The first time I made Camille meat puree, I wasn’t sure if I should feed it to her or the cat. I poached a chicken breast, and pureed it in the Vitamix. One look, one smell, one reluctant taste, and I was done. Surely I can do better for my sweet babe than cat food fare!
Camille didn’t start eating meat until around 7 months. I started her on sweet potato puree at around 5 months, but she didn’t show much interest, so I took time off before intermittently reintroducing her to food. By the time we were in a good rhythm of 2 tablespoons of puree once a day, I kept hearing my pediatrician’s warnings in the back of my head: ‘her iron supply needs to be restocked; give her meat’. She was well past 6 months, and probably ready for it.
A pretty important side note: I don’t eat much meat myself. I think we have an animal on our plate one night a week or so? Last night, we had farro salad with carrots and white beans. The night before? Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli. Before that? This Brussels Sprout Tater Tot casserole.
It just doesn’t occur to me to cook meat most days. I actually love to order animals at restaurants, but I have a thing about seeing raw meat in my kitchen and then subsequently consuming it. If you believe in the blood type diet, I am spot-on for an A positive—full fat dairy, no meat, and tons of legumes. It makes my body happy. I say this to show my complete inaptitude for cooking meat for my child.
The next time I tried making meat for her, I faced another kind of disaster. Her dad and I were about to enjoy a rare beef dinner. Before plopping a local grass-fed chuck roast in the crockpot (with my eyes closed, of course), I cut off about 1 pound of it to cook for Camille, sans salt. I rubbed it with black pepper, seared it in a stock pot, and covered it with water and a bay leaf. I figured by the time our crockpot roast was done, her roast would be, too. My intention was for her to enjoy a no-salt version of our food.
I was so very wrong. Her roast was tough and chewy. Dad and I were eating a melt-in-your-mouth pot roast, and baby had meat so tough, even I couldn’t chew it (and I have all of my teeth)!
I ended up making her a quick no-salt gravy, and pureeing the baby roast in the Vitamix. She ate it mixed with green beans and mashed turnips. It wasn’t her favorite—she much preferred these curried sweet potatoes, but she ate it. And I felt like Mama of the year for giving her that much-needed iron-rich beef.
Now, at 10 months, Camille needs to progress beyond purees. Even though she doesn’t have any teeth, she’s been gumming steamed broccoli, tiny whole wheat pasta shapes, and raisins lately. This video of her eating broccoli basically sums it all up.
The time was nigh for me to make her tender melt-in-her-mouth meat.
So, I reached for my crockpot. I mean, that’s what those things are for, right? Tender meat?
I knew I wanted her chicken chunks to be saucy and rich, almost like that prolific recipe for chicken and salsa in the crockpot. Baby isn’t warming up to jalapeños no matter how hard I try (kidding), so I reached for carrots. When the chicken is done cooking to the appropriate fall-apart-ness (technical kitchen term), the carrots melt and become a creamy sauce. Hot damn! I even want to eat this! I stirred in a little cumin to mimic that rich, barbecued beef flavor. I am a Texan afterall, and my kid will eat barbecue and jalapeños one day–you can hold me to that!
This recipe for baby comes together so quick, and it makes enough frozen leftovers for many meals! I love having cubes of it in the freezer to stir into whatever grain dish we are eating. If I make us a pot of quinoa for the week, a few cubes of carrot-chicken puree are great stirred in for baby.
You’re going to need 1 pound of carrots (these are baby carrots from our CSA. I can see my Mom cringing at the dirt on them. I washed them, Mom, I swear). I grabbed 2 chicken breasts for this recipe because it’s what I had in the freezer. In the future, I would use chicken thighs because they have slightly better nutrition and fat (which is good for baby). Side note: see Natalie’s post about crock-pot’ing for baby here. Also, grab some cumin and a mere 1/2 cup of the no-salt vegetable broth you made last week.
Toss it all in the slow cooker. Turn it to high. Come back in 4-5 hours. Stir, stir, stir. The carrots will melt, the chicken will shred. The babe will be very happy.
If your baby is younger and not quite ready for meat shreds, just puree the whole mixture.
I’m loving your baby food requests. Do you have more in mind? Tell me below :)
In case you were wondering if kids will actually eat this food…I leave you with this:
Yields 30 tablespoons (roughly)
5 minPrep Time
4 hrCook Time
4 hr, 5 Total Time
- 1 pound carrots, cleaned and sliced
- 2 large chicken breasts, diced
- 1/2 cup no-salt vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.
- Stir very well.
- Place the lid on and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
- Remove the lid, and stir to shred the chicken. Mash the carrots a bit with a fork.
- If your baby is young, puree the whole mixture first.