Jessica Layton feeds her 7-month-old daughter, Charlotte Seiple, at their Red Lion home last week. Jessica says there are few foods her girl won’t
Jessica Layton feeds her 7-month-old daughter, Charlotte Seiple, at their Red Lion home last week. Jessica says there are few foods her girl won't eat. (Bill Kalina photo)

Basiled Beets and Strawberries

1 cup peeled, chunked raw beets (may substitute 4.2 ounces peeled cooked beets)

1/4 cup reserved water (optional)

1 cup hulled, coarsely chopped strawberries

12 basil leaves, coarsely chopped

Make ahead: The puree can be refrigerated in individual containers for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months. From Tucker Yoder, executive chef at the Clifton Inn in Charlottesville, Va.

Steps: Heat a few inches of water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Place the beets in a steamer basket that fits in the saucepan. Cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until the sharp tip of a knife passes easily through the beets. Reserve 1/4 cup of the water from the pan.

Transfer the beets to a food processor, along with the strawberries and basil. Puree until smooth; if desired, add some or all of the reserved water for a looser consistency. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Transfer to airtight containers for storing.

Nutrition Per serv ing: 15 calories, 0 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar

Makes: 1 1/4 cups (7 servings)

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Fruity Fish Fajitas

Flesh of 1 mango, cut into small cubes

1 large red onion, diced (1/4 cup) and sliced (1 cup)

7 ounces cooked corn kernels, drained

8 leaves basil, cut into thin strips

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

1 pound skinless tilapia or cod fillets

Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, cut into slices, for serving

1 cup spinach, stemmed, then coarsely chopped

1/4 cup sour cream, for serving (optional)

Eight 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed

Water

To save time and cut back on the number of ingredients she buys to feed her family, Heather Stouffer, founder of Mom Made Foods in Alexandria, Va., makes purees that always incorporate elements of what she's cooking for diners other than baby.

This dish was inspired by her fish tacos with mango salsa, which are a favorite at her table.

Steps for the adults: Combine half of the mango, the diced red onion, corn, basil, 1 tablespoon of the oil, half of the lime juice and all the cumin in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and with the cayenne pepper, if desired.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the sliced onion and stir to coat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the fish and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, just until it flakes when poked at with a fork. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cooked fish (without any onion) for the baby's portion.

Add the remaining lime juice to the fish-onion mixture; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl for serving. Place three-quarters of the avocado, a small bit of the chopped spinach, the sour cream, if desired, and the warm tortillas, wrapped in a cloth napkin, in separate bowls for serving.

Steps for the baby: Combine the remaining mango, 2 tablespoons of the cooked fish and the remaining chopped spinach in a separate deep mixing cup; use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve the desired consistency.

Use a fork to mash the reserved avocado with a teaspoon or two of water in a small bowl to a smooth, soft consistency. Serve with the pureed fish mixture.

Nutrition per adult serving: 410 calories, 24 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 490 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar

Per baby serving: 15 calories, 1 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar

Makes: 4 adult servings, plus 1 cup puree for baby (6 servings)

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Pineapple- Mango Puree

1 cup chunked mango flesh, preferably red mango

1/2 cup fresh chunked pineapple

6 leaves mint, coarsely chopped

Water (optional)

Looking to highlight tropical flavors, Clifton Inn executive chef Tucker Yoder gravitated toward a ripe pineapple and a blushing mango in the fruit section. Freshly plucked garden mint added a twist to this sunny baby food combination.

Make ahead: The puree can be refrigerated in individual containers for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months.

Steps: Combine the mango, pineapple and mint in a deep mixing cup. Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until smooth. If desired, add water a teaspoon or two of at a time to achieve the desired consistency.

Transfer to airtight containers for storing.

Nutrition: 25 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrates, 0 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar, 0 g protein.

Makes: 1 cup (6 servings)

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Peaches and Cream

6 organic peaches (unpeeled), pitted then cut into large dice

2 to 3 ribs organic celery, diced, or more as needed

3 organic strawberries, hulled, then coarsely chopped

Water

1 cup organic vanilla yogurt

Think of this as a pureed parfait for baby. Celery adds body to the mix; feel free to incorporate more if the puree gets too soupy.

The recipe can be cut in half.

Make ahead: The puree can be refrigerated for up to 1 week in airtight containers or frozen for up to 6 months.

Steps: Combine the peaches, 2 ribs' worth of the celery and all the strawberries in a large, heavy-bottomed pot (not aluminum). Add enough water to cover, then place over medium heat. Once the water begins to bubble, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until tender. Remove from the heat.

Working in batches, use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked fruit and celery to a blender, along with about 1/4 cup total of the cooking liquid and all the yogurt. Puree until smooth and creamy, then transfer to a mixing bowl.

If the consistency is too loose for your liking, dice the remaining celery rib and puree along with some of already-pureed mixture until smooth. Stir into the bowl. If the mixture's still too loose, serve it as soup.

Transfer to airtight containers for storing

Nutrition: 20 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5mg sodium, 4g carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, 4g sugar, 0g protein.

Makes: 6 cups (36 servings)