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December 2, 2013
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Sara Wells: How to make and introduce your child to purees | Moms

Once my second child, Madison, was nearing 7 1/2 months, I had to dig into my cupboards and find my Magic baby bullet and prepare for introducing her to purees.

I have always had a tendency to hold off on introducing food as long as I can because to me, four-to-six months old seems too young, but mainly because I enjoy the fact that my nursing babies rely solely on me to nourish their chunky little bodies and rolly polly thighs.

I am one of those moms who enjoys nursing and bonding at three in the morning and am not quite ready to let my baby start the road to toddlerhood, and feeding purees is the beginning of that journey in my mind.

With that said, the time had come to start thinking about what her first food would be. I like to make my own baby food so that I know exactly where it came from, can be assured that it is organic, save money and know that it hasn’t sat on a grocery shelf for a year or more (the thought of my beautiful baby eating brown, year old carrot puree makes me gag).

I tend to start with avocado puree first, because it has a smooth, creamy texture and although avocados have a higher fat content than most other fruits (yes, it’s a fruit), they contain health-promoting monounsaturated fats.

These fats are needed for the healthy development of the brain and central nervous system.

Also, they are a great first food because you don’t have to cook or even puree it if you hold off until your baby is at least six months. If not, just add some breast milk or formula to get a thinner consistency.

From there, I tend to introduce veggies first, preferably organic or out of someone’s garden and then lastly introduce fruits.

I do this because I want my babies to be introduced and become used to the taste of vegetables before they get the sweeter fruit purees.

In my mind, if you do the opposite, they will prefer the sweeter taste and reject the vegetables.

However, I have been known to let my babies sample whatever I am canning at the moment, be it tomatoes, pears, applesauce or green beans, even if it is “out of order.”

I have a lot of fun making my baby food and take a lot of pride in knowing I am nourishing my children as best as I can either through breastfeeding or through wholesome purees.

The best tips I can give for making your own purees:

Get a food processor or use your blender. If you can afford it, the Magic Baby Bullet is great and I like that it is only used for baby purees so it does not get contaminated by any high allergy foods etc. in the kitchen. It also has a separate attachment to make your own baby cereals if you want to introduce your child to grains.

To save time, I make large batches at a time and freeze most of it either in ice cube trays or in the freezer containers that comes with the magic bullet. And then when you are ready, you just pop a single serving out of the tray and let it defrost in your fridge. I don’t like to use the microwave, so I either heat it on the stove until warm or just give the puree cold (I believe this will help your child not be such a pickey eater, but that is just me).

If you are going to be having steamed carrots for dinner, make a little extra. Then make that into the next puree. That saves on time as well: You get veggies for dinner and enough to make puree, and only have to cook once.

When your child has been introduced to most purees, then you can start combining them and have fun introducing them to combinations like peas and carrots, apples and bananas etc.

At dinner time, when my children are older, I just take whatever I am serving for dinner and puree it into the right consistency. That way you save on time and money. It is great – especially for holiday dinners.

I just brought my food processor with me and fed my first child mashed potatoes and ham puree and sweet potatoes. They get the fun combinations and you don’t have to think about what to make. I am all about saving time and money – have I mentioned that yet?

Making your own baby food is so much easier than you think, especially if you use the above tips, make big batches at a time and freeze them in individual servings sizes such as ice cube trays.

I can’t believe how much money I save as well. With the average baby food jar being about a dollar a piece, I can buy a bag of organic carrots for less than two dollars and that would make months worth of puree.

Hope this encourages you to try making your own purees. It is a lot of fun and the best time to start your child off right with healthy, wholesome food.

...start your child off right with healthy, wholesome food.

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The News-Review Updated Dec 3, 2013 09:57AM Published Dec 12, 2013 07:52AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.