Homemade Baby Food: How to Make 13 Fruit Purees

It’s so easy and economical to make your own baby food, and fruit purees are particularly fun to fix because babies usually love them. I adored whipping up fruit purees for Mason. I’d spend hours preparing the fruit after he went to bed–the washing, chopping, cooking, and pureeing was my way of de-stressing and showing my baby love. It made me feel good to know exactly what he was eating, and wonderful memories are associated with many of those purees. Organic avocado puree was Mason’s first introduction to solids. A swirl of pear puree magically turned green beans into a veggie he loved to eat. The best: strawberry puree sweetened Mason’s oatmeal the morning he said “mama,” his first word, for the first time.  I could go on and on. Now that my boy is 16-months-old, I don’t get to puree fruit very often, and I miss it.

If you haven’t made your own homemade fruit puree yet, try it out. We’ve taken the guesswork out of preparing 13 of the most popular fruit purees by creating step-by-step guides with photos and mix-in suggestions (links below). Best of luck, and be sure to let us know how it goes! (NOTE: We are working on guides to making vegetable purees for baby. Stay tuned!)

How to Make:

Baby Applesauce
Best for babies 4+ months

Banana Puree
Best for babies 4+ months

Peach Puree
Best for babies 4+ months

Avocado Puree
Best for babies 4+ months

Plum Puree
Best for babies 6+ months

Apricot Puree
Best for babies 6+ months

Blueberry Puree
Best for babies 6+ months

Cherry Puree
Best for babies 8+ months

Strawberry Puree
Best for babies 8+ months

Mango Puree
Best for babies 10+ months

Papaya Puree
Best for babies 10+ months

Putting the Kabosh on Teething Pain with Chilled Fruits & Veggies

We had the Saturday from h-ll. Poor Mason’s cutting three new teeth and he has a brutal cold so he just clung to us and screamed most of the day. His little gums were horribly swollen and red, his nose was running nonstop, and his chest was rattling when he breathed. I’ve never felt so helpless as a Mom. He’s always been a good baby so we don’t have much experience with crying/screaming jags (yes, there’s an excellent chance we’ll get hit hard with #2). I kept wishing there was something I could do to make his misery go away, but I could only try to minimize his painful symptoms. At one point, I started to cry, too, out of sympathy and exhaustion and worry. I became Worse Case Scenario Mom and was convinced something was seriously wrong with him. Luckily Chris is an excellent voice of reason or I probably would have taken my baby to the ER…for teething and a cold.

To treat his cold, we turned on the shower and had him breathe in steam from hot water for 10-minute intervals (Chris and I took turns holding him and distracting him from the discomfort of the hot, wet air with his toy cars). He also slept with a humidifier running and a thick coating of Vicks on his chest. To help the teething pain, which seems to be the greater of the two evils, I gave him baby Motrin and frozen pacifiers. At mealtime, I coaxed him to eat a few different soft, squishy foods. He didn’t want to eat much (he even rejected mac ‘n’ cheese!), but here are the things that he would eat. We’d go through the list, try a few other things, and then repeat. (Other moms have recommended frozen bagels and waffles to us in the past, but unfortunately Bug wouldn’t go for either.) Any other suggestions to add to the list?

1. Homemade applesauce, chilled in the freezer for 20 minutes before serving

2. Beets, diced, cooked, and chilled

3. Banana, sliced and partially frozen

4. Full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with icy smashed pear; try one spoonful of yogurt for every two spoonfuls of fruit.

5. Ripe melon, diced and chilled– not the easiest thing to find this time of year but we lucked out.

6. Ice cold milk — a drink, I know, but Bug consumed more milk than anything else.

Other foods that Mason was willing to eat included chunks of Swiss cheese, toast with melted cheddar cheese, corn, and peas. He rejected eggs, pasta, turkey meatballs, blueberries, and grapes.

Tonight I’m making a chicken-ginger soup (recipe to come soon!). Now that both Bug and I both have his cold we need a little TLC and hot bowls of homemade soup just sound good!

Pancakes with Cinnamon-Spiced Blueberries & Apples

Best for Babies 6+ Months (puree) and 11+ Months (pancakes)

Sunday brunch is one of our fave weekend traditions. This morning we made Mason a cheese omelet with a side of Cinnamon-Spiced Blueberries and Apples that I whipped up Thursday night. The fruit recipe was inspired by one I had seen on Parents.com, and Mason enjoyed the warmly spiced fruit mixture with his oatmeal Friday morning. While Mason ate his breakfast, Chris and I whipped up some pancakes and bacon for us. We made an extra pancake for Mason and topped it with a spoonful of blueberries and apples. It was his first pancake and he dug in, face, hands, hair — you name it! — covered in crumbs and blueberries.

I love this fruit puree because it’s so versatile — and so simple to make. I peeled a Gala apple with a potato peeler, then removed the core and diced it. Then I added the apple to my steamer, along with 1-1/2 cups of frozen organic blueberries. I steamed the fruit for about 7 minutes, then dumped it into the blender. I sprinkled 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon on top of the fruit, then blended it until it was smooth (you can also smash the fruit instead of blending it if you want a chunkier texture). I originally intended to make the puree with pears since the Parents.com recipe calls for pears but I ran out of pears so I substituted apples instead (the fruits are incredibly similar). The puree was so delish that Chris ate it on his pancakes as well!

Try out this idea with your babe (or mix up the fruit as a topper for oatmeal or cooked apples), and let us know what you think!

Cinnamon-Spiced Blueberries and Apples


1 Gala apple
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Peel and core the apple. Dice. Combine with 1-1/2 cups blueberries. Steam for 5-7 minutes until soft. Drain fruit and pour into a blender for pureeing or bowl for smash. Puree in a food processor, or smash with a fork or potato masher. Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

Cheesy Rice Casserole with Peas

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

Last weekend Chris and I took Mason and my Mom to one of our fave neighborhood restaurants, Sage General Store. We live in Long Island City, which is in the New York borough of Queens, the most diverse community in the US. (Every announcement in our subway station is posted in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and English.) The neighborhood is 10 minutes from Manhattan by subway and it’s very much in transition, filled with abandoned warehouses and sketchy characters in some pockets, but it’s also home to cutting-edge art galleries, a melange of luxury apartment buildings, and great restaurants. And that’s where Sage comes in.

Sage is known for a few ultra-decadent dishes, most notably its three-course bacon brunch–bacon sampler, bacon brunch pizza, and chocolate-bacon brownie. We arrived early and were fortunate enough to get a table. The place is always packed. Mason sat in a vintage highchair and had his first taste of bacon marmalade. (He loved it!) We had planned on ordering him Sage’s ultra-decadent mac ‘n’ cheese but they were out of it so I served him my Cheesy Rice Casserole with Peas instead (yes, I called ahead because the place is so popular they frequently run out of stuff).

This casserole is one of Bug’s favorites, and it’s very simple to make–a mixture of brown rice, baby cheese sauce, and smashed peas. You can also add shredded chicken or small pieces of tofu to the mix for more protein. It’s rich and delicious but it’s also healthier than the typical casserole because of the brown rice and peas. Bug gobbles it up and I think your babe will like it too.  Try it out–and ping us with your feedback!

Cheesy Rice Casserole with Peas


Organic peas, frozen or fresh
Brown Rice
Cheddar Cheese
Milk or formula
Chicken or Tofu (optional)


1. Cook brown rice according to package directions. Set aside.
2. Cook fresh or frozen peas until soft, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
3. Prepare cheese sauce from kids cookbook author Annabel Karmel’s (she makes it with 3 different cheeses, I just use cheddar).
4. Combine 2 ounces each of brown rice and peas with 3 ounces of cheese sauce.
5. Serve. Freeze extras for up to 3 months.

Sweet Potato-Apple Puree with Yogurt

Sweet Potato-Apple Puree

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

Our love affair with yogurt continues. Yogurt is still the one thing that Mason will eat with a gigantic grin no matter what — and he’s a brilliant eater. I’ve made many fruit yogurts for Mason — peach, pear, banana, apple, mango, papaya, apricot (get the recipes) — but YoBaby gave me the idea to blend yogurt with green beans and pears. Before I mixed green beans with yogurt, Mason refused to eat them. Now he loves them. Since that combo was such a winner, I decided to try a new yogurt-fruit-veggie combo tonight: Sweet Potato-Apple Puree with Yogurt.

Baby Yogurt

I didn’t plan to invent a new yogurt tonight. In fact, I hadn’t thought about dinner at all before we got home late from a friends house and Mason was absolutely starving. (Isn’t how that always works?!) After rooting around my freezer, which is filled with rows and rows of homemade baby food (pic below), I settled on frozen sweet potato puree and frozen apple puree. I pondered adding beef to it, but Mason already had beef for lunch. I opened the fridge and noticed some yogurt. Hmmm, Mason hadn’t had yogurt today. What if I just stirred the three together?

My frozen stash of homemade baby food

I started with about four ounces of rich and creamy, full-fat Stonyfield organic yogurt, then stirred in two ounces of Sweet Potato-Apple Puree (one of Mason’s faves). I felt excited about this duo — the sweet potatoes were packed with beta carotene, while the apples were rich in vitamin C (and lots of other good stuff). The yogurt was filled with healthy Probiotics, which are super good for Mason’s little tummy. The meal was pure and simple, uncomplicated, and an absolute hit.


What about you — what’s your babe’s fave way to eat yogurt?

Butternut Squash 4 Ways

Best for Babies 6+ Months Old

I’m perplexed. For months, Mason loved butternut squash. Loved it. It was his first yellow veggie. He ate it plain, he ate it with chicken. He enjoyed it mixed with yogurt and peaches, and he loved the simple combination of butternut squash and apple. Now he cries when I try to feed it to him.

What gives? Apparently this happens. Babes suddenly decide they don’t like something. And that’s it. I’m a bit sad — I loved that he loved butternut squash. It’s pure and simple. Wholesome, velvety, luscious. I felt good feeding it to him. And it’s so simple to make.

Of course, I won’t feed Mason something that makes him cry. For now the butternut squash in my freezer will stay there. I’m hoping he’ll enjoy it once again. If he doesn’t we’ll share it with one of his little friends.

In honor of Mason’s (former) favorite veggie, here are the butternut squash recipes he enjoyed for the last few months. (Before you get started cooking, don’t miss my guide to how to roast and puree butternut squash.) Try out our recipes and let us know what your babe thinks!

Basic Butternut Squash Puree


1.5 lb Organic butternut squash
Pre-mixed formula, breast milk, or yogurt (optional)


1. Scoop flesh out of a roasted squash. Discard the skin.

2. Puree squash flesh in a food processor. Add water until you reach a smooth consistency. For extra creaminess add a splash of pre-mixed formula, breast milk, or plain yogurt.

Butternut Squash & Chicken Puree

1/3 cup boiled,  organic chicken, shredded
1/2 cup cooked organic butternut squash, diced

1. Poach chicken for about 35 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Shred a cup’s worth, and set aside.
2. Roast butternut squash. Scoop flesh from shell. Set aside 1/2 cup.
3. Combine both the squash and chicken in a food processor or blender. Add cooking liquid or water until you reach desired consistency. (Think smooth but without being watery.) Freeze extras for up to three months.

Butternut Squash-Peach Puree with Yogurt

To make Butternut Squash-Peach Puree with Yogurt, mix equal parts Butternut Squash Puree with Peach Yogurt (below):

Peach Yogurt


Organic Stonyfield full-fat plain yogurt or Greek yogurt*
1 bag frozen, organic peaches


1. Cook peaches. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Puree until you reach desired consistency.
2. Combine yogurt and pureed peaches.
3. Freeze leftovers in 2 to 4-ounces portions.
4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Butternut Squash with Apple

To make Butternut Squash-Apple puree, mix equal parts Butternut Squash Puree (above) with Apple Puree:

Apple Puree

Organic Gala apple


1. Wash, peel, and dice apple. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes).

2. Reserve some cooking liquid, then plunge cooked apple into ice water for about 3 minutes.

3. Puree cooled apple until smooth.

Avocado-Banana Mashup Part 2

The first time I fed Mason Avocado-Banana Puree, I blew it. After his first bite he shuddered and looked offended. I coaxed him into taking a second bite and he gagged, then started screaming. Discouraged, I threw the rest of the stuff in the trash.

In retrospect, it wasn’t about the fruit — both of which he loves separately– it was about my technique. The unripe avocado that I used gave the puree a grainy texture (think brown mustard). I should have been more patient and waited for the avocado to ripen. The puree was also bland. It would have been better to use at least two bananas to add more sweetness and depth of flavor.

Tonight I started my second attempt at Avocado-Banana Puree with very ripe fruit.  I scooped the avocado out of its shell and sliced up the bananas. Then I pureed them together with premixed formula. The ultra-healthy fruits blended up fluffy and creamy. The puree tasted pleasantly sweet, without any graininess at all. Even my husband who usually refuses to taste any of Mason’s purees gave liked this one.

Now for the real test.

I fed a spoonful of the puree to Mason and waited. He tasted it and instead of gagging or screaming he swallowed and opened his mouth for more. And more. He ate all two ounces of the puree and was smiling afterward (above). His reaction made my night! Here’s the recipe. Hope your babe enjoys it too.

Avocado-Banana Puree


1 Organic Avocado, ripe
3 Organic Bananas, ripe
Premixed Formula


1. Slice a very ripe avocado in half. Remove the pit. Set aside.

2. Peel and slice ripe bananas. Combine with the avocado. Puree the fruits together in a food processor. Add premixed formula until you reach a very smooth texture.

Yield: Makes 14 ounces for $3.99

What’s your latest and greatest baby food success?

Sweet Potato & Peach Puree

This weekend was crazy. Chris didn’t arrive home from his new out-of-town job until 11 on Friday after being gone all week.  Mason and I were still recovering from the wicked stomach bug that hit us both about 48 hours after Chris left. And we had to be somewhere every second of the weekend. But at least I got 20 minutes with The Moms. That’s how the manager at Cranky’s, a cozy coffee shop in Long Island City, refers to the small group of us who congregate there every Sunday morning with our babes to drink coffee and chat. Today, one of my fave duos, Florence and Charlotte, were there. Charlotte is a month younger than Mason and absolutely gorgeous — large chocolaty eyes, silky dark hair, and a smile that melts your heart. Food came up — it always does — and Florence and I discussed which food Charlotte should try next. Peaches came up so naturally I thought of Sweet Potato-Peach Puree, one of Mason’s faves.

Sweet Potato-Peach Puree


2 organic sweet potatoes
1 bag frozen peaches, organic (10 ounces)
Cooking liquid


1. Wash, peel, and dice sweet potato. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Set aside.
2. Cook peaches until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain liquid and set aside.
3. Combine cooked sweet potatoes and peaches.  Puree and add cooking liquid as needed until you reach desired consistency.

Yield: 14 ounces, $6.09

*If the puree appears to be too thin, thicken it with plain organic yogurt before serving.

This combo is lovely because the peaches add a pleasurable layer of sweetness to the sweet potatoes, but not too much. When I feed the blend to Mason, he clearly loves it and I feel good knowing that the mixture is full of beta carotene (sweet potatoes) and Vitamin C (peaches), among other nutrients and vitamins. I can’t wait to hear what Charlotte thinks of Sweet Potato-Peach puree (if she tries it), or just peaches alone.

Does your babe like peaches? If so, do you serve them alone or mixed with something else?

Lotsa Apples & Bananas

In the spirit of Mason’s (temporary) special diet, I whipped up some fresh apple and banana puree last night. As I stacked the stuff in the freezer I looked wistfully at the Chicken-Apple and Pea-Potato Purees that he can’t have until he feels completely better. There’s nothing wrong with Apple-Banana Puree — it’s simple, sweet, wholesome — and the bland diet is helping the babe feel much better. I just wish he could have a bit more variety right now. After all, I wouldn’t want to eat the same thing day after day for all three meals.

Apple-Banana Puree


1 organic Gala apple
1 organic banana
Premixed formula


1. Wash and peel apple. Dice and cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Rinse with cold water. Set aside.
2. Peel and slice banana.
3. Blend banana, along with the cooked apple, in a food processor. Add formula until puree is creamy and smooth.

*To make larger batches, use one banana for every apple.

12 Days of Fruit for $4.97

Mason is on a diet, thanks to a wicked stomach virus that hit both of us this week. Until Mason’s symptom disappear, he’s stuck with soy formula, banana, and apple. The kid is being a good sport about it, especially considering how many goodies we have for him in the freezer. Last Saturday I whipped up 64 ounces of new baby food blends, including a tasty Banana-Pear Puree. 3 organic pears + 3 organic bananas = 24 ounces of breakfast fruit, a great way to add pizazz to bland baby cereal. Depending on how much your babe eats, this simple puree could be enough for a week+ of fruit, for only $4.97. Enjoy!

Banana-Pear Puree

3 organic bananas
3 organic pears
Pre-mixed formula

1. Wash and peel pears. Dice and cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Puree and set aside.
2. Peel and slice bananas, discarding the ends. Puree with pre-mixed formula until creamy.
3. Combine pear and banana purees in a bowl. Freeze extras for up to three months.