Tuesday 8 April 2014

FIRST FRUITS ( 6 months +)

Fruits as we all know are a treasure trove of nutrients. Your baby at 6 months of age is ready to start with most fruits that are easily digestible and unlikely to cause any allergic reactions. Start with stewed Apple, Pear, Apricots preferably made into puree (or fork mash) to suit your babies need. Avocado, Banana, Berries, Papaya puree to avoid any choking hazards. It is better to avoid citrus fruits (till about 8-9 months) like oranges, mandarin for they can cause acidic reaction as their digestive system is still developing. Berries or Strawberries (always in pureed form to avoid choking hazard) are safe to be offered at around 7-8 months of age. Berries are not among the first eight allergenic foods. However they are known to cause allergies in some babies especially if there is  a family history of food allergies. In such condition your doctor may recommend to avoid berries until about 12 months of age. It is important to check with your family physician or your child's health nurse in case in any doubts. It is a good idea to offer a new food and wait for atleast 3 days to make sure there is no adverse effects on your baby.

It is important that you choose fruits that are ripe and have good natural flavour. Make sure to taste your babies food first before offering it to them. Remember, if it's good for you , it is good for your little one! Fruits not too sweet are recommended at this stage to avoid tooth decay. Try to be creative, mixing fruit puree and baby yoghurt, or iron rich baby rice cereal with pureed fruit, vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato. pureed with apricot, apple or currants, baby yoghurt with Avocado or Banana mash (your baby will love this one!)

Some Great Fruity Combos!
  • Avocado and Banana (  a great hit with all babies!)
  • Avocado and apple
  • Creamy corn and apple
  • Melon and Banana
  • Papaya and Banana
  • Apple and Pear
  • Pear and Peach
  • Mango and Apple
  • Dried Apricot Stewed and pureed.
  • Dried Apricots, Peaches, Currants
  • Pumpkin , Apricot and Sultanas
  • Sweet Potato, Apple and Sultanas
  • Avocado and Apple
  • Pumpkin, Carrot, Apple and Sultanas
At around 7 months or so when your little one is almost used to the first veggies and fruits it is a good idea to introduce a healthy breakfast routine. Oatmeal make a delicious and yummy first food for babies at 6 months (more nutritious than rice or semolina) and are delightfully filling at the same time. Oats are a healthy grain and contain fibre, protein, calcium and vitamins. They are easy to digest, not known to be highly allergic however they can contain gluten. Although not as much  as wheat but due to processing reason oatmeal can get contaminated with wheat and other grains and can contain some gluten. So if you have a history of food allergy in the family it is better to speak to your family doctor or child health nurse before you introduce any new food to your baby.

With both my kids I started offering them oatmeal cereal at about 6 and half months of age. In order to ensure a smoother texture I used to dry grind the oatmeal first in the food processor. Ensure that your blender or food processor is absolutely clean and dry before use.U may store the ground oatmeal in a clean dry airtight container for future use. Alternatively, you may also puree the cooked cereal to get a hearty texture that your baby likes. Serve the prepared oatmeal with pureed/ or grated cooked fruits or veggies your baby likes.

To make FRUITY PORRIDGE you will need:

1/4 cup quick cook oats ( I use Uncle Tobys)
3/4 cup Baby's milk (your baby's formula is ok to use), more if necessary to get the right consistency
Pureed banana, strawberry or any other fruit or veggie of choice

In a microwave proof bowl cook oats and milk as per packet instruction ( say 90 sec or so ) or may be little more if required. Serve with any combination of fruit or veggie puree.

Alternatively mix oatmeal and milk together in a bowl and cook over a gentle heat, keep stirring as it thickens and looks creamy ( about 5-7 mins) Serve with choice of fruit or veggie pureed.


In my previous post FIRST VEGGIES we have discussed the usefulness of sweet potato as a root vegetable. "An Apple a Day" make a wonderful first fruit for your 6 month old. They are loaded with nutrients, easy to prepare, naturally sweet, low in sugar, easily digestible and gentle on your little one's tummy. Sultanas, raisins or currants have many health benefits  as they are a natural source of fibre, sultanas have Vitamin E and act as a natural cleanser. At 6 months of age do not offer your child any whole dry fruits as they can cause choking hazards. It is best pureed with fruits ,veggies, rice cereals or soups.

You will need:

1/4 cup sweet potatoes, peeled, diced and cubed
1 peeled apple
a tiny cinnamon stick (discard before blending)
or some cinnamon powder (optional)
few sultanas or currants.
(You may also use pumpkin instead of sweet potato)
Put all above ingredients into a saucepan. Add enough water to cook. Bring it to boil and cook and tender and the water as reduced a bit. Puree in a blender.

Any unused leftovers can be frozen easily Although I have never frozen by baby foods. Use with 24 hours. 

Any excess puree can be frozen in  an airtight containers suitable for freezing baby food. Always allow the food to cool down before freezing and use within 24 hours. You may defrost and reheat in microwave when needed. Always discard any uneaten purees or food and never ever re-offer it to your baby the second time. The saliva mixed with the food gets contaminated with bacteria and your baby can be seriously ill if fed. I have never frozen baby foods and always preferred to make them fresh in small quatity. For more tips on food safety visit this page http://www.babycenter.in/a1005425/how-to-prepare-baby-food-safely

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With deep care

EAT as you LIKE..
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Banana custard at 7 months plus



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