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Welcome to my Beets baby food recipe post! Discover why this lovely vibrantly colored vegetable is right for your baby. Also, find out how you can correctly store and cook beets for making your homemade baby food.
Beets (also known as garden vegetables) make a great addition to your baby’s diet. They are easy to digest, have a lovely sweet taste, and pack a punch in nutrition as they contain such abundant amounts of beneficial nutrients for your baby.
Beets make exciting, colorful looking purees thanks to their deep red color, and they can easily be combined with other foods to create vibrant baby food combinations for your baby. Beets owe their intense red color to a remarkably water-soluble pigment called betalain.
Cooked beets can be introduced to babies at of 8 months, although some parents will choose to wait until their baby is around ten months of age. It is essential to bear in mind that babies develop at different rates and that food recommendation for each baby may vary.
The Nutritious Beets
Beets are an excellent source of vitamin A. The nutrient is an essential vitamin for your baby’s eyesight and immune system. Beets are also a good source of vitamin C, riboflavin and magnesium. They also contain Zinc and vitamin B6.
Buying And Storing Beets
When selecting your beets for homemade baby food, look for firm small to medium sized beets that have a healthy looking skin with no bruises and no dried up cuts’. Avoid large beets as they tend to be fibrous. I do not recommend the use of canned pickled beets for making homemade baby food.
One more thing that makes cooked beets such perfect vegetables for making homemade baby food is that they freeze very well. You can store uncooked beets in the refrigerator in good quality storage containers for up to 3 weeks.
What About The Nitrates in Homemade Beets Baby Food?
Nitrates are naturally occurring compounds that you’ll find in root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and beets. You will also find nitrates in vegetables such as spinach and collard greens. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against giving beets and other nitrate containing foods to babies younger than three months of age.
“/…/home-prepared infant foods from vegetables (eg, spinach, beets, green beans, squash, carrots) should be avoided until infants are 3 months or older /…/”
It’s also recommended not to use the cooking water left over from steaming or boiling beets as this water will most certainly contain nitrates. Use boiled water or breast milk to thin out purees instead.
Again, like with all foods, it’s always a good idea to consult your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby.
Cooking Beets Baby Food
Steaming is the best cooking method for preparing beets. It will preserve the flavor and even boost their color.
Easy Beets Baby Food Recipes (From 8 Months)
Basic Beetroot baby puree Ingredients:
- 4 beets
- Water for steaming
Wash, peel and slice the beets; Steam until vegetables are soft; Puree in a food processor until smooth. Cool rapidly in portions before freezing.
Beets and Sweet Potato Puree
- 245g sweet potatoes
- 100g beets (about 3 small to medium beets)
Wash and peel the vegetables; slice into thin slices; place in a steamer pot and steam until soft. Blitz the vegetables in a good quality powerful food processor to desired consistency adding cooled boiled water or breast milk to thin the puree out.
Pink Couscous with Chicken and Leeks
Serve this dish as is or with a big dollop of Greek yogurt.
Note: You may need to adjust the couscous/ liquid ratio for this recipe depending on the couscous brand you are using. Please refer to the instructions on your couscous package. For this particular couscous brand, the liquid/couscous ratio is 1:1.
- 1 cup couscous
- 140g cooked chicken breast
- 2 Tbsp. leeks, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup homemade chicken stock (heat and keep warm)
- 1 cooked beet, chopped into small cubes
- Greek yogurt
Saute the leeks in the vegetable oil until soft; stir in the couscous, chicken, and the diced beets; pour over the homemade chicken stock bring to the boil; cover, remove from heat and allow to stand for about 3-5 minutes; fluff up the couscous and serve with Greek yogurt.
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