Are you in the process of introducing your baby to solid foods? Well, this is the perfect time to learn how to puree food for your baby to make it a cost-effective and fun way to feed him. After all, in these tough and expensive times, the last thing you want to do is throw away money on prepackaged food. It is also a good way to introduce fresh veggies, fruits, meats and grains into your baby’s diet.
Preparing Puree for Your Baby
Here is what you need to get that puree the perfect consistency, so that your little one enjoys each spoonful.
Soften the Food: Meats, poultry, and fruits and veggies, such as carrots, peas, apples, prunes and sweet potatoes, have to be softened before you puree them. You can preserve the nutrients by opting for steaming, but also can bake, microwave or boil them. If you are boiling food, use as little liquid as possible and during the mashing process, use the liquid. The remaining can go into the soup pot for the family.
Peel and Pit: Certain foods have to be peeled and pitted before you can soften them or puree them. The fruits and vegetables that don’t need softening can easily be mashed in a blender or with a fork. Make sure you add seasoning as required to make it more palatable. If you notice the puree is too thick, soften it up with water, formula or breast milk and get the right consistency.
Mill It: Invest in a food mill and you will be able to put it to good use. The food mill is perfect for pureeing grains, such as millet and quinoa. However, it is necessary to cook the grains before pureeing them. So, follow the cooking directions on the package.
Get the Right Equipment: Usually, you can puree any and everything in a blender. Once you have softened the food, it is time to place it into the blender and run it. Add the liquid it was boiled in or add formula or breast milk if it doesn’t need boiling to get the right consistency. When you use the liquid the food was boiled in, you are reintroducing the nutrients that were leached during the boiling process. Some mothers find it cumbersome to use a blender for small batches. If you face the same difficulty, invest in a baby food grinder or all-in-one baby food maker. The latter will steam the meats, poultry, fruits and vegetables to make your task easier.
Tips to Serve Puree to Your Baby
Now that you know how to puree different types of foods, it is time to take note of a few tips.
- The pureed food should be body temperature when served to your baby
- Serve just enough to ensure your baby’s tummy get full. Discard any remains, as your baby’s saliva creates an environment that allows bacteria to thrive and proliferate
- Never sweeten any pureed food with sugar. And, honey and corn syrup are a big no-no, as they can result in botulism
- Don’t go by the rule book and serve your baby bland food. Instead season it and your baby will love the different flavours you concoct
- If you heat the puree in the microwave, let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving your baby. Microwaves have a tendency to heat food unevenly and this creates hot spots.
Refrigerating Pureed Baby Food
Instead of making small batches, you can make a big batch in one go. After you puree the food in a blender, add liquid, water, breast milk or formula to get the right consistency. Then place in an ice tray, cover it and freeze the puree. After it has frozen, remove the cubes and place into a Ziploc bag and store in the freezer. Properly frozen veggie and fruit puree will stay for about 6 months in the freezer, while poultry and meats should be used within a month or two.
If you don’t feel like freezing the puree, you can keep it in an airtight container in your refrigerator, as well. However, make sure you use up the batch in a couple of days. Anything longer should be discarded.