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Cook times and methods will differ slightly depending on the food, but you can use this simple process to prepare most fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains for baby. From Cooking Light First Foods by Carolyn Land Williams, M.Ed., R.D.
Wash or peel the produce you'd like to use for your pureed baby food; cut the food into smaller pieces.
Steam, boil, or bake the food until it’s very tender.
Process or mash the cooked food until it’s smooth or until desired consistency is reached.
Spoon the food through a fine strainer or sieve to smooth the lumps and remove unprocessed parts of produce (this step may or may not be required).
Spoon the puree into single-serving dishes or storage containers; serve the puree to baby. Store it promptly for later use.
Read More: Homemade Baby Food Storage
How to Make Peas Baby Food
Would you like to make your own baby food? Homemade peas baby food is super nutritious and super easy to make!
Green Bean Baby Food
When it comes to our children, we as moms want to give them the best! We want them to be healthy and we want them to have the best start at life possible!
A great way to give your baby the best optimal start is to make your own baby food! Unfortunately store bought baby food can be laden with chemicals and other nasty ingredients.
Making your own baby food fresh is a great way to not only avoid these nasty ingredients, but to give your baby the freshest, most nutritious food possible!
When all four of my children were babies I made my own baby food for them. If you have never done it before, then don’t worry, it’s very easy! I’ll walk you step by step through the entire process:)
And I know it sounds time consuming, but it’s really not. You can make up a whole months worth of baby food in just a few hours!
How to Make Spinach Puree for Babies
Calcium-rich spinach makes a nutritious puree for older babies. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions to learn how to make spinach puree.
Antioxidant-filled spinach is an ideal veggie for babies 8- to 10-months-old. Note, however, that some pediatricians recommend feeding your baby commercially produced spinach puree instead of fresh, due to high levels of nitrates. Consult your doctor for advice, then check out our recipe for spinach puree.
Step 1: Select & Buy Spinach
Use frozen or fresh spinach to make your puree fresh is better in fall, winter, and early spring. When purchasing fresh, choose spinach with dark green, blemish-free leaves that aren&apost wilted. Since spinach are part of the "dirty dozen"𠅏oods with the highest pesticide residue—it&aposs a good idea to buy organic.
Step 2: Wash the Spinach
No need to wash frozen spinach. If you&aposre making your puree with fresh spinach, remove stems and soak in cold water for two minutes. Rinse thoroughly under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels.
Step 3: Cook the Spinach
Steam spinach until tender (about five minutes). Drain, rinse with cool water for three minutes to stop the cooking process.
Step 4: Puree the Spinach
Puree spinach in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency use breast milk or formula in place of water for a creamier texture.
Step 5: Serve Spinach Puree
Spinach is an ideal mix-in with other veggies, grains, and protein. Try mixing spinach puree with:
- Russet potatoes
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Cheese sauce
- Brown rice and cheese sauce
- Cheese sauce
Step 6: Refrigerate or Freeze Leftover Spinach Puree
Cool spinach puree and refrigerate leftovers in BPA-free containers for up to 3 days. Freeze leftovers for up to three months. Thaw overnight in your refrigerator.
Basic Beef Baby Food Puree
This Basic Beef Baby Food Pureeis a great puree to add to your baby&rsquos favorite puree to boost their daily intake of protein and iron. Great for 6+ months!
Beef, it&rsquos whats for dinner! Beef puree, that is.
My usual M.O. for adding beef to baby&rsquos meal, is that while I am blending a puree that sounds like it would go great with beef (purees with sweet potatoes, spinach, blueberries, broccoli or apples all go great with beef) I add a chunk of already cooked beef that is left over from a dinner earlier in the week.
Sometimes this works great, and other times it is a total fail.
The problem is that cooked beef is usually too tough when you go to puree it the next day, or I should say, that cooked beef grilled by my hubby is too tough to make puree with (love you hon!).
The key, just like with the Basic Chicken Baby Puree, is that you have to puree the beef when it is juuuuuuuust done. This makes is juicy, tender and full of flavor.
And because the Basic Chicken Baby Puree turned out so amazing, I made this beef puree the exact same way &ndash gently simmered in beef broth with a pinch of oregano (any dried spice will work) until the beef is just done and brimming with flavor. Then to the blender for a quick puree and spooned into ice cube trays for the freezer. All done in under 30 minutes, 25 minutes of that is hands-free time, so you can get back to dreaming about sipping this cocktail while lounging in your backyard that will someday look like this.
Beef is packed with all the good stuff &ndash protein, iron, calcium and folate. So if you are at all worried about your baby being low in iron, beef puree is the best place to start.
And while it may be counter-intuitive and weird (or it did to me) beef is one of the best first foods for baby.
You don&rsquot need a ton of this puree for baby to reap the benefits. A small spoonful added to baby&rsquos favorite puree will give them all the benefits of this amazing (but not attractive) puree.
When you are ready to use your baby food that you have frozen, remove as many cubes as you will use in a sitting. Once reheated, you should not freeze again.
Use a smaller saucepan and place the food into the sauce pan. Heat on low and stir frequently until desired temperature has been reached. You can also use a product like Lilly Pots that we like! Check it out here.
Place in a microwave safe container and heat in 15 second intervals until the desired temperature has been reached. Stir between each heating interval. Before serving to your baby, stir thoroughly and test the temperature again to avoid any hot pockets.
8 Delicious Recipes to Try
Mac & Cheese
Everyone loves macaroni and cheese. Thankfully, it’s quite an easy meal to puree, and your loved one will enjoy it. To start, prepare the meal as if you were making it for yourself. Add your mac and cheese to a food processor or blender alongside one cup of warm milk and blend. That’s it! Consider serving with some applesauce or pudding as a dessert.
It’s quite easy to get your veggies into a delicious pureed form, and cauliflower is no exception. Start by boiling your cauliflower until it’s tender. Drain, saving half a cup of the liquid. Transfer the cauliflower into a blender and toss in a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder, butter, and that liquid you saved. Process until the texture is smooth.
Avocado, Chicken, and Potato
A healthy dinner that covers all of your bases, avocado, chicken, and potato blend well together. Dice one cooked potato one small, boneless chicken breast and half of an avocado. Place your ingredients in the food processor alongside salt, pepper, and two teaspoons of milk. Process until the meal is smooth and creamy – there should be no chunks.
Mango Banana Smoothie
A healthy dessert beverage, this mango banana smoothie recipe is delicious for everyone. Blend a frozen and sliced banana with a frozen and diced mango alongside a cup of plain Greek yogurt, a bit of honey, and two teaspoons of almond milk. Process until the smoothie is smooth with no fruit chunks.
This seasonal delight is an easy yet delicious pureed meal. You’ll need 5 cups of pumpkin puree, 3 cups of vegetable stock, a teaspoon of ginger, half a cup of heavy cream, 1 cup of onion, 1 clove of garlic, half a teaspoon of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add all of the ingredients to a pot, leaving out the heavy cream, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Afterward, puree the meal in a processor until the consistency is desirable. Return the puree to a pan, bringing it to a boil and reducing to a simmer. Stir in the heavy cream after about 20 minutes of simmering and serve.
Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup
To start, you’ll need to create a white sauce to serve as the base. Mix two tablespoons of oil and butter with three tablespoons of flour. Put the mixture over the heat, and once it starts to bubble, add one cup of skim milk. Let the sauce simmer until thick.
Next, add the sauce into a food processor alongside your broccoli, processing until smooth. Add the mixture into a pan with a quarter cup of shredded cheese, allowing the cheese to melt. Serve and enjoy!
While this particular recipe is for beef stew, the formula works for any meat and vegetable.
To start, put 4 ounces of beef (or another boneless meat) into a food processor alongside a half cup of liquid – we recommend broth or gravy. Add in whatever vegetables you like – peas, celery, and carrots all work well. Add some salt and pepper to taste. If you need to thicken the stew, add potato flakes.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Combine half a cup of cooked spaghetti noodles and two pre-cooked meatballs to a processor. Next, add a half cup of spaghetti sauce and three-quarters cup of hot water. If you’d like, sprinkle in some parmesan. Process until the texture is smooth and there are no chunks.
The idea of pureed foods isn’t appealing to most people, but knowing a few tricks of the trade (and some great recipes) can help you prepare pureed meals that are impossible to resist. While your elderly loved one may not be able to enjoy meals in the same way that they used to, pureed meals are an effective way to ensure that they’re getting nutritious meals that taste good, too.
4. Stick to Themes
If you find yourself struggling to think of ways to add variety to your baby&aposs diet, Gardner suggests making a loose schedule to have a food theme for each night of the week. You might want to try Monday&aposs being Asian-inspired, with ginger carrots or sesame green bean purພs. Then Tuesday switches to Mexican, blending black beans with corn and bell peppers. Wednesday&aposs meal may take notes from India, purພing spinach with potatoes and cauliflower. Having these themes handy will keep you from getting into a rut of serving the same thing over and over again.
Related: Browse our collection of Baby Food Recipes.
Puree asparagus in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency. Strain to eliminate asparagus "strings." Once baby is ready for finger foods, typically around 10 months, you can serve her whole asparagus cut into tiny pieces.
Asparagus tastes great on its own or mixed other veggies, grains, and protein. Try mixing asparagus puree with:
- Russet Potatoes
- Whole-wheat pasta
Everything You Need To Know About Starting Solids – All In One e-Book!
What if you could find everything you needed to know about starting your baby on solid foods – when it’s best to start solids, how to introduce solids, complications, food allergies, etc. – in one easy-reference guide? Now you can! Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods: A Comprehensive Guide will walk you through every step of starting solids. Plus, your e-Book package includes several bonus materials, designed to maximize your success in starting solids. You’ll get a thorough guide to treating constipation, a dietitian’s advice on how to avoid 5 common solid-foods mistakes, and a weekly meal plan for your baby’s first year. Grab your e-Book today, and ensure your baby has the healthiest possible start to solid foods!
Puree and Prepare Homemade Foods for Babies
Once you’ve cooked the food that you’re going to make into baby food, the next step is to create a puree, which is simply food that has been turned into a thin, smooth texture. It is created by blending or processing a food, typically a fruit or vegetable (or a meat), until it becomes thin and smooth. This is usually accomplished in a food processor or blender, or even with a hand mixer or immersion (stick) blender.
Babies who begin to wean from breast milk or formula often begin the transition with pureed food. Pureed foods can be ideal first foods for babies because the texture of the foods makes them easy to digest and easy to spoon-feed, plus they offer baby a familiar texture.
Keep in mind, though, that babies don’t always have to start with purees. In fact, baby’s first foods can also be soft, mashed foods.
If you're interested in a more baby-led approach, check out the spoon-feeding versus the baby-led feeding and the pros and cons of both.