Apple Baby Food Ideas – From Purees to Finger Foods

Apple Baby Food Recipes, Ideas and Tips


Try our simple and delicious apple baby food recipes and discover why
apples are one of the best loved foods for little ones!

Apple baby food recipes

On this page…

Apple baby food recipes
Why apples are so good for baby
Choosing and preparing apples for baby
The best apples for baby food
Apples as a first baby food
How to make applesauce
Apple baby food combinations
When can baby eat raw apple?

Apple Baby Food Recipes

Apple baby food – Apple and Cous Cous Dessert (6 months+ – for babies enjoying texture)

2 tbsp prepared cous cous (made according to the directions on the pack but using apple juice instead of water)
1 tbsp natural or homemade yogurt
1 tbsp prepared applesauce (see recipe above)
pinch nutmeg (optional)

Preparation is simple – just combine the cous cous and applesauce in a bowl and top with the yogurt.
If you choose, stir the nutmeg into the applesauce for an extra taste twist!

A visitor’s tip…

There’s a type of apple I’ve found that doesn’t turn brown/gray AT ALL when you cook it. It’s called Pink Lady and you don’t have to add any acid at all to retain the color. When I cooked it in a little water, it stayed almost a lemony yellow. And it’s such a nice flavor. Not too sweet/dry/bitter.

Bernie-Ann, St. John’s, Canada

Apple baby food – Apple and Sweet Potato Soup (6 months+)

2 tsp flour
2 tsp unsalted butter
6 fl oz (3/4 cup) low sodium or homemade chicken broth
2 tsp applesauce (use our recipe above)
6 oz (3/4 cup) sweet potatoes (cooked)
pinch ground ginger (optional)
pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
4 fl oz (1/2 cup) milk (use breast milk or formula if you prefer)

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and stir in the flour.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the flour/butter mixture turns golden.
Pour in the broth slowly, stirring constantly, then add the applesauce, sweet potato, ginger and cinnamon.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then lower the heat until the mixture is simmering gently.
Cook for 5 minutes.
Puree the mixture (either by transferring to a food processor in batches, or using a hand blender in the pot), then return it to the saucepan.
Pour in the milk, warm through gently – and serve.

 

Apple baby food – Sweet and Spicy Squash (6 months+)

1 medium acorn squash
1 sweet apple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tsp unsalted butter (melted)
1 tsp pure maple syrup (optional)
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C).
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds (reserving them to roast as a tasty snack for older kids and grown ups).
Cut each piece of squash in half again.
Place the pieces of squash in a greased baking dish, with the skins facing up.
Cover, place in the oven and cook for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, combine the sliced apple, butter, maple syrup and spices in a bowl.
Once the squash is removed from the oven, turn each piece over so that the skin side is down and cover the pieces with the apple mixture.
Cover the dish and return to the oven for a further 20-30 mins, until tender.

This squash can be mashed or pureed for your baby – and the remainder would make a wonderful side dish to accompany the rest of the family’s meal!

 

Apple baby food – Chicken and Apple Dinner (7 months+)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (chopped)
1 apple, cored and diced
1 small sweet potato
4 oz (1/2 cup) courgette/zucchini, chopped
16 fl oz
(2 cups) homemade (or low sodium) chicken stock
tiny pinch of cinnamon

Peel and dice the sweet potato.
Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan.
Add the chopped chicken, lower the heat and simmer for 10 mins.
Add the sweet potato and apple cubes and simmer for another 10 mins.
Add the chopped courgette/zucchini and cook for a final 5 mins, until the sweet potato is fork tender.
Puree or chop well, then sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

Sweet potato and apple pancakes
A yummy finger food recipe with apples…
Sweet Potato and Apple Pancakes

Sugar free and made with mixed whole grains!

A sugar free fruity treat…
Banana and apple bread pudding

Great for dessert or breakfast

Sugar free dessert

Apples are among the most perfect fruits for use in your baby food recipes!

  • Apples are considered to be one of the least allergic foods
  • Apples are easy to digest
  • They are versatile and work well in sweet OR savoury recipes
  • They are very quick and easy to prepare
  • They are available all year round in most parts of the world
  • Babies love them!

 

But that’s not all – apples offer a variety of health benefits, too!

Yes, the old adage ‘An apple a day…’ may be correct, because apples

  • Help protect the body against certain cancers
  • Help prevent heart disease
  • Help control cholesterol levels
  • May reduce asthma symptoms
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes
  • Prevent constipation and keep your baby ‘regular’ (although please note this applies to apple juice – applesauce may actually make constipation worse as it contains pectin, which firms up the stools)

 

More about the fibre in apples

Apples contain 2 types of fibre – soluble and insoluble.

  • Soluble fibre serves a very useful function in later life as it prevents the build-up
    of cholesterol in the lining of the blood vessels walls.
  • Insoluble fibre regulates bowel movements by providing bulk in the intestinal tract.
    This holds water, which both cleanses the digestive system and moves food along quickly.

 

Which is best for baby – whole apple or apple juice?

Apple juice contains less cancer-protective anti-oxidants than whole apples and is lower in dietary fibre.

To get the maximum nutritional benefit from whole apples, it is better to prepare them WITHOUT peeling them when appropriate
(approximately 2/3 of the fibre and anti-oxidants are contained within the peel).

Organic apples are best, as non-organic apples
appear on the Environmental Working Group’s list of ‘The Dirty Dozen’ – those fruits and vegetables most commonly
contaminated with pesticides. In order to minimize the risk from these pesticides as much as possible, non-organic
produce should be peeled – resulting, therefore, in a significant loss of nutrients.

Please visit this page to find out more about when to peel fruits and vegetables for your baby

If you DO decide to give your baby apple juice, then choose cloudy juice rather than clear because it is
richer in nutrients.

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Choosing and preparing apples for your baby

Always look for firm, brightly coloured apples with no bruises – and avoid those with any sign of
wrinkling to the skin.

Russetting (the appearance of little ‘leathery’ patches on the skin) is quite normal and not at all harmful.
However, many people just don’t like the appearance – and russetted apples are becoming less popular as a result!

Did you know…?

Apples, which are actually a part of the rose family, were the favourite fruit of the ancient Romans and Greeks?

HOW TO STOP CUT APPLES TURNING BROWN

When you slice an apple, the flesh turns brown fairly quickly. Some apples turn brown more quickly than others (we
find that Red Delicious tends to be the worst, whereas Golden Delicious apples stay white for longer).

This reaction is caused by exposing phenolic substances within the apple’s flesh to oxygen, thereby converting them
to melanin. This process may cause some loss of vitamin C.

The best way to prevent an apple from turning brown when sliced, therefore, is to limit its contact with oxygen – generally by soaking it.

You may soak sliced apple in apple juice, pineapple juice – or even plain old water, if you’re stuck! Many people
like to rub cut apple with lemon juice, or add lemon juice to the soaking water. This is very effective but it does
affect the flavour a little (causing some babies to reject it). Also, there is a small risk of allergic reaction to citrus in
babies under one year of age.

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The best apples for baby food

When preparing your apple baby food recipes, it’s important to use fruit that is naturally sweet – particularly
tart apples would require sweetening before most babies would be happy to accept them.

So which are the best apples to use?

Here’s a list of our favourites… plus the favourites of some of our readers!

  • Red Delicious
  • Golden Delicious
  • Braeburn
  • Honeycrisp
  • Gala
  • Empire (great for applesauce as it tends to go a lovely shade of pink!)
  • Rome
  • Fuji

 

Our top tip…

Stirring finely grated apple into baby food purees is a great way to add texture and help your baby make the transition to
lumpier foods!

Find out more here!

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Apples as a first food for babies

With your doctor’s consent, cooked apple may be given to your baby as one of his very first foods. In fact, more and more
parents are choosing to introduce their little ones to foods such as apple, pear,
banana, sweet potato
or squash from the
outset, as opposed to the more traditional infant rice cereal.

Read more – is rice cereal the best first food for baby?

There are various ways in which you can prepare a basic apple puree for your baby.

  • Bake an apple by washing it, removing the core, wrapping it in aluminium foil and
    placing it in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees F, 180 deg C for around 45 minutes (or until tender). Then just
    puree or mash it, adding a little breast milk or formula if the texture is too thick.
  • Steam cubes of apple until tender, then either mash or puree as above
  • Simmer apple cubes in a VERY little water until tender, then either mash or puree as above

 

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Apple baby food recipes – basic applesauce

4 medium apples, peeled (if necessary) and cored – use the types of apples suggested above to take advantage of
their natural sweetness water

Chop the apples roughly, place in a saucepan and add around an inch of water or unsweetened apple juice.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer gently until the chunks of apple are tender (around 10 mins).

Don’t feel tempted to continue cooking the apple chunks until they resemble applesauce. By the time they LOOK like
applesauce, they will be overcooked and watery. Instead, cook to the point where the chunks are tender… but still look like chunks!
Remove the chunks of apple from the pan, then puree or mash them as desired.

You may give this recipe a little extra ‘zip’ by adding a pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg… or even a drop of vanilla essence. Serve warm or cold – or freeze for later use (if you freeze the mixture, add the spices just before serving
to preserve their flavour).

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Apple baby food tips – cool combinations

Apple blends perfectly with cereal, many other fruits, vegetables… and even meats!

Try pairing cooked apple with


 

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When can my baby eat raw apple as a finger food?

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question as all babies – and thus their skills – develop at different
rates.

Although some varieties of apple are somewhat ‘mushy’ in texture, many apples are crisp and crunchy. If your baby
has no (or few) teeth, then you should bear in mind the fact that raw apple is difficult to ‘gum’ and may,
therefore, pose a choking hazard.

Our top tip…

Many parents like to offer their babies foods such as raw apple in a Fresh Food Feeder. This enables little ones
to create their own baby food purees by gnawing on chunks of fruit WITHOUT the risk of choking!

You will hear various opinions about giving raw apple as a finger food. Whilst we have known parents who have
given their little ones chunks of peeled apple to gnaw on with no problems whatsoever, we have also
heard from parents whose babies have managed to bite a little piece of a larger chunk and have begun to
gag and choke.

Safer options might be to cut fresh apple into VERY thin slices – or to grate it. However, we strongly
recommend that your baby is biting and chewing well – and that you seek your doctor’s opinion – before offering
your little one raw apple as a finger food.

Find out more about offering raw fruits and vegetables to your baby

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Sources:

Dr Sears – Most and Least Allergenic Foods
Apple Nutrition
WHFoods – Apples
Apple Health Benefits – from the U.S. Apple Association

Discover more ideas for baby’s menu…

Fruit baby food recipes
Pureed baby food recipes
Baby oatmeal recipes
Breakfast ideas for baby
Best calcium sources for your baby

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