Introducing your baby to solid food is a big milestone. While the timing can vary depending on each child's stage of development, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends introducing solid foods around six months of age. Parents can choose from many healthy pre-made options. However, homemade baby food is an increasingly popular option for parents who want to know exactly what goes into their baby’s mouth.
Making Homemade Baby Food May Be Easier Than You Think
Ask your baby's family medicine provider or pediatrician if your baby is ready for solid foods. In general, introduce new foods, one food at a time, spaced four days apart. That way you can check whether your baby has any reactions to a new food, and discuss with your doctor.
Soft cooked, thinly pureed fruits are often a baby's first solid food. Many parents like to prepare this food at home to assure it is as fresh and natural as possible. And it may be easier than you think! Here are some tips for tackling pureed apples, pears, peaches, and bananas—with no added sugar or other ingredients. Pureed fruit can also be added to your baby's first cereal.
Select sweet apples such as Gala, Macintosh, Rome (about 4 apples make 2 cups of pureed applesauce).
- Peel, core and cut apples into slices.
- Place apples into a saucepan and add enough water to cover apples.
- Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove apples from pan with slotted spoon and place in a blender or food processor. Save apple water to thin applesauce if needed.
- Puree apples for about one minute. Add some apple water for thinner consistency. Cool completely before serving to baby.
Pears and Peaches Are Best Steamed
Since these are a much softer fruits, pears and peaches are best steamed.
- Peel, core or remove pits, slice fruit, and place in a double boiler strainer.
- Add several inches of water to a saucepan, or double boiler. Bring water to boil, then place strainer on top and steam, covered, until fruit is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Puree fruit in blender or food processor for a minute. Add more water for thinner consistency. Cool completely before serving to baby.
Bananas: The Easiest Fruit to Prepare
Bananas are the easiest fruit to prepare of all. No need to cook; just peel and mash. Bananas can be pureed with a little water if preferred.
Avocados and mangoes can also be peeled, seeded, and mashed like a banana.
Check out our Peanut Butter and Banana Roll-ups for older kiddos.
NOTE: Freeze pureed fruit in ice cube trays to use later. When fruit is frozen, remove from ice cube tray and strong in plastic freezer storage bags. Remove and thaw as needed for baby.