DIY Baby Food: Steamed Vegetable Purees [4+ months]
Before six months of age, breast milk or infant formula provides all the nutrition your baby needs. That means that eating is really more about flavours, textures, motor skills, and fun than the nutrition. Babies are just beginning to test the limits of their sensory development and may or may not be ready to taste, touch and smell their new food. No doubt you'll know what their nose and taste buds like, and don't like! Remember, that breast milk and/or baby formula still supplies the most complete nutrition to infants at this stage, there is no need to leave it out of your babies first experience with baby food. Use it to thin purées to the consistency preferred by your baby!
Steamed vegetable purées
Steaming vegetables help to retain the nutritional value of fresh veggies. Always remember to wash veggies, even if they will be peeled before steaming. Removing the peel from the carrots does not impact their nutritional value. Most of their nutrients lie just below the skin.
Choose any one of the following vegetable options
- 10 to 12 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 small- medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut into 1- inch pieces (2 cups)
- 4-5 cups chopped Swiss chard (leaves coarsely chopped, stalks finally chopped) note: it is best to wait until baby is at least six months old to introduce dark leafy greens so baby can digest them. But when you start, don't overlook swiss chard. It is just as nutritious as kale and spinach! It's part of the beet family and has vitamins A, C, as well as magnesium, potassium, and Iron. Select red Swiss chard or rainbow chard, which is sweeter than the white-stalked variety.
Breast milk or formula as needed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Fill a pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Put the vegetables in a steamer basket and place in the pot. Cover and steam until tender, about seven minutes for green beans and zucchini, 8 minutes for carrots, and 3- 5 minutes for Chard. Remove the steamer basket and let the vegetables cool. Reserve the steaming liquid.
Working with one vegetable at a time, transfer the vegetables to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Add the reserved steaming liquid or breast milk, 1 tablespoon at a time if needed to thin the purée; it should pour easily and have a consistency slightly thicker than heavy cream. Blend in the butter until melted.
Serve immediately. To store, refrigerate in an air tight container for up to 2 days, or freeze in individual portions for up to 3 months.