How to Make Baby Applesauce in 5 Easy Steps

Homemade applesauce is mildly sweet, filled with fiber, and rich in vitamin C. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions to make this ideal first fruit for your baby.

apples on patterned background
Photo: Illustration by Francesca Spatola; Getty Images (2)

Looking for an idea to make your baby's first food? Well, look no further than the humble apple. Apples are an ideal first fruit because they're sweet and easy to mix with a variety of baby cereals. They're also full of fiber and Vitamin C, so your baby will experience the best of both worlds in flavor and health benefits. You can buy applesauce from a store, of course, but if you want something fresher, here's how to make homemade baby applesauce.

Step 1: Select & Buy a Fresh Apple

You may have the best luck in the fall, when fresh apples are plentiful and inexpensive, as well as delightfully crisp, juicy, and flavorful. While it's always helpful to look for firm fruit free of bruises and blemishes, the nice thing about applesauce is that you are going to cook it down anyways, so you can get away with a few bad spots. Choose apples with a sweet, mild flavor, such as Red Delicious and Gala apples; avoid tart varieties such as Granny Smith. One medium apple yields about five ounces of puree.

Step 2: Wash & Peel the Apple

Wash the apple with a mixture of three parts water and one part white vinegar to remove bacteria, pesticides, and any residue from handling at the store. Rinse under cool running water, dry, and peel. The easiest way to peel an apple is to use a vegetable peeler and work in a circular motion around the fruit. If you do not have a vegetable peeler, use a sharp paring knife.

Step 3: Core & Chop the Apple

Set the peeled apple, stem side up, on a clean cutting board. Slice in half. To remove the core, cup each apple slice in your palm and cut in a shallow scooping motion with a paring knife. Once the core is removed, slice each half into small chunks.

Step 4: Cook the Apple

Bring water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Reduce heat until bubbles are soft. Cook apple chunks until tender. Check apples after 10 minutes; it's important to minimize cooking time to help preserve vitamins and minerals. When apples are tender, drain and rinse with cold water for three minutes to stop the cooking process.

Step 5: Puree or Mash the Apple

Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency.

For chunkier applesauce, which is ideal for babies 10 months or older, mash the cooked apple with a potato masher instead of pureeing it.

Step 6: Serve the Applesauce

Baby applesauce is extremely versatile. Serve it plain or mix it with another puree or two to introduce your baby to new flavors and textures. Try mixing apple puree with:

  • Sweet potato
  • Carrot
  • Red cabbage and raisins
  • Butternut squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Oatmeal
  • Full-fat Greek yogurt

Step 7: Refrigerate or Freeze Leftover Applesauce

Cool applesauce and refrigerate leftovers in BPA-free containers for up to 3 days. Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in your refrigerator.

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