I'm a sucker for baby purees! There's just something about making your own food from scratch that fulfills apart of my heart that I never knew existed. I actually started making Lyric, my first babes purees at 4 months old and continued making homemade food until he was 12 months. Obviously we went from purees, to making him fruit pouches, apple sauce and homemade chicken fingers. After 12 months old it all went down the picky eater hill, but that's a whole different story. Anyways,
It's my goal to make all of Lowens food from scratch just as I did in the past. So, I started him on basic purees at exactly 4 months old and it's been a success story from there on! I know a lot of people are jumping on the Baby Led Weaning train but that's just something I'm not comfortable with especially when it comes to a baby. However, theres so many fun things you can do with purees to get them to try different things and expand their pallet! I have so many different combinations that I love but I don't want to overwhelm you, so for now I'll just go over some of my favorite basics and a few fall inspired recipes Lowen is loving right now.
I make all my foods based on a food chart which I have been following for years. There is no specific order in which you should introduce foods to your baby however their is a recommended order based on foods which can cause an increase in gas or an upset belly. So I like to stick to this food chart and have found it to be very accurate. I printed it out, laminated it and added magnets to the back to hang on our fridge. I put a check mark next to all the foods we tried and that agreed with our babes belly; and a NO next to all the things he didn't like or gave him a reaction. This was SO helpful for both my husband and I. My husband works a lot so he wasn't always home to know exactly what Lyric tried for the day. This was extremely helpful so we never lost track ands we both knew what was going on based on the chart.
**You should always consult with your pediatrician before introducing foods to your baby to ensure the timing is right for them**
WHY I DON'T USE RICE CEREAL
You will NEVER see me add rice cereal in any of my purées I make because I personally don't believe in using it. So, let me give you a little information behind my decision of not feed it to my baby. Rice cereal is usually made from white rice which doesn't really have any nutritional value. In result it’s just fortified with synthetically produced vitamins, like ferrous sulfate (iron), folic acid (vitamin B9) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). There are different options for "Organic Rice Cereal" but in the grand scheme of things, it's not much better. In my opinion rice cereal is used as a "filler" instead of a nutritional benefit.
WHAT I USE INSTEAD- OATS
I normally start to introduce oats in purées around 6 months because they are one of the healthiest grains on earth. They're a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Oats also have great health benefits such as lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Here are the helpful products I use to make all the magic happen! I would recommend them all over and over again because I just LOVE them!
The Baby Bullet: The best thing created to make the perfect purée consistency. You can try other blenders but they just don't compare! The Baby Bullet ensures a smooth, creamy finish to any recipe!
Baby Puree Freezer Trays: These have been GREAT! I wish they were a little bigger to hold more food in a single hole but for Lowens age they work perfect. They have a soft silicone bottom which makes the food pop out easy and hassle free. I got these trays to put single purees in them such as apple, carrot, peach and then pop each one out to mix together to create unique combinations as I go. I just heat it in the microwave for a few seconds and its perfect! The purees last in the freezer for up to three months!
Sage Spoonful Storage Jars: I use these jars more than I use anything else in the house. I used these for lyrics baby food purees, put his leftovers in them, pack meals for on the go AND even use them to store dry snacks. Now, I'm using the same jars + I bought more to do the same with Lowen. They're the perfect container for any baby occasion.
1. Wash & peel the apples/ pears
2. Cut around the core of the apple/ pear which should give you 4 pieces
3. Boil water and add your apples/ pears. Boil until they are soft (I normally stick a fork inside and if it glides through, I pull them out.
4. Add to your baby bullet or blender. I don't normally add water to my apples and pears because they are already full of liquid and blend perfectly on their own. However, if you want your puree more watery you can add some nursery water or your boiled water little by little until your desired consistency.
1. Cut/ your butternut squash in half and add it to your instant pot with 2 cups of water. Hit the "Pressure Cook" button and cook for 15 minutes.
2. After 15 minutes of cooking your butternut squash should be falling apart. Discard the skin and seeds and blend the remaining in your baby bullet/ blender. From cooking for so long you most likely wont need to add water, but if you do, slowly add in nursery water until its your desired consistency.
1. In a microwave safe bowl, add a cup of water (you might need a little more depending on your bowl size + the amount of carrots). Cook for 5 minutes and let them cool. Add them to your baby bullet/ blender. Slowly add nursery water or the water the carrots were steamed in until your desired consistency.
1. Wash your sweet potatoes and microwave for the recommended time (I use the potato button). You'll know when your sweet potato is done by sticking a fork in the center. If the fork glides through easily, it's done. If its hard to get the fork in you might need to cook your sweet potato a little longer.
2. Once the sweet potatoes are cool, you can begins peeling the skin off to discard. This part is so easy because the skin will literally just melt off!
3. Place in your baby bullet/ blender and slowly add nursery water until it is silky smooth and creamy.
All the combinations are made by prepping the fruits and veggies just like I did above! You can add as much or as little of an ingredient as you would like. Sometimes I decide to add more of one ingredient based on what I know he likes the best. Just have fun with it and get creative. The good thing is babies don't know any different so they'll like whatever you give them! :) Also, I find it really easy to make each puree separate for them to try for the recommended amount of time (3-5 days) then slowly mix them together so they get different flavor combinations.
PUMPKIN APPLE CARROT BUTTERNUT SQUASH
I use 1 can of organic pumpkin puree for all the Pumpkin combinations
APPLE CARROT SWEET POTATO
PEACH APPLE BANANA
Peel both the peaches and bananas, cut around the pit of the peach and add them in the blender with some nursery water. No need to cook either of them!