At around six months, your little one will likely be ready for an exciting milestone: the first spoonful of solid food. While there are a couple of different ways to introduce your baby to solid foods, offering pureed iron-rich foods, fruits and vegetables on a soft spoon is the most widely recommended way, due to its suitable texture. Spoon-feeding helps your baby learn to swallow safely, exposes them to a variety of flavours and helps you keep tabs on how much they’ve eaten! Below we’ve answered some of the top questions around preparing and safely storing homemade purees.
Pureed meat is a great source of Iron
Cook meat, place in a bowl and allow to cool in the fridge for a bit. The meat you choose (e.g. any red meat, chicken or fish) will vary the cooking time.
Cut the cooked meat into small cubes.
Process the meat and the cooking juices using a blender until smooth
What fruits and vegetables should be cooked before being pureed?
Fruits – apples, apricots, dates, peaches, pears, plums, rhubarb (leaves completely removed), nectarines
Vegetables – beans, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, squash, potato, parsnip, sweet potato, turnip, pumpkin, spinach, zucchini, mushrooms
How do I prepare baby purees for fruits and vegetables that require cooking?
Wash, peel (if necessary) and chop fruits or vegetables.
Place in a small saucepan; pour over enough water to cover; bring to the boil, simmer until tender.
Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. For younger babies, push fruit or vegetables through a sieve or blend in a blender until smooth, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid until the required consistency is reached. For older babies, simply mash with a fork, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid for a smoother consistency if required.
Note: Preparation and Cooking times will vary according to the fruit or vegetable being prepared and cooked
What baby food doesn’t need to be cooked?
Fruits – avocados, bananas, melons, figs, mangos, pawpaw, strawberries, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries
Follow the step-by-step instructions on how to prepare these raw fruits:
Wash, peel (if necessary) and chop fruit, removing any seeds where needed.
For younger babies, push fruits through a sieve or blend in a blender until smooth, adding some cooled boiled water, until the required consistency is reached. For older babies, simply mash with a fork, adding some cooled boiled water for a smoother consistency, if required.
Not all uncooked fruits are suitable for freezing but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
How do I store my homemade baby food puree?
After you’ve prepared your puree, you can either feed it to your baby straight away or in the freezer for 30 days. For convenient quantities, place the puree into ice cube trays to freeze. Each cube is equal to about 1 tablespoonful, which is just right for babies starting out. Just remember to tightly seal and label your puree so you know what it is and when you need to throw it out!
Can I make baby puree in advance?
Absolutely! As babies only eat small amounts in the first couple of months, it’s a great idea to make a small quantity of single serve purees which can be kept in the freezer (for up to 30 days) and pulled out when required. Having a few different pureed foods on hand means you can mix and match different flavours and textures to see what your baby enjoys – and what they still may need more exposure to!
How do I re-heat frozen baby food purees?
When it’s time to serve up your babies next meal, simply pop out your frozen puree cubes from the ice cube tray into a bowl or saucepan. Reheat in the saucepan on medium heat to defrost and warm the puree. Or place the bowl into the microwave to warm the puree, ensuring you stir it well before feeding it, to get rid of any hot spots. Before feeding to baby, always test the temperature using a clean spoon on your lip. When using a frozen puree, ensure any uneaten portion is discarded. It is not suitable for re-heating or re-freezing.