This week we’re looking beyond the beloved banana, at some of the other sunshine-hued foods that can give baby’s nutrition a boost and expand their palette.
Feeding-by-Colour: Greedy for Greens
It’s no secret that dark leafy greens are good for us. Moms the world over have been telling their kids to eat their broccoli and brussel sprouts since, well, forever. But have you ever wondered what the benefits for baby really are?
• Avocados - Avocados are sometimes thought of as a vegetable, but they are actually a fruit! They’re a great nutrient-dense starter food for your baby, boasting the highest protein content of any fruit and are rich in good fat – monounsaturated - that helps support healthy brain development. Make sure you choose ripe avocados, so they are soft and easy for your baby to eat. Wash the outside, then remove the peel and mash well to serve by the spoon-full or spread on toast. Or cut avocados into thin slices, and coat in infant cereal for extra grip. Peas - Peas are bursting with vitamin K, a nutrient that works alongside calcium to help build healthy bones.
• Peas are also a source of the antioxidants vitamins A and C, as well as folic acid and B vitamins, to keep your baby healthy. And adding peas to your baby's plate will boost the fiber in her diet, which is important because research shows that almost all babies, as well as older children, do not get enough fiber. Pureed baby food peas are easy to make. Try this recipe for Green Pea Delight Baby Food.
• Broccoli - Broccoli is a true super food, as it is a great source of vitamin C and also contains folic acid, iron, potassium, and fiber. Boiling broccoli in water cuts its vitamin C content in half, so it's best to steam or microwave it. If your baby isn't keen on the taste of broccoli, mix it with a sweet-tasting vegetable, such as sweet potato or butternut squash. Once your baby is starting to self-feed, steamed broccoli is perfect as the stem makes a natural handle! Spinach – Spinach is chock full of essential vitamins and minerals that supports baby’s growth and development. Leafy greens like spinach are high in the B vitamin Folate, which helps to make new red blood cells.
• Spinach is also a good source of vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. Each of these vitamins play an important role in improving body functions in infants. Vitamin A is essential for developing eye sight, vitamin C is essential for building a strong immune system, and helping to absorb the heme iron from meat and vitamin K is needed to help form strong bones. To serve your little one spinach, offer it cooked in pureed form, or raw blended into a smoothie.