10 Baby Food Purees (Stage 1)

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Everything you need to know about making stage 1 baby food, including 10 recipes for tasty purees that are perfect for introducing solids.

Introducing solids to your baby is such an exciting milestone but it can also be an overwhelming time with lots of questions. When is your baby ready for solids? Which foods should you start with? And how do you make homemade baby food?

I’m here to make sure you have all the information you need! Plus sharing 10 baby food purees to give you some ideas of where to start if you’ve decided to make your own baby food.

Ten varieties of baby food purees in jars with strawberries, blueberries, spoons and ice cube trays scattered around them.

When To Start Solids

Most pediatricians recommend babies start solids between 4-6 months, but you know your baby best so trust your gut and do what feels right to you (with guidance from your pediatrician)!

I have a great guide for introducing solids to babies where I outline the basics and share my approach, but just to recap, here are some signs that your baby is ready to start enjoying solid food:

  • Baby can hold their head up in an upright position without too much bobbing
  • Baby can sit up with (or without) support
  • Baby has lost the tongue thrust reflex
  • Baby puts their hands or toys in their mouth
  • Baby has shown interest in food such as leaning forward and opening their mouth or trying to grab food you’re eating
Five glass bowls of various sizes containing: peas, strawberries, blueberries, avocado and mango.

How to Introduce Solid Food to Baby

Once you’ve decided that your baby is ready to start solids, it’s go-time. There are different approaches to this including baby led weaning, where you skip purees all-together and let your baby feed themselves with finger foods from the start and traditional weaning, which starts with pureed (or blended) foods.

With Olivia I did a hybrid approach where the first few foods we introduced where purees and then we started with a few finger foods when she seemed ready. I go into more detail on this in my introducing solids post.

To be honest, if you’re planning to do baby led weaning this post probably won’t be that helpful because it’s focused on how to make a variety of single ingredient purees.

What is Stage 1 Baby Food?

If you decide to use purees, you’ll quickly notice that baby food is labeled by three stages. Here is a breakdown of what these different stages mean:

  • Stage 1 (4-6 months) – single ingredient foods that are pureed into a very thin consistency with no chunkiness whatsoever that can be served with a spoon.
  • Stage 2 (around 6-8 months) – slightly thicker consistency and typically includes food combinations and the addition of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, mint, basil, etc. See my stage 2 baby food combos.
  • Stage 3 (around 9-12 months) – thick blended foods with chewable chunks or small cut up pieces of easily chewed food.

Best First Foods for Baby

Solid foods can be introduced in any order, but most pediatricians recommend starting with a single-ingredient food that is easy to digest like pureed sweet potato, carrot, banana and/or avocado. Other options include pureed meats, poultry, beans and iron-fortified baby cereals like rice cereal or oatmeal.

You just want to be sure the first few foods are pureed super smooth and almost a liquid consistency. You can easily thin purees with breastmilk or formula.

As baby gets more practice with eating you can reduce the amount of liquid and offer purees with a thicker texture.

Food Allergies and Known Allergens

When introducing foods it can be helpful to introduce only one food every three to five days so you can watch for any signs of allergic reactions. A reaction could show up almost immediately or a few days after so it’s recommend to introduce one food at a time when starting out so you can track what may be causing a reaction in your baby. Reactions include: hives or rashes, itching, shortness or breath or more serious reactions like vomiting or swelling of the lips and tongue.

It’s also helpful to be mindful about common allergens. Foods like diary, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy and shellfish should be introduced gradually after less allergenic foods have been tolerated. The previous recommendation was to wait on these foods, but that as since changed and in fact, delaying the introduction of these foods may increase the risk of a child developing allergies.

One food that is off limits until a baby is at least 1 year old is honey because of the risk of infantile botulism.

Ten baby food jars stacked on top of each other.

How to Make Homemade Baby Food

We covered when and what foods to start with. Now lets talk how to make a basic baby food puree! Don’t fret, it’s super easy. Here’s the basic process:

  • Prep: you’ll want to start by ensuring your fruit or vegetable of choice is thoroughly cleaned. Even if you’re using organic fruits and vegetables, you’ll want to washed and dry your produce! Once the produce is clean, you’re ready to peel and chop into chunks. You can skip this step for some fruits or veggies.
  • Cook: some foods like banana and avocado don’t need to be cooked, but many do. For cooking, you can steam, boil or roast. I recommend using a fork to test that they’re tender and soft.
  • Blend: place cooked food into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (or the consistency you desire), adding liquid (breast milk, formula or water) as needed.

That’s it! You’ve just made a homemade baby food puree!

Two rows of 5 baby food purees.

Best Tools For Making Homemade Baby Food

You really don’t need any fancy kitchen appliances, but there are a few tools that will come in handy when making homemade baby food.

  • Steamer basket – Steaming is one the easiest ways to cook foods for making purees and having a steamer basket is key. I have a really basic steamer basket that fits in most pots, but I also use the steamer basket that comes with my Always Pan.
  • Blender – I’ve been using my Vitamix blender and love how smooth it makes the purees. You can also use a food processor or an immersion blender.
  • Silicone ice cube trays – In the beginning I really liked to make large batches of pureed food and pour it into a silicone ice cube tray with a lid to freeze for later. It was perfect when babies aren’t eating big portions because each cube is about 1-2 ounces.
  • Freezer bags – Once you have frozen cubes of puree you can transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. I love reusable Stasher bags for this.
  • Storage containers – As soon as you start making homemade baby food you realize that you need lots of little containers. A friend loaned me a bunch of plastic storage containers for keeping homemade baby food and I also invested in these glass containers that are freezer safe.
  • Permanent markers – When storing and freezing baby food you’ll want to label everything with the name of the food and the date.
  • Baby food maker – if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that steams food and blends it there are some cool gadgets (like the BEABA Babycook) that make homemade baby food a breeze!

10 Stage One Baby Food Purees

Ready to get started making some stage 1 baby food purees? Here are 10 easy recipes to get you started. These are the purees I used in the early days with Olivia. She loved all of these, but there are a ton of other purees you can try including pear puree, apple puree (aka applesauce), bean purees (like chickpea or lentil puree) and even chicken puree.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a powerhouse vegetable! They’re packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and babies love their sweet flavor.

Sweet Potato Puree

3.72 from 7 votes
Sweet potato puree is so easy to make. Just bake your sweet potatoes, peel and blend until smooth! It's a great first food for babies, but can also be used in baking recipes, mixed into oatmeal, added to smoothies or served as a side dish.
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A bowl of sweet potato puree. A spoon is laying facedown next to the bowl.

Carrot

Carrots are low on the allergy scale and easily digested by a tiny tummy. They are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in the body, which is crucial for eye health and overall immune function.

Carrot Puree

3.98 from 38 votes
How to make carrot baby food by cooking and blending carrots into a smooth and creamy puree. Carrot puree make a great stage 1 starter food for babies.
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Glass baby food jar with carrot puree with an ezpz spoon dipped in.

Avocado

Avocados are high in heart-healthy fats as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! They’re incredibly nutritious and super easy to prepare.

Avocado Puree

5 from 1 vote
Avocado is great first food for babies. It contains healthy fats, it’s easy to blend and it’s delicious. Make it in your food processor or blender or simply mash!
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A small jar of avocado puree. A spoon rests in the jar.

Banana

A great first food to introduce to babies, bananas are naturally soft and mushy, easy to digest and loaded with vitamins and minerals. The best part? You don’t need to cook them!

Banana Puree

5 from 2 votes
Fresh banana puree is a great first food and baby will love it because it tastes sweet! Easily make it by mashing or blending ripe bananas.
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An overhead photo of a bowl of banana puree.

Peas

Peas are naturally sweet and pack a punch with nutrition, containing a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are also high in protein, with 4 grams per half-cup serving. Fun fact, peas are actually a legume!

Pea Puree

5 from 2 votes
Pea puree is a great first food when introducing solids to babies and all you need is a bag of frozen peas and a blender or food processor!
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A small jar of pea puree. A purple spoon is cut out of the frame.

Butternut Squash

Technically a fruit, butternut squash is packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Butternut Squash Puree

Make butternut squash puree at home with this simple recipe! Just scoop the seeds, roast, blend and use in recipes that call for butternut squash puree. It's also a great first food for babies!
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A bowl of butternut squash puree with a spoon.

Peach

Peaches are naturally sweet and perfect for introducing baby to solid foods. They are rich in many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Peach Puree

5 from 2 votes
Peach puree is so easy to make using fresh peaches! It's a great first food for babies, but can also be used as a topping or mix-in for breakfast, dessert and drink recipes.
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Up close shot of peach puree on a small sliver spoon hovering over a white bowl with peach puree.

Mango

Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, mango is especially high in vitamins A and C. They also contain a group of digestive enzymes called amylases which help little tummies just starting with solid foods.

Mango Puree

5 from 1 vote
How to make a delicious mango puree out of fresh (or frozen) mango. It's perfect for serving to baby or to use in recipes.
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A small glass bowl containing mango puree.

Blueberry

Small but mighty! Blueberries are known as a superfood. Superfoods are usually plant-based and rich in nutrients that are beneficial to your health such as vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fiber.

Blueberry Puree

5 from 1 vote
Blueberry puree is full of antioxidants and vitamins and makes for a quick and easy first food for baby! It can also be used as a topping or mix-in for breakfast, dessert and drink recipes.
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A bowl of blueberry puree with a purple spoon resting in the bowl.

Strawberry

Strawberries pack quite a health punch! They are low calorie, taste delicious and are a great source of vitamins, minerals and plant compounds.

Strawberry Puree

5 from 1 vote
Strawberry puree is easy to make and naturally sweet with no added sugar! Use it in baked goods, drinks or as baby food.
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A small glass bowl containing fresh strawberry puree. Strawberry slices are scattered around the bowl.

How to Store Purees

Freshly pureed baby food should be stored in the fridge and used within 3-4 days. For longer storage, I recommend freezing purees in an airtight container. I like using silicone ice cube tray or freezer safe jars because they make it easier to thaw smaller amounts for serving to babies.

Four different baby food purees in an ice cub tray.

How to Thaw Frozen Puree

I recommend thawing frozen purees in the fridge the night before you want to use them. In a pinch, you can also thaw it quickly with a warm water bath. It thaws quickly if you’re defrosting a small amount to serve to a baby.

FAQ

Can I store homemade baby food purees?

Yes! Making large batches of purees and storing them in the refrigerator or freezer makes feeding baby homemade purees a breeze.

Can you freeze homemade purees?

Freezing baby food that has been made with frozen fruit or vegetables is fine, as long as you have cooked the frozen foods first. Do not refreeze foods that have thawed without cooking. I recommend labeling baby food with the ingredient and date before you place them in the freezer.

Can you freeze baby food made with breast milk or formula?

If you are freezing baby food that has been mixed with fresh breast milk you’re fine! However, you should not freeze baby food that has been mixed with previously frozen breast milk. Once frozen breast milk has been thawed, it should never be re-frozen.

If you are using formula, it should be okay to freeze baby food that has been mixed with it. Most formula companies don’t recommend freezing formula, but you’re using such a small amount.

You can also freeze the baby food purees without adding any liquid. You can then thaw the baby food puree in the fridge overnight and then thin the food to the desired consistency with breast milk or formula right before serving.

This post about freezing baby food has a ton of great insight and tips.

Should I use organic fruits and vegetables?

I recommend using organic produce when possible, though I realize this isn’t always in the budget. Either way thoroughly rinsing your fruits and vegetables is an important step whether they’re organic or not.

This list of the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables from the EWG is a good guide if you can only budget for some but not all organic produce.

Is it safe to thin baby food with cow’s milk?

From a nutritional point of view, most doctors recommend waiting to introduce babies to cow’s milk until one year of age. If you need to thin your puree you can use breast milk, formula or plain water.

What is the difference between stage 1 and stage 2 baby food?

Stage 1 purees are very thin with no chunkiness and are single ingredients. Stage 2 baby foods can be more elaborate with food combinations as well as chunkier textures.

More Recipes for Resources

 Be sure to check out all of the baby food recipes here on EBF.

10 Stage One Baby Food Purees

5 from 5 votes
Everything you need to know about making stage 1 baby food, including 10 recipes for tasty purees that are perfect for introducing solids.
Ten varieties of baby food purees in jars with strawberries, blueberries, spoons and ice cube trays scattered around them.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

Sweet Potato

  • 2 cups steamed and peeled sweet potatoes
  • water, breast milk or formula to thin

Carrot

  • 1 lb steamed and peeled carrots
  • water, breast milk or formula to thin

Avocado

  • 1 avocado
  • water, breast milk or formula to thin

Banana

  • 1 banana
  • water, breast milk or formula to thin

Pea

  • 2 cups cooked peas
  • water, breast milk or formula to thin

Butternut Squash

  • 2 cups steamed and peeled butternut squash
  • water, breast milk or formula to thin

Peach

  • 3 ripe peaches
  • water, breast milk or formula to thin

Mango

  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • water, breast milk or formula to thin

Blueberry

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • ½ cup water

Strawberry

  • 2 cups strawberries
  • water, breast milk or formula to thin

Instructions
 

  • Add veggies or fruit into a high powered blender or a food processor. Blend and add liquid until you reach the consistency you desire. You can make the purees smooth and thin for young babies or thicker and chunkier for older babies.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sweet potato Calories: 75kcal Carbohydrates: 17g Protein: 1g Sodium: 48mg Potassium: 292mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 4g
Course: Baby Food
Cuisine: Baby Food
Keyword: stage one baby food

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    1 comment
    1. PEACE TRANSPORTATION
      August 10, 2022 AT 12:55 am

      Freezing baby Fresh Food that has been made with frozen fruit or vegetables is fine

Overhead photo of 6 baby food glass jars with 6 different kind of baby food with labels of what kind of food is inside.

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