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First stage – baby food
It’s a perfect time to introduce your baby to a range of fresh fruit and vegetables when they begin to eat solids. Nothing beats nutritious, home-made baby food bursting with wholesome fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Top tips to get started













Begin by introducing small quantities of pureed vegetables and fruits.
Add a little breast milk, formula or cooking liquid to pureed fruits and vegetables to achieve the desired consistency to suit your baby. Babies generally prefer very moist foods.
Gradually increase the thickness and texture of fruit and vegetable purees as your baby learns to chew. Team fresh vegetables with other ingredients like chicken or meat once the simple purees are accepted and expand the range of vegetables offered.
Some babies may be very fussy about eating new foods but don’t give up try again at another time.
As you introduce new foods, watch your baby for signs of a reaction or allergy. Avoid offering strawberries until your baby is 12 months old as some babies have a severe reaction to strawberries.
Remove seeds and pips from fruits before using to make baby food.
Peel and/or trim vegetables if necessary.
It’s best not to add sugar or salt to baby food.
Remember, baby food is given in addition to the breast or bottle. 

Storing home-made baby food
It’s essential to keep all cooking equipment and utensils very clean. Use clean ‘fruit & vegie’ only boards for chopping fruit and vegetables.  Store individual serves of baby food in clean airtight containers for 1 day in the fridge or store in the freezer for up to 1 month. It’s best to defrost baby food overnight in the fridge.

First stage - vegetable & fruit purees

Fruit purees 

Start with the simple flavours of pureed apple or pear. 

Apple Puree – use 2 Golden Delicious or Granny Smith Apples
Pear Puree - use 2 Beurre Bosc or Packham pears.

1. Peel and chop the fruit and place in a saucepan with 2-3 tablespoons water.   
2. Cover and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and cook until very tender.
3. Use a blender or food processor to puree the fruit until very smooth.  
4. Add a little breast milk, formula, orange juice or cooking liquid to achieve the desired consistency for your baby  

Popular fresh fruit puree/mashes:







Apple and pear – poached and pureed
Peaches and apricots – poached and pureed
Banana
Papaya or pawpaw – remove skin and seeds
Papaya and banana
Custard apple – use ripe fruit and remove the skin and seeds
Avocado – use ripe fruit and discard skin and seeds and add a little fresh orange juice if desired

 

 

Fresh vegetable purees


To begin, try your baby on simple pumpkin, carrot and potato or kumara (orange sweet potato) puree. Try them separately, and as baby accepts the flavours gradually introduce your baby to a range of vegetables in various combinations.

Pumpkin puree – use ½ small Butternut or Jap pumpkin
Kumara puree – use 1 medium Kumara
Carrot puree – use 2 carrots and 1 potato

1. Peel and chop vegetables into a 2-3cm dice.
2. Steam, boil or microwave vegetables with a little water until tender.
3. Use a blender or food processor to puree the vegetables until very smooth.   
4. Add breast milk, formula or cooking liquid to achieve the desired consistency to suit your baby

Popular vegetable puree/mash combinations:
1. Zucchini and potato – 1 medium potato and 1 medium zucchini
2. Parsnip, kumara and spinach –1 medium parsnip, 1 small kumara and 20g baby spinach leaves (trim stems with scissors prior to cooking)
3. Carrot and pumpkin – 2 carrots and a wedge of butternut pumpkin
4. Cauliflower and potato – 250g cauliflower florets and 1 potato

Second Stage – tasty vegetables

As babies grow they prefer a chunkier textured baby food. Cook a range of fresh seasonal vegetables with meat or chicken. Babies also like fresh vegetables with pasta, in soups or simmered in a casserole until tender. Add chopped fresh herbs like flat-leaf parsley or chives for additional flavour.

Fresh vegetables are colourful, packed with natural goodness and loaded with beneficial vitamins. In addition, they’re a good source of dietary fibre for your baby or toddler.

Easy vegie snacks and meals








 



For breakfast or a snack, spread wholemeal toast or muffins with creamed cottage cheese and mashed avocado.
Offer lightly steamed vegetables like carrot sticks or broccoli florets as finger food. They team well with ricotta cheese and/or hummus dip.
Bake or microwave jacket potatoes until very tender, allow to cool slightly, scoop out the flesh and serve with some mashed or whole baked beans or cottage cheese
Steam a selection of chopped fresh vegetables and toss with cheese sauce
Make a hearty vegetable soup like minestrone, chicken, vegetable & noodle or corn chowder for your toddler. Home-made soups freeze well so they’re ready for a quick meal.

 

Easy fruits for your baby/toddlers

Fruit is a great source of valuable vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fibre.
It’s a healthy, quick and easy finger food for your toddler. Fresh fruit also makes the ideal dessert!

Please note, avoid offering strawberries until your baby is 12 months of age as some babies have a reaction to strawberries.

Quick fruit serving ideas for baby/toddlers…












Stir naturally sweet finely chopped banana, berries, mango or pawpaw or strawberries (depending on age) through yoghurt or custard.
Puree apple, pear or strawberries (depending on age) and swirl through yoghurt or drizzle over a diced fresh fruit salad.  
Make a fresh fruit compote by simmering a range of fresh fruits like sliced rhubarb, blueberries, apple and strawberries (depending on age) in water or juice until tender. In summer, use peaches, apricots and nectarines. Colourful and bursting with goodness, the fruit compote can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge ready to spoon over cereal, porridge or yoghurt for breakfast or serve for dessert with a drizzle of custard or some rice pudding.
Serve toddlers soft fresh fruit as finger food. Include peeled and deseeded rockmelon, honeydew melon or watermelon wedges, kiwifruit and mango.
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