How to Purée Meat for Homemade Baby Food

Insights on Preparing Meats for Puréeing

Chicken and potato puree passed through baby food grinder
Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

While many parents find making their own homemade baby food to be rewarding, sometimes getting a fine purée of meat can be frustrating. Rather than dealing with alternately lumpy or pasty baby food, you can use these tips to get a purée that is smooth and tasty. Your baby will be sure to gobble it up off the spoon.

Tips for Puréeing Meat for Baby Food

First, you'll want to start with some basic tips:

  • Purée meat while it is cold. Not only let your meat cool after cooking, but give it a good chill in the refrigerator before puréeing.
  • Chop up the meat into 1- to 2-inch sections.
  • Pre-grind the meat to a clumpy, powdery texture before attempting a full-powered purée.
  • Use juices from the meat, breastmilk, formula, or a puréed fruit or veggie to help get a smooth consistency.
  • If using hot or warm meat is preferred, use a poach, boil, or slow-cook method. This will help the meat retain juices and allow for a smoother mash.

Other High-Protein Homemade Baby Foods

If you would like to introduce your baby to fish, it can be a wonderfully nutritious meal. Besides, not delaying fish can actually help prevent food allergies in babies with no history of allergies. But parents need to choose fish for baby wisely:

  • Choose mild, white boneless fish
  • Select only fresh fish
  • Make sure the fish has been properly de-boned

    Take a gander at these other Fish Baby Food tips and recipes for basic fish purée, fish purée with mixed vegetables, and fish purée with carrots. 

    How to Prepare Fruits and Vegetables for Homemade Baby Foods

    When preparing puréed baby foods, cook your fruits and vegetables before puréeing for the first 8 months of age.

    Steaming the fruits and veggies is often the preferred cooking method, but you can also boil or bake the foods in a small amount of water.

    Whether to peel fruits and veggies before cooking is another point of contention. Some say to leave the skins on for a more nutrient-rich meal, and yet others believe the nutrient benefit is minimal and may actually cause tummy trouble. The choice is yours. As for me, I remove the skins.

    What You Need to Make Homemade Baby Foods

    All you really need is a ripe banana and a fork. But, if you want to invest in some bells and whistles, the following items will help:

    • Blender, food processor or immersion blender
    • Vegetable steamer
    • Ice cube trays and plastic wrap
    • Zip-top freezer bags and permanent markers

    I would suggest a vacuum sealer system to prevent food browning, but browning doesn't affect the quality of the food, it just means the food has oxidized or has been exposed to oxygen. It's still safe to eat.

    See Also: Should I Worry About Nitrates and Homemade Baby Food.

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