Can My Baby Eat Applesauce?
The ultimate answer is yes, you can give your baby applesauce. If your baby is at least four months old, sitting up without assistance, and your pediatrician has approved giving them solid food, then that includes giving your baby applesauce. Applesauce is actually a great option for your baby because the fruit has many nutritional benefits for your growing little one.
Why feeding your baby applesauce is good:
This tasty treat is packed with fiber and pectin, so it will help your little one’s digestive system work smoothly and help rid the body of waste. Without enough fiber in their diets, babies are more susceptible to stomach problems such as diarrhea or constipation, so it’s important that they are getting a good amount at each meal. Not only does it contain fiber, but also vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients that your baby needs to grow up strong and healthy.
Applesauce is naturally sweet, so giving your baby applesauce will be a tasty treat!
Things to Consider
There are a few ways to find or prepare applesauce when you decide you are giving your baby applesauce.
- Premade baby food
- Homemade purees
If you are purchasing a premade baby food from brands such as Gerber, BeachNut, Plum Organics, Happy Baby, and more, be sure to read the label carefully. When giving your baby applesauce at the age of four months or older, you want to be sure “apples” are the only ingredient. It is not recommended for babies under six months of age to have cinnamon in their food yet, so steer clear of any labels that include added spices until your pediatrician approves it.
One of the best things about premade baby food is that it is convenient, quick, and has a long shelf life. You can pop it in the pantry and stock up when you find a good deal, knowing it will stay fresh for a long time.
Make your own applesauce
If you decide to make purees from home, be aware of the consistency of the sauce. When mashing the apples, you want to ensure they are completely pureed with no chunks, and thin enough that baby can swallow easily. When giving your baby applesauce, be sure the sauce is thin enough to easily slide off of the spoon. If your mixture is too thick, try adding some formula or breastmilk (whichever your baby is drinking) a few teaspoons at a time until it is an almost fluid-like consistency. Once your baby is able to eat the thin applesauce without difficulty, you can slowly begin to make it thicker.
How to make applesauce for your baby
It is easy to make your own applesauce at home! With just a few steps, you will be giving your baby applesauce in no time.
- Take your apples and wash and peel them. Be sure to remove the skin completely!
- Remove the core and dice it into small chunks.
- Put the apple chunks into a pot and cover with water. Be sure the water covers all the apples completely!
- Next, boil the apples and water, checking periodically until they are tender. You can check this by taking a fork or knife and gently pressing it into a chunk.
- Once you can easily pierce the apple and feel soft (soft enough to squish between your fingers), they are ready
- Take your boiled apples and carefully blend or puree them in a processor.
- Feel free to add a little formula or breastmilk, then store it in an airtight container in the freezer
- When you’re giving your baby applesauce that day, pull it out and let thaw. Store leftovers in the fridge for 24 hours.
Things to keep in mind
There are some disadvantages when making your own baby food. It can take time to prepare, cook, and package small amounts of baby food, so if you have a busy schedule it may not be the best choice for your family.
Also keep in mind that store-bought baby food is premeasured, taking the guesswork out of how much you should be packaging or feeding, and allowing you a quick way to get baby fed when they become hungry.
Homemade applesauce can also spoil more quickly and has a higher chance of bacteria growth if not sealed, or stored correctly. If giving your baby applesauce that is homemade is important, take extra precautions in how you store it and know how much room you have in your fridge and freezer.
Your baby will love applesauce!
Apples are a great choice for baby’s first food. Giving your baby applesauce is a great way to introduce solid food, new textures, and provide them a nutritional option at mealtime.
Beginning in the early stages, your baby will enjoy the sweet, delicious snack, and as they grow, the familiar flavor can be added into rice cereal and oatmeal. Applesauce is also the perfect match to mix with veggie purees such as:
- Carrots and apples
- Zucchini and apples
- Prunes and apples (perfect combination when your baby has constipation)
- Sweet potatoes and apples
Plus so many more as the combinations are endless!
Another great thing to remember when giving your baby applesauce is that it can be used as a sugar substitute when baking snacks as they get older.
Applesauce can replace every cup of sugar with 1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, but remember to reduce the amount of liquid by 1/4 cup. Whether you’re making cookies, oatmeal bites, muffins, or more, your growing toddler will still be able to enjoy their favorite infant snack.
Once you have the okay from your baby’s doctor to try solid foods, applesauce would be a great food to begin with that your baby will enjoy.