Ella’s Kitchen Stage 1 Vegetable and Fruit Puree Pouches

After a month of only giving solids for breakfast, I decided it was time to expand into another meal. I didn’t particularly feel like giving cereal for dinner, so we went with these 4 month+ fruit and veggie purees. I picked up a lot of hints from these pouches for how to blend my own versions, such as combination ideas and what ingredient proportions gave the most baby-attractive results. Basically, it came down to using a lot more “filler” fruit (banana, apple, pear) than I would have thought. No wonder these were so happily devoured while my homemade pure veggie purees were getting wary stares — they were pretty much fruit smoothies with a splash of veggie on the side! I would still prefer higher percentages of veg, but was happy to use these as bridges into not-so-sweet foods.

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This was probably Blob’s favorite out of the puree range. Carrot, apple and parsnip puree. 68% apple, 22% carrots, 10% parsnips, concentrated lemon juice. All three ingredients are on the sweet side to begin with, so it must have tasted like creatively flavored applesauce to him the first time he tried it.

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Looked like orange applesauce, too. I added in some rice velli as well to smooth it out and to add a bit of cereal and dairy to the mix. I wasn’t entirely sure that a pure fruit/veg concoction would be filling enough for dinner.

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Excited flailing!

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Broccoli, pear and pea puree. 79% pear, 14% peas, 7% broccoli, concentrated lemon juice. Oddly enough — well, I guess not so oddly, since it’s also one of my favorites — this was as popular as the carrot one. I thought it was because of the pear at first, but later experiments with broccoli-containing foods showed that he definitely has a taste for it. I suspect that my own preference for bitter-tasting things might stem from having either a lower number of taste buds in that region or a higher than average exposure to those things at an early age. Both explanations are equally possible, I guess, but having a baby who also seems to be naturally gravitating that way would put more weight on the genetic side.

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It ain’t much to look at…

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Notice the genuine excitement there. Yeah, I tasted it. It’s totally sweet. The pear is the most obvious thing there, as you might expect. I do wonder about how proper it is to put the veggie ingredient first in the product name on the front, when it makes up the least amount in terms of ingredients on the back. Just another reason people should always read the fine print, but I can’t help feeling a bit put off by it, marketing necessity or not.

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Peach and banana puree. 52% banana, 48% peach. Thanks to our being in Finland, I now classify peaches as one of those warm-weather fruits that is difficult enough to find ripe in the produce section that I will spring for it in other forms. I mean, we used to have peach trees in our backyard. Never thought I’d see the day I grouped peaches with mangos, but there you go.

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Not the most attractive color, but it tasted nice enough. Still probably healthier than the bright orange jelly stuff I see in baby food jars.

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Sweet potato, pumpkin, apple and blueberry puree. 52% apple, 23% sweet potato, 20% pumpkin, 5% blueberry, concentrated lemon juice. Considering how close sweet potato and pumpkin are in usage and color, I’m sort of surprised about their putting them together like this. The blueberries (and I’m pretty sure they mean blueberries rather than bilberries, given this is not Finnish-made) are a bit of a random addition, but welcome enough.

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Blueberry makes everything look more appetizing.

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Yeah, it was pretty sweet. With ingredients like that, are you surprised?

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Apple and banana puree. 61% banana, 39% apple, concentrated lemon juice. Here’s one that I got knowing full well I would never buy that variety again, because it made no sense to when the ingredients were so cheap and easy to get in the produce section. I’m rather surprise to see the banana being that much higher, though. It seems that this flavor could also have potentially constipating effects…

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Have to admit that it looks nice, though.

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Strawberry and apple puree. 79% apple, 21% strawberries, concentrated lemon juice. Right, I know that strawberries can be a bit too tart on their own for babies to handle, but that’s an awful lot of apple. Strawberries are something that I plan to stockpile when they are in season this summer — I’ve been missing them in my own recipes all year because I used up the few I had frozen for the baby’s smoothies. So much easier to freeze them yourself at the peak of the season than buying expensive frozen packets in the winter. Our strawberry patch is starting to peter out, so I will be trying to plant more this year and next to get our own harvest going again.

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Predictably, this tasted more like apple 😛

Final verdict? Useful for transitioning into veggies, but not something I would probably use for a prolonged length of time due to the smallish percentage of veggies involved. I already give the baby enough fruit without having it thrown into veggie products as well. I also worried that the general sweetness of the range might give Blob an unhealthy expectation for what veggies are like. Not that he knew what I was putting in his mouth anyway. Still, it was good to have this available as a tactic for those days when I just wanted to get some veggies into him without much work, since they are pretty much unrecognizable mixed with everything else. So that would make these pouches a thumbs up, with qualifications, from me. And an enthusiastic spoon up from my tiny taste tester 🙂

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