Monday, March 12, 2012

{kitchen adventures} Homemade Baby Food Pouches With Fruits and Veggies.

Don't have a baby or toddler like this one? You should get one; they're great! In the meantime, these recipes can also make yummy, healthy fruit yogurts and smoothies for grown ups.




Pink Puree and Green Puree. Yum!



 Recently, we ran into a big problem. My veggie-loving baby turned into a toddler and decided to boycott anything that isn't a cracker or a banana.  I tried making veggies look like crackers. They were thrown on the floor. I tried baking them into crescent rolls. Those got picked out. I added them to soups and chilis. They were eaten around, and (I know it seems impossible, but)  I got sick of having chili every night. Pureeing vegetables and hiding them in pasta sauce was working alright, but giving my kid noodles and pasta sauce at every meal wasn't sensible either. 

I started buying these pouches from HAPPYBABY Organics,  and he loved them! But $2 a pouch can really add up, and my granola-loving side was concerned about feeding him processed food that wasn't homemade. I tried to make veggie purees like I did when he was just starting solids, but he didn't care for the taste, and he wasn't interested in anything he couldn't easily eat with his bare hands. 
Then a friend mentioned that she makes fruit and veggie combo purees and feeds them to her toddlers in squeeze bottles, so I decided to give it a try. I was only able to find a couple different products made specifically for squeezing out purees, and eventually decided on "The Sili Squeeze" reusable pouch, after another acquaintance ordered some for her children. For the record, this thing is awesome, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to feed yogurt, purees, or smoothies on the go.

Now that I had the pouch, it was time to go to work. I started experimenting, and came up with these recipes, which all turned out to be big hits with the little guy. Every puree listed tastes like fruit rather than vegetables. And check out the colors! What kid doesn't love colorful food?

Pink Puree  (Loaded with Vitamin C,  Vitamin A, Iron, Potassium, and Calcium)
3 bananas
1 lb ripe strawberries
1 medium red beet




Green Puree  (Lots of Iron, Vitamins C & E, and Beta-Carotene)
5 medium pears
1.5 cups fresh baby spinach
2 mangoes

Orange Puree (A little bit of everything, rich in Omega-3s) 
5 medium yellow peaches
2 medium carrots
1/2 cup diced pineapple
1 banana
3/4 cup spinach
1 medium avocado





Purple Puree  (Tons of antioxidants, Iron, and Vitamin A)
4 bananas
6-8 oz fresh or frozen (no sugar added) blueberries
1 medium red or white beet








Prep: Once you have your ingredients, wash them. Remove peels, cores, and pits, and dice large fruits and veggies into 1-2 inch cubes. Defrost any frozen fruits.



Spinach, mangoes, and pears ready for steaming.

After 10 minutes, it's ready to go!


Steam: Spinach and anything firm (consistency of an apple) needs to be steamed. Any fruits that are very ripe should puree easily without steaming, but when in doubt, I just throw them in the steamer. Check periodically to make sure fruit isn't turning brown. Beets could take upwards of 30 minutes to steam, but anything else should be done steaming in 8-10 minutes.







Blend: After everything is steamed until tender, place fruits and vegetables into a blender or food processor and process until you reach a smooth, uniform consistency.


Pink Puree, finished and ready for storage.


Store: For food safety, it's recommended to immediately freeze any fresh purees you won't be using within 24-48 hours. One popular method is to make the purees into "ice" cubes using an ice cube tray, and transferring to a freezer bag within 12-24 hours. There are also products made specifically for freezing baby food, but I prefer 1/2 cup gladware containers. You can pick up 8 of these for about $2. I also like to transfer frozen purees into a freezer bag to save space. 


Feed! You've got several choices here, as there are lots of ways to prepare these.


For homemade baby food pouches: it's time to defrost these puppies and toss them into a squeeze bottle. *WARNING: Kids might ask to repeat this step multiple times. When I serve this as part of a meal, I just defrost the puree in a bowl and let him practice using his spoon to eat it. Either way, he can't get it into his mouth quickly enough.

Quick and easy smoothie: To change things up, mix 50/50 with some plain greek yogurt and your toddler's milk to add protein. Just leave the puree frozen and toss everything in a blender or food processor. For added carbohydrates or iron, toss in a few tablespoons of baby oatmeal. These are great for adult smoothies too, just try not to keep all the fruity goodness to yourself.

Healthy fruit yogurt: I've also stirred these into greek yogurt to make a healthy, homemade fruit yogurt for myself or the little man.





10 comments:

  1. Ive been looking all over for a reusable pouch because we spend so much each week for these silly things. Thanks!

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  3. Thank you sooo much! My 10 month old loves the store-bought organic fruit and veggie pouches. I saw this site, and ordered pouches from the sili company. I'm so excited to try making my own food for her!

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    1. Lucy, That's great to hear! Good luck! I'd love to hear how it goes for you.

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  4. Great post! Thanks for the link to the sili company.

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  5. Thanks for these. I have the Beaba squeezer and love it, but I may have to check out the Sili one. Love the recipes!
    Tina @ Mommynificent

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  6. Valuable blog for the instruction of fruits puree. This blog having good information regarding baby foods. I love all the puree showing in the blog. Pink puree looking very delicious.

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