Barley stew for baby

This is the perfect go-to meal for any older baby (12 months plus that chews solids well) and has become a staple in our home. Barley provides a protein base and vegetables provide vitamins such as Vitamin A (sweet potato), Calcium and Vitamin C (broccoli), and Potassium (zucchini). Parsley adds flavor and an extra boost of Vitamin C.  I’ve made this recipe before adding basil, oregano, or any type of low-sodium bullion cubes for added flavor.

  • You can also substitute low sodium chicken, vegetable, or beef broth for the water for added flavor.
  • I add 1 extra cup of water (more than the barley packaging states) as the vegetables and barley soak up moisture.
  • Yields 3 to 4- 1 cup servings.  Freezes well.


Cutting board, knife, and stainless steel pot


  • 1 cup pearled barley – (quick cook type)
  • 3 cups water (divided 2 cups, 1 cup)
  • 10 baby carrots cubed small
  • 1 small to medium zucchini cubed small
  • 1/2 large sweet potato cubed small (you may remove skins if you prefer)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tsp. sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp. pepper (optional)
  • 1-2 low sodium bullion cubes for flavor (if preferred)


Step 1: Add 1 cup barley, 2 cups water to stainless steel pot, bringing it to a rolling boil on medium-high heat. Add vegetables, parsley and remainder of seasoning ingredients. Cover, reduce heat to simmer.

Bring to boilimage

Step 2: Continue cooking on simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The remaining cup of water will be added 1/4 cup at a time as needed. Only add enough as needed so the mixture does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.

  • While this is cooking… Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice the remaining 1/2 sweet potato into strips. Set aside. in a bowl. This is going to be used as mom’s treat- quick sweet and spicy sweet potato fries!

Finished coookingFinal meal

Step 3: Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serving size for a 12 month old is about 1/2-3/4 cup. 2 years and older about a cup. Store in refrigerator in glass containers for up to 5-7 days. Freeze remainder.

Step 4: Sweet potato fries: Bonus treat for mommy

I always had some sweet potato leftover, so I started slicing them up, coating in 1 tsp. olive oil, 1/4 tsp each of salt, pepper, cinnamon, and paprika (or spicy blend). Toss well to coat. Serve with organic ketchup or homemade seasoned Greek yogurt dip.

Bake in oven (425 degrees F) for about 15-20 minutes, turning once during cooking.

Spicesadd oilimageFries finished

Now sit down, relax, and enjoy your treat! 

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