6 Thanksgiving Foods That Make Great Meals For Baby

Make a dinner the whole family can be thankful for.
ByElena Donovan Mauer
Contributing Writer
November 20, 2019
Family gathering around Thanksgiving dinner table
Image: Bonnin Studio

It’s Thanksgiving time! The holiday revolves around friends and family (and tasty food), so of course you want to involve baby in the festivities. If baby is ready to start eating solids, consider letting your little one try a bit of your special meal—there are a bunch of traditional Thanksgiving foods that make perfect baby purees and finger foods. (Plus, that means less prep work for you!) Here are some of our favorites.

1. Sweet Potatoes

As much as they are a Thanksgiving staple, cooked sweet potatoes are also a classic ingredient for baby food: They’re soft and easy for gums to mash, and they’re rich in beta-carotene, which is good for baby’s vision, skin, growth and immune system. There are a few different ways you can prepare them for baby—head here for step-by-step instructions.

2. Pumpkin

Before you fill your pie, put aside some pumpkin for baby. It’s rich in beta carotene and has protein and potassium too. Ideally, you want to use fresh pumpkin to bake and puree for baby, but if you’re getting it out of a can, that’s fine too. Just double check that you’re not serving “pumpkin pie mix,” which can have added sugar, starch and other stuff you probably don’t want your little one to have.

3. Apples

Same goes if you’re making an apple pie! Apples pack punches of vitamin C and fiber, and they taste great too. Bake or steam some apples for baby and make them into applesauce. Most doctors agree they’re great as one of baby’s first solid foods.

4. Green Beans

What’s Thanksgiving without green bean casserole? Good news: Green beans are also approved for early eaters. These greens have vitamin C, iron, potassium, calcium and more. They’re also easy to prepare: Just steam and then puree (just make sure the skins get completely mushed up—they can be stubborn!).

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5. Squash

Butternut and acorn squashes are two of our favorite baby foods. Cut them in half, bake, scoop and puree (or cut into pieces, if your kid is older). They make the house smell amazing! Plus, they’ve got fiber, protein, potassium and calcium.

6. Turkey

Yup, believe it or not, many pediatricians are now recommending introducing meats into baby’s diet fairly early, around 8 months or so. (Just ask your doctor first.) Turkey is rich in protein and iron (if it’s dark meat). It can be pureed with a little water or fruit, or chopped into tiny pieces for a toddler who’s already a good chewer.

Updated November 2019

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