Apple Recipes For Babies: Health Benefits And Nutritional Value

Apples are nutritious, have many health benefits and are a must in your growing baby’s diet. Here’s a list of apple recipes for babies and toddlers, the ingredients needed, and how to prepare them.

By Sahana Charan

Apple Recipes For Babies: Health Benefits And Nutritional Value
Apples: Nutrition & Health Benefits

However popular the saying, ‘An apple a day, keeps the doctor away’ is, very few parents implement it in their children’s daily diet. But, this in no way undermines the immense health benefits this amazing fruit provides us. Packing an apple in a child’s school bag for the snack break not only satiates her hunger but also lays the foundation for healthy eating habits.

So, wouldn’t it be a good idea to start this habit early, by introducing babies and toddlers to the goodness of apples? Apples are packed with essential nutrients that can help a baby’s growth and protect against infections. It’s also easy to include in your child’s daily food intake as an interesting snack that will appeal to his taste buds.

Health benefits of apples

Apples are packed with nutrients including vitamin C, antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fibre. The fruit contains a soluble fibre called pectin which is known to have many health benefits. A study done by Ravn-Haren et al titled, ‘Intake of whole apples or clear apple juice has contrasting effects on plasma lipids in healthy volunteers’, published in the European Journal of Nutrition in December 2013, revealed that pectin in apples helped bring down cholesterol levels.

Apples also help to maintain good gut health, boost immunity and prevent diarrhoea.

Nutritional value of apple

A medium-sized raw apple with skin contains:

  • Calories 95 kcal
  • Carbohydrates 25g (19g sugars, 4.4g dietary fibre)
  • Vitamin C 8.4mg 
  • Calcium 11mg 
  • Potassium 195mg 
  • Iron 0.2mg

Data based on USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) - National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

Apple recipes for babies

Apple Recipes For Babies: Health Benefits And Nutritional Value

Here are some fun and healthy apple recipes for babies.

Age group: 7 to 11 months

1. Apple-sweet potato purée

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 sweet potato (small)
  • A pinch of nutmeg

How to prepare:

  1. Wash and peel the apple. Remove the seeds and core the apple. Cut into large chunks.
  2. Wash and peel the sweet potato. Slice into medium-sized pieces.
  3. Transfer both into a pressure cooker and cook with adequate water for about 5–7 minutes or two whistles.
  4. Once cooked, purée the apple and sweet potato pieces in a food processor.
  5. Use a little water or breast milk to get a thick and smooth paste.
  6. Add a pinch of nutmeg for enhanced flavour.

Time for preparation: 10–12 minutes

2. Apple-banana smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • A pinch of cinnamon

How to prepare:

  1. Wash and peel the apple. Remove the seeds and core, ensuring no hard parts remain. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Peel the banana and trim the ends. Keep aside.
  3. Put the apple pieces in a food steamer. Heat water in a large vessel and place the steamer over it.
  4. Steam for about five minutes or until the apple pieces are tender. Let it cool.
  5. In a bowl, mash together the banana and steamed apple pieces until you get a smooth paste.
  6. Add some water or breast milk to get a thinner consistency.
  7. Add the cinnamon and mix well. Feed a few spoonfuls to your little one.

Time for preparation: 10 minutes

3. Apple and pumpkin soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 100g pumpkin
  • 2 mint leaves

How to prepare:

  1. Wash and peel the apple. Remove the seeds and the hard bits. Cut into thick slices.
  2. Wash and peel the pumpkin. Dice into medium-sized chunks.
  3. Place the apple and pumpkin pieces in a saucepan with adequate water. Boil until the pieces are well-cooked.
  4. Transfer them to a food processor, along with the mint leaves.
  5. Blend until smooth, adding a little water.
  6. Pour into a soup bowl. This will make a hearty dinner for your little one.

Time for preparation: 10–12 minutes

Apple recipes for toddlers

Apple Recipes For Babies: Health Benefits And Nutritional Value

Here are some fun and healthy apple recipes for toddlers.

Age group: 1 year

1. Apple-ragi porridge

Ingredients:

  • ½ apple
  • 3 tbsp finger millet (ragi) flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)

How to prepare:

  1. Wash and peel the apple.
  2. Grate the apple and discard the seeds.
  3. Boil milk in a saucepan. Reduce the heat and add the grated apple and ragi flour.
  4. Keep stirring the mixture until the ragi is cooked and the apple, mushy.
  5. The porridge should be of thick consistency.
  6. Add the cinnamon powder and honey, and mix well.
  7. Transfer to a bowl when the porridge is cool.

Time for preparation: 20 minutes

2. Apple-rice kheer

Ingredients:

  • ½ apple
  • 2 tbsp broken rice (cooked)
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ cup milk
  • Few saffron threads
  • A pinch of cardamom

How to prepare:

  1. Wash and peel the apple. Remove the seeds and trim the core.
  2. Grate the apple and in a small pan, sauté the grated apple in ghee until soft and golden. 
  3. Boil milk in a saucepan. Add the grated apple and the rice and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Keep stirring the mixture, so the rice does not stick to the bottom.
  5. Add the saffron threads and the cardamom powder. Mix well.
  6. Cook the mixture for about 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the honey and let the kheer cool.
  8. Once cooled, transfer to a bowl and let your baby savour the tasty dish.

Time for preparation: 20 minutes

3. Apple, date and walnut shake

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • 2 dates (de-seeded)
  • 2 walnuts halved
  • ½ cup warm water

How to prepare:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. The delicious shake is ready.

Time for preparation: 10 minutes

Age group: 2+ years

1. Apple-carrot muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • ¾ cup oatmeal/powdered oats
  • ½ cup plain flour (maida)
  • ¾ cup castor sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

How to prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and combine well.
  3. Sift in the flour, oatmeal and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Add the grated apple and carrots, and cinnamon powder. Using a spatula, fold in the ingredients until well-combined.
  5. Fill the muffin cases with the batter until they are about three-fourths full.
  6. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes.
  7. This will make about 10 medium-sized muffins. Cool them and offer to your little one.

Time for preparation: 40 minutes

2. Apple pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup plain flour (maida)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

How to prepare:

  1. Whisk together the eggs, milk and yogurt. Add the honey and cinnamon powder.
  2. Sift the wheat flour and maida into the mixture and combine well.
  3. Mix in the grated apple. Ensure there are no lumps and the batter is of pouring consistency.
  4. Place a griddle on the stove, on medium-high heat.
  5. Pour a ladleful of the batter on the griddle and cook for about a minute. Flip and cook until the pancake turns golden brown.
  6. Serve the pancakes drizzled with honey, or topped with sliced bananas/strawberries.

Time for preparation: 15 minutes

3. Apple-cinnamon rings

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, peeled
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 3 tsp powdered sugar

How to prepare:

  1. With an apple corer or a sharp knife, carefully remove the core of the apple along with the seeds.
  2. Slice the apple horizontally, so that you get slices in the shape of rings.
  3. Heat a griddle and melt some butter on it. Place the apple slices on the griddle and cook them in the butter, until slightly brown.
  4. Take the apple slices out on a plate and sprinkle the cinnamon powder and powdered sugar over them for a tasty treat.
  5. Alternatively, you can bake or grill the apple rings.

Time for preparation: 10 minutes

Precautions to take while giving apples to babies and toddlers

  1. Choose apples that are fresh and of good quality; they should look crisp and not have holes or soft spots.
  2. Wash the apples thoroughly before using them. Peel and cook the apples when offering to children below two years.
  3. Discard the seeds of the apple and remove the hard parts to avoid choking.
  4. Avoid giving large pieces of raw apple to babies and toddlers.
  5. When combining apples with nuts for a recipe, offer a very small amount to your baby and watch carefully for adverse allergic reactions.

For many parents, an apple is often the first solid food that they offer their little ones. These innovative and healthy recipes for babies and toddlers will ensure they get the right benefit from this nutrient-rich fruit.

Also read: Healthy Fruit Purees For Babies - Recipes, Benefits & Nutrition

About the expert:

Reviewed by Ryan Fernando on 9 October 2019

Ryan Fernando is an award-winning celebrity sports nutrition coach who is also the co-founder & CEO of India's largest chain of nutrition clinics.

About the author:

Written by Sahana Charan on 30 September 2019; updated on 15 October 2019

Sahana Charan is an independent writer and journalist with an interest in writing about health and wellness, environment, urban living and child rights.

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