes for baby.

Baby Food by Stage

Baby’s first feeding is a huge milestone. And while we know it’s fun and exciting, it’s also overwhelming and sometimes even nerve-wracking. It’s not always easy to create healthy, nutritious meals when we’re busy or distracted or simply trying to adjust to a picky palette. But, what your child eats during those first few months and years has the potential to impact him for his entire life.

Nobody knows this better than the founder of Happy Family Brands, Shazi Visram, who’s been helping moms provide healthy food for their babies for 10 years. “From the moment you conceive through your child’s second birthday is a vital period where everything you feed yourself and your child will ultimately shape their healthy eating habits,” she says. “Tastes develop in the womb and these seemingly small decisions will result in big outcomes for your child’s future.”

Shazi’s celebrating Happy Family’s 10th anniversary in a big way -- she just published The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook For Baby & Toddler, with more than 70 easy-to-prepare recipes made with wholesome and easy-to-find ingredients for children from 4 months and beyond, AND gave birth to her second baby, Asha (son, Zane is 6 years old).

Below, Shazi shares some insights on balancing her babies, business and book, and provides 3 easy recipes for your baby, no matter what his stage. Read along, then make your own baby feeding journey easier by winning a package of Happy Family baby & toddler food and Shazi's new cookbook here!

How's the juggle with Baby #2 going and when will she start eating solids?

It’s crazy but we’re excited to add to our family, Zane is loving being a big brother. We recommend starting at 6 months, but different babies have different timelines and some express an interest early and are developmentally ready to start sooner. It's really up to the parent, but they shouldn't be in a hurry to introduce solids, it should be from the baby's cues. Zane started at 6 months after starting to want to eat and was leaning in when he was near foods so we started with avocado. My guess is Asha will likely start around then with an egg yolk and freeze, or dried liver and then avocados..but we will see!

What prompted you to write a cookbook?

We want young families to embrace a life of health together and this begins in the kitchen. We want them to share and connect with food and get involved with the process of cooking with the family because it builds a lifetime of fun memories. However, if busy families don’t always have time to get in the kitchen, we offer a wide range of convenient and nutritious products for babies through adults.

What are some of your favorite baby "superfoods" when you're cooking for your own family?

For me, personally, I like to use salmon because of the healthy fats and omegas. Chia is great if you want a plant-based version. I'm always looking for more healthy fats!

What's your best piece of advice for a new mom starting her baby on solids?

This will be a developmental period for you and your child, but it will be an enjoyable one. Babies will let you know when they are ready by leaning in and showing an interest in food. Try one item at a time over a few day or a week and go slow! I know it’s fun to see your baby make progress but don’t push it! Start with a veggie or a protein like egg yolk to not, start with sweet fruits…and you can use breast milk mixed in to make the first bites easy to accept!

4+Months: STEAMED VEGETABLE PUREES

Ingredients:

CHOOSE ANY ONE VEGETABLE OPTION:

10–12 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 small to medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 11/2 cups)

4 medium carrots, peeled or unpeeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

4–5 cups chopped Swiss chard (leaves coarsely chopped, stalks finely chopped; see Note)

Breast milk or formula, as needed 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 CUPS

Directions:

1. Fill a pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Put the vegetables in a steamer basket and place in the pot. Cover and steam until tender, about 7 minutes for green beans and zucchini, 8 minutes for carrots, and 3–5 minutes for chard. Remove the steamer basket and let

the vegetables cool. Reserve the steaming liquid.

2. Working with one vegetable at a time, transfer the vegetables to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the reserved steaming liquid or breast milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to thin the puree; it should pour easily and have a consistency slightly thicker than heavy cream. Blend in the butter until melted.

3. Serve immediately. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze in individual portions (see page 16) for up to
3 months.

Note: It’s best to wait until baby is at least six months old to introduce dark leafy greens so she
can digest them. But when you start, don’t overlook Swiss chard. It’s just as nutritious as kale and spinach. It’s part of the beet family and has vitamins A and C, as well as magnesium, potassium, and iron. Select red Swiss chard or rainbow chard, which are sweeter than the white-stalked variety.

6+months: CARROT -CINNAMON BROWN RICE WITH YOGURT

Stimulate your baby’s senses with this sweet, lightly spiced puree. It boasts beta-carotene, protein, fiber, and vitamin B6, as well as the calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium that are beneficial for growth and the formation of bones. Both cinnamon and cumin give baby a taste of something unique.

Spices like cinnamon help expand your baby’s palate.

Ingredients:

3 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons raisins

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

MAKES 1 1/4 CUPS

Directions:

1. Fill a pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Distribute the carrots in a steamer basket and place in the pot. Cover and steam until tender, 8–10 minutes. Remove the steamer basket from the pot and let the carrots cool.

2. In a food processor or blender, combine the carrots, rice, yogurt, raisins, cinnamon, and cumin. Puree until smooth or until the desired consistency is achieved.

3. Serve immediately. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Switch it Up: If your child is dairy-free, use an unsweetened Greek-style coconut yogurt in place of regular yogurt. Naturally lactose-free, it complements the flavor profile and provides healthy fats and B vitamins.

12+ months: CARROT & SPINACH MEATBALLS

Give the classic meatball a nourishing makeover! There’s no picking around the veggies here, since the carrots and spinach are mixed into the meat. Ground turkey is a lower-fat alternative to beef, and the veggies enhance the meatballs’ beneficial nutritional profile. This dish also includes fat-soluble vitamins A and K for eye health, immunity, and blood clotting.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey

2 large carrots, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)

1 lb frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup bread crumbs

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

11/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/
1 2 teaspoons dried dill

Salt and pepper (optional)

MAKES ABOUT 40 MEATBALLS

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, carrots, spinach, cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, oregano, dill, and a pinch each of salt and pepper, if using. Mix with your hands until well combined.

3. Form about 2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture into a 1-inch ball and set it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining turkey mixture to form about 40 meatballs. Bake the meatballs, turning once halfway through baking, until golden brown, 20–24 minutes total. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 4 months.

Switch it Up: Meatballs can be served on their own with a favorite sauce or with pasta of your choice. Make the dish gluten-free by using gluten-free bread crumbs.

Pre-order Motherly’s Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box today 🎉

A curated box of the pregnancy products you'll want.

We're extending the sale, but just a few days and supplies are limited! Preorder now.

The Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box

pregnancy box

The Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box is available for ordering—but supplies are limited and the preorder window is almost over. Order now so you don't miss out. Boxes will ship in just a few weeks. We will send you updates as the ship date gets closer.

$125


We know just how profound the journey to becoming a mother is, and we want to celebrate and honor you through every step of the way. That's why we created the Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box—and we are thrilled to share it with you first!

Curated by the founders of Motherly, our resident midwife and our fabulous team of motherhood gurus, it's a swoon-worthy box full of items you will adore.

You'll find some of our favorite products to help you on your journey to becoming a mama. We focused on three key feelings of pregnancy: preparation, wellness and celebration.

Preparation: What do you need to prepare for becoming a mama? We've been in your shoes so we handpicked products that focus on you as you prepare for this chapter.

Wellness: Self-care during your pregnancy (and beyond) is so important—mama, you deserve it. That's what helped up select the most luxurious and beautiful pieces to help you embrace your wellness.

Celebration: We are excited for you, too! Keep the celebrations going with a few of our favorite baby items.

Supplies are limited and today is the last day to order!

Motherly's Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box FAQs

What's in the box?

The Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box is an exclusive set of products designed to help you on your journey to becoming a mama. We handpicked pieces to help you prepare, stay well and celebrate your anticipation. What's in the box is a surprise, and we know you are going to love it!

Psst: But check out a few sneak peeks here!

How much does it cost?

The box costs $125—it's valued at almost $300!

When will the box ship?

The box will ship in 4 to 6 weeks. We will announce the official date when we launch the box.

How do I get it?

Preordering is available right now! But you'll have to act fast—it's only open for a few more days.

Shop

12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

The new top 100 American baby names, according to the Social Security office

Did you have a baby in 2018? Did your name make the top 10?

kasietannerphotography.com

[Editor's note: We know that being pregnant can be, well, a lot. And understanding what you really need versus what's just a nice-to-have takes time . With your needs in mind, we've selected the best products for pregnancy in The Motherly Shop. We've got you, mama.]

No one can beat Emma when it comes to naming babies in America. This week the Social Security Administration announced its annual list of the most popular baby names in America and Emma has the top spot on the girls' side for the fifth year in a row. On the boys' side Liam took the top spot for a second consecutive year.

According to the Social Security Administration, these were the top 20 baby names in America in 2018:

Girls: Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Charlotte, Mia, Amelia, Harper and Evelyn

Boys: Liam, Noah, William, James, Oliver, Benjamin, Elijah, Lucas, Mason and Owen

How do those top 10 lists compare to the top baby names of 2017? Well, the girls' list is nearly the same except that Mia and Charlotte switched spots, and Harper (a name that fell out of the top ten the previous year) is back and has ousted Abigail. On the boys' side, Lucas kicked Jacob out of the top 10.

The real changes happened lower down in the data. Let's take a look at the popular baby names that were trending hard in 2018:

Keep reading Show less
News