How to Make Applesauce for Baby

Apples are very nutritious fruits and can easily become the first food for a baby. Medical research has also proved that it is one of the ideal fruits and helps in improving health. They contain lots of essential vitamins and minerals, which are good for baby’s health. Apples are cheap when in season and are versatile food. Everyone must have definitely heard the age old saying – An apple a day, keeps the doctor away – and rightly so. It indeed is very true and something we should well remember. This article will help you learn how to make applesauce for baby.

The Benefits of Apples for Baby

Apples pack a lot of good health benefits. It contains pectin – a type of soluble fiber and some insoluble fibers either. The pectin in the apples helps in the formation of stools and prevention of diarrhea and constipation. The insoluble fiber provides roughage and together they help in maintaining bowel regularity. This helps in preventing conditions like diverticulosis and colon cancer.

Research on the benefits of apples on human health is still in a nascent stage. However, it has been suggested that it helps in lowering the LDL cholesterol and also inhibits LDL oxidation. This helps in promoting the cardiovascular health and also reduces the risk of stroke. Apples are low in fats and rich in fiber and have host of other benefits like promoting lung, bone, prostate, liver and colon health. It also counters the effect of oxidative damage, inhibits the growth of cancer tumors. It is also a good source of mineral – boron.

When to Introduce Apples to Baby

Since apples are easy to digest and nutritious; hence, they are an ideal choice for baby’s first food. They are very versatile and can be added to a variety of baby foods. It is easy to prepare apple recipes for the baby and can be given to the baby with cereals, vegetable purees, meat purees, cake recipes, yogurts, mixed fruits and even teething recipes like biscuits. They can be frozen and added to baby safe feeder and applesauce can be used as substitute for oil in baked recipes as well.

How to Make Applesauce for Baby

Step 1: Choose a Fresh Apple

Seasonal apples are inexpensive and plentiful. You should choose apples which are firm to hold and free from any blemishes and bruises. If they are soft to touch, they might be mushy and unappealing when cut. Buying organic apples would be recommended since normal apples contain high levels of pesticide residue. Red Delicious and Gala and other varieties of apple which are sweet and mild in flavor are better option for baby food as compared to Granny Smith, which is tart. You will get about 5 ounces of apple puree from one medium apple. Store the apples in a refrigerator and cut, just before cooking them.

Step 2: Clean the Apple

It is very important to clean the apples thoroughly before using them in baby food. To ensure that all bacteria are removed, apples should be washed with mixture of 3 parts of water and 1 part of vinegar. It should then be washed off with cool, running water, dried and peeled off. A vegetable peeler in circular motion works best when peeling an apple or even a sharp paring knife can be used to peel the apple.

Step 3: Remove the Core

The next step is to core the apple and cut into small pieces prior to cooking. It can be cut into halves and the core should be removed using a scoop or by a paring knife in scooping motion. While doing this, hold the apple half in the palm as this is an easier option. Once the core is removed, each half can be sliced into chunks and chopped up.

Step 4: Cook the Apple

Put the apple pieces in a medium sized sauce pan with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the water simmer and cook till the apple pieces are soft and tender. The cooking time should be reduced, so as to retain the vitamins and minerals. After 10 minutes, remove the apple pieces and drain. They should be immediately rinsed with cold water to arrest the cooking process.

Step 5: Mash the Apple

The cooked apple pieces should then be added to a food processor or to a blender. They should be pureed along with water to reach the desired consistency. The same water which was used to cook the apples can be used to dilute the puree. For babies who are older than 10 months, the applesauce can be left with chunks. For this the apple can be mashed using a potato masher instead of pureeing in a blender or food processor.

Step 6: Serve the Applesauce

Since apple sauce is very versatile it can be given to the baby along with other foods. It can be combined with other fruit purees to introduce new flavors and textures to the baby. It can be mixed with sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, pear, bananas etc. It can also be combined with meat puree of beef or chicken.

Other methods can be used to cook the apple like – baking, steaming and boiling in very little water. You can also add some spices like cinnamon when making applesauce, the video below shows how to make applesauce for baby with cinnamon & lemon zest: