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When my friend Sonali told me that she had published a book and wanted to send me a copy, I was so excited! The book, Natural Baby Food: Over 150 Wholesome, Nutritious Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler, is everything that I expected (and more!) from this uber-talented woman who is not only a friend, but also a physician, food blogger, trained chef and mom!

Just think of all the things you have to figure out when you’re a new parent – especially when it’s your first child! What this book offers is a road map to nutrition from baby to toddler. The recipes are based on real ingredients cooked simply – to set a foundation for lifelong nutritious eating. And the book doesn’t just offer individual recipes, but menu planning advice and helpful insight into how and when to start feeding your baby solid food and even how to feed children safely.

My friend Meghan has two beautiful girls, Hannah and Sadie. So I invited her over to try out one of the recipes: Steamed Cherry Puree.

Meghan Hannah and Sadie

Job one: pit the cherries. Hannah put some muscle into it!

Hannah pitting a cherry

Then it was break time to eat a few whole cherries and admire her handiwork.

Hannah eating a cherry
Hannah looking at the pitted cherries

Once we had the cherries pitted, it was time to steam them.

Hannah smiling with the steamer
steaming pitted cherries

Sadie didn’t know yet that she was in for a treat!


We steamed the cherries for about 3 minutes and then it was time for the blender.

pureed cherries

Then it was time to eat! Sadie and Hannah both loved it! And what’s not to love about ‘Cherry Soup’ (as Hannah called it)?

Meghan feeding Sadie
Hannah eating cherry puree

If you’re looking for nutritional guidance for babies and toddlers, complete with delicious recipes and sage advice, I have just the book for you.

Natural Baby Food by DR Sonali Ruder

Steamed Cherry Puree for Babies

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Total: 13 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 20
Servings: 6 servings
Recipe adapted from Natural Baby Food: Over 150 Wholesome, Nutritious Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler by Dr. Sonali Ruder. You’ll need a steamer basket and blender or food processor to puree the cherries. Adjust the number of cherries to the amount of puree you’d like to make.


  • 24 cherries pitted


  • Place the cherries in a steamer basket over boiling water. Steam 3 minutes or until tender.
  • Transfer cherries to blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If using a blender, cover open top with a towel instead of the blender lid to insure that hot liquid won’t spray out.
  • Let cool and serve.


Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four says:

    What an awesome book! I always wonder about those baby food jars and how nutritious they really are. And what a talented friend you have…chef, doctor, baby guru…she rocks!!

    1. Marissa says:

      5 stars
      I always wonder about that too – like, how long ago was that pureed? Sonali really is amazing! 🙂

  2. Dorothy Dunton says:

    Hi Marissa! I could have used this book thirty some years ago! When my son was a toddler he refused to eat any jarred food, so I had to get creative and make all his food, which just added one more thing to my already hectic schedule. It was well worth it…he’s a grown man who knows how to and likes to cook!

    1. Marissa says:

      I bet you made AMAZING food, Dorothy! How great that your son grew up a cook. Did he like to help you in the kitchen when he was growing up?

      1. Dorothy Dunton says:

        Hi Marissa! Sometimes he would help, but he watched a lot and paid attention. When he was a teenager and would ask me to make something I would tell him to go make it himself and he would! Now he cooks for his lucky girlfriend almost every day and on weekends he quite often cooks (and bakes) for friends. Every time I visit him in Nashville we cook together and I always have to leave him new recipes. The last time I brought blueberry crumb cake and made enchiladas and his comment was “you know you are leaving those recipes here” and my reply was “of course, why do you think those are photocopies”. 🙂

        1. Marissa says:

          I love that, Dorothy! You mentioned an enchilada recipe? 😉

          1. Dorothy Dunton says:

            Hi Marissa! Mine are made with corn tortillas, either shredded pork or chicken, and a green sauce. Oh, and refried beans and cheese of course! If you’re interested I’ll share. 🙂

          2. Marissa says:

            Woman after my own heart! When I make enchiladas, it’s always with green sauce. I’d love to try your recipe. 🙂

  3. Sonali- The Foodie Physician says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Marissa! I LOVE that Hannah and Sadie enjoyed the “cherry soup” and I’m really impressed by Hannah’s kitchen skills! The picture of her pitting the cherries is priceless 🙂 I’m so happy you think that the book would be a good resource for new parents- thanks again!

    1. Marissa says:

      You’re so welcome, Sonali! It’s a beautifully written and photographed cookbook.

  4. Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom says:

    This looks like such a wonderful book! No kids at the moment, but perhaps down the road… I could certainly use a book like this 😉

    1. Marissa says:

      You’d be an awesome mom, Kathleen! xo