Healthy Fruit Purees For Babies - Recipes, Benefits & Nutrition

Are you planning to introduce solid foods in your baby's diet? Try these healthy fruit puree recipes for babies and toddlers; they are rich in nutrients and delicious too.

By Sahana Charan

Healthy Fruit Purees For Babies - Recipes, Benefits & Nutrition

As your baby turns six months old, she begins to sit upright with support, tries to hold her head up and is enamoured by the different foods that family members eat. As a growing child, your baby needs a diet packed with nutrients that come from different sources. So, you need to expand her diet and introduce her to solid foods. And, what better way to do this than giving fruit purée for baby.

Fruit purées are a fail-safe first solid food because most babies find the sweetness and mild taste of fruits very appealing. And, most grandmas would tell you that it is a good idea to start with puréed bananas mixed with a little breast milk or formula.

Fruit purée for baby: The right time to start

The ‘National Guidelines for Infant and Young Child Feeding’ formulated by the Ministry for Women and Child Development recommends that babies must be exclusively breastfed up to the age of six months. Solid foods can be started later on, while continuing with breast milk or formula.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 7–8-month-old babies can be given a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy. 

Since every child is different, parents should offer different foods and see what best suits their baby.

Here is what you need to know when offering fruit purée to your child:

  1. When starting your baby on solids, begin by introducing one fruit, vegetable or grain at a time.
  2. When introducing your baby to a fruit purée or any new food, watch for a few days to check if he shows any adverse reactions.
  3. Feed your little one fruits that are in season. Avoid giving exotic ones.
  4. Avoid offering fruits that are highly acidic such as tomato, orange, grapefruit or mosambi (sweet lime) until your baby is 11-12 months old. Acidic fruits can irritate your baby’s bowel.
  5. Make sure you offer fruit purées that are nutrient-rich.
  6. Puréed banana and apple (cooked) are safe as the first solid food because these fruits are mild and do not cause allergies.
  7. Start by giving only 1–2 spoonfuls of fruit purée at a time. If your baby is still hungry, you can feed more.
  8. Offer few spoonfuls of food to your little one every two hours.
  9. Even after introducing solid foods, babies and toddlers must be breastfed (or given formula) on demand.
  10. Talk to your child’s paediatrician before introducing solid foods in your child's diet.

Tips to prepare fruit purée for babies and toddlers

  1. Many fruits in the market are loaded with pesticides or chemicals. So, buy good quality fruits for your baby or toddler. Organic fruits are a safe choice.
  2. Choose fruits that do not have holes or soft spots and are ripe.
  3. Wash and peel all fruits. Remove the seeds and hard parts to avoid choking.
  4. Fruits may lose some nutrients when they are boiled. Some fruits like apples and pears can be cooked in a pressure cooker or steamed; bananas, mangoes, kiwis, peaches and other soft fruits can be offered without cooking.
  5. Once your baby is comfortable eating different fruits, you can combine 2–3 of them to make purées. Such fruit purées are packed with many nutrients.
  6. Clean the food processor properly before making the purée. Only use filtered and boiled water for making the purée.

Healthy fruit purée recipes for babies (6 to 9 months)

1. Apple purée for baby

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • A pinch of cinnamon

Method of preparation:

  1. Wash and peel the apples. Remove the core and seeds, ensuring there are no hard bits remaining.
  2. Cut into large chunks and place in a pressure cooker. Over medium heat, cook for 5–7 minutes or one whistle.
  3. Once cooked, transfer the apple pieces to a clean bowl and mash with a fork. Make sure that the purée is smooth and does not have chunks. For a smoother consistency, blend in a food processor.
  4. Add a touch of cinnamon powder to enhance the flavour. You can add other fruits or vegetables such as banana or cooked sweet potato as well.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Health benefits: Apples are a rich source of antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fibre. Children love the mild and sweet taste. Apples help in maintaining good gut health and prevent diarrhoea.

Nutrients in the above recipe: Carbohydrates, fibre, sodium and iron

2. Banana purée for baby

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • A pinch of nutmeg/cardamom

Method of preparation:

  1. Pick a banana that is ripe enough to be mashed.
  2. Peel it and remove the ends. Cut the banana into slices and put them in a bowl.
  3. With a fork or spoon, mash the banana slices to a smooth consistency. Mix in a little breast milk, if desired.
  4. Add a pinch of nutmeg or cardamom powder to the purée and mix well.

Since you wouldn't be cooking the banana, ensure that you get one of good quality, preferably organic.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Health benefits: A banana is one of the first fruits offered to babies to help them transition to solid foods. Bananas are packed with nutrients and are easy to digest. They are a good source of fibre, potassium and other minerals, and vitamin B6. They also prevent constipation.

Nutrients in the above recipe: Carbohydrates, fibre, protein, calcium, potassium and iron

3. Pear purée for baby

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized pear
  • A pinch of nutmeg

Method of preparation:

  1. Choose a pear that is ripe and not too hard to the touch.
  2. Wash and remove the skin with a peeler.
  3. Remove the seeds and the core. Cut into large chunks.
  4. Cook the pear in a pressure cooker for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you could steam the pear in a food steamer over a large pot of water.
  5. Once cooked, transfer the pieces to a food processor and purée until smooth.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Health benefits: Pears contain a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, copper and potassium. The fruit is also rich in fibre which promotes digestion and antioxidants that build immunity.

Nutrients in the above recipe: Carbohydrates, fibre, protein, potassium and sodium

4. Avocado purée for baby

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado

Method of preparation:

  1. To choose a ripe avocado, look for one that has a dark green-coloured outer skin and buttery flesh.
  2. Cut lengthwise along the middle of the avocado. Now, hold both halves and twist a little to pull them apart.
  3. Using the knife, remove the stone. Now, slice the avocado and scoop out the pieces.
  4. Transfer to a food processor and blend into a smooth purée. Add a little water or breast milk if necessary.

Preparation time: 5–7 minutes

Health benefits: Avocados are loaded with good fats that are essential for a baby’s development. They are also rich in vitamins C, E and K, and folic acid, potassium, iron and magnesium. Avocados help in maintaining gut and heart health.

Nutrients in the above recipe: Carbohydrates, fibre, protein, vitamin C, potassium and iron

Healthy fruit purées for babies (10 to 12 months)

1. Strawberry-yoghurt purée for baby

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup strawberries
  • 1 tbsp yoghurt

Method of preparation:

  1. Choose strawberries that are bright red but not squishy.
  2. Wash them well in running water and remove the top.
  3. Roughly chop the strawberries. Combine with yoghurt in a blender until you get a smooth purée.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Health benefits: Strawberries contain multiple vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that boost immunity, help in digestion, and protect the eyes and heart of your little one.

Nutrients in the above recipe: Carbohydrates, fibre, protein, vitamin C, calcium and potassium.

2. Mango purée for baby

Ingredients:

  • 1 small mango
  • A pinch of cardamom
  • 1 tbsp yoghurt (optional)

Method of preparation:

  1. Choose a good quality (preferably organic) mango that is ripe.
  2. Peel the skin and cut the flesh lengthwise around the stone.
  3. Transfer the pieces to a blender and make a smooth purée. Add a pinch of cardamom powder and mix well.
  4. You can add a little yoghurt or cooked oatmeal for a thick and creamy consistency.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Health benefits: Who can resist eating a mango? Even babies will love the bright colour and sweet taste. Mangoes are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fibre and a host of other vitamins and minerals that help in digestion, prevent constipation, promote eye health and boost immunity.

Nutrients in the above recipe: Carbohydrates, fibre, protein and calcium.

3. Kiwi purée for baby

Ingredients:

  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 small banana (optional)

Method of preparation:

  1.  Wash and peel the kiwi fruit. With a sharp knife, remove its hard ends.
  2. Chop roughly into chunks. If adding a banana, peel and trim the ends.
  3. Purée the kiwi fruit and banana pieces in a food processor.
  4. The nutrient-packed purée is ready. You could also add cooked oatmeal or apple pieces while making the purée.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Health benefits: The abundance of vitamin C and antioxidants in the kiwi fruit boosts your little one’s immune system and protect her from infections. The dietary fibre in the fruit promotes good bowel movement.

Nutrients in the above recipe: Carbohydrates, fibre, protein, potassium and vitamin C.

4. Chikoo–date purée for baby

Ingredients:

  • 2 chikoos
  • 2 dates

Method of preparation:

  1. Choose fresh and ripe chikoos (sapodilla) to make the purée. Wash them well under running water.
  2. Use good quality, chemical-free dates (preferably organic). Wash and remove the seeds.
  3. Cut the chikoos into two halves. Scoop the flesh out with a clean spoon.
  4. Place the de-seeded dates and the chikoo pulp in a food processor and purée together.
  5. Ensure you get a thick and smooth paste. Add a little water or breast milk, if necessary.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Health benefits: Chikoos are packed with a variety of nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and iron. The antioxidants in the fruit boost immunity and vitamin E helps keep the skin supple. Chikoos are good for preventing constipation. Dates are packed with nutrients like iron, potassium and B vitamins that help in your baby’s overall development.

Nutrients in the above recipe: Carbohydrates, fibre, potassium and sodium

Who doesn’t like a piece of fruit as a morning snack or just to soothe a craving for something sweet? The bonus is that fruits are not just tasty but supply us with loads of nutrients. So, introduce your baby or toddler to the goodness of these fruit purées and she will be sure to ask for more.

About the expert:

Reviewed by Dr Neha Sanwalka Rungta on 15 October 2019

Dr Neha Sanwalka Rungta is a paediatric nutritionist and director of NutriCanvas.

About the author:

Written by Sahana Charan on 25 September 2019; updated on 18 October 2019

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