As a new parent, one of the most important decisions you will make for your child is what to feed them. As your baby grows, their nutritional needs change and it can be overwhelming to figure out what and how much to feed them. One popular option for introducing solid foods to infants is through purées. In this blog post, we will provide an introduction to infant purées, including what they are, when to start feeding them, how to make them, and some tips for success.
What are Infant Purées?
Infant purées are soft, mashed or blended foods that are easy for babies to swallow and digest. They are typically made from fruits, vegetables, or a combination of both. Purées can be served alone or mixed with breast milk, formula, or water to create a thinner consistency. They are an excellent way to introduce your baby to new flavors and textures and can be a nutritious addition to their diet.
When to Start Feeding Infant Purées
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants should be exclusively breastfed or formula-fed for the first six months of life. After six months, infants can start eating solid foods, including purées. However, it is important to note that every baby is different, and some babies may be ready for solids earlier or later than others. Signs that your baby is ready for solids include:
– Sitting up with support
– Showing interest in food
– Able to control their head and neck movements
– Loss of the tongue-thrust reflex (pushing food out of their mouth with their tongue)
It is important to speak with your pediatrician before introducing solids to your baby to ensure they are developmentally ready and to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.
How to Make Infant Purées
Making your own infant purées is easy and cost-effective. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Choose your ingredients: Select fruits and vegetables that are in season and fresh. Avoid canned or pre-packaged fruits and vegetables, as they often contain added sugars and preservatives.
2. Wash and prep your ingredients: Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly and remove any seeds, skins, or stems. Cut them into small pieces for easier blending.
3. Cook your ingredients: Steam, boil, or bake your fruits and vegetables until they are soft and tender. This will make them easier to blend.
4. Blend your ingredients: Use a blender or food processor to blend your cooked fruits and vegetables until they are smooth and free of lumps. You can also add breast milk, formula, or water to create a thinner consistency.
5. Serve or store your purées: Serve your purées immediately or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze your purées for up to two months.
Tips for Success
Here are some tips to keep in mind when introducing purées to your baby:
– Start with single-ingredient purées: Introduce one new food at a time to help identify any food allergies or sensitivities your baby may have.
– Offer variety: Once your baby has tried a few single-ingredient purées, start mixing different fruits and vegetables together to create new flavors and textures.
– Be patient: It may take several attempts before your baby accepts a new food. Keep offering a variety of purées and don’t give up.
– Don’t add salt or sugar