As your baby grows and starts to take solid foods, you’ll definitely want to offer only the best and nutritious foods. Babies require vitamins and other essential minerals as they develop. Vegetables are an excellent source of these vitamins and essential minerals thus vegetables are a great choice for mothers looking to provide their children with their first food. One of these numerous vegetables is Broccoli. On bembu.com’s list of the 20 healthiest foods on earth, this vegetable ranks number 6.
Broccoli is an excellent choice for babies and you can start giving your baby broccoli when he/she is between the ages of 8 to 10 months old. It is not proper to start your baby’s solid food journey with it, as it can cause gas problems but believe, it has a wide array of benefits when the baby starts to get used to solid food.
It is of great importance that mothers understand how to select the best broccoli and what the best way is to prepare it for the baby. Remember the baby’s stomach is tender and not used to rough solid foods. Make sure you purchase a fresh and raw broccoli with tight florets. The stalk of the broccoli should be light green.
How you prepare your broccoli is also crucial for the health of the baby. Broccoli must be properly washed before commencing cooking. Remove the stalks from the fresh broccoli and soak the rest in water for some minutes. Rinse the broccoli under some running water and dry it with a clean piece of clothing. Cook the broccoli in a medium-sized pan and allow it to cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Drain the remaining broccoli and rinse with cool water for some minutes. Puree the broccoli in a blender until you achieve a consistent cream texture. Make sure the broccoli is as smooth as possible. You can add some formula or breast milk and serve it with several other foods. You can serve it with beef, salmon, chicken, carrots and brown rice. You can store the remaining broccoli in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Benefits of broccoli for babies
Broccoli is very crucial in boosting the immune system of the baby. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene and several other minerals that are essential for promoting the baby’s immune system. This green vegetable contains minerals like selenium, zinc, copper and phosphorous. These minerals are crucial for the healthy development of the child. They strengthen the immune system of the baby that is not yet fully developed, helping it fight off infections.
2. An excellent source of soluble fiber
The baby’s bowel is tender and needs to be loosened as the child grows. This can only be achieved by a soluble form of fiber. Broccoli provides children with soluble fiber that easily changes its form as it passes through the bowel. It helps loosen up the bowel, helping with the digestion of other solid foods. You can add broccoli to almost all baby recipes to help the baby’s digestive system as he/she get used to solid food. However, avoid giving the baby too much soluble fibers as it can cause diarrhea. Insoluble fibers do not change its form and can be too bulky for the baby leading to constipation.
3. Development of healthy bones
Broccoli is highly recommended for the babies who their bones are still developing. Broccoli is rich in Calcium and essential component in the development of healthy bones. There are close to 47 milligrams of calcium in 100 milligrams of broccoli showing the high presence of calcium in the vegetables. Other essential minerals in the broccoli include phosphorus, magnesium and zinc all which are necessary for small children. Babies are prone to osteoporosis, calcium deficiency and weakening of bones and teeth. An addition of broccoli to the diet of your child can significantly improve their health.
Broccoli has vitamin C, sulfur and amino acids making it an excellent choice for detoxification. Free radicals and toxins in your baby can cause various ailments among them are rashes, boils, and itches. Children pick almost anything they find and put it in their mouth and are at risk of infections. Toxins like uric acid from your baby, need to be cleared immediately. The body has its mechanism for removing unwanted and harmful substances. However, that might not be the case with babies whose systems are still developing. Additional of broccoli to baby foods can be great in removing harmful substances from their bodies.
5. Prevention of a wide variety of diseases
Broccoli is known to act as a wonder drug for various types of cancer. With the rising cases of cancer worldwide, it is crucial that you introduce broccoli to your baby early enough to prevent instances of cancer cases. It is also essential for mothers with high levels of estrogen in their bodies. Broccoli has anti-carcinogenic compounds like beta-carotene and selenium that are excellent anticancer agents.
6. Keeps the baby’s skin healthy
The presence of vitamin C and antioxidants like beta-carotene makes broccoli an excellent choice for skin care. Children can develop various forms of skin infections as they grow and adapt to their new environments. These compounds coupled with others like vitamin E and vitamin B complex supports the development of healthy skin in babies. Your baby skin will appear shinier and brighter leaving them looking good as they grow. They help reverse the adverse effects of too much exposure of your child to the sun.
7. Cataracts and eye care
The vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and E are essential for ocular development. These substances help prevent the tender eyes of the child from cataracts and macular degeneration. The baby’s eyes are still weak and cannot handle too much radiation from the sun. They protect the eyes while helping repair and damage from emissions.
Babies that lack iron are likely to develop anemia. This is the reason most mothers are supplemented with iron during their pregnancy to supply enough for the child. Well, continue with the iron supplementation when the child starts to eat by adding more broccoli to their food. Broccoli is rich in iron and an excellent remedy for anemia in children.
The list of broccoli benefits is endless, but mothers must exercise
caution when feeding their children. Too much broccoli can cause some reactions like skin rashes. Give it moderation and supplement it with other foods. Your kids will start enjoying these benefits helping them live a healthy life.