Baby's First Hanukkah
December 17, 2012
Baby's First Hanukkah

Cheryl Tallman

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple after it was reclaimed from the Syrian-Greeks more than 21 centuries ago.  Fried foods are traditional fare during Hanukkah, commemorating the miracle of the Hanukkah oil that lasted eight days when it should have only last one.

Here are some ideas and recipes on how to include your little ones in the flavors of Hanukkah.

Baby's Age:  about 6 months

Common first food purees that have a Hanukkah flavor include:

  • Applesauce
  • Green Beans
  • Broccoli

Broccoli Puree:
Prep 1 1/2 pounds of fresh broccoli by washing and cutting off the stalk ends.  Cut the broccoli into one inch chunks.  If fresh broccoli is not available, use 20 ounces of frozen, already cut, broccoli instead.

There are two ways to cook the broccoli before pureeing.

Microwave: Place the broccoli in a microwave-safe dish with 2 Tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid. Cook on HIGH for 8-10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. The broccoli is done if a fork slides easily into them or they can be mashed easily. Place the broccoli, cooking juice, and 2 Tablespoons of water into a blender or food processor.

Stove: Pour 11/2 cups of water in a large saucepan. Put a steamer basket in the saucepan. Place broccoli pieces in the steamer basket. Cover the saucepan and place it on a stove burner. Set the burner temperature to HIGH and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for the suggested cooking time in the table. Don't let the water boil away. Check the water level during cooking and add more water if needed. Let stand for 5 minutes. The broccoli is done if a fork slides easily into it or it can be mashed easily. Place the vegetables and 4 Tablespoons of cooking juice into a blender or food processor.

Once your broccoli is cooked and cooled you can puree it.  Puree broccoli in the blender or food processor to a smooth texture. You may need to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of additional water to get a smooth texture. At least once during the puree process, stop the appliance and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Spoon the pureed broccoli into ice cube trays and cover them. Put them in the freezer for 8 to 10 hours or overnight.

Baby's Age: 7-12 Months:

Instead of Latkes, one of the most common Hanukkah foods, try this delicious puree for baby.

Kohlrabi-Potato Puree
Kohlrabi tastes similar to the stems of broccoli. When choosing kohlrabi at the market, look for kohlrabi bulbs that are about 21/2 inches in diameter. Any larger and the skin may be tough and the insides can be woody.

  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • 2 kohlrabi bulbs (about 2-1/2 inch wide each)
  • 1/4 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 medium button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock

Wash, peel and cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Remove leaves and stems from Kohlrabi bulbs, wash, peel and cut them into 1-inch chunks.
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add potato and kohlrabi chunks. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. To check if they are done, a fork should slide through the pieces easily. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onion, mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium-low heat until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Drain potato and kohlrabi and place in a food processor or blender. Add soup stock and puree  until smooth, adding more or less liquid to achieve desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the mixture into So Easy Storage Trays, Cover and Freeze.
To serve: Defrost cubes and warm slightly.

Older babies who are already enjoying finger foods and toddlers will enjoy a hearty applesauce and these delicious potato pancakes.

Toddler Treat: Potato Pancakes

  • 2 medium Russet potatoes
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp of each salt and pepper
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Perfect Applesauce (see below for recipe)

Wash, peel and grate potatoes (for grating use a box grater or a food processor). In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat the egg, scallions, flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg and egg. Add potatoes and mix thoroughly.?

Pour oil into a large, frying pan. The oil should cover the bottom of the pan about 1/8-inch deep. Heat oil on medium high heat.  Using about 1/3 cup, drop the potato mixture into hot oil and flatten with the back of a spoon. Fry 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels and keep warm in low oven until serving time. Repeat until all potato mixture is used.?

Makes about 8 potato pancakes.  Serve warm with applesauce

Perfect Applesauce

  • 4 cooking apples (such as Golden Delicious or McIntosh)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Wash, peel, and remove the core from the apples
Place apples, butter, sugar, water and cinnamon in a heavy pan.
Cook on low heat until apples are soft and mushy, about 25-30 minutes.

Make about 3 cups, 6 servings

About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food and the new book So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at for more delicious tips.


Posted by Staff at 7:53 AM