Unless you cook with leeks often you might be wondering if they’re good for your baby, and if so, what is the best way to prepare them.
There comes a time when you will need to add new types of food to your baby’s diet so that they get a taste for something new. Being a parent, you also want the most nutritious food for your babies to help them grow strong and healthy.
You do not want them to eat just anything without knowing for sure that they can benefit from what they take in. It is important to discern what your baby can or cannot eat, and we always recommend keeping a journal of which foods your baby responds well to. So are leeks worth trying out?
Can I Give My Baby Leeks? Answer: Yes
Leeks are actually quite nutritious. They are high in Vitamin C, potassium, and iron. The green area of the vegetable has beta-carotene to help with the development of your baby’s eyes. Folate is also present, and is needed to stimulate the brain development of babies. Leeks are very low in sugar and fat, but like any food you want to keep moderation in mind. Their digestive system is safe because of the dietary fiber that they contain.
Leeks also strengthen the immune system because of the minerals and vitamins present. It is also quite rare for anyone to be allergic to them. There are no adverse side effects reported when they are fed to babies. They can be sprinkled on their food, or eaten as is. Just the same, you may want to consult a pediatrician before feeding your baby new foods.
Preparing Leeks for Your Baby
You need to clean the leeks properly before cooking them. They are planted on the ground and can contain sand and dirt between the layers. You can cut the middle and run them through water. Remove the green portion and cook the light green and white areas for the best flavor. Instead of onions, you can use leeks for soup. They do not have the strong taste that onions have, and they are a very good choice for light flavored dip.
They can be sautéed or boiled. Be sure that they are soft and cut in the appropriate size so that the baby does not choke. Leeks are also a great seasoning for any type of food. Usually, babies like trying new flavours that don’t have an overwhelming taste. Give them a little bit at first until they get used to the texture. They can also be included in mashed potatoes. Carbohydrates from the potatoes and folate from the leeks will make an interesting combination.
Leeks should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag that is air tight up to two weeks. Once they are cooked, they can last for only two days. It is best to buy them in small quantities to maintain freshness.
The Main Benefits
Leeks lower blood sugar levels in your body. They contain a lot of nutrients that help in metabolizing sugar intake. Good cholesterol will result if they are regularly eaten. They are essential in the prevention of plaque buildup in the body. Diabetic heart disease and atherosclerosis can be avoided. Heart attacks and strokes can happen if the progression of the plaque is not regulated. High blood pressure levels can also decrease when you eat leeks.
Leeks promote optimum health. Risk from prostate and colon cancer is significantly decreased when they are eaten on a daily basis. For females, ovarian cancer can be prevented. Folate is needed by pregnant women for the development of the babies that they are carrying. Birth defects can be avoided especially those that are brain and spine related. Leeks are responsible for a healthy skeletal system. The calcium they contain can help with proper blood flow, and can fend off infection and contamination.
Other Known Benefits
Scientists say that sulphur compounds are found in leeks. It is good for your health because it reduces your risk of diseases. Leeks also contain “kaempferol,” which is a flavonoid that provides protection to the blood vessels’ lining. Reactive oxygen species and free radicals will not harm the body. You can avoid aging and chronic diseases as well. “Kaempferol” can also help produce nitric oxide which acts as relaxant and natural dilator of the blood vessels. Regular consumption of leeks can help you stay away from heart related diseases.