A is for Apple: Easy ways to introduce apples to your infant

January 03, 2018

Starting solids is an exciting albeit messy time in your baby’s life. After your baby has started iron-rich foods (at about 6 months) you can start fruits like apples. In fact, the vitamin C in apples will enhance the absorption of iron from plant-based foods in your babies diet such as iron-fortified cereals and beans. 
 
Ready to get started? Here are some tips!
 
How do I prepare apples for my baby?
 
Start with fresh Ontario apples without bruises or blemishes. Wash, peel, core, slice and cook apples in a small amount of water to soften them up and reduce the risk for choking. You can steam, boil or microwave apples until they are fork tender. 
 
If your baby is ready for self-feeding, offer the cooked slices of apples, otherwise choose a texture that is right for your baby:
 
Pureed;
Mashed or:
Lumpy.
 
TIP: Large pieces of apple peel even when cooked could be a choking hazard for young babies. You can minimize the risk by pureeing apples with the peel or offer peeled and cooked apples. When your baby is ready for more texture, offer grated or finely chopped raw apples with the peel.
 
Is store bought applesauce OK for baby?
 
Yes. Unsweetened, plain applesauce is best.
 
TIP: You can easily make your own applesauce at home creating a texture that is best suited to your baby. It’s OK to add spices like cinnamon or ginger to the apples but avoid adding sweeteners like sugar.
 
Try these apple-inspired meal and snack ideas. *
 
Breakfast:
Stir soft-cooked and mashed apples into iron-fortified cereals.
Stir soft-cooked and mashed apples into cottage cheese.
 
Lunch:
Serve chopped pieces of grilled cheese made with soft-cooked apples.
Offer a thick apple-sweet potato soup with finely diced meats or beans.
 
Snack:
Make mini apple-carrot pancakes. Serve with applesauce.
Serve soft-cooked and peeled apple slices with grated Swiss cheese.
 
Dinner:
Moisten ground or finely chopped cooked chicken, turkey or pork with a little applesauce.
Apples go great with veggies like carrots, sweet potato and rutabaga. Serve a blended mash or in small pieces (peeled and soft cooked).
 
*You know the texture your baby is ready to handle so adjust accordingly.
 
Find out more:
 
Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants  Health Canada
 
For trusted free infant feeding advice from a registered dietitian, call Eat Right Ontario: 1-877-510-510-2. You can also email your questions.
 
Article by: Carol Harrison, Registered Dietitian http://yummylunchclub.ca/