Babies: Preparing smooth homemade baby food

My son is seven months old. I have been serving him commercially made baby foods. I have recently learned that homemade baby food can be better for him and less expensive. I have been attempting to make veggies, such as green beans, peas and carrots. I've found that the texture is not as smooth as the jarred food. My son likes his food totally smooth. Am I doing something wrong?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

When preparing your own baby food, it is important to be sure the foods are thoroughly cooked if you want a smooth texture. Then, puree in a food processor or blender. To achieve the ultimate smoothness, force through a fine sieve. You may never be able to achieve the smoothness of commercially prepared baby food since you don't have the same type of industrial equipment.

Babies can become accustomed to the fine, ultra smooth texture of jarred baby food and refuse food that is more textured. However, in order to develop their eating skills, they need to move on to chunkier foods. The smoothest jarred baby foods are intended for the youngest eaters and can be skipped entirely if you don't introduce solids until a later age, when the swallowing reflex has had a chance to mature.

You may be able to help your son graduate from smooth foods by slowly increasing the texture of the homemade food. Gradually, increase the coarseness of the sieve, by choosing ones with larger meshes, until he will accept the food after only pureeing in the food processor. By the time he is 10 months old, he should be willing to try soft cooked chunks of food, such as sweet potatoes or bits of ripe banana.

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