Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables you will ever encounter. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron, protein, and other essential nutrients. If those are not enough, it is also bursting with cancer-fighting phytonutrients. It is considered a “superfood” because of the incredible health benefits it offers. It can boost the immune system, improve cardiovascular health, strengthen bones, and fight birth defects. The health wonders of broccoli are amazing that many parents are becoming eager to know if they can give their babies this “superfood”.
The baby’s developing body can highly benefit from the goodness of broccoli in so many ways. The high vitamin C content in broccoli makes it easier to absorb iron and calcium, which are both very essential as your baby is growing. It can also boost your baby’s immune system, making them less prone to certain sicknesses such as colds and cough. Although broccoli is known to cause gas not just in adults, but also in babies, preparing it well and knowing when the best time to give it are the keys to avoid the gassy effect.
Broccoli is definitely a must in your baby’s diet, but it is not recommended for first-time solid food eaters. It can be introduced to babies 8 months and older since young infants will probably have a hard time digesting this vegetable. Aside from that, older babies are more able to digest food such as broccoli, making them less prone to have gas.
Can I Give My Baby Broccoli? Answer: Yes! AFter 8 Months
The secret to teaching your child to form healthy eating habits is by starting young. Giving your baby broccoli at the right time, when they are about 8 months and older, will help your child learn to love eating nutritious foods at a young age. Broccoli is considered one of the healthiest vegetables today because it is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your baby’s growing body will definitely benefit from. It may or may not cause gas, but the relevant thing is it has a wide range of health benefits for your baby that are far more important than the gassy side effect.
Choosing and Storing the Right Broccoli for Your Baby
When purchasing broccoli, make sure it is fresh by looking at its color. The freshest broccoli is one with rich, dark green florets. Yellowish florets mean they are too mature already, and you won’t make the most out of its nutritional value. Refrain from washing it when you store it in the refrigerator as this will cause it to rot more quickly. Storing it in the ref will help retain its vitamin C. Make sure to place it in an open plastic container. Although it can be stored for about 4 days, it is best to consume it right away to retain its freshness.
Preparing Broccoli Baby Food
Although broccoli is best eaten raw because some nutrients are lost when it is cooked, it is still not advisable to give raw broccoli to your baby because it can be a choking hazard. First, wash the florets and stems thoroughly then cut off the ends of the stems. Set the florets apart from the stems and remove the hard parts that you think your baby will have a hard time eating.
You can either steam or boil your broccoli in little water until tender, but make sure they are still dark green in color. You can also make broccoli puree by putting the florets in a food processor or blender, then add water or breastmilk to achieve the consistency you want to feed to your baby. Avoid microwaving broccoli as studies show that this process causes it to lose its nutrients.
Other Broccoli Baby Food Tips
Babies have different tastes and some of them will not appreciate the taste of broccoli. This won’t be much of a problem since you can mix broccoli with other baby food such as sweet potato, squash, or carrots. You can also chop the broccoli florets into very small pieces and mix with your baby’s favorite soup. Try mixing raisins while cooking broccoli in the pot then puree all together. Babies love the sweet taste of this recipe. Feel free to experiment with this healthy vegetable in your baby’s favorite foods!