All fresh fruits (except bananas, papayas, and avocados) must be cooked until they’re soft before puréeing. Canned fruits packed in their own juice are cooked in the canning process and are easy to purée and serve. If they come in sugary syrup, drain and rinse the fruit before puréeing.
Use one medium-size, fully ripe (speckled-skin) banana. The riper the banana, the more digestible it will be for your baby. Cut it in half and peel one half to use. Cover the remaining half in the peel and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. Mash the half banana with a fork or put it through a baby food grinder. You can also peel ripe bananas, wrap them tightly in meal-size portions, and freeze. When ready to use, thaw and use immediately.
(For an older baby who’s ready for chunkier foods, you can feed a banana right out of the peel with a spoon, one small bite at a time.)
Apples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, and most other fruits can be prepared using one of the following methods: Boiling: Wash fruit, peel, and cut into small pieces. Add 1 cup fruit to 1/4 cup boiling water. Simmer until tender (10–20 minutes). Don’t add sugar; babies prefer the natural sweetness of the fruit. Blend or purée until smooth. Refrigerate what you’ll use that day and freeze the balance. Steaming: Wash fruit, peel, and steam for 15–20 minutes. Cool. Remove core, seeds, or pits. Blend or purée until smooth. Refrigerate what you’ll use that day and freeze the balance. Microwaving: Wash one piece of fruit. Remove core or pit. Place in a small glass with 2–3 teaspoons of water. Cover lightly. Microwave 1–2 minutes until fruit is tender. Cool and peel. Mash or purée until smooth. The following fruit combinations are good for older babies who enjoy textures.
1/2 very ripe avocado, mashed or puréed 1/2 very ripe banana, mashed or puréed 1/4 cup cottage cheese or yogurt Combine ingredients.
Fruit 1/2 cup large-curd cottage cheese 1/2 cup fresh fruit, raw or cooked 4–6 tablespoons orange juice Blend quickly and serve cool. You can use this recipe to incorporate one of your prepared fruits into a whole meal.
1/2 mashed banana 1/2 small mashed baked potato or yam Mix well. If needed, add breast milk, formula, or a little water.