How to Easily Thin Your Homemade Baby Food Purees – When and How to Thin Baby Food Purees
Should I thin baby food purees before I freeze them?
This is probably the most often asked question about thinning foods for baby food puree. Whether you thin out baby food before or after freezing is simply a personal decision.
There is no “correct” way that thinning baby food purees should be done. I have found that thinning AFTER the baby food puree cubes have been thawed often works out best. Sometimes when you put a nice puree of zucchini or pears into the freezer, the thawed food is more watery, runny and thin than when it was freshly made and then frozen. Freezing changes the cellular structure of many foods and thus many foods that are frozen to perfection wind up a different texture when they are thawed. Pears and zucchini are just a few of the foods that may end up more runny.
Ways to Change the Texture and Thin Homemade Baby Food Purees
Save and use the cooking liquid
Cooking foods either by boiling or steaming will cause some of the foods’ nutrients to leach into the cooking water. Reserving the cooking water and using it to puree baby food is a great way to retain those nutrients. The cooking water will add the nutrients back into your baby’s foods.
***Do NOT use the cooking water from carrots to thin baby food. Read more about
Nitrates and Homemade Baby Food***
Breast milk is Great for thinning baby food
Using breast milk to thin your baby food puree is a great way to boost the nutrients in baby’s food as well as add a familiar taste. Please do NOT use previously frozen breast milk to thin purees that you will freeze. Previously frozen breast milk should never be refrozen.
As noted on several of the Wholesome Baby Food pages, it is not advisable to freeze infant formula because the fat will separate; this will occur when you freeze whole cow milk. It is safe to add infant formula to homemade baby food purees that you will freeze. As the infant formula companies note, nutritional value of the formula is not compromised when it is frozen nor are there any safety issues.
“Freezing of any Enfamil formula is NOT recommended. Freezing infant formula can lead to physical property changes like fat separation, which may prove difficult for sensitive infants to digest. Freezing will not extend the expiration date of the formula.” “Freezing of our products may cause loss of desirable appearance and functionality (though not nutrition), and is not recommended.” Clinical Frequently Asked Questions, Storing Enfamil
Another great way to thin baby food purees is to make your own stock. Not only are homemade stocks yummy and convenient, they are also very nutritious. You can make a batch of stock, freeze it in small portions (like in ice cube trays) and then use the amount needed when thinning your baby food purees. A yummy veggie stock will add a nice taste to a chicken and rice puree.
Here are a Few Foods that are good to thin before freezing
A few common fruits and veggies that are good to “pre-thin” are as follows:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Winter Squash (butternut, acorn, hubbard etc.)
Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.
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