If you have chosen to offer pureed food for your baby’s first taste of solids, don’t forget it doesn’t have to be baby rice! For a healthy term baby showing signs of being ready for solid food, lots of other colours and flavours are available for those first steps on the journey towards a healthy enjoyment of food.
The main nutrients your baby needs in his or her diet between 6-12 months are still protein, fat and calcium, so there is no hurry to cut back on milk, which is such a great source of these things. When you start solids it’s all about the taste experience, so try not to let your baby fill up on food and have no room for milk. Just one or two teaspoons is plenty for the first few meals.
You will need: approximately 100g of any suitable vegetable. This could be a small sweet potato, a carrot, a few florets of broccoli or cauliflower, half a butternut squash, a parsnip, a handful of peas, a fresh beetroot, some spinach leaves, or anything that can be cooked in the following way.
If you would normally peel the vegetable, then peel it. If not, just wash it. Cut larger vegetables into small dice.
Steam for 5-7 minutes, or boil in a small amount of water for 6-10 minutes.
Check it is soft enough to blend.
Using the chopping attachment of a hand blender, or in a food processor, puree the cooked vegetable until it is smooth. If necessary, add a small amount of cooking water to thin the puree.
If you want the puree to be smoother, pass it through a mouli or sieve. If you want it to have a little more texture, you could mash with a potato masher or fork.
Separate out a portion (two teaspoons) for the meal, and allow to cool before serving.
Cool the rest and store in clean containers in the fridge or freezer.
Hard fruits such as pears and apples can be prepared using the method for vegetable puree described above.
Soft fruits such as nectarines, peaches, plums, mangoes and apricots can be peeled and simmered for 3-5 minutes with a tablespoon of water, and then blended to a puree.
Bananas make a very convenient no-cook puree: simply mash or mush with a fork, and use immediately.
Lots more introducing solids resources can be found here.