Third Foods: Recipes for Fingers, Spoons, and Plates to Please Your Entire Family

The recipes that follow create meals that will please both your older (Stage Two or Stage One) baby as well as your entire family. Making these recipes will save you valuable time because now, there’s no need to prepare something separate for baby.

Note that many of these recipes use meat, poultry, or fish. Just a reminder: It was once “the rule” that you should never place raw meat into a slow cooker and that the meat should always be seared and partially pan-cooked prior to going into the slow cooker. However, food safety experts now agree that as long as the meat is brought to its proper minimum safe temperature during the cooking process, it is completely safe to cook raw meats in the slow cooker.

Food Safe Temperatures For Meats

The following are the appropriate safe temperatures to which proteins should be cooked:

  • Beef: 160˚F (70˚C)
  • Poultry: 165˚F (75˚C)
  • Pork: 160˚F (70˚C)
  • Fish: 145˚F (65˚C)

Most slow cookers will cook between 190˚F and 300˚F (90˚C and 150˚C). Therefore, as long as the food that you are cooking is brought to the proper temperature, there will be no food safety risks with slow-cooking meat, poultry, and fish.

Browning Meat For Slow Cooking

If you have a little extra time and would like to brown or sear meat (for the golden brown color or to help sear in the juices) before placing it in the slow cooker, the process isn’t difficult:

  1. Rinse the meat and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Season with ground pepper and other seasonings of your choice, if desired.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a skillet.
  4. Place the meat in the skillet and cook or sear; be sure to turn the meat to get an even browning/sear on all sides.

Again, remember that this step is completely optional. And, of course, always wash your hands after handling raw meat, poultry, or fish of any kind.

A seasoning note: You may notice that some of the seasoning measurements seem “small” for the size of the recipe. Because these meals will also be served to your little ones, the seasoning additions are mild. Please feel free to add more should you like a more flavorful dish and feel comfortable that your kiddos will enjoy more flavor, too. Of course, you could also remove the seasonings if you prefer.

Stage Three: Ten Months and Older

Grains and Seeds:  Any. Continue to watch for digestive upsets and allergic reactions.

Fruits:  Any including citrus and strawberries. Continue to watch for digestive upsets and allergic reactions.

Vegetables:  Any, continue to watch for digestive upsets.

Dairy:  yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, cheese (no soft cheeses such as Brie until after twelve months)

Meats/Fish/Protein:  Any, but no shellfish or crustaceans until after twelve months of age or when your baby’s pediatrician tells you that these are okay to feed to your baby.

Herbs & Spices: cinnamon, vanilla, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, mint and any spice that you wish to use, even curry or "hot" spices; use your judgement and moderation.

Stage Three - All Foods On The Table

pumpkin pie wonton snacks for babies, toddlers and adults

Pumpkin Pie Wonton Recipe – Tasty Pumpkin Pie With Less Work

Behold the Pumpkin Pie Wonton recipe! From September to the late Winter, all I think about is the different ways to use squash and pumpkin. Sure it’s great to make these tasty gourds for a veggie side dish or soup […]

Inside Out Apple Crisp – Tasty Stuffed Apple Oatmeal

Delicious Stuffed Apple Oatmeal Crisp Celebrate the Fall season with a new type of Apple Crisp! I called this the “Inside Out” apple crisp. This is a super simple and very tasty multi-purpose recipe.  The best thing about this recipe […]

Mango and Strawberry Mix – Baby Food Outside the Jar!

Colorful Fruit Mix Just looking at the happy sunny colors of this chopped dish makes me smile.  There is always something about the fresh colors of fresh food that just makes me happy. Add Color To Create Interest Color can […]

Third Foods - Meals

Slow Cooker Overnight Apple Oatmeal – Prepared for Baby and Family

Good morning! Are you waking up to a delicious warm, no fuss breakfast that you made last night? If not, you must try this delicious oatmeal recipe that is great for the whole family! This is a favorite recipe for […]

Chicken and Rice Soup – Prepared for Baby and Family

This soup is almost like a casserole, with the same big flavor and creamy goodness. And yes, there are even some chunks of chicken and vegetables that little fingers can pick up and self-feed from a bowl or plate. Winner […]

Butternut Squash Soup Baby and Family

“How many ways can you think up to make us eat butternut squash?” Rest assured my little dears, there are a million and one ways that parents can serve butternut squash to their kids! Slow Cooker Size: 4 to 6 […]

Sweet Potato Rice Apple Meatballs – Third Foods

These little tasty nuggets of flavor have been a staple meal/snack for many years.  They are so good that your kids may want to eat them for breakfast! You can bake them or put them in the slow cooker, either […]