Introducing solid food to your baby can be a lot of fun and at the same time can cause a little worry too. As a new mother, this is the first step you are taking to develop healthy eating habits in your little one. You are probably eager to know what and what not to include in your baby’s diet. One such food is green beans.
Once your baby is ready for solid food, you can certainly add green beans to this list as they are excellent for your baby. Green beans can be included in your baby’s diet anytime from 6-8 months of age. Read on to know more about the benefits of green beans, how to choose the best ones and few cooking tips.
How Good Are Green Beans For My Baby?
It’s a bit tough to turn green beans into a fine puree because it is a fibrous vegetable. Further, it has the tendency to cause flatulence (gas) in babies. Therefore it is best to wait until your baby is a year old before introducing green beans. Do keep in mind the four-day rule when introducing newer food items.
When you introduce a new food to your baby, you need to continue feeding it for four days. This will help you understand if your baby is allergic to the food item or if there is any digestive problem.
Benefits Of Green Beans:
Green beans, though tough to digest, are packed with important nutrients for your baby. Its benefits include:
- Good source of vitamins, which includes Vitamin A, K and C.
- Essential minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese sodium, phosphorous and zinc.
- Supply of antioxidant.
- Contains high dietary fiber.
- Omega 3 fatty acids.
Choosing Green Beans For Babies:
Fresh green beans look bright green in color and snap off easily. Do not buy canned or pre-cut beans.
- It is best if you buy them by their weight from the market so that you can test them for freshness.
- Avoid the ones which have wrinkles and brown spots on them.
- Avoid the beans where the outline is visible as they tend to be rough.
Green Beans Cooking Tips:
You can mash the beans with other vegetables as the combination makes it more nutritious. Here are some more ideas on how to cook green beans for baby, that will make them ask for green bean dishes!
- Before you cook the green beans, wash them under water and chop off both the ends.
- It is recommended that you steam them for 5 minutes until it becomes tender and bright green in color.
- You can toss the beans in butter and add fresh herbs for a wonderful taste.
- Grated cheese can also be sprinkled to make it more delicious.
- For older babies, you can toss the beans with olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder and lemon juice.
- When you are steaming beans, add fresh mint to the steaming bowl for a lovely aroma.
Homemade Green Beans For Babies:
Why not try making your own baby food instead of spending money on prepackaged ones? You can use fresh vegetable that you have at hand and make it economical and healthy.
Tough or tender, green beans do taste terrible if not prepared properly. Here is an easy homemade green beans recipe for baby to enjoy:
- Chop fresh beans into small pieces and put them in a saucepan.
- Add a cup of water and put the lid on.
- Boil the beans for 5 minutes until it becomes tender for your baby to eat easily.
- For a smooth paste, transfer the cooked beans to a food processor and add a little water to it.
- You can add lemon juice, salt, pepper, butter and even salad dressing to make it yummy.
- For a creamier puree, you can add boiled potatoes, diced into small pieces.
The World Health Organization recommends that a mother, in addition to solid food, continues breastfeeding her baby 2-3 times a day (if her baby is between 6-8 months of age). Before you begin your baby on solids, it is important to first check with your baby’s doctor.