When your baby starts solids, it is always tough to think of nourishing finger foods, especially when they don’t have many teeth! This simple recipe can be made with different flavors that your baby will love. My 7-1/2-month old goes crazy for these, and they melt right in his mouth!
As mentioned in our baby’s first food article, I am a big fan of giving fats to babies. Human breast milk contains 48% saturated fat, 33% monounsaturated fat and 16% polyunsaturated fat. What that means is babies are used to digesting fat, so foods rich in that structure are ideal.
Coconut oil and coconut butter contains lauric acid – a saturated fat found in human breast milk that is essential for your baby’s growth and immune system. I am sure to include plenty of this in both of my kid’s diets.
Today’s recipe is so easy to make and your baby will love them! These are perfect if you are trying to find more things your little one can gum because they will melt right in their mouth. They’re also a great portable daycare snack or for on the go! Babies can also practice their pincer grasp with these nutritious little melts!
These are a healthier alternative to Graduates Gerber Yogurt Melts. They’re dairy-free, only have 3(or 4) ingredients, and are loaded with much more nutrition.
Gerber Graduates Strawberry Yogurt Melts Ingredients:
Cultured Reduced Fat Milk, Sugar, Strawberry Puree, Nonfat Dry Milk, Tapioca Starch, Less than 1.5% of: Gelatin, Natural Strawberry Flavor, Lactic Acid Esters of Mono- and Diglycerides, Fruit and Vegetable Juice Colors, Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Vitamin A Acetate.
At first glance, you wouldn’t think the label looks too bad. I am impressed they are using strawberry puree and vegetable juice colors instead of synthetic dyes. Don’t let it fool you, though. Let’s break down what stood out to me the most:
- Cultured Reduced Fat Milk: First off reduced fat milk is not a whole food, and should not be given to babies (or grown-ups). Secondly, the milk is most-likely sourced from cows treated with synthetic growth hormones (rBGH) and fed GMO corn and soy.
- Sugar: The second ingredient is sugar. Baby candy. Need I say more?
- Nonfat Dry Milk: The only thing worse than reduced fat milk is nonfat milk. It is also likely GMO (genetically modified organism) and treated with synthetic growth hormones.
- Natural Strawberry Flavor:This is hidden MSG. Companies know parents would not buy their products if “MSG” was on the label, so they now hide it under this name. Not only does MSG make a product addictive, it can cause or exacerbate brain lesions, neuroendocrine disorders, learning disabilities, adverse reactions, neurodegenerative disease and more in humans.
- Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C): This is a syntheticc vitamin.“Many synthetic vitamins lack the transporters and co-factors associated with naturally-occurring vitamins because they have been “isolated.” The Organic Consumers Association emphasizes that isolated vitamins cannot be used or recognized by the body in the same way as the natural version .”
- Vitamin A Acetate: Synthetic form of Vitamin A, see above.
- Alpha Tocopheryl (Vitamin E): Synthetic form of Vitamin E, see above.
The “yogurt” melts I am going to share today are so easy to make, store great in the freezer and one batch should last you about a month!
I use cute gummy molds sometimes but mostly all you have to do is place the batter in a ziplock bag, nip the corner off, and place little dots on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.
You can switch up the flavors too! Banana, raspberry, blueberry, pear, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg …get creative!
They take only about 10-15 minutes in the freezer to set.
Then they will slide right off into a bowl or an airtight container (I use my glass pyrex with a lid), or ziplock bag for storage.
Banana Coconut Meltaways
- 1/2 cup coconut butter/manna (such as Artisana or Nutiva brand)
- 3 TBSP coconut oil
- 1/2 ripe banana (or 1/4 cup raspberries, blueberries, strawberries pureed)
- optional add-ins: 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp powder infant probiotic
Soften coconut butter and coconut oil (but do not melt completely). To Soften coconut butter you can remove lid and place in microwave or place in very hot water for several minutes and stir with a knife. If coconut oil is not too hard it will soften when placed with the warm coconut butter. Blend in a high speed blender until smooth. Add banana or other fruit and option add-ins. Blend until smooth. Take a plastic freezer bag and nip the corner off. Place batter in and squeeze dots on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (If you have fun molds you can use those too! You just may need to cut them before serving if pieces are big). Place cookie sheet(s) in freezer for about 15 minutes. After they are set place in a freezer-safe bowl with lid or a zip-lock bag. Should last several months in the freezer.
Before serving to baby take out of freezer and let them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, or keep a weeks worth at a time in the fridge.
- Coconut Butter: Coconut butter is the “meat” of the coconut, blended into creamy goodness! It is full of the essential amino acids, calcium and magnesium, that your baby’s body will absorb (unlike synthetic vitamins). It also contains properties that will help kill harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains lauric acid, the same fatty acid found in human breast milk that you baby needs to thrive. It provides amazing nourishment for your child that is easily digested, and will help boost their immune system. Additionally, the medium chained fatty acids found in coconut oil will help your baby to absorb the vitamins and minerals from other foods it is combined with!
- Ripe banana: Bananas are rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, magnesium phosphorous, sulphur, iron and copper. They also contain the digestive enzyme, amylase, something babies do not make enough of (which is why we should avoid giving them grains the as their first food!). Bananas are a perfect as one of baby’s first foods since they already contain the enzyme they need to digest it! Make sure they are ripe, it is much better for their digestion!
If you give these to your little post a pic and mention us on instagram: @freevive #freevivekids we would love to see them enjoying these meltaways!