Photo by Leigh Ann Chategnier

Cuisine: Baby bites

When I became pregnant with my son Parks, I knew I would be making all of his food, no questions. The thought of tantalizing his tiny taste buds with new flavors and textures made me so excited! I couldn’t wait to share my love of real food with him. Instilling healthy eating habits from an early age has always been a top priority to me, and, with that, I also wanted his food to be packed full of flavor.

Planning and preparation are a huge part of making homemade baby food, but it can be done! In my new cookbook, First Bites: Homemade, Nourishing Recipes from Baby Spoonfuls to Toddler Treats, I show parents how to take their babies on a journey of learning to love food—healthy food—right from the start. From the first bite they taste up until they are at the dinner table eating homemade meals that were prepared for the whole family, my hope is that you will end up with a toddler who has a seasoned palate for good, healthy food. It is so fun to watch a baby’s eyes light up with delight when they taste something delicious that was made for them with love.


Persimmons are an abundant source of vitamins B6, C and A and are such a great addition to your baby’s diet. Not only is the color of this smoothie amazing, but it’s also an immune-boosting powerhouse with the addition of fresh ginger!
1 persimmon, peeled
2 ripe apricots, pitted and peeled
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut
1⁄2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.



With three different flavor combinations, this is a breakfast packed full of good ingredients that your babe will never tire of.
Pumpkin Pancakes
1 egg
1 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. pumpkin purée
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
1⁄4 tsp. cinnamon
Apple Banana Pancakes
1 egg
1 tbsp. Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1⁄4 mashed banana
1⁄4 tsp. cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
Blueberry Pancakes
1 egg
12 blueberries
2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
1⁄4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a little butter or coconut oil to pan. Place batter in skillet in 4 equal portions. Cook on 1 side until top of pancake has bubbles in it, about 3 to 5 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side. Serve with Greek yogurt, bananas or maple syrup.
Hint: Make extras and freeze for super-easy breakfasts on busy mornings!

Leigh Ann Chatagnier blogs about food, life and love at Her second cookbook, First Bites, was released September 5.