Apples are an all-season fruit that is considered safe for babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using apple juice after the first month if your baby is constipated (1). However, whole apples can be fed to your baby only after they start solids. Apple puree is the first choice for almost every parent.
In this MomJunction post, we tell you when babies can start eating apple puree, its benefits, and how to make apple puree for babies.
When Can Babies Start Eating Apple Puree?
Babies can start eating a variety of fruits by the age of six months (2). Therefore, you can serve apple puree to the baby from six months (3). Cooked and pureed form of apple is the best way to introduce the fruit. It lets babies enjoy the several health-promoting properties of apples.
Nutritional Value Of Apple With Peel
|Carbohydrate, by difference||25.1g||–|
|Fiber, total dietary||4.37g||–|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||18.9g||–|
|Calcium, Ca||10.9mg||210mg (0-6 months)|
270mg (7-12 months)
|Magnesium, Mg||9.1mg||30mg (0-6 months)|
75mg (7-12 months)
|Phosphorus, P||20mg||100mg (0-6 months)|
275mg (7-12 months)
|Potassium, K||195mg||500mg (0-6 months)|
700mg (7-12 months)
|Sodium, Na||1.82mg||120mg (0-6 months)|
200mg (7-12 months)
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||8.37mg||30mg (0-6 months)|
35mg (7-12 months)
|Folate, total||5.46µg||32µg (7-12 months)|
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture and World Health Organization
Apple puree made with a whole apple (an apple with peel) will have almost similar nutrients, as mentioned in the table. However, the nutrients might change if you use a peeled apple to make the puree, and it will have more fiber.
How To Make Apple Puree For Babies?
This apple puree recipe is super easy to make.
You will need:
- 1 medium apple
- ½ cup water
- ¼tsp cinnamon powder
- Wash the apple under clean water.
- Peel-off the skin, remove the seeds, and dice the apple into small cubes.
- Place a thick bottom pan on medium heat and put the diced apples in it.
- Pour water to cover the apples completely. Make sure the heat is not too high.
- Cover the pan with a lid and let the apple pieces cook on simmer for about 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the lid and see if the apple pieces are completely tender. You should be able to insert a knife through the apple pieces.
- Once you feel the apple pieces are cooked, turn off the heat and remove them from the pan.
- Use a big spoon to mash the apples completely. Put into a blender and blend to the desired consistency. You can add water to thin the puree.
- Serve it to your baby with a garnish of ground cinnamon (optional).
Tip: Once your baby is comfortable, you may try to add apple puree to cereal. You can also try mixing apple puree to other fruit purees or to a cup of Greek yogurt. You can also cook the apples with their peels, this will increase the fiber content of the puree although it will take longer to cook and soften the peel.
Health Benefits Of Apple Puree For Babies
Apples are rich in several micronutrients, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals such as quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid. All these phytochemicals possess strong antioxidant properties (6). Below are some specific benefits that your baby could reap by regular consumption of apple puree.
- Healthy weight: Regular consumption of apples is associated with a reduced risk of obesity. Research has shown that the positive effect of apples on weight can be observed in children as young as two years old (7).
- Gut health: Apple puree, due to its texture, is easy on the baby’s digestive system. Besides, it provides dietary fiber that helps maintain healthy gut microbiota (8).
- Immunity: Apple puree can help enhance the immune system due to the presence of micronutrients, such as vitamin C, that help enhance immunity (9).
- Overall health: Apple puree contains considerable amounts of essential micronutrients, such as potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and magnesium. It also contains bioactive compounds that possess antioxidant.
How To Store Apple Puree?
Babies should always be fed fresh food items. However, at times you might need to store food for later use. In such cases, simple steps, when followed right, can be helpful.
- Store fresh puree in an airtight container.
- Sterilize the container before storing the puree.
- Label the container with the date of preparation and store the puree for no more than three days.
- If you want to store the puree for a week or more, then freeze it.
- Frozen puree can be fed to babies by warming it on the stove.
Well-stored apple puree can be used for babies.
Precautions To Take While Feeding Apple Puree To Babies
- Buy organic apples as they are considered safer. Apples, in general, are known to be contaminated with pesticides such as diphenylamine (10).
- Use sterilized utensils to prepare and store the puree. This will ensure safety from any possible bacterial contamination.
- While preparing, ensure that puree has no lumps. Small chunks or lumps of apple pulp could be a potential choking hazard for babies.
- Never store the leftover puree in the baby’s feeding bowl as it may get contaminated with bacteria.
- As you introduce apple puree, feed just a teaspoon or two in the beginning.
- Follow a three to five-day wait rule to see if the baby is comfortable with the new food (11). If the baby is showing any signs of discomfort, then discontinue feeding apple puree.
Apple Puree Recipes For Babies
Once your baby gets used to eating apple puree, you can try adding other foods to it. Some options that you could try are pumpkin, sweet potato, banana, oats, etc. Below are some simple recipes that use the goodness of apple puree.
1. Apple puree with sweet potato
The addition of sweet potato to the apple puree can amplify the nutritional value of apple puree. Besides, it will also help provide variety to your infant.
You will need:
- 1 medium-sized apple (peeled and chopped)
- 1 small size sweet potato (chopped)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- Add the water in a pan and place it on high heat. As it starts to heat, add the apple pieces and the sweet potato pieces. Cook them until tender. Do not throw away the water in which you boiled the apples and the sweet potato. You can use it in the same recipe or use it later to prepare some other baby food.
- Blend the sweet potato and the apple pieces in a food processor to get a soft and smooth consistency. If you feel the sweet potato or the apple pieces are getting a little dry, add some boiled water.
- If your baby prefers a rough texture, you can mash the boiled sweet potatoes and the boiled apples with a spoon and feed.
Tip: Instead of sweet potato, you can add cereal to this recipe. To experiment, you may also add cooked rolled oats or mashed brown rice to apple puree.
2. Apple pancake
Apple pancakes are a good choice for babies once they are older than seven months. If your baby shows signs of readiness, then you can serve pancake to your baby at the age of six months as well.
You will need:
- 1 cup multigrain flour
- 2tbsp brown sugar
- 1tbsp baking powder
- ½tsp sea salt
- ¼tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 cup whole fat milk
- ½ cup unsweetened apple puree
- Organic olive oil
- Take a flat pan and put it on medium flame.
- Meanwhile, whisk together all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon powder) in a bowl.
- Add milk and apple puree to the mix, and whisk again. Let the mix sit for about five minutes. Adjust the consistency of the mix or batter with water. It should be smooth but not runny or pasty.
- As the batter is ready, pour the batter onto the pan. Cook until the bottom is golden brown. Flip the pancake gently and cook the other side as well.
- Serve immediately with toppings of the baby’s choice.
Tip: You can add dried fruit powder to this batter. It will amplify the nutritional value of the recipe multi-folds.
Apple puree is a good addition to your baby’s diet. Its regular consumption in moderate amounts has promising health benefits. However, it must be made fresh and should be used within the stipulated time. You can add other mashed fruits or vegetable purees or cereals. It will go along with almost every food item.
How have you introduced apple puree to your baby? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.
2. Starting Solid Foods; Healthy Children; American Academy of Pediatrics
3. First Foods; The Department of Health, Australian Government
4. Apple, raw (341508), USDA
5. Feeding and nutrition of infants and young children; WHO
6. Jeanelle Boyer and Rui Hai Liu; Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits; National Center For Biotechnology Information
7. Carol E. O’Neil et al.; Consumption of apples is associated with a better diet quality and reduced risk of obesity in children: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2010; National Center For Biotechnology Information
8. Dietary fiber alters gut bacteria, supports gastrointestinal health; Illinois Aces
9. The Gut: Where Bacteria and Immune System Meet; Johns Hopkins Medicine
10. Apples Doused With Chemical After Harvest; EWG
11. When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods; CDC