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Baby's First Holiday Dinner

Sharing the fabulous flavors of the holidays with your new baby is an experience that you’ll cherish. Socializing is part of the fun too, so reserve a seat (high chair) at or near the dining room table so your baby can join in the celebration.

Even though your baby may not be eating all types of table food yet, there are plenty of food choices that can make for a festive and delicious holiday dinner. For your baby’s holiday dinner, stick with foods that you have already introduced. Introducing new foods could cause tummy aches or an allergic reaction—neither of which you want to deal with during this fun time.

RELATED: Smart Bites for Baby Cookbook

Here are a few ideas for serving up your baby a holiday dinner.

6-MONTH-OLDS

Common first food purées that have a holiday flavor:

Sweet potatoes

Squash (this includes pumpkin)

Green peas

Apples

Pears

Recipe:

Apple or Pumpkin "Cutie Pie"

For the “crust,” combine a crushed graham cracker with oatmeal cereal and breast milk (or formula) in a small bowl.

For the filling of a pumpkin cutie pie, combine pumpkin purée (from scratch or 100 percent pumpkin from the can) and apple purée. Spoon this mixture over the cereal crust. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the filling of an apple cutie pie, combine apple purée with a dash of cinnamon. Spoon this mixture over the cereal crust. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

7-TO-12-MONTH-OLDS

Turkey or Roast Beef:

Serve puréed, by combining chopped meat and a little chicken or beef broth in a blender, or serve little chopped pieces as finger food. Use broth or soup stock instead of gravy to purée your baby’s meals. Gravy tends to be high in fat and salt.

One-Dish Casserole Ideas:

Make a yummy casserole by combining vegetables, fruits and meat together to make a one-dish meal. Depending on your baby’s feeding skills, choose the appropriate texture for these meals: smooth purée, lumpy (fork mashed) or finger foods.

Gobble Gobble Casseroles

Peas, mashed potatoes and turkey

Apples, mashed sweet potatoes and turkey

Broccoli, cauliflower and turkey

RELATED: 12 First Foods

Roast Beast Feasts

Green beans, mashed potatoes and roast beef

Corn, green beans and roast beef

Asparagus, mashed potatoes and roast beef

12 MONTHS AND UP

If your baby has been introduced to most foods and is ready to enjoy the feast like a big kid, here are few tips:

Take a quick taste of each food before putting on your child’s plate and decide if the flavor is appropriate for your child’s palate.

Avoid foods that may contain ingredients that are choking hazards.

If your child has not been introduced to high-allergen foods such as nuts or eggs, ask the chef about the ingredients of foods in advance of the meal.

PLANNING YOUR BABY'S MEAL

If the holiday dinner is at your house, you can prepare your little one's meal right alongside the rest of the family's. Simply remove foods you would like for your baby before adding seasonings, butter and salt. Then make the appropriate texture (i.e., purée or mash) for your baby.

RELATED: 10 Foods That Make Great Purées

If you are the guest of another family, you can bring the fruits and vegetable for your baby in a small tote bag. Simply add the main course, such as turkey or roast beef, before the meal begins. If you plan to purée the main course, bring a small amount of broth (chicken of beef) with you in the tote bag.

See more from Cheryl Tallman at Fresh Baby

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