Do you know if it's OK to use canned fruit and vegetables to make purees for a 5/6 month old baby if there is no salt or sugar added? I know I should watch out for sodium/syrup and only use fruit/vegetables packed in water, but do you know if it's OK to make purees out of them? And can those purees be then frozen? The reason I'm asking is that my book on weaning suggests peaches and mangoes for fruit purees which obviously won't be available fresh this autumn. Also am wondering if using canned vegetables/fruit could save time as they're already peeled and cooked. Thanks in advance!
If there isd no salt or sugar added then it is fine, and fine to freeze, but what veg exactly are you thinking of using? I would steer clear of canned carrots, potatoes and peas (wouldn't you rather your baby got a taste for fresh vegetables?) but would use tinned pulses and possibly tinned sweetcorn.
Peaches and mangoes or mango pulp from a tin will be fine, just check the ingredients.
it's fine to make purees from them provided they are in water/fruit juice rather than syrip. but i wouldn't use them as the main source of fruit and veg.
i use canned sweetcorn and canned pulses a lot (apart from lentils which don't take long to cook), and canned peaches and pineapple sometimes.
frozen veg might be a better idea - closer in taste to fresh than canned. i've found frozen cauli, spinach, butternut, peas, broad beans, blueberries and raspberries to be fab. it's already prepped into chunks etc. so less preparation than fresh.
i would still try to use a lot of fresh as well though.
Frozen sounds like a great idea. Sainsburys do a great mixed fruit frozen bag in their Basics range. It's a quid for a big bag which is very tasty stewed so I'm sure would make lovely purée. Remember that canned fruit/veg will have a lot less vitamins than frozen or fresh. I think pulses are fine canned, though.
No reason why not I wouldn't've thought, though I'd agree with everyone else that most veg is probably better frozen!
I used to do pureed tinned pear as a bit of a staple - it's also good to mix with cooked apple, berries etc as it purees very smooth & provides a good base to a few lumps of something more interesting!
Thank you all very much for those great tips! Of course I plan to use as much fresh stuff as possible but it's good to know canned/frozen is OK for out of season fruit/vegetables - useful to know frozen is better. I'd rather use frozen green beans in winter than "fresh" beans flown in from Kenya. Thanks again - I'm going to print these posts as they will be very useful!
Root veg is the best thing to start with, anyway - low allergen, generally sweetish and an easy taste IYSWIM, and these will be widely available over the winter, even if you only buy British. Ditto things like apples which are usually popular as purées. You can add a bit of something else to a parsnip or carrot purée to make it more interesting. Leeks add a lovely natural sweetness (esp if fried a little first) and good flavour and are available over the winter.
The other thing you can do, of course, is buy some now of whatever you think won't be available and cook and freeze it. You can take advantage of the summer gluts of plums and peaches when they are cheap and lots of BOGOF offers etc and feed your baby really cheaply and well. You can even just freeze raw chunks of whatever and cook it and purée it later if you don't have time now.