Adventures in Homemade Baby Food – Spaghetti Bolognese

Now that we have reached the one year mark and Andrew has gotten the hang of chewing and is tolerating more textures in his food, I have started feeding him just about anything he is able to manage with only two teeth.  If at all possible I let him try the foods that we are eating, but in the case of long, thin pastas at least some adaptations need to be made.  This is a simple version of a meat sauce that takes little time to prepare, and is a great way to incorporate red meat and veggies into your little one’s diet.  I transferred the cooked spaghetti to a cutting board and used a chef’s knife to cut up the noodles to ensure that there were no pieces too long mixed in to his food.  This seemed to work well.

As you can see, he LOVED this meal!  This was very popular and I have a feeling I’ll be making it often for him. 

Baby’s First Spaghetti Bolognese
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1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
3/4 cup sliced button mushrooms
5 oz. lean ground sirloin
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
A few drops of Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 oz. spaghetti

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saucepan and saute the garlic and onion for 2 minutes.  Add the grated carrot and cook for 2 minutes more.  Add in the remaining oil and saute the mushrooms for about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the ground sirloin in a separate skillet until browned.  Add in the cooked vegetables along with the tomatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and bay leaf.  Cover the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes; remove the bay leaf.  Cook the spaghetti in unsalted water according to the package directions.

Puree the meat sauce using an immersion blender for a smoother texture.  Chop up the spaghetti into short lengths and stir into the sauce.

Source: adapted from Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel

7 Responses

  1. I guess it’s time to give him his own spoon and see what a mess a baby can make with spaghetti! 😉

  2. I will be starting my daughter on solids next month, and I plan on making all of her food. I’ll be marking this for when she is old enough!

  3. My Andrew already has his first set of molars in and still has a problem with long, thin pastas.

    It’s so much fun when they pretty much start eating what you eat. 😀

  4. Awww he looks like he is loving his homemade meal:)

  5. My daughter, who just turned one year old on September 19th, is a spaghetti HOUND! I make a batch of meat sauce once a week and have found that orzo and pastina work perfectly as baby-friendly pastas to make sure they’re not getting more than their little mouths can handle. I often wonder if tastes for certain foods are hereditary as her father is a pasta lover as well… hmm…

    • Hi Erin,
      I agree, small pasta shapes seem like they would be ideal but for some reason Andrew seems to hate the texture of orzo. He does like the chopped up spaghetti, however – weird! Small stars and alphabet have also worked well for us.
      🙂 Annie

  6. My 9 1/2 months old eat the exact same thing – he feeds himself though most of the time, unless it’s soup type stuff/yogurt. Just kind of puts it in his mouth with his hands. I break them up into pieces roughly with a fork, but he handles whole ones as well. He eats most things we eat in fact, he has 3 teeth now. He especially loves eggs in a basket, ever tried to give him those?

    You baby’s much bigger now I imagine, I realize this is an older post.

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