Most of us consider celery one of the health foods, and it is often brought up when people say they are going to start eating healthier. But is it really that big of a source of nutrional value, and is it something that you should give your baby?
The nature of celery makes it hard for adults to chew, and we have a full mouth of teeth. Many times it takes a lot of chewing, and the stringy nature makes it get stuck between the teeth. For a baby, lacking the necessary teeth to chew this up makes it really hard to do. So getting over the safety concerns that it poses, is there any real nutritional benefit to celery, or is it just a filler that is used as a carrier for things like peanut butter?
Celery doesn’t really make it in to too many recipes for us adults, and is often just combined with a lot of other ingredients in things like tuna salad, vegetable soup, and other recipes. It’s mostly resorted to when people go on a diet, and they show their resolve by eating celery sticks because the rest of us know that that’s the only time you’d ever resort to eating them. They’re not very delicious on their own, and most of us don’t seek them out as a favored snack.
Can I Give My Baby Celery? Answer: Not in Year One
This is a food that is best avoided until after 12 months, namely because it is such a process to get it ready for them to consume, and also because there are plenty of other vegetable options for them that pack more of a nutritional punch, and require just as much effort to make. If you’ve ever tried pulverizing celery you’ve noticed that it doesn’t go easily. The stringy-ness of it is a bane to blenders, and the only real way to soften it up to the point of not being stringy is to boil it. At that point you’ve lost any nutrients it did contain while raw, and it has nothing left in the way of taste.
Broccoli is one vegetable that has a lot more going for it than celery does. It is a superfood and you’ll have to go through the process of cooking it and mushing it up for your baby if they don’t have the ability to chew yet. The amount of nutrients and benefits are much higher in broccoli than in celery, and it’s also easier to digest, and doesn’t provide a choking hazard like celery can.
Another alternative is squash and zucchini. These maintain a lot of their flavor when you cook them, but also get nice and mushy so they’re easier to eat and digest. They don’t contain as much of the good stuff as broccoli, but still fair better than celery.
Variety is Important
So while it’s a good idea to introduce your baby to a lot of new taste sensations, you should pick and choose which ones will give you the most bang for your buck. While you can give your baby celery, there are better options, at least until they’re older. When they’re able to eat just about anything you can give them some celery sticks to gnaw on. As long as you’ve gotten them used to the idea of eating fruits and veggies, they might like it.
The reason that celery is getting the thumbs down from us is that it doesn’t really taste all that great, it doesn’t lend itself to being blended or mushed up, it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value when compared to other vegetables, and it can wait until your baby is older. As a parent you have to know which food battles to pick, and celery is one of those vegetables where it is just too much hassle to try adding it to their diet on a regular basis.
You shouldn’t be putting your baby on a diet, and celery should stay relegated to the world of crash diets and ultra-health food, and doesn’t really deserve a spot in your baby’s menu, at least for their first year.