A New Adventure: Pureeing

by jessicaturner on January 4, 2009

Since I was pregnant I have planned on making Elias’s baby food – or at least a good portion of it. However, because our pediatrician had us start food right before the holidays, I just couldn’t commit to starting the whole puree endeavor. We have done jarred up until this point, but now, I am ready. 

Elias is currently eating the following: 
  • prunes
  • peaches
  • pears
  • sweet potatoes
  • peas
  • oatmeal (which he hates, although will eat when mixed with something else- preferably peaches)
I have the book Super Baby Food, so am using that as my guide. I have also found the website Wholesome Baby Food helpful. 

So, I am looking for your tips. If you made your baby’s food, what worked? What didn’t? What do you wish you would have known?



{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

The Thai Family January 4, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I pureed a lot with my first and did everything. I found it easier to puree big batches, date them and freeze them in cubes (ice cube trays) and then bag them up by date and kind of food. I used a food mill and a food processor. Sometimes the food mill worked better for the stringier foods (like green beans). It also worked great for potatoes (sweet and regular). And once they start eating what you are having for dinner (meats, etc) you can just throw whatever it is into the food processor or food mill and not have to make a separate meal for your baby. With my second I didn’t really puree much… just didn’t have much time for it. Not sure what I’ll do this time around… maybe a little of both.

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Kim Burton Thiel January 4, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Don’t cut up whatever you are pureeing too much. The smaller the pieces are that you cut, the less nutrients that you have.

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VanderbiltWife January 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Best wishes–I hope to do the same. Can’t wait to read the responses!

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Jennifer January 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I pureed all my son’s food (except when we weren’t at home, I used jar food) and absolutely loved using the Pampered Chef microwave cooker. I just cut up the food I wanted, threw it in there with a bit of water and tossed it in the microwave for a few minutes. It worked great for cooking what I wanted to puree.

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Anonymous January 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm

The mini food processers are great and easy to clean.

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Ryan and Erin Russell January 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm

My son is 6 months so we are just starting the homemade baby foods. I’ve only done butternut squash so far as my ped wanted us to wait for veggies until 6 months. I just baked it for a short time (it was already shredded from the meal I was preparing for us) with no butter or water. Then popped it in the food processor. I use a food processor or food mill for big batches and I have a Braun Multiquick which is great for when Miles is eating what we’re eating (minus the seasonings of course). I also freeze mine in ice cube trays and put into freezer bags with the type of food and date. Works great so far and thaws really quickly. Good luck and be sure to post your ideas and successes too, please. :o)

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Ryan and Erin Russell January 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Ooops, I forgot to mention that Cuisinart has recipes on their website for babyfoods too.

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Gina January 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm

he may like Barley better than oatmeal(i think gerber still makes it)….my son did not like oatmeal ever….but loved Barley cereal.

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Emily and Forrest January 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Super Baby Food is my favorite resource for what to introduce when, and how to best prepare the fruits and veggies. I use this book all the time! My 2nd child is a few weeks older than yours I think, and I’m getting ready to use Super Baby Food all over again. Good Luck! I think the ice cube tray method is a great way to make big batches at once.

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Anonymous January 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Learn how to freeze in small quantities (ice cube trays) and then get it out to bag it. Babies can eat anything your eating.
Kelli

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Lillian January 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I’ve made all my own food and use the Wholesome Baby Foods site a lot. One food they suggested that I never would have thought of is avocados. Naomi loves them! I found it easiest to freeze them in slices in a long, skinny tray meant to freeze ice for water bottles.

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mustangkayla January 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I’ve never tried it, but have thought about doing it with my kiddo due next month. Has anyone tried the Magic Bullet to puree the food? Can’t wait to see what others have to say!

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Roxanne January 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm

I am so glad that I took the home-made pureed food route with my kids. It was slightly different with my second child {i only have 2!}. I did the freezing in ice cube tray method. Label the bags with permanent marker!! I did not make “fancy” meals, so I think that is why I was able to do it with success. Even when he was eating “mixed” meals, I kept some cubes of single purees on hand. {This was so handy for later when I just pureed/chopped the fresh meals I made.} Interestingly, on the few occasions he had to eat jarred food, we was not happy with it.
My second child cut her first tooth at 3 months….by 6 months she had four teeth. And she was ready to EAT! It was so weird that she rarely ate pureed. I cut up her food into very tiny pieces and she preferred to feed herself.
So funny how 2 kids could be sooo different!
I had read a suggestion to add a potato (chopped) to the meat as it boils. My son kept refusing the meat! So I added the potato to some chicken thighs…this time I tasted it. OMGosh! It was like a chicken, potato and gravy dinner…ver yummy. And it was enjoyed by the little man!!
Good luck and don’t stress over it. It is so fun watching their facial expressions as they try new textures and tastes.

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Everyday Thoughts January 4, 2009 at 6:35 pm

The Magic Bullet is great for purreeing foods! I LOVE it when it came to making my babyfood.

-Amy

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Southern Gal January 4, 2009 at 6:44 pm

I didn’t make my own baby food. These other ladies know their stuff though. MckMama has some helpful tips on her site. I’m sure you know her site – mycharmingkids.net

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Anonymous January 4, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Cube and steam (any fruit or veggie). Freeze as little pieces on a cookie sheet then transfer to a freezer bag. Thaw then mash with a fork, add formula or breast milk to thin if needed. My baby went from mashed to finger foods super fast so purees would have been wasted.

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Anonymous January 4, 2009 at 7:34 pm

freeze everything as single ingredient items. You can mix when you thaw.

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RN and OSHP January 4, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I made most of my kids’ baby food. I used the steamfresh bags of frozen veggies like peas and green beans and corn. I baked most of the fruits first and then pureed ( apples, pears). I used a small food processor (it was like $40 really small). I also had a little food mill I used for the veggies with skin (peas, corn). Those take longer and are just harder cause of the skin. I also recently found the most awesome little square containers with lids at the Dollar Tree. There are like 6 in a bag for $1. I can’t wait to use them with #3 who is due in March. I did the ice cube trays and put in ziploc bags before but that way is a little hard to transport if you are going out. Good luck…We had fun. I spent a few hours on a weekend and did a whole bunch of all different fruits and veggies and they lasted for a few months.

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RN and OSHP January 4, 2009 at 8:23 pm

My other tip with starting foods is to start a sippy cup early (6 mths or so). I did it with both of my kdis and they were off the bottle with no problems by 11 months. I just gave them the cup to at least play with when they ate and they eventually got the hang of it.

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mlpinky January 4, 2009 at 8:24 pm

I made all my own baby food for all three kiddos. I used just a simple blender and froze the pureed food in icecube trays. It is so simple. Just take what you need and thaw on the counter or steam. My babies all loved it and where fantastic eaters.

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Jen January 4, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I made all my own baby food with the exception of cereals. My son loved almost everything I made. As he got used to more and more food I started making him the same meals as we were eating, just without the spice. If we had chicken and rice with a veggie, he had chicken and rice with a veggie.
Veggies I did in larger batches and froze in ice cube trays (once frozen transfered over to baggies and dated). Everything else was done on the spot.
I used my Magic Bullet for everything and it worked great.

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Katy January 4, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I always found that oatmeal went over better made with BM. And tried to use it with both oatmeal and rice cereals as much as I could.

Other than that – I can’t remember much the kiddos didn’t do. Green beans were tough at first….Peas went over well as did carrots. And all fruits were loved.

Good luck and what a great job at making the food,

~Kate

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Andrea January 4, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I had the Super Bay Food book as well. I made almost all of my boys’ baby food. I purchased fresh organic fruits and veggies, steamed most of them and then put them in a blender and used water or breastmilk to thin it down to the right consistency. I sometimes used my Cuisenart but my blender makes larger batches. I did what someone else already said and made a large batch, froze them in ice cube trays, and then transferred them to freezer bags with the name of food and date on the bag.

I have to admit that it was really nice that my oldest was a December baby so by the time I was introducing all these fresh fruits and veggies they were plentiful and in season. My October baby there wasn’t as many choices around April when I first started making his baby food. I had a mini food mill for my 2nd and sometimes used that as he got older (9 mo.) to give him some of what we were eating.

My only advice is to not keep it super pureed for too long, many babies will have an adversion to any texture and only like very smooth baby food so right around 8/9 mo. start giving him some chunkier foods. I have several friends whose babies refused regular food b/c of the texture issue and it took FOREVER for them to overcome it.

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Kelley January 4, 2009 at 11:11 pm

I pureed a lot for my infant. I used the cookbook, Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. This was very helpful to me. I wish that I had found this book sooner.

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smiliesar January 4, 2009 at 11:54 pm

I pureed a lot for you daughter. Broccoli, peas, green beans,all fruits (bananas, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, Mango- though it’s stringy some times) sweet potato, and yams. I then started to mix two of them together too to make more of a variety too.

I would buy the carrots (I guess there is a gas or something that comes from making them yourselves and my daughter got really sick). It’s not worth the chance in my eyes. My ped told me to buy the meats in the jar because it’s hard to get them pureed enough not to be a choking hazard.

I froze everything in ice cube trays and then popped them out into freezer bags and marked them with a sharpie with the date and what was in it.

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Jeffry and Morgan January 5, 2009 at 5:16 am

I have a 6 week old boy- my third. I didn’t make my own baby food with the first two, but I am very interested in doing it this time around! I have just started researching making my own baby food. I will definitely be looking forward to hearing how things go for you!

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jayfersgirl January 5, 2009 at 7:53 am

I am about a month away from starting this with my daughter — I was a nanny before she was born, and the mom did the super baby food method, and it was awesome! She would puree a ton of stuff at once, freeze it in covered ice cube trays and then put them into labeled Ziploc bags — it made meals so ridiculously easy and healthy, so I plan to do the same.
Avacado is an awesome first food — it’s so easy to mash up for a baby, and it has great fat in it that babies need.
Have you tried rice cereal instead of oatmeal? That’s all I’ve ever used, but who knows if it will strike Elias better or not:) If you add breastmilk to it, instead of water, it should go over better too (if you’re not already doing this:)

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The Kelly's January 5, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I’ve been feeding Megan baby food for a few days now. I’m feeding her out of a jar right now. I’m not sure I can do the pureed idea. I’m not a good cook myself, so I would hate to try it on my daughter!!! haha. Anyway, I just had a question for you. Since Elias is eating baby food, what does his eating schedule look like now? I’m having a hard time deciding when to give her food and how much food and how much milk. It’s all so confusing to me. Any suggestions??

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Tasha January 5, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Well as far as making my own baby food,I am just not into it.But I applaude anyone who is!Last year I watched a friend of mines baby 3 days a week.She made all his food.And do you know what his favorite was?Okra!!He absolutely loved it and still does to this day.Let’s just say that they are a very healthy family!Now about the oatmeal.I don’t know how you feel about giving Elias juice but that is how I make my daughter Avery’s cereal.She absolutely refused to eat it when I made it with formula.At her 6 month check up the ped.said that I could mix it with pear juice.Gerber makes it.It made all the difference in the world.It is her favorite thing to eat now.And the pear juice prevents constipation because of the fiber.Hope this helps.Things can get confusing when they start eating food!

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Katie January 5, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I made all of Joshua’s food. I just used our blender on different settings for different foods and it worked great. I’m sure there may have been other appliances that work better, but we didn’t have any issues.

I went to Walmart and bought really nice ice trays for it and realized on my first batch of squash that it was a mistake and headed out to the dollar store for cheapy ones. The nice ones won’t give much when you’re trying to twist out the cubes and the cheapy ones are so much easier.

You’re really going to enjoy making his food. I felt like I was really doing something for him, just as I did when I was nursing.

Be sure to update as you go. I’d love to hear about it – of course with pictures!

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Melissa January 5, 2009 at 7:22 pm

I have a 14 month old and made her baby food too. My mom bought me the BEST thing EVER and I recommend it to all of my friends. The Beaba Babycook (you can get it at William Sonoma)….best invention ever!! It steams, cooks and purees all in one little machine. So easy, so quick, clean up is a snap. So worth every penny. Here is the link to check it out for yourself. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/e203/index.cfm Hope this helps and good luck to you!

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stephanie@{Olive Tree} January 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm

I always loved having bananas & avacados around. Neither have to be cooked – just let them ripen until they are mashable. I loved making baby food. Even though none of mine eat baby food anymore, I still puree somethings so that I can sneak them into other recipes. :)

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Paul & Angela Jenkins January 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm

You had a lot of comments so I’m not sure if I’m repeating what’s already said or not BUT we made all our own baby food. The first 6 weeks on jar food my son ate $500 worth of food and that was only jar food so we had to do something.

I steamed all food in a steamer first (saves nutrients) and then used either a food processer or blender to blend it up. I added water to the blended food for whatever stage my child was at. More water for stage 1 and less as each stage went.

I did huge batches of food and froze them in small servings in freezer snack bags and kept them in the freezer. When it was time to eat I defrosted the food the same way you would breast milk. Cup of hot water. If you microwave it you lose the nutrients. I only cooked food every 2 weeks so it seemed like nothing to do.

For my second child I did both freeze ahead and puree as I cooked dinner. The only downside was I was cleaner the blender each night. I can honestly say it was CHEAPER to make the food yourself. And to eat in public I just took a freezer bag or two of food and it was defrosted by the time we were ready to eat.

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Paul & Angela Jenkins January 5, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Yeah as I read the comments they are all talking about ice cube tray to freeze food it. Judah would eat 3 jars per meal at 6 months so I couldn’t do it that small. 1 jar equals the amount in a snack bag so it depend on how much you need as to whether or not you use ice cube tray or snack bags.

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Rachel Boldman January 6, 2009 at 12:59 am

Hey Jessica,
I found that pureeing sweet potatoes is really easy! I peel them, cut them up, and boil them. When they’re soft, I throw them in the blender and puree them in the liquid that I boiled them in. Then I spoon them into ice cube trays, cover with saran wrap, and freeze! I only have two ice cube trays so I pop them out right after they’re frozen and stick them in a ziploc bag. I also have “super baby food” and have gotten a lot of great ideas from it. There’s also a lot of great information in the book that is food/health related. I love it!

Rachel
racheeb@gmail.com

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Jenna January 6, 2009 at 1:14 am

I pureed for my son using the same cookbook. I found out quickly that pureed food wasnt for us. By the example of other moms I started mashing foods with a fork(banana, sweet potato , pears) after my son got the hang of that we introduced,foods that we would cut(black beans, tofu, avocado) This way our son was able to eat what we were eating. We always let him self feed, and by 1 her was able to eat most foods(following the food guildlines of coarse)
I loved self feeding and our son has never had issues with food or weight.
I hope this helps:)

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Canadian Cathy January 6, 2009 at 3:14 am

I made my own baby food for all 3 of my kids. I really did not find it bad. Basically I just made a big batch of one thing every day. I froze it overnight in ice cube trays. Then I popped them out and froze them in labelled zip locs. That way I didn’t have to spend a whole weekend making baby food and I always had loads of variety. Don’t be shy about mixing things like carrots and apple together.

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Anonymous January 6, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Hi, love your blog. I have been making my baby food recently and it is so easy. I buy bags of frozen green beans and sweet peas and cook them, then just puree them in the food processor. I buy fresh squash and boil it then puree it. For sweet potatoes I cook them in the oven until they are super soft then the skin just falls off then puree it. Walmart and the dollar tree sells tiny plastic bowls with lids. I just spoon out the portions into the bowls and put some in fridge and freeze the rest. They are perfect to just pull out of freezer or fridge and take on the go. Good Luck!

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Kim January 6, 2009 at 10:50 pm

I got the super book food book and really like it. I have been too chicken to try most things, but have done sweet potatoes and carrots. I tried the magic bullet and didn’t like it but my friend loves it. I just use my plain old blender.

My daughter was a little older when we started foods, so she was eating pureed and some finger foods at the same time. When I did the sweet potatoes and the carrots, I set some aside after cooking them to dice up and freeze. I have a bag of diced sweet potatoes and a bag of pureed sweet potatoes. Same with the carrots.

I even use a couple ice cubes of the pureed carrots when I make spaghetti sauce for my hubby and me. Copying off of Deceptively Delicious.

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Carrie January 8, 2009 at 3:14 am

Made most of the food for our first son but was unhappy with how certain foods turned out … bought the Magic Bullet for 2nd son … LOVE IT! Purees even the most difficult of veggies … green beans, carrots .. come out way smoother than any other blender/food processor. And … when Elias gets older, we used a hand held (manual) food grinder (I guess that’s what it’s called. We bought it at Babies-R-Us. Grinds up regular food … if we’re having spaghetti .. I just put Eli’s portion in there and it’s way easier for him to eat.

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Shannon January 9, 2009 at 5:25 am

I made my first son’s food and really loved doing it. It is not any trouble, is less expensive and is much healthier for them. I hope you enjoy it too! My son loved avocados (mashed with bananas), mashed bananas and pears with cinnamon and tofu mashed together. Those I did with a fork….but other stuff I used a regular blender and did the same method everyone else is talking about. I also suggest doing just single blends so that when you defrost the cubes you can have a variety of choice at that point if you want to have just apples or apples with sweet potatoes or whatever. Meats were a little gross to me – to puree them – but I still did and he loved them. I’m due with my next child next month and am already looking forward to making her food as well. By the way, another book I used a lot was 100 Baby Food Purees (or something like that) from Babies R Us….less overwhelming in my opinion than Super Baby Food. I also really like the website you’re using too for ideas and appropriate foods per age, etc. Have fun!

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