Baby food puree: what you need to know
After feeding just with milk, a new exciting world is waiting for you and your baby: solid food. For the healthy development of your child it should be fresh and rich in vitamins. But what should you give your baby next and how do you actually make the first baby food puree?
With the help of NUK and experts at The Research Institute of Child Nutrition, your homemade meals for your baby will be a success right from the start.
“When and how do I start with solids?”
Precisely when you begin with the first puree and eating together as a family is up to you. All children develop at their own speed and have their own needs. In the first 4 to 6 months of life, your child is solely satisfied with breast or formula milk; however, after that pureed food or ‘solids’ enriches their nutrition.
In line with the development and interest of your child, solids should be introduced at the start of the fifth month at the earliest and no later than the beginning of the seventh month. First, your child has to get used to spoon-feeding and vegetables. Carrot puree has stood the test of time here. As soon as your child has learnt to eat from a spoon, you can introduce other types of vegetables. Among those that are nutritious and most often easy to digest are cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini. Usually the first few meals with puree will not satisfy your baby’s hunger, with only a few spoonsful being eaten – but be patient! Just follow up with a breast or bottle feed.
“Is it worth doing the cooking?”
Yes! For homemade is not only rich in vitamins and nutrients, it also tastes much better to children than out of a glass jar – and their mother knows exactly what’s in it.
“What should I keep in mind when preparing the first puree?”
Babies under seven months should be given finely pureed food only. Older babies, who are already familiar with eating from a spoon and the consistency of puree, can eat pureed food of a thicker consistency. The ingredients should still be so soft after cooking that they can be easily squashed with a fork. The NUK Food Masher & Bowl can quickly prepare mashed food in seconds. As a guide, add more water for a thinner consistency and less for a thinker consistency.
“What comes after the first vegetable puree?”
After getting your child used to a single vegetable puree, vegetables mixed with potatoes and oil is a good transition before going on to vegetable, potato and meat puree. Vegetable, Potato and Meat Puree is the first full pureed meal that replaces a milk feed.
This recipe has 4 to 5 ingredients in it: vegetables, potatoes, meat, oil and fruit juice. A little water can also be added to the puree.
After two months, two new purees can be introduced, each of which replaces a milk feed. Normally the Milk and Cereal Puree comes first and then the Cereal and Fruit Puree comes onto the menu. But the other way round is fine too.
Notes; The fat content in the milk is important because the fat requirement in the first year of life is particularly high. Oat flakes contain a great amount of iron, but millet flakes, wholemeal semolina and other types of cereals are also suitable. Choose fresh fruit that is in season (raw or stewed). A variety of tastes here can lead to your child accepting new foods more easily later on.
“How should I store puree?”
Freshly-made purees should be eaten as soon as possible after preparation however can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Or simply cook a larger amount of puree and freeze part of it. It will keep for a few months at -18 °C. Once a portion of puree has been warmed up, it should not be reheated again. Leftovers should be thrown out just to be on the safe side.
Storage containers in the right size make food preparation easier: for example the NUK Fresh Foods Freezer Tray can store up to nine 60ml portions of puree and can be easily removed individually from the silicone tray. If you think in terms of baby meals, each compartment holds about a whole meal for a baby starting out on solids. Or for slightly larger portions use the 6 stackable food pots.
Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.