When babies are able to move from pureed fruits and vegetables to combined foods, some parents are uncomfortable with the idea of feeding their lil one jarred meats with long shelf lives.

At the same time, moms may not think they have the time to make their own food on a daily basis. But, Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Baby Purees ($10.20), inspires some to create the time.

Known as the British Martha Stewart for children, Karmel was a musician until she lost her first baby to a rare disease. When her second child turned into a poor eater, she was desperate to find foods that her son would eat. Unimpressed by tasteless jarred food, Karmel began developing her own recipes.

Most of the recipes which include garlic, onion and spices take less than a half of an hour to make and can be portioned out for several meals. Simply take the extra and place it in ice cube trays to freeze. Then move it to freezer bags to defrost as needed.
For two of Annabel Karmel's recipes,

Chicken with Leek, Carrot and Peas
from Annabel Karmel's Top 100 Baby Purees

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup washed and chopped white part of a leek
1 large chicken thigh (about 6 ounces) on the bone, skinned and trimmed of fat
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup frozen peas

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan and saute the leek for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken and saute for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and pour in the stock, then bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the peas and cook uncovered for 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and take the flesh off the bone.
  6. Blend together the vegetables and chicken with as much of the cooking liquid as necessary to make a smooth puree.

My First Spaghetti Bolognese
from Annabel Karmel's Top 100 Baby Purees

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
3/4 cup wiped and sliced button mushrooms
5 ounces lean ground beef
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
a few drops of Worcestershire sauce
a pinch of brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 ounces spaghetti

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and saute the garlic and onion for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the grated carrot and saute for 2 minutes more.
  3. Pour in the remaining oil and saute the mushrooms for about 3 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, saute the ground beef in a dry frying pan until browned.
  5. Add ground beef to the vegetables together with the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and bay leaf.
  6. Cover the saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes; remove bay leaf.
  7. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions, but do not add salt.
  8. Puree the cooked meat using a handheld electric blender for a smoother texture.
  9. Chop up the spaghetti into short lengths and stir into the Bolognese sauce.