The Puree Guide: Mistakes, Methods & Tips

How many times have we wished for a book on parenting? Well, we may not have that but we can at least put together a guide for baby food purees; because-well, that’s what we know.

4 Popular Baby Food Puree Methods

  1. Steaming: generally speaking, steaming is a great method for allowing vegetables to cook in their own juices. While some might say this produces less flavor, for babies, don’t let that scare you. There’s nothing wrong with mild flavor-especially if it’s combined with all the healthy benefits. In need of an awesome steamer? Try the Baby Bullet Steamer.
  2. Microwaving: Is it safe? Yes, as long as you use a glass container instead of a plastic one. We suggest heating your puree in stages, then stirring until reaching the desired temperature. Not sure? Test it out before serving. But should baby leave some food unfinished, go ahead and toss it. Re-freezing is never a good idea. Still need more information about microwave fact and fiction? Here’s a download of common microwave myths.
  3. Baking: It’s not too hard to peel and chop up a butternut squash to pop in the oven. Once it’s been thoroughly cooked through, it’s ready for pureeing! One thing to watch out for is using a dark, non-shiny baking sheet. Sometimes these can generate too much heat and burn the bottom of your food faster than the top. Martha Stewart recommends a nice heavy, shiny aluminum sheet with no sharp edges. (And speaking of butternut squash, if you’re looking for the best flavor I highly recommend grabbing a kabocha if you can find it in your local grocery store!)
  4. Boiling: This works great for things like potatoes or even for meat, and the method really just comes down to preference. Here’s a great recipe from Anna O’Steen on how to boil a basic chicken puree.

Puree Freezing Timetable

Frozen food can be consumed within 3-6 months of freezing. 3 months is an ideal cut off date, though. According to www.wholesomebabyfood.com, “Remember that when certain books give freezer time guidelines, they rely on the typical guidelines for fruits/veggies that have NOT been cooked and turned into purees.”

4 Common Puree Mistakes

  1. Not refrigerating fresh baby food within 2 hours. I use the 2-hour rule after I make my pureé, anything longer can start the process of bacteria growth.
  2. Refreezing after thawing. That’s right, folks. Once you’ve committed, there’s no going back.
  3. Serving your puree too warm. Nancy J. Price from www.care.com recommends the food temperature to be about 98.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Maybe it goes without saying, but once it’s been heated try not to serve right away. Give it about 30 seconds, try it yourself, and then serve.
  4. Holding onto purees for too long. Babies learn a lot and fairly quickly. By the time they’re 8 months, they’re about ready to transition into picking up small bits of food while exploring the option of self-feeding.

Want some more pureé tips? Have some of your own? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

 

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About Maia Rodriguez

"Military Mom" Maia Rodriguez was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but that was about twenty homes ago. After graduating from Syracuse University with a BFA in Musical Theater, she traveled just about everywhere in the country, lived in a green turtle-like tent for 6 months, toured and slept in the back of her van and even worked in Japan for a year. Then she met her husband who tamed her (ha!) and they embarked together on the adventure of parenthood in southern California where she worked as a professional pirate. Now, two children later, the family currently resides in VIrginia, where she sings for the US Navy as a vocalist. When she’s not mothering, she’s writing music for "Evernight," singing and writing for the Baby Bullet Blog.

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