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How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruit
I am not, nor have I ever been, an organic-y person. However, I have always been a penny pincher! So after months of nursing for free, it came time to introduce my little one to solid foods. All I could see behind my eyelids at night was dollar signs!
I went to the internet for answers! Baby food was anywhere from $0.60 to $1.50 per container!
Once my baby is eating three times a day, that’s 21 of these per week and close to 100 each month! Then about 8 months of this before she can really eat what we’re eating?! On top of diapers and other necessities plus snacks, that adds up QUICK!
There was no way I was going to be adding that to my grocery bill each week! So off I dove into the pool of Pinterest…and I started drinking the Kool Aid!
I began doing the math and it would cost chump change to buy fruits and vegetables, puree them and freeze them. We’re talking getting it down to $0.08 or $0.10 per meal! THESE are numbers I can live with!
“But it’s so much work!!”
It’s actually really not bad. No worse than making a meal for your family. On some foods you have to peel and chop. But then the steam cooks it for you and the processor/blender works for you.
If you are pressed for pennies, IT WILL BE WORTH IT!
I am 6 months into homemade food for my little one and BOY am I happy I did it! I have worked out the kinks and have 3 different methods to show you!
Frozen, fresh, and cooked purees.
That’s right, for 2 of these methods, there’s no cooking involved! Score!
I don’t want this post to be ridiculously long, so head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food
And head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees
At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the link to get your print out of my favorite combinations & recipes. Tested by my little helper. This will help you when you don’t have any creative juices flowing at the end of the day!
A lot of blogs about making baby food will tell you to combine the ingredients before freezing. I don’t suggest this, at least at first. Get your baby through their introductions to check for allergies. See what they their favorites are. Then begin the fun of combining foods to make them meals.
When you freeze each food separately, you have endless options for combinations. You can throw cubes for three or four different foods together or keep it simple for one or two. This also comes in handy when your baby is addicted to the sweet fruits…you can sneak those veggies in there!
(Babies can reject foods up to ten times even though they may end up enjoying it. This is a big leap from milk/formula. Don’t get discouraged!)
Pro Tip: Take your time. Make one or two purees each night. You only have so many ice cube trays you can fill. The process goes slow at first. You’re supposed to give your baby a new food then have them eat it for 3 days. This is in case the baby has a bad reaction or food allergy; you know the culprit immediately and can avoid putting your little one through it again anytime soon.
Items you need:
Stages you need to know about:
Stage 1 – Supported Sitter – Your baby’s first solid food should be runny. If your purees are thick, you’ll want to thin them with milk, formula, or water.
Stage 2 – Sitter – Your baby’s second solid food should be a thicker consistency. If your purees are thing, you’ll want to thicken them with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.
Stage 3 – Crawler – Your baby’s last solid food before table foods should be thick and should have chunks in it baby can chew and mash on.
- Peel, core and chop your fresh foods.
- Toss into food processor or blender and let it work!
- Stop to scrape if you need to.
- Add a bit of breast milk, formula, or water if it needs it.
- Serve fresh or scoop into ice cube trays & toss in freezer
- Pop out cubes and put into freezer safe ziplock bags.
- Label name and date. These are usually good for about 4 months.
A lot of people will get these foods prepared right before feeding time and do not freeze them which is just fine!
I had to leave work, pick baby up from day care and at that point she was usually starving. I was not about to get out my food processor while she sat there and leave myself with the dishes afterward.
You may be looking at your screen quizzically when you see the word Avocado accompanied with freezer. I know. I wasn’t a believer either. Won’t it brown and be disgusting?!
Surprisingly, no! The color only slightly changed right on the top of the cubes while they froze. They stayed bright green!
When it came time to put those in the microwave for one of her meals, I cringed thinking about it coming out of the microwave…NOPE! Just like fresh guacamole!
I’m a believer now and would much rather get all the pit removing and prep work done in bulk and not have to worry about it later.
Thawing & Cooking
When it comes to meal time, grab a few cubes out of the freezer and pop into a microwave safe dish.
Nuke for 20 seconds, stir, 20 seconds, stir, then 10 seconds & stir until desired temperature is reached.
This is a small amount of food that heats quickly and can easily develop hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth so it’s important to heat in small bursts and stir!
If you’re questioning the temperature, put a dab on your inner wrist to test it. You’ll want it between room temperature & warm.
Don’t get me wrong. I also love the convenience of the baby food sold in stores. I buy a few on occasion.
They are incredibly easy to throw in the diaper bag with a spoon and you don’t have to worry about their temperature or having them going bad. It’s awesome for trips or being out at a restaurant or somewhere with baby.
However, when I open those containers and smell them, I want to gag a little bit. When my little one is grumpy about the food, I don’t blame her and I struggle to pretend to take a bite of it.
If she is throwing a fit about what I have made her at home, I happily take a bite or two and it always smells fresh and delicious!
I highly recommend you try this out. It will save you money and definitely will give you peace of mind that you know exactly what your baby is eating.
Grab your FREE Baby Food Recipe Ideas here!