The Ultimate Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

This Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce contains over five different vegetables, yet your little ones will never even know it. It’s the perfect base for a weeknight meal the entire family will love, plus it’s simple to make and freezer-friendly!A bowl of whole wheat penne loaded with Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce, the perfect family-friendly freezer meal!

If you’re sick of struggling to get your toddler to eat anything of nutritional value, stuck in a rut with what to make for your family’s picky palates, or just ready to mix up your dinner game, this Ultimate Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce recipe is for you!

You’re going to love that this recipe is packed with nutritional value, comes together with almost no waste, can be made well in advance AND makes plenty to cover at least two dinners for your family. Every mama’s favorite kind of recipe!

Why Hide Veggies in Your Food?

While it’s important to remember to continuously offer your baby or toddler vegetables in their truest form, there are several arguments to be made for hiding them in recipes whenever you can:

Textural Issues of Whole Veggies

First, it introduces your child (or hey, even your picky spouse) to a new flavor or flavors even if he or she can’t get past certain textural issues with the vegetables in their pure form. The texture issue is a real one for many picky kids and this is a great way to overcome it!

Increased Nutritional Value

Secondly, sneaking veggies into a recipe your family already loves is a fantastic way to up its nutritional value. Many little ones love foods like muffins, pizza and pasta, so why not make them healthier versions and get some extra nutrients in in the meantime?

Benefits the Entire Family

One of the biggest things I stress to my clients and course students is the importance of eating together as a family and everyone eating the same thing. If you’re always thinking of ways to add more veggies into what you’re making for breakfast, lunch or dinner, the entire family will benefit from the increased nutritional value.

Food Segue

Hiding veggies in foods your little one(s) already love is also a great way to begin a food segue. This is a gradual technique used for feeding babies and toddlers that eventually gets them to like a certain food in its purest form. You can read more about how to do a food segue with your baby or toddler here.

A dish of pasta topped with Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce.

Tips for Hiding Veggies in Food

I know what you’re thinking: But where do I start when it comes to hiding veggies in all my favorite recipes? Well, this Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce is a great start, but here are some general guidelines you can follow when you’re experimenting with adding veggies to other types of recipes:

Match Colors and Shapes

Think of a vegetable that will compliment a food that your little one already loves – and looks like it, too! For example, pair diced beets with berries, or kiwi with avocado.

Make It Small

One of the best ways to slowly start introducing a vegetable to your baby or toddler is to do it in small doses and then gradually increase the amount. Shredded or puréeing vegetables are perfect ways to work them into the mix.

Take Advantage of What Your Little One Already Likes

If your babe is already obsessed with sweet potato, slowly start working some butternut squash into the mix. If he or she can’t get enough of muffins or pancakes, play around with the different ways you can up their nutritional value the next time you make them. Capitalize on what already works!

An overhead shot of a bowl of Hidden Veggie Pasta.

How to Make Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

The simple answer: throw everything together in a big saucepan or Dutch oven, let it simmer away, then purée!

Once you have all of the ingredients prepped, this recipe involves almost no hands-on time. I also love that this recipe has almost no waste, we use a full cans or cartons of everything, so you don’t have to worry about half a carton of broth sitting unused in your fridge for weeks to come.

Freezing Your Pasta Sauce

 If your making this recipe in advance and plan to serve it later (which you totally should!) follow these tips for storing:

  • Once the sauce has cooled down slightly, transfer it to Mason jars or a resealable plastic bag
  • Let it cool completely
  • Label it (and be sure to include the date you made it)
  • Freeze until ready to use!

Different Ways to Serve Your Sauce

News flash: This red sauce isn’t just for pasta! Here is a list of all of the different ways you can use up your batch of sauce:

Pasta
Pizza
Lasagna
BAKED chicken
Egg bake
stirred into Polenta
Eggplant Parmesan
Chili
Stuffed peppers/spaghetti squash
Minestrone or other tomato-based soups
As a dipping sauce for grilled cheese

Now, who’s ready to get cooking??

If you try this recipe, be sure to rate it and leave a comment below!

Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

This Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce is great for all ages and is the perfect base for a weeknight family meal. It's freezer-friendly and makes a ton so you'll always have a healthy dinner option on hand. It's also loaded with more than five different veggies!

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: baby-friendly, baby-led weaning, family-friendly, freezer-friendly, Italian, kid-friendly, make-ahead, pasta, red sauce, toddler, vegetables
Servings: 20 people
Calories: 40 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium roasted sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning Salt-free for young babes
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 32-ounce carton chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste Minimize for young babes
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once oil is heated, add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until onion starts to become fragrant and translucent.

  2. Add garlic, carrot, bell pepper, zucchini and sweet potato and stir to combine. Allow to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes. Add Italian seasoning and stir to combine.

  3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth, and once again stir to combine. Bring to a low boil (very gently bubbling), then turn off heat.

  4. Transfer sauce to a blender in two batches. You may need to use a mixing bowl to hold some of the extra soup while you are blending. Blend until smooth, then return to the original saucepan or Dutch oven on low heat.

  5. Season with salt and pepper as needed, but if you will be serving this to young babes, minimize the salt as much as possible.

Recipe Notes

TO FREEZE: Let sauce come to room temperature, then transfer to Mason jars with lids, label (including date made) and freeze.

The Easiest Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups

These Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups are baby- and toddler-approved, but great for the whole family! Make them in advance and stick them in the freezer to have a healthy, nutritious breakfast ready to go on busy mornings.

A cooling rack of freshly baked Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal Cups.

I don’t know about you, but our toddler always wakes up hungry and ready to eat. It seems like we can barely get a clean diaper on her before she’s begging “Food! Food!” Breakfast also so happens to be her favorite meal of the day, and she eats far more in the morning than she does for lunch and dinner, so we always try to have healthy, quick options on hand for her.

We’ve been big fans of baked oatmeal in our household for a while now. I love that it’s jam-packed with nutrients (especially with the right mix-ins) and that it’s handheld, resulting in much less of a mess than classic or even overnight oats make. While traditional baked oatmeals (in baking pans or dishes) are great, turning your baked oatmeal into single-serving cups ups the convenience factor and makes it really easy to only defrost what you need.

Here’s how this easy and tasty recipe is done!

What You Need

The good news is – not much! Most of the ingredients you’ll be using you’ll already have on hand, especially if you’re making this in the fall.

Rolled oats

I love getting the big bags from Trader Joe’s (these ones also happen to be gluten-free if you need that.)

Pumpkin purée

Buy the can OR make your own with this super simple homemade pumpkin purée recipe!

An apple
Milk

Any kind!

An egg
Maple syrup

And pantry staples like…

Baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice

As far as equipment, you’ll just need a cupcake pan (we love these silicone ones *affiliate link*), a couple of bowls, a couple of measuring cups, and a whisk!

An overhead shot of Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups cooling on a rack.

How to Make Baked Oatmeal Cups

Once you get the basic process of these Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups down, you’ll be able to create tons of different variations.

Simply whisk together the dry ingredients, whisk together the wet ingredients, combine the two, and bake. Easy as that!

Other ideas for flavor combinations might be:

Banana and chocolate chip
Sweet potato and orange
Zucchini and raisin
Peanut butter and apple
Cinnamon and berry
Vanilla and peach

The possibilities are endless.

A straight-on look at a freshly baked batch of Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal Cups.

How to Store Baked Oatmeal Cups

Once the cups are baked and cooled, place them in a gallon-size Ziploc and freeze for up to three months.

When you’re ready to serve, simply microwave however many you need for 30 seconds to a minute (maybe more if you’re defrosting a bunch at once.)

Just like my Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins or my Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Cookies, these cups are a great on-the-go option for busy mornings, or even a great travel snack when you’re on the road. 

Read on for the recipe and, if you want to learn more of my tips and tricks for feeding toddlers, be sure you’re signed up for my weekly newsletter!

A stack of Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups leaning against a pitcher of milk.

Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

These Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups are baby- and toddler-approved, but great for the whole family! Make them in advance and stick them in the freezer to have a healthy, nutritious breakfast ready to go on busy mornings.

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: after-school, apple, baby-friendly, baby-led weaning, breakfast, freezer-friendly, meal prep, oatmeal, pumpkin, toddler
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 114 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of your choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (Use canned or follow the link in the Recipe Notes to make your own)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup diced apple
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cupcake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, egg and vanilla.

  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Whisk in diced apple.

  5. Using your 1/4 cup measure, scoop mixture into prepared cupcake pan.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until oatmeal is set.

  7. Let cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan. Let cool completely before transferring to Ziploc for freezer storage.

Recipe Notes

Here's the recipe for homemade pumpkin purée!

Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes That Even Your Little One Will Love!

These Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes take a classic Sloppy Joe recipe and turn it into something the whole family – even your youngest eaters – will love. Sloppy Joe filling is tucked into fluffy crescent cups for a neater, handheld version of the popular weeknight dinner.

If you have questions about starting solid foods, consult a physician or health care provider.

An overhead shot of Not-So-Sloppy Joes laid out on a cooling rack.

This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

I hope you’re ready for an easy weeknight dinner that the entire family is going to love, because these Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes totally fit the bill. They’re quick, easy, and so tasty you won’t even know they’re made specifically for tiny appetites.

That’s right, I’m thrilled to be partnering with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. to bring you this baby-led weaning-friendly recipe and share all of the amazing benefits of introducing beef as a first food to your babes.

By now you likely know what a huge proponent I am of the baby-led weaning method, which encourages the introduction of ALL foods in their most natural form starting from very early on in a child’s solid food journey. With BLW, it’s recommended that foods like peanut butter, eggs, dairy, and, yes, beef are all introduced before a child turns one in order to expand their palates and set them up for optimal physical and cognitive development.

You can read more about the baby-led weaning method here. In the meantime, let’s dig into some of nutrition benefits of beef, and how it lends itself to these important developmental milestones.

A close-up shot of "Not-So-Sloppy" Joes in their baking pan.

Nutritional Benefits of Beef for Babies

Beef contains high-quality protein, iron and zinc, all of which are essential nutrients for a child’s healthy growth and development. With more than ten essential nutrients, beef can assist in improved recall skills and reasoning abilities, and also support brain health and optimal cognitive development. You can read more about the nutritional benefits of beef as a first food on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

While beef purées are certainly an option for ensuring your baby receives all of these benefits, I wanted to create a recipe with beef in one of its more natural forms for all of my baby-led weaning fans out there. So how did I create a Sloppy Joe recipe that’s baby-led weaning approved?

A "Not-So-Sloppy" Joe on a kids' plate with zucchini and tomato salad.

 

Let me tell you!

Ground Beef Sloppy Joes That are Baby-Led Weaning Approved

If you’re not too familiar with baby-led weaning, there are a few things to pay special attention to when offering foods to your little one:

CHEWING AND SWALLOWING ABILITY

When presenting food to a babe who’s just starting to eat, you want to make sure it’s appropriate for his or her current chewing and swallowing abilities. Ground beef – which I used for these Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes – is a great option as it’s already in small pieces and easy to chew. It’s even “gummable” for babies who may not have many (or any) teeth yet.

SALT

Sodium deserves some special attention when it comes to cooking for your little one. While adults can consume between 1,500-2,300 mg of sodium a day, babies and toddlers should be consuming much less, between 400-800 mg per day. That’s why you won’t see any added salt in this recipe, however, if you feel you want more salt in your Sloppy Joe mixture, feel free to set some “joe” mix aside for your baby and then season the rest as you wish.

SUGAR

While many traditional Sloppy Joe recipes use brown sugar as a sweetener, I try to steer away from pure sugar as much as possible when cooking for new eaters. To sweeten up the sauce a little bit, I recommend adding just enough maple syrup to tone down the acidity of the tomatoes.

THE MESS

If there’s one thing anyone who’s already gone through baby-led weaning can attest to, it’s that it makes a huge mess! In BLW, babies are encouraged to practice self-feeding from the very beginning, so things definitely don’t stay neat and tidy. The great thing about this Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joe recipe is that the mess of the Joe filling will be at least somewhat contained by those fluffy crescent cups, and babies won’t even need to wield a fork to get to the good stuff.

"Not-So-Sloppy" Joes cooling on a rack, surrounded by a blue and white checked napkin.

While the nutrients in beef offer an ample amount of benefits, tomatoes and bell peppers give the recipe an extra dose of nutrition. With less mess and babies’ nutritional needs in mind, these “Not-So-Sloppy” Joe’s will be the perfect addition to your weeknight dinner rotation, not to mention they’ll be enjoyed by the whole family!

For more great family recipes and additional information about the health benefits of beef, be sure to check out BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

I’d love to hear all about your BLW adventures with beef in the comments below!

Ground Beef "Not-So-Sloppy" Joes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
42 mins
 

These Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes take a classic Sloppy Joe recipe and turn it into something the whole family - even your youngest eaters - will love. Sloppy Joe filling is tucked into fluffy crescent cups for a neater, handheld version of the popular weeknight dinner.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baby-friendly, baby-led weaning, beef, entree, kid-friendly, main course, weeknight
Servings: 24 cups
Calories: 212 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons coco aminos
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste (for adults)
  • 3 cans refrigerated crescent dough (enough dough for 3 dozen crescents)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven according to crescent dough package directions. Spray cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  2. Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until just translucent, about 3 minutes, then add bell peppers. Once bell peppers begin to soften, add Ground Beef. Stir in pan until it begins to brown, then add garlic powder and ground mustard. Continue stirring until most of the meat is browned.

  3. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to pan and stir until combined, then stir in the coconut aminos, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. If you want to add some salt for the adults and older kids in the family, now’s the time to do it, but go as light as you can. Turn the mixture down to low and let it simmer while you prepare the crescent cups.

  4. Unroll the crescent dough from its package and separate each triangle. Cut the top off of each triangle and then reattach it to the side to make a rectangle (as shown in the photos). Press rectangles one by one into the cupcake molds.

  5. Take a tablespoon measure and scoop 1-2 tablespoons into each crescent cup. Place cupcake pans in preheated oven and bake according to the crescent package directions (typically at around 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes), or until golden. Leave in pan until cool enough to touch, then gently remove, using a butter knife to gently ease them out if necessary.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Low

How to Manage the Baby-Led Weaning Mess

Want to try baby-led weaning but nervous about the mess? These tips and products will help you streamline the clean-up process and make baby-led weaning a fun and enjoyable process or everyone.

Learn how to manage the baby-led weaning mess!
*This post contains affiliate links.

As new moms, it can be awfully difficult to condone any sort of activity for our little one that will result in yet another mess. We’re all stretched so thin as it is, juggling too many responsibilities at once and trying to fit as much as we can into our day.

If you’re at all familiar with baby-led weaning (and if you’re not, click here), you know that it comes with its fair share of messes. Given the load us mamas are already bearing, this can be a huge drawback when it comes to deciding how we want to introduce solid foods to our little one. But it doesn’t have to be!

We have been so happy with the results of baby-led weaning for our little one that I’ll happily say it was well worth every single mess we had to clean up. That being said, we did learn a thing or two in the process about efficient clean-up, and this is what I’m sharing with you today.

Even if you didn’t go the baby-led weaning route, you’ve likely faced (or will be likely to face) a huge mealtime clean-up at some point in time, and these tips will help you too!

A toddler self-feeding herself a smoothie bowl in her high chair.

I’ve got a ton of other resources for baby-led weaning here on the blog, but I’ll just quickly explain WHY things get extra-messy with BLW and then we’ll get on to my (very) well-tested tips and tricks for cleaning.

WHY IS BABY-LED WEANING SO MESSY?

One of the main reasons baby-led weaning is so messy is because it highly encourages your child to start feeding him- or herself from the get-go. This includes grabbing onto finger foods, using utensils, and sipping from a cup from a very early age. The thought is that this enables your little one to better explore his or her food and learn to be self-sufficient. It also allows you to enjoy your meal at the same time as them.

As you can imagine, there’s a bit of a learning curve involved. It takes some time for your little one to get the hang of things, which can lead to some huge messes in the meantime.

Once you read these tips and get into a routine, clean-up will become a snap and it will no longer be something you dread. Let’s get into it!

TOP TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MANAGING THE BLW MESS

1. Invest in a “splat mat”

This is by far one of the best investments we made when embarking on our baby-led weaning journey with our little one. There are a ton of “splat mats” out there, which are simply plastic floor tarps that you place under your baby’s highchair to catch food and liquids. Not only do splat mats help protect your floors, they’re easy to wipe up and can just be removed and shaken out if there are only loose crumbs. My main hesitancy in getting a splat mat was that I wouldn’t be able to find one that would fit in with our decor (we have a huge open floor plan so all of our common area rooms run together) but I managed to find a not-so-offensive clear one like this that we have absolutely loved. There are a ton of inexpensive options out there, though, so you’re sure to find one that works for you.

2. Get a few full-coverage, easy-to-clean bibs

Bibs are another thing that can be a game-changer when it comes to dealing with the baby-led weaning mess. A lot of BLW moms love these silicone ones with the catch-all at the bottom, but I fell in love with these super cute Bapron Baby aprons that are easy to clean and come in tons of fun prints (not to mention they’re about as full-coverage as you can get.) Be sure to stock up on a few, though, because you’ll want to rinse them out or run them through the wash when they get messy.

3. Don’t be afraid to strip your chid down

Afraid the after-effects of a meal are going to completely ruin your little one’s outfit? Don’t be afraid to strip them down! Sure, you may want to avoid this when you’re out in public, but it’s an easy thing to do when you’re in the comfort of your own home. I still do this with my toddler when I know something she’s eating – I’m looking at you, popsicles! – is going to be particularly messy.

4. Get an easy-to-clean highchair

Let me tell you, those cushion-y, complicated highchairs are a nightmare to clean. If you don’t want to be disassembling and running a load of laundry after every meal, get an easy-to-clean highchair! After a ton of research, we purchased the Ikea Antilop highchair for our little one and were incredibly happy with it. I had even ordered the cushion insert you can get for it, but stopped using it after about a week because it was a pain to clean. The Antilop is not only super-easy to wipe down after every meal, it’s super cheap at less than $30 (if you purchase from Ikea). Can’t go wrong with that!

5. Stock up on microfiber cloths

I don’t know about you, but I hate making unnecessary waste. It only took us a few meals of going through our fair share of paper towels before I decided to stock up on a ton of microfiber cloths to use when cleaning up the BLW mess. These are great for not only cleaning the eating area, but also your little one’s face and hands (and anywhere else on their body that the mess may have reached.)  We probably have about 15 cloths in a folded stack in our kitchen that we cycle through. Simply throw any dirty ones in the wash anytime you’re doing a load!

6. Use eco-friendly disinfecting wipes

As much as I like minimizing waste, there are times when a microfiber cloth just won’t cut it. When this happens, we reach for our Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes. I love that these are still eco-friendly and safe for our babe as well. We use them to do a deeper clean on the highchair and to wipe down the splat mat on a regular basis.

7. Get a dog

Okay, I know you’re probably not going to go out and get a dog JUST for this reason, but I’d be lying if I said our pup didn’t make our baby-led weaning clean-up process a whole lot easier. Of course, we always monitor what’s on the ground before letting her eat (so she doesn’t eat anything that might make her sick) AND we make her wait to eat until after our little one is done. This helps prevent her from begging at the table and interrupting our – and our little one’s – meal. If you have a dog already, see if he or she might be willing to help pitch in with the cleaning! (I’m going to venture to say they’ll be more than happy to oblige.)

Dogs are a great way to manage the baby-led weaning mess!

So there you have it! My top tips and tricks for managing the baby-led weaning mess. I’d love to hear if you have any tips of your own that have been useful in the clean-up process. Let me know in the comments below!

Top 5 Favorite Foods for 10-Month-Olds

Here is a list of some favorite foods for 10-month-olds on their baby-led weaning journey, including recipes and directions for how to prepare each one!

Title graphic for 5 favorite foods for 10-month-olds.

I’m sure by now you’re a pro at feeding your little one and baby-led weaning in general, but I know we all could use some inspiration here and there. You know by now some of the best foods for 6- and 8-month-olds, but here are some new things to try with your 10-month-old.

#1 PEANUT BUTTER TOAST, FRENCH TOAST, OR TOAST OF ANY KIND

I don’t think I have yet to meet a 10-month-old who doesn’t like some sort of toast. I think there’s something about bread loaded with delicious toppings (that, of course, can be licked off) that gets a babe excited. You 10-month-old is now used to a variety of foods, and toast can be an exciting upgrade for them as you mesh more than one food together in a meal for him or her. For everyday peanut butter toast, we love Dave’s Killer Bread. We’re also very careful to buy peanut butter that ONLY has peanuts as its ingredients. There are a ton of peanut butters out there that have things like sugar and hydrogenated oils, so be sure you’re reading ingredient lists (Santa Cruz Organics and Trader Joe’s are two of our favorite “clean” brands). [Affiliate links!] Also, be sure you’ve gone through the recommended steps for introducing allergens (which you can learn more about in this bookaffiliate link) before introducing peanut butter to your little one.

Of course, we can’t forget about French toast. It’s easy to lose sight of the nutrients in this classic breakfast, but this recipe for High-Protein Lemon Ricotta French Toast will keep your little one happy for hours!

Two slices of lemon ricotta French toast are stacked on a plate, topped with a pat of butter and drizzled with syrup.

#2 SCRAMBLED EGGS

This is another food you’ll want to be sure you follow the proper introduction strategy for, but once you’ve ruled out an allergy scrambled eggs are a great, protein-packed food for your little one. When we’re not making our meal prep egg cups, we simply scramble Raia an egg in a little bit of high-quality butter (like Kerrygold) and add a touch of cheese (her favorite) and sometimes some baby kale and mushrooms. Eggs are another great way to sneak in some extra veggies for your little one!

A stack of Fiesta Egg Muffins - a great make-ahead snack for 10-month-olds!

#3 SHRIMP

I know I’m recommending a lot of common allergens here, but if you’re following baby-led weaning, you should have a good sense of what your baby is or isn’t allergic to by now. (If you’re not familiar with baby-led weaning, the general premise is to introduce allergens early and often, but one at a time so you know exactly what your little is allergic to if he or she has a reaction.) Raia loved shrimp from an early age. We simply grilled it up on the barbecue with some salt-free garlic-herb seasoning [affiliate link] and then cut it up into bite-size pieces for her. We mostly cut it up because she had no teeth, so if your little one teethes early feel free to try serving it to them whole.

A pile of cooked shrimp on top of a bed of greens. Shrimp is a great food for 10-month-olds as long as they're not allergic!

#4 TRI-TIP OR OTHER THINLY SLICED STEAK/GROUND BEEF

Yes, I know what you’re thinking – BEEF?? But, you guys, Raia loved it soooooo much at this age. And yes, she still had no teeth. Hear me out. Beef is a great source of iron for little ones, and we all know it’s also very high in protein. My husband is a master at cooking tri-tip on the grill, so we simply sliced that up thinly and gave it to her to gnaw on. If cooking tri-tip or another large cut of beef intimidates you, feel free to introduce your little one to ground beef or even baby-size sliders!

A cast iron dish filled with a bed of lettuce and topped with mushroom-beef sliders.

#5 BROCCOLI

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit wary of introducing broccoli to Raia, mainly because she didn’t have any teeth at this point. My solution was to cut the florets up into very small pieces, and make sure I gave them a good roast in the oven. Much like other vegetables I’d prep for Raia at this age, I simply dressed them with olive oil and some seasoning (garlic powder, lemon juice and ground coriander are some favorites) and roasted them up in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes. I also occasionally steamed the broccoli on the stovetop, but I find roasting lends much more flavor.

A head of broccoli with some chopped florets in the background.

And there you have it! I hope this post was helpful in giving you some ideas and preparation tips for foods for 10-month-olds. If I left anything out, I’d love for you to list it in the comments below!