Muffins For Babies: Right Age, Tips And Recipes To Try

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Muffins For Babies Right Age Tips And Recipes To Try

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IN THIS ARTICLE

Muffin is a baked product usually made with all-purpose flour, milk, egg, butter or shortening, raising agent, and flavoring. It could also contain nuts, fresh or dried fruits, and seeds. You can buy sweet and savory muffins from the market, but you can customize their ingredients and size by baking them at home.

A well-baked muffin has an easy-to-hold, moist-spongy texture, making muffins a good weaning food for babies. But what is the right age to feed muffins to babies? Also, should you worry about possible allergens, such as milk and egg?

Read on to learn about the right age to introduce muffins to babies with some age-appropriate recipes to try.

Right Age To Feed Muffins To Babies

Most babies can begin eating muffins anytime between six and nine months of age (1). Muffins are multi-ingredient foods made with common allergens, such as milk, egg, and nuts. So, before you introduce muffins to your baby, consult your pediatrician. However, this doesn’t mean you need to delay feeding muffins to your babies.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents can introduce potential allergens early in life to prevent allergies (2). Once you have the doctor’s permission, try age-appropriate muffin recipes for your little one. You can prepare healthy yet delicious baby-friendly muffins using some tips shared in the next section.

Tips To Make Muffins Healthier

Muffins contain certain ingredients which aren’t healthy for babies and even adults. However, you can make healthy muffins at home by following some simple tips.

  • Replace all-purpose flour with healthy alternatives, such as whole-wheat, oats, quinoa, or millets. Experiment a few times with these and several other healthy ingredients to get the perfect blend for a customized muffin recipe.
  • Add fresh fruit, such as blueberries, mango, apple, and banana, in the form of mash, puree, or pieces. Fruits add color and sweetness to the preparation. You can also use dried fruits, such as figs and dates, to make the muffins naturally sweet and healthy.
  • Add different veggies in puree, mash, grated, or chopped forms to create savory muffins. Avocado, broccoli, butternut squash, zucchini, carrot, and spinach are some good choices. You can add two or more veggies to make the recipe versatile.
  • Include nuts and seeds powder for younger babies, whereas for older babies and toddlers, use finely chopped or coarsely powdered nuts and seeds. Adding nuts and seeds, such as walnut, almond, and sesame seeds, offer your baby and toddler several vital nutrients, such as calcium and omega-3.
  • Replace white or brown sugar with jaggery powder. Fruits and dried fruits, such as prunes and raisins, are also good choices to sweeten a muffin. Honey, maple syrup, and molasses are other options for babies older than 12 months.
  • Use whole milk in recipes instead of low-fat milk as babies under two years of age require fat for healthy brain growth and development (3). If whole milk isn’t available, plant-based milk, such as almond and oats milk, is another option. Greek yogurt is another option that one can use to replace milk in muffins.
  • Replace margarine or butter with vegetable oils, such as olive oil or flaxseed oil. If you are using butter for a particular recipe, prefer unsalted butter to salted butter. It will cut the recipe’s sodium content, which is necessary for reducing undue stress on the baby and toddler’s kidneys.
  • Replace salt with herbs and spices, such as oregano, cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, and basil. These add flavor and aroma to the food while also imparting some therapeutic benefits.
  • You may also try other ways to make healthy, customized muffins. For instance, you could reduce the size of regular muffins to mini, controlling the portion size. The next section includes some easy, age-appropriate recipes that you can try for baking muffins for your baby and toddler.

Muffin Recipes For Babies And Toddlers

Muffin recipes for six months+ babies

At around six months of age, babies have just started eating solids. Therefore, first try simple muffins recipes that include fewer ingredients, especially those that the baby is already eating. As the baby adjusts to the muffin’s taste and digestibility, gradually move to multi-ingredient muffin recipes. You can quarter a muffin and give it to your baby to self-feed.
Here are some easy-to-make yet tasty muffin recipes for six-month babies.

1. Banana mini muffin

Image; Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ripe bananas (pureed)
  • 1tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda

How to make: 

1. Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C). Line the muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
2. In a bowl, mix banana puree and unsalted butter using a whisk until the oil combines with the puree.
3. Add lime or lemon juice to the mixture and mix well. Keep the mixture aside.
4. Now, sieve whole-wheat flour, baking soda, and baking powder in the puree mixture.
5. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the puree mixture using a spatula until the batter looks smooth and well combined.
6. Spoon the batter in muffin liners till they are filled up to their three-fourth.
7. Once done, place the muffin tin on the center rack of the oven.
8. Bake the muffins for 30 to 35 minutes until their top looks golden brown. Then, check their readiness by inserting a toothpick into the center of a muffin. If the toothpick comes out clean, it means the muffins are ready.
9. After 35 minutes, take out the muffin tin from the oven and place it on the wire rack to cool.
10. Cut a muffin into semi-thick slices, which the baby could hold for self-feeding.

2. Blueberry and banana muffin

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup very ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (pureed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tbsp canola oil

How to make: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176.6°C). Line the muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix almond flour and baking soda and set the bowl aside.  Now, take another bowl and whisk canola oil and egg in it.
3. Add the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture with constant stirring until everything combines.
4. Add mashed bananas and blueberry puree into the batter. Mix well and check the batter’s consistency.
5. Now, spoon the batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the muffin develops a golden brown top.
6. Check the doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the muffin. If the toothpick comes out clean, the muffin is ready.
7. Take the muffin tin out of the oven and keep it on the wire rack to cool.
8. Quarter the muffin and give it to the baby to practice self-feeding.

3. Apple, banana, and carrot mini muffin

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 150g whole-wheat flour
  • 100g apple (cooked and pureed)
  • 50g carrot (cooked and pureed
  • 50g banana
  • 50g unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1tbsp almond and walnut powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Olive oil, for greasing

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C). Grease the muffin tin with olive oil and set it aside.
2. Combine egg and butter in a mixing bowl. Add apple and carrot puree to the mixture and mix well using an electric or hand-held beater until the mixture turns smooth and frothy.
3. Add whole-wheat flour, almond and walnut powder, and baking powder to the mixture and beat it well for 30 to 60 seconds.
4. Spoon this mixture into the muffin cups until each of them is only half full.
5. Bake the muffins for 15 to 20 minutes until the muffin’s top turns golden brown.
6. After 20 minutes, take out the muffin tin from the oven and place it on the wire rack to cool completely.
7. Give small muffin fingers to your baby. Store the remaining muffins in an airtight container for up to three days. You can also freeze these muffins for longer use, although it is good to make a fresh batch every ten to 15 days.

4. Mini pumpkin muffin

Image: Shutterstock

You will need: 

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1tsp pumpkin pie spice

How to make: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176.6°C). Line the muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Set the bowl aside.
3. Take a large bowl and whisk pumpkin puree, butter, egg, and milk until the mixture looks uniform and smooth.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the pumpkin puree mixture. Gently fold the ingredients until they are well combined.
5. Scoop the batter into the muffin tin filling each muffin mold to its two-third.
6. Place the muffin tin into the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the crust turns golden brown.
7. Take out the muffin tin from the oven and set it aside to cool on a wire rack.
8. Give your baby appropriately sliced pumpkin muffin fingers to relish.

Muffin recipes for ten months+ babies

By the time babies turn ten months, they have a relatively mature digestive system and refined motor and oral skills. They can now hold firmer finger foods and even point at the food they like (4).

5. Applesauce and oats muffin

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 4tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1tbsp mixed nuts (coarsely powdered)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda

How to prepare: 

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line the muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix rolled oats, applesauce, milk, egg, and butter. Set the bowl aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and mixed nuts powder.
4. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the applesauce mixture. Stir the mixture well until you get a smooth-flowing batter.
5. Spoon the batter into lined muffin molds and put the muffin tin into the oven.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until muffins look slightly brown at the top.
7. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and put it on the wire rack to cool completely.
8. Once done, slice one muffin into bite-sized pieces and serve it to your baby to hone their pincer grasp skills.

6. Carrot cake muffin recipes

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • ½ cups carrots (grated)
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup coconut (grated)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ⅛ cup flax seeds powder
  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil, for greasing

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176.6°C). Grease the muffin tin with olive oil and set it aside.
2. Meanwhile, mix flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
3. Now, with constant stirring, add egg, applesauce, and orange juice to the bowl. Mix until everything is well combined.
4. Fold in grated carrots and coconut in the flour mix until everything blends well.
5. Once done, spoon the mixture into the muffin tin, filling each mold up to its two-third.
6. Put the baking tins into the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes until the muffins develop a brown crust.
7. After 20 minutes, take the tin out of the oven and keep it on the wire rack to cool.
8. Feed the muffin to your baby with a dip or fruit puree.

7. Quinoa, spinach, and goat cheese muffin

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

• ½ cup quinoa (cooked)
• ½ cup whole cow milk
• 10oz. spinach (steamed, strained, and water squeezed out)
• ½ oz. goat cheese
• 3 eggs
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• ¼ tsp black pepper powder
• Olive oil, for greasing

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Grease the muffin tin with olive oil and set it aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs and milk until the mixture begins to froth.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk well to combine everything into a smooth-flowing batter.
4. Pour the batter into the muffin molds filling them into their halves. Bake for 24 to 27 minutes until the muffin looks firm and slightly brown.
5. You can also do the toothpick test to see if the muffins are cooked through.
6. Once the muffins are evenly baked, transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool the muffins.
7. Break a muffin into bite-sized pieces and give it to your baby to eat. Store the remaining muffins in an airtight container or zip-lock pouch in the refrigerator for later consumption.

8. Veggie and sesame seed muffin

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 medium zucchini (grated)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • ½ cup whole cow milk
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp herbs mix
  • 2tsp sesame seeds

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C). Grease the muffin tin with oil and set it aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add zucchini, carrot, peas, corn, herbs mix, cheese, milk, yogurt, sesame seeds, eggs, and oil. Mix well until the mixture turns into a uniform mixture. Set the bowl aside.
3. Take another bowl and add wheat flour and baking powder into it. Mix well.
4. Add this mixture to the veggie mixture by gently folding the dry ingredients into wet ingredients to make a smooth batter.
5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin mold, filling them up to their half.
6. Place the muffin tin into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. After 25 minutes, take the tin out of the oven and place it on the wire rack to cool.
8. Take a muffin and cut it into bite-sized pieces before serving it to your baby. You can serve this savory muffin with hummus or beetroot dip.

Muffin recipes for toddlers

Once your baby turns one, they have plenty of food options to explore. You can stir your imagination and prepare healthy sweet and savory muffin recipes for your toddler. A toddler can have a mini muffin or a normal-sized muffin that has been quartered.

9. Almond and sweet potato muffin

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup sweet potato (mashed)
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup overripe banana (mashed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2tbsp nuts powder
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Olive oil, for greasing

How to make: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176.6°C). Grease the muffin tin with olive oil and set it aside.
2. Mix sweet potato, peanut butter, banana, eggs, nuts powder, and maple syrup in a large bowl.
3. In another small bowl, mix almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. Stir in dry ingredients mixture into wet ingredients and mix well to form a smooth batter.
5. Fill the mixture into the muffin molds up to the brim. Put the muffin tin inside the oven and bake for 13 to 15 minutes until the top of the muffin turns slightly brown.
6. Take out the muffin tin from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.
7. Serve one muffin to your toddler with a cup of warm milk. Store the remaining muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or a freezer for up to three months.

10. Oatmeal and cranberry muffin

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup cranberries (chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp orange rind (grated)

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line the muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.
2. Soak rolled oats in yogurt just enough to make it moist.
3. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl. Set the bowl aside.
4. In a separate bowl, mix oil and egg. Beat until the mixture gets frothy.
5. Gently fold this mixture into the dry ingredients.
6. Add cranberries and orange zest. Mix well until everything is well combined.
7. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.
8. Once done, take out the muffin from the oven and set the tin aside to cool.
9. Serve one muffin with applesauce to your toddler and store the remaining for later consumption.

Precautions To Take While Feeding Muffins To Babies

The following precautionary steps could ensure that your baby or toddler can consume muffins safely.

1. Bake muffins at home: Most commercially prepared muffins contain a lot of unwanted additives and are also high in sugar and sodium. These ingredients aren’t healthy for the baby’s health. Therefore, prefer baking muffins at home for your baby.

2. Try muffins with minimum ingredients first: Introduce simple muffins with minimum ingredients to your baby. It gives the baby ample time to adjust to the muffin’s texture and digestibility. Also, if the baby has any reaction to it, such as an upset stomach, you will easily know the cause.

3. Ensure proper storage for prolonged use: Store the muffins in an airtight container or zip-lock bag only. You can freeze muffins for up to one to three months. However, try making them fresh as much as possible, especially for young babies.

4. Defreeze and thaw muffins properly: If you are serving frozen muffins for your baby, thaw them thoroughly. If thawing isn’t done properly, the muffin might contain hardened flour or moisture chunks that can be a potential choking hazard for babies.

5. Stay alert on allergy: Staying vigilant on the common signs of a possible allergic reaction ensures prompt medical intervention when needed. During an episode of food allergy, a baby or toddler may exhibit the following symptoms within minutes to a few hours after eating an allergenic food (5).

  • Swelling of the lip, mouth, or tongue
  • Skin rashes (hives)
  • Itching
  • Wheezing
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Tightening of the throat and trouble breathing (anaphylaxis)

8. Never leave baby unsupervised: Muffins have a soft texture, so they aren’t a common choking hazard. Nevertheless, you must always feed or let your baby self-feed a muffin while seated upright. Never leave your baby unattended during mealtimes, especially when you are following baby-led weaning.

9. Select age-appropriate muffin recipes: Check the ingredients in a muffin recipe to select age-appropriate recipes for babies and toddlers. If your baby is allergic to a specific food, replace it and know about other foods that can cause cross-reactivity. For young babies, serve muffins in the form of easy-to-hold, thick strips or fingers. Older babies can consume bite-sized pieces. Also, ensure the recipes for young babies don’t contain whole nuts and seeds.

Muffins are a delicious preparation that you can prepare at home. Once you get a go-ahead nod from your doctor, you can serve sweet and savory muffins to your baby and toddler to expose them to different textures and tastes. In addition, you can customize the muffin’s ingredients and size to make them age-appropriate.

References:
1. Finger Foods for Babies 6 – 12 Months; British Columbia
2. AAP Clinical Report Highlights Early Introduction of Peanut-based Foods to Prevent Allergies; AAP
3. Cow’s milk and children; Medline Plus
4. Ten Steps for Feeding Babies (0-12 months); Infant And Toddler Forum
5. Symptoms, Food allergy; NHS

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