Crazy-Easy Homemade Baby Food Using Summer's Tasty Stone Fruits
Making your own baby food is a healthy and cost-effective way to feed the tiny tyke in your life—you know exactly what he’s eating and you can make it from almost any* fresh produce, whole grains, or proteins you have on hand. Thankfully, getting DIY with his dinner is also as easy as 1-2-3. Just check out the simple steps for making nutritious, yummy purées from any of summer’s delicious stone fruits!
Before You Get Started
- When selecting fresh stone fruits (apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums), look for skin that has vibrant color and is free of cuts, bruises, and other blemishes. Choose ripe fruit that’s firm but still has a little give when you gently squeeze it. If the fruit is too hard, its flesh will be crunchy and tart rather than soft, juicy, and sweet.
- Wash your fruit well. With their thin, edible skins, stone fruits easily retain pesticide residue. If possible, buy organic versions to hopefully avoid this problem. Either way, it’s always a good idea to gently wash your fruit using a combination of three parts water and one part distilled white vinegar to remove bacteria, and then rinse under cool running water.
Baby Food Using Fresh Stone Fruits
Step 1. Peel
The easiest way to do this is to cook your fruit first using one of these methods:
- Blanch: Plop the whole fruit in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for about 30 seconds to one minute, or until soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fruit and submerge in a bowl of cold water. Remove the skin with your fingers or a paring knife. Save the water in your saucepan.
- Steam: Use a paring knife to carve an X into one side of the fruit. Place the fruit cut-side down in a steamer over a pot of boiling water and steam until soft. Move the fruit to a cutting board—when it’s cool enough, remove the skin. Save the water in the pot.
- Bake: Halve and pit your fruit, and then place it cut-side down in a pan filled with one inch of water. Bake the fruit at 400 degrees until tender and/or the skin begins to pucker. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the skin. Save the water in the pan.
Step 2. Prep
If you haven’t already, cut the cooked fruit in half and remove the pit. Chop the fruit into small pieces.
Step 3. Purée
Place the pieces of fruit in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth, adding the saved water as needed for a thinner consistency. Serve right away, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months (thaw overnight in the refrigerator when ready to eat).
Keep baby food safe by reheating refrigerated or frozen food to an internal temperature of 165 degrees before serving and throwing away any leftovers when she’s done eating (the process of eating transfers bacteria from your baby’s mouth to the food via the spoon).
Stone-fruit purées taste great on their own or paired with other foods. When baby is ready for multi-ingredient meals or more texture, try mixing with yogurt, brown rice, oatmeal, or puréed poultry, beef, pear, or sweet potato.
*Check with your doctor before serving stone fruits or any other foods to your baby. Most little ones take their first bites between four to six months, but regardless of age, he should be able to sit in a high chair and have good head control. The standard advice is to start with single-ingredient purées—wait three days before introducing another food to confirm your baby isn’t experiencing an allergic reaction such as rash, diarrhea, or vomiting. Never add salt or sweeteners.