Parenting Female Adda
2 months ago
Lunch recipes for your baby: photos

  • Baby on a highchair eating from a spoon
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    Healthy lunch recipes for your baby

    Once your baby is eating solids three to four times a day, it's easy to run out of ideas of what to make for him. Try these lunch recipes for babies who are between 6 and 12 months old. You can adjust the textures as per your baby’s need.

  • Pureed vegetable khichdi
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    Vegetable khichdi

    You can make this dish with any seasonal vegetables of your choice such as tomato (tamatar), carrot (gajar), peas (matar), beans (frans been), potato (aloo), cauliflower (gobhi), sweet potato (shakarkandi), pumpkin (kaddu), beetroot (chukandar), spinach (paalak).

    • 1/2 cup mixed vegetables chopped
    • 1/4 cup rice
    • 1/4 cup mung bean lentils (moong dal)
    • 1 small onion (pyaaz)  chopped
    • 1 piece garlic (lehsun) finely chopped (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp finely grated ginger (adrak) (optional)
    • 1/4 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds (optional)
    • 1 pinch turmeric (haldi) (optional)
    • 1 tsp finely chopped coriander (hara dhaniya) leaves
    • Water as needed
    • 1 tsp ghee


    Wash the rice and dal in water and soak for 15 minutes.

    In a pressure cooker put ghee and heat on medium flame. Put in cumin seeds and let them crackle. Add in the onions and sauté for a minute. Next add the garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute. Now put all the vegetables and turmeric, and mix them well. Add one cup of water followed by the soaked rice and dal mixture.

    Close the pressure cooker lid and let the steam build. Turn off the heat after 2 whistles. Release the steam. After the steam escapes, open the cooker and allow it to cool. For six month old babies, purée the khichdi in a blender. You don't need to do this for older babies.

    Note: For variation you can add paneer cubes or soya granules. For a non-vegetarian version use chicken stock instead of water and shredded chicken along with the vegetables.
  • An orange bowl with baby cereal on a table
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    Ready-made baby cereal

    Ready-made baby cereals are available online and in stores. Choose the one appropriate for your baby’s age and palate. The powdered cereals can be mixed with expressed breastmilk, formula milk or even with boiled and cooled water and fed as a main meal like lunch.

    Add in puréed vegetables or vegetable and chicken soup for variation.

    If you would like to prepare your own cereal powder, see how to do with our recipe in travel foods for your baby.
  • A bowl of chhola and rice
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    Rice with chickpea (chhole) curry

    Rice is a rich source of carbohydrates, starch, minerals, and dietary fibre. Chickpeas are a good source of protein and also provide other micronutrients

    • 1/2 cup chickpeas (chhole) soaked overnight
    • 1 onion (pyaaz) finely chopped
    • 1 medium sized tomatoes (tamatar) finely chopped
    • 1 tsp ginger-garlic (adrak-lehsun) paste
    • 2 tsp coriander (hara dhaniya) leaves finely chopped
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (dalchini) powder (optional)
    • 2 peppercorns (sabut kali mirch)
    • A pinch of chhola masala
    • 1 medium bay leaf (tej patta)
    • 1 clove (laung)
    • 1/4 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
    • Oil or ghee

    Rinse and soak the chickpeas in enough water to cover them. Leave overnight. Next morning, drain the soaked chickpeas and pressure cook along with 3 cups of water and turmeric for 40-50 minutes on low flame, or until very soft.

    In a pan heat some oil/ghee and put cumin seeds, bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon. Add in onions and fry till golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for about a minute or two. Then add the chopped tomatoes and sauté until the oil starts separating. To this add chhola masala, coriander leaves and the boiled chhole along with its stock.

    Cook for a while until all the spices are well mixed and the chhole turns a little mushy. You could also mash the chhole a bit using a wooden spoon. Remove the whole spices like bay leaf and peppercorns before offering to the baby. Serve with rice.

    Note: Though all the spices used in this recipe can be given from 7 months on, use the ones suitable for your baby’s palate.
  • A serving of sambhar and dosa
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    Dosa with sambhar

    Ingredients for dosa
    • Dosa batter
    • Boiled potatoes (optional)
    • Filtered water as required

    Ingredients for sambhar
    • 1/2 cup toor dal
    • 1/2 cup mixed vegetables like carrots (gajar), beans (beens), gourds (kaddu, lauki), capsicum (Shimla mirch), peas (matar), potatoes (aloo)
    • 1 onion (pyaaz) finely chopped
    • 1 tomatoes (tamatar) finely chopped
    • 1 tsp ginger (adrak) finely chopped
    • 1 tsp garlic (lehsun) finely chopped
    • 1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
    • 1 tsp sambhar masala
    • A pinch asafoetida (hing) - (optional)

    For tempering
    • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai/sarson)
    • 1/2 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
    • 4-5 curry leaves (kadhi patta)
    • Oil

    Method for dosa
    Take the freshly prepared dosa batter and adjust the consistency to a pouring one by adding filtered water. Heat a dosa tawa or a non-stick pan and spread a ladle full of batter on it evenly in circular motions.

    When the dosa starts bubbling spray some oil on top and on the sides. Flip and cook the dosa on the other side. Put a little boiled potato mixture in the middle, roll over the dosa and remove from the flame.

    Method for sambhar
    Put all the sambhar ingredients (except sambhar masala) in a pressure cooker along with 2-3 cups of water, and cook for 3 whistles at low flame.

    For the tempering, heat some oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves to it. When they start spluttering, remove from the flame and add into the sambhar, along with sambhar masala. Serve warm with the freshly made dosa.
  • Rice and lobhia
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    Rice with lobhia

    • 1/2 cup black eyed peas (lobhia) soaked overnight
    • 1 onion (pyaaz) finely chopped
    • 1 tomato (tamatar) finely chopped
    • 1 tsp ginger-garlic (adrak-lehsun) paste
    • 2 tsp coriander (dhaniya) leaves finely chopped
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
    • 1 medium bay leaf (tej patta)
    • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
    • A pinch garam masala (optional)
    • A pinch asafoetida (hing) (optional)
    • Oil or ghee

    Rinse and soak the lobhia in two cups of filtered water overnight. The next morning, drain the water and rinse the soaked lobhia. Pressure cook it with two cups of water and turmeric for 20-30 minutes on a low flame, or until very soft.

    In a pan heat some oil/ghee and put cumin seeds and bay leaf. When they start spluttering, add in onions and fry until golden brown. Now add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for a minute or two, then add the chopped tomatoes and sauté until the oil separates and the tomatoes turn mushy.

    To this mixture add garam masala, coriander leaves and the boiled lobhia along with its stock. Cook for a while until all the spices are mixed nicely and the lobhia turns a little mushy.
    Remove from the flame and mash the mixture slightly using a wooden spoon.

    Remove the bay leaf before serving your baby. Serve with rice.
  • Beetroot parantha
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    Fun chapatis and paranthas

    You can make chapatis or paranthas more interesting and healthier,  for your baby by making them in different colours and shapes. Here's how!

    Knead vegetable purées or dals into the flour. This will give you different colours:
    • Beetroot (chukandar) purée will give you red dough
    • Pumpkin (kaddu) purée or cooked dal with haldi will give you yellow dough
    • Leafy or green vegetable purée will give you green dough. Some leafy vegetables you can use are spinach (palak) and fenugreek leaves (methi) or peas (matar) and broccoli (hari gobhi).
    For a protein boost, you can also knead the flour with cooked and mashed kidney beans (rajma), chickpeas (chhole) or chicken/mutton mince (keema).

    After kneading in the purée or dal of your choice, add as much water is necessary to get a smooth and soft dough.

    After rolling the dough into a chapati, you can cut it into interesting shapes like a star, a heart, a flower or a car before cooking the chapati or parantha on the tava.

    You can also used mixed flours instead of just wholewheat flour.

    Flours that can be mixed with wholewheat flour to make more nutritious chapatis are finger millet (ragi/nachni), maize flour (makkai ka atta), soya bean flour, gram flour/chickpea flour (besan), bulgar wheat flour (lapsi), black millet (bajra), flour of oats (jaee), rice flours and arrowroot flour (araru/paniphal).

  • Sabudana with soft vegetables
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    Sabudana with veggies

    • 1/2 cup sago (sabudana) grains soaked in water for four to six hours
    • 1/2 cup mixed vegetables like carrot (gajar), potato (aloo), peas (matar), green beans (frans bean), capsicum (Shimla mirch)
    • 1 small onion (pyaaz) finely chopped
    • 1 tomato (tamatar) finely chopped
    • 1/2 tsp ginger (adrak) finely chopped or grated
    • 1/2 tsp mustard (rai) seeds
    • 1/2 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
    • 2-3 curry leaves (kadhi patta) chopped
    • 1 tsp oil

    In a pan, heat the oil and put the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. When they crackle, add in the onions. Cook for a while and add ginger and tomatoes.

    Now add the vegetables along with a little water. Close the lid and cook the vegetables until soft. Drain the water from the sabudana and add it to the pan. Mix well and close the lid again. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes at low flame. Serve warm.
  • Vegetable uttapam
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    Vegetable uttapam

    • 2 cups dosa batter
    • 1/2 an onion (pyaaz) finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup tomato (pyaaz) finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup of finely chopped capsicum (Shimla mirch),  carrots (gajar) and cabbage (patta gobhi)
    • 1 tsp ginger (adrak) grated
    • Coriander leaves (dhaniya patta) for garnishing
    • Ghee or butter or oil, as required

    Prepare the batter but keep the consistency a little thicker than dosa batter. Mix the chopped onions, ginger, coriander leaves and other vegetables in a bowl.

    Heat a griddle or non-stick tava. Take a ladle full of uttapam batter and spread it in circular motions on the tava keeping it thicker than a dosa. Top it with the vegetables mixture.

    Cook it on low flame until the sides change their colour. Sprinkle some oil on sides and flip on to the other side. Cook on the other side until golden brown and well cooked.

    Serve with coconut chutney or sambhar, or by itself. Cut into bite sized pieces for your baby so she can eat it on her own.
  • Rice with fish curry
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    Rice with fish curry

    Fish is an excellent source of protein, and healthy fats. Try this yummy fish curry for your baby.

    • 2 pieces of fish carefully deboned and cooked
    • 1 tsp panch phoran
    • 1 small onion (pyaaz) finely chopped
    • 1 tsp ginger and garlic (adrak-lehsun) paste
    • 1 small tomato (tamatar) finely chopped
    • 1 potato (aloo) thinly sliced
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi)
    • 1 tsp coriander (dhaniya) leaves finely chopped
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 tsp oil (preferably mustard oil, but can use some other oil as well)

    In a pan, heat a little oil, add the panch phoran and let it splutter. Add onions and fry until light brown, add the ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell leaves. Next add the tomatoes. Cook them till they turn mushy and the oil separates.

    Now add potatoes and turmeric. Sauté them with the spices for about a minute, and then add one cup of water. Cover the lid and cook the potatoes for 10 minutes or until soft.

    Now add the de-boned fish pieces, coriander leaves, and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Serve with rice with or without added vegetables.

    Note: It is important to make sure that the fish is de-boned, well cooked, and mashed thoroughly before serving it to your baby to prevent choking.
  • Mince meat and pea rice
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    Keema matar pulao

    This wholesome dish is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, iron, B vitamins and vitamin C.

    • 100g lamb/chicken mince (keema)
    • 1/2 cup rice
    • 1/4 cup peas (matar)
    • 1 onion (pyaaz) finely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic (lehsun) finely grated
    • 1 inch piece ginger (adrak) finely grated
    • Pinch of cinnamon (dalchini) powder (optional)
    • Pinch of cumin (jeera) powder
    • 1 tbsp fresh coriander (hara dhaniya) chopped
    • 1 tsp oil
    • Water as needed


    Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes till the onion is soft. Add the minced meat, cumin powder, cinnamon powder and ginger and fry for about five minutes until the meat turns brown and is no longer pink.

    Put a little water and cook for another five minutes until the mince meat is tender. Next add water, peas and rice and cook until the rice and meat are well cooked. Remove from the flame and let it stand for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve warm with fresh curd.

    These baby recipes have been put together with the help of Dr Shaveta Kaushal, a pharmacologist with a passion for creating healthy and nutritious meals for babies.
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