Broccoli for Baby – Benefits and Recipes

A baby eating broccoli

Broccoli has gained quite a lot of popularity since people became aware about its health benefits and nutritional value. It slowly made its place in various salads and recipes for health-conscious people as well as tons of other mainstream recipes too. However, while introducing vegetables to your baby, you may wonder if broccoli might be the right choice to go ahead with.

When can Babies Eat Broccoli?

On the outset, broccoli is generally avoided as the very first vegetable that a baby might consume. The digestive system of a baby takes time in getting used to external items. The right time to add broccoli in baby’s food is at the age of 10 months old or more. Broccoli might also cause gas in certain babies, so if your baby shows such signs, it is best to delay it further.

Nutritional Facts of Broccoli

Broccoli

The nutrients that a single cup of steamed broccoli contains are as follows:

Description Quantity
Vitamin A 0.724 mg
Vitamin C 101.2 mg
Vitamin E 2.26 mg
Vitamin K 220 mg
Niacin 0.86 mg
Folate 168 mcg
Iron 5.5 mg
Selenium 5.7 mg
Sodium 64 mg
Calcium 62 mg
Magnesium 33 mg
Phosphorous 105 mg
Potassium 457 mg

Source: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/broccolibabyfoodrecipes.htm

Zinc, manganese, and a few other vitamins are also present in smaller amounts.

Benefits of Broccoli for Babies

Here are some of the benefits of eating broccoli for babies.

1. Immunity Improvement

The greatest thing about broccoli is its tendency to provide a strong boost to the strength of the immunity system. Vitamin C is present in broccoli in pretty decent amounts. This not only is extremely crucial in strengthening the building blocks of the immune system but also supports the overall health of the baby and builds resistance to fight the onslaught of diseases.

2. Eyesight Development

Another constituent that is present in broccoli in a good amount is vitamin A. Along with the combination of beta-carotene, Vitamin A acts directly on making the eyesight of the baby better and sharper. These are further complemented by smaller B-complex vitamins and minerals such as phosphorous, which play a good role in keep the eyesight healthy.

3. Reducing Anaemia

Our blood vessels contain an important entity called as haemoglobin. The core function of haemoglobin is to transport oxygen to various parts of the body via the blood vessels. And the development of haemoglobin is completely dependent on the presence of iron, failing which a person is termed as anaemic. Broccoli contains iron as one of the core minerals that enrich the amount of it present in the body and boost haemoglobin development.

4. Treating Gastric Ulcers

To digest the food consumed, the stomach needs to produce an acid that helps break it down successfully for the intestine. If the acid production is uncontrolled, the resulting acidity can cause ulcers to form in the gastric portion of the body. In such a condition, a soup made from broccoli can provide much-needed relief to your baby from such ulcers.

5. Presence Of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are essential for the body to maintain a healthy balance of all constituents within itself. These also help in detoxing the body and take care of any metabolic free radicals, providing protection to the cells and tissues of the body. Broccoli is full of such antioxidants and its inclusion in the diet is highly recommended.

6. Reduce Constipation

For any kind of digestive or constipation problems, including fibres and stimulating bowel movement are great ways to take care of them both. Broccoli contains fibre which also contains properties of a natural laxative. This helps in absorbing extra moisture and flush out any impurities, stimulating the digestive process and keeping the system healthy.

7. Relief From Diarrhea

For small babies, diarrhoea can be extremely dangerous since it can cause accelerated dehydration and be fatal too. Dehydration doesn’t simply rob the body of water but also a good balance of salts and minerals that are necessary to stay healthy. Making broccoli soup and feeding it to your child during diarrhoea can help restore the amount of water, as well as the nutrition that may be lost through constant pooping.

How to Choose and Store Broccoli for Infants

While buying broccoli from the market, opt for the ones that have dark green or sage shades, with slightly purplish-green tinge in colour. Make sure that they are uniformly coloured and don’t have any anomalies. If there are any tiny yellow flowers or grey coloured portions, discard that broccoli.

At home, store it in an open bag in the vegetable section of the fridge. Avoid storing it for more than 4 days.

Precaution to Take when Giving Broccoli to Babies

Keep in mind the following things before giving broccoli to your baby:

  • During purchase, choose the broccoli that is heavy and is firm to feel. A heavy broccoli is a good indication of a healthy broccoli from within.
  • Check the stalks inside the broccoli for the presence of moisture. If moisture has accumulated inside it, the chances of infections are higher. If it is not evident on the outset, while cutting the broccoli, recheck for the presence of any moisture.
  • Always wash the broccoli thoroughly after cutting it. This will take care of any impurities or unwanted items present in it.
  • Never give raw broccoli to your child since it may have bacteria or other impurities present even after washing. It’s best to give boiled or steamed broccoli or any other recipe where the broccoli has been properly cooked.

How to Cook Broccoli for Babies

Cooking broccoli in order to make broccoli soup for babies is pretty straightforward. Make sure the broccoli is cut into tiny pieces and boil them properly with the soup. Once thick consistency is achieved and other ingredients are added, remember to strain all the broccoli prior to serving the soup to your baby.

Nutritious Broccoli Recipe for your Child

You can try these recipes to help make broccoli fun for kids.

1. Broccoli And Cheese Nuggets

Broccoli and cheese nuggets

Ingredients

  • Cooked, drained, and chopped broccoli
  • Breadcrumbs or baby cereal
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • A few eggs or vegetable puree

How To Cook

  1. Prepare the oven by heating it to a temperature of 190 degrees.
  2. Take a baking sheet and coat it properly with some olive oil.
  3. Take a bowl and combine all the ingredients in it. Mix it properly. Some seasonings can be added here as well.
  4. With the mixture properly ready, take some portion in your hand and shape it like a nugget. Place these on the baking tray. Repeat for the entire mixture.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Pull the tray out, flip the nuggets, and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
  6. The nuggets are ready to be served, making it great broccoli cheese baby food to be had any time.

2. Broccoli Carrot Puree

Vegetable Puree

Ingredients

  • Broccoli
  • Peeled and diced carrots

How To Cook 

  1. Wash the broccoli properly in cold water.
  2. Chop the broccoli along with the stems into tiny pieces. For a smoother puree, use only the florets.
  3. Take a pan and add the broccoli along with diced carrots. Add some water to it. Alternatively, you could steam them together until they are soft.
  4. Take them in a bowl and mash it together until they form a puree.

3. Cheese Broccoli Rice

Cheese Broccoli Rice

Ingredients

  • Broccoli
  • Cooked brown rice
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

How To Cook

  1. Wash the broccoli properly in cold water.
  2. Chop the entire broccoli into tiny pieces. Put them in a steamer and steam until they become soft.
  3. Take a bowl and mix the broccoli with rice. Place the bowl on a low flame and let it cook.
  4. Add cheese to the bowl and stir it well. Cook it until the cheese has melted completely.
  5. Remove the flame and mash the entire mixture together to a required consistency.

4. Broccoli Cream Soup

Broccoli Cream Soup

Ingredients

  • Broccoli
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped onions
  • Chicken broth
  • Oregano
  • Pepper
  • Milk with reduced fat

How To Cook

  1. Take a large pan and add oil to it. Heat it on medium flame and add onions to it. Saute them until they soften.
  2. Follow it up by adding broccoli, oregano, pepper, and broth all together. Stir it properly and bring it to a boil using medium-high flame.
  3. Once boiled, reduce the flame to medium and let it cook until the broccoli softens.
  4. Remove the flame and add milk to it. Stir it properly and pour it into a blender. Blend it all together to make it consistent. Heat it once again before serving.

5. Basic Broccoli Puree

Broccoli Puree

Ingredients

  • Broccoli

How To Cook

  1. Wash broccoli properly with cold water.
  2. Chop it into small pieces.
  3. Steam it until it softens. Blend it together to form a smooth puree.
  4. Add water to if you want to make the consistency thinner if required.

FAQ’s

1. Can I Buy Organic Broccoli For Baby?

Unlike general vegetables, the presence of pesticides or insecticides in broccoli is negligible in the organic ones. In case you can afford organic broccoli, you can definitely buy those for your baby.

2. Can I Use Frozen Broccoli For Baby?

Fresh broccoli is always better than frozen. However, if you are left with no other option, opt for frozen broccoli that is uncut, since you will require both stems and florets in your recipes.

3. Does Broccoli Cause Gas Problem In Babies?

Broccoli contains a specific sugar called raffinose that cannot be digested by adults as well. This usually causes gas in both children as well as grown-ups. However, as long as your baby can digest other food items pretty well, there is no reason to not give him broccoli.

The health benefits of broccoli are astounding. With multiple broccoli puree recipes for babies you can ensure those nutrients find their way into your baby’s body in the right manner. A balanced diet with the right vegetables can always be the best culinary choice for your baby.

Also Read: Oats for Babies