Peanuts and tree nuts are tricky with babies. We worry about choking hazards and have heard horror stories about nut allergies. But with recent studies suggesting that introducing peanuts early on (at 6 months when babies start solid foods) can help prevent peanut allergies, it’s bound to make a new mom feel a bit nutty about how and when to give our little ones these protein-filled morsels.
If you have food allergies in your family or have concerns about nuts, talk to your pediatrician first. And if you’re ready to whip up some easy, deliciously nutty treats, read on for 9 recipes for purees, muffins and more packed with peanuts, walnuts, almonds and other nuts.
1. Apple Walnut Puree: You can mix finely chopped nuts into any baby puree, but this recipe comes out particularly nice. Steam apples and walnuts, and then puree in a food processor with cinnamon. Get the recipe from Weelicious.
2. Nut Butter Baby Cereal: Mix 1/2 teaspoon nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew work well) with baby rice or oatmeal cereal to add more flavor and nutrition to this basic first food.
3. Creamy Dreamy Peanut Milk Smoothie: Bananas and peanut butter make for a classic smoothie. This variation from the National Peanut Board uses peanut milk and ups the nutritional value with wheat germ and frozen cauliflower.
Photo: Smart Nutrition
4. Almond Flour Homemade Baby Biscuits: These small cookies are easy for babies to pick up and nibble on. They contain nutrient-rich ingredients such as banana (or applesauce), egg yolks, iron-fortified infant cereal and almond flour. Get the recipe from Smart Nutrition.
5. Peanut Butter Banana Muffins: Give your baby a yummy, peanut-y finger food with this muffin recipe featuring peanut butter, carrot puree, mashed bananas and whole wheat flour. Get the recipe from The Tasty Cheapskate.
photo: Your Kids Table
6. Asian Peanut Sauce: Create a non-spicy peanut sauce you can drizzle on rice or noodles. And when your child gets older, use it as a dip for veggies like carrot sticks, celery or steamed broccoli. Get the recipe at Your Kids Table.
7. Super Nutty Butternut Squash Puree: Walnuts add healthy fats and rich flavor to squash puree. Steam and puree 1 cup chopped butternut squash, 3 peeled and chopped carrots and 1 chopped apple. Then, blend in 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
photo: Feel Great in 8
8. 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Cookies: This easy-peasy recipe combines bananas, oats and natural peanut butter (or peanut butter powder) for a delicious, healthy cookie. Add chocolate chips, raisins, cinnamon or coconut for additional flavor. Get the recipe from Feel Great in 8.
9. Paleo Cashew Pancakes: Grain free and filled with goodness, these pancakes are sure to be a hit with a list of ingredients including cashew meal, cinnamon, eggs, coconut milk and coconut oil. Find the full recipe on Everyday Maven.