Introducing solid foods like beets to your little one is one of the most exciting milestones. The World Health Organization recommends giving solid foods at age six months onwards. Good nutrition should still be the primary concern by giving them foods that are healthy, nutritious, and beneficial to their overall growth and development. Popular baby foods are mostly infant cereal, followed by mashed or pureed fruits and vegetables such as squash, potato, and avocado. Did you know, though, that beets are also good for your baby? Although not as popular as the others, it offers a lot of important nutrients.
Beets are healthy and nutritious, but sadly, they are not very popular with children. This is why introducing them early to your little one will make your child appreciate and make the most out of this plant that is packed with nutrients. It is said that beets contain naturally occurring nitrates that can lead to a condition called “blue-baby syndrome”. However, by the age of six months onwards, a baby’s body becomes more equipped to cope with the nitrates in beets. This still makes them a good choice to include in your baby’s menu.
Beets are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and folate. They are also an excellent source of fiber, containing two grams of fiber in just two medium-sized beets! They are known to be good anti-oxidants, preventing cancer, and have the ability to boost your baby’s immune system. If your baby is constipated, pureed beets are ideal because of their mild laxative effect. They can be tasty and delicious, too, if prepared well. Consult with your pediatrician as to when the best time is to introduce this nutritious food to your child.
Can I Give My Baby Beets? Answer: Yes, Starting at 8-10 Months
Beets may not be as popular as the other fruits and vegetables, but they are definitely ideal for your little one. They can soothe and relax a troubled digestive system, making everything go smoothly in your baby’s tummy. Research also shows that beets contain a substance called betaine, which may relax the mind and improve the mood of your fussy baby. Overall, introducing them to your baby at the right time will help your little one make the most out of this amazing food. Most pediatricians suggest giving this when your baby reaches 8-10 months old.
The Right Kind of Beets and How to Prepare Them for your Baby
Beets usually have a dark purple color. Choose the small and medium-sized ones that are firm with unbroken skin — these usually have the best flavor. Scrub the skin and leave them intact because this keeps the nutrients, color, and flavor together even during the cooking process. Instead, remove the skin after cooking. This does not only make your job easier, it also lets you know if the beets are cooked because they will just easily slide off when they are done. Steaming is the best way to prepare them for baby food because this makes the vitamin A more bio-available for the body. They can also be roasted, boiled, or baked.
Beets and How Your Baby Can Enjoy Them
Mixing them with your baby’s favorite food is a great way to introduce this nutritious food. If your little one loves mashed potatoes, try to mix cooked mashed beets for that pop of purple color. Do the same thing with sweet potato, which will probably be a sure hit with your baby! You can also stir some pureed beets into homemade soup to add flavor. Make some gourmet puree using beet by blending applesauce, nutmeg, and beets together.
More Health Benefits of Beets
Beets are a unique source of antioxidants. They promote better eye health and overall nerve tissue health. They also support detoxification, making your body get rid of harmful toxins when consumed regularly. They contain a very good amount of fiber, improving the health of your digestive system and even your cardiovascular system. Its anti-cancer benefits are also overwhelming, reducing your risk for many cancer types.
Sometimes you yourself might not like the taste of a certain vegetable, but you shouldn’t dictate that to your baby. Let them try out foods and make up their own mind whether they like it.